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Ohio to Execute with Single Drug:  Joanne Viviano of the Associated Press reports  that Ohio Governor John Kasich denied clemency on Friday for death row inmate Johnnie Baston, 37, who is scheduled to die this Thursday for the killing of a South Korean immigrant.  If carried out according to plan, Baston will be the first inmate executed in the U.S. with a single dose of the surgical sedative pentobarbital. 

Bill Introduced to Secure Death Penalty for Cop Killers:  Ashley Tarr of the Bedford-Katonah Patch reports that dozens of local law enforcement officers showed their support on Friday for a bill introduced by New York Senator Greg Ball that would reinstate the death penalty for individuals convicted of killing on-duty police, peace, or corrections officers.  A 2004 ruling from the New York Court of Appeals currently prevents prosecutors from seeking capital punishment in these cases.  Since that ruling, eight police officers have been murdered in the state.  Senator Ball states, "If it saves one life as an act of deterrence, and there's no doubt that it will as it has in other states, we will have done our job, not only as a legislature but as a community."

Supreme Court Rules on Inmate Access to DNA Testing:  Michael Graczyx of the Associated Press reports on today's 6-3 Supreme Court opinion allowing Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner to seek DNA testing via a federal civil rights complaint.  Skinner was convicted of killing his girlfriend and her two sons on New Years eve in 1993.  Police found Skinner hiding in a closet a few blocks away from the murder scene, splattered with blood of at least two victims and with a trail of blood leading from the bodies to the closet.  Skinner and his lawyers nevertheless claimed that untested evidence, including fingernail clippings from his girlfriend and two knives found in the house, could exonerate him.  Importantly, the court's ruling today does not hold that Skinner and other inmates have an automatic right to DNA testing, but only that such claims may be filed under the federal civil rights statute.

Capital Punishment in Connecticut:  Bill Kiner has this piece on Patch.com outlining the competing arguments emerging in the Connecticut Legislature over the attempt to repeal capital punishment in the state.  The issue is proving especially controversial in Connecticut right now in light of the upcoming trial against the second alleged perpetrator of the Petit family murders.     

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