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Ohio Governor Spares Condemned Killer of Two Scheduled to Die Next Week:  The AP reports Ohio Governor John Kasich today spared the life of death row inmate Shawn Hawkins, saying he had no doubt of Hawkins involvement in the 1989 double murder, but that "[p]recise details of that role are frustratingly unclear to the point that Ohio shouldn't deliver the ultimate penalty in this case."  The governor's decision came after the Ohio Parole Board recommended the same last month, citing several possible problems with Hawkins' case.  Hawkins is the first death row inmate to receive clemency since Kasich took office in January and the seventh to be spared since Ohio resumed executions in 1999.  

Danish Pharmaceutical Company Seeks to Block Access to Execution Drug:  Peter Stanners of The Copenhagen Post reports the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, makers of the drug Nembutal (generically known as pentobarbital), met with a human rights organization this week to discuss ways to prevent the drug from being used in executions in the United States.  The meeting represents a reversal of Lundbeck's previous position on the use of its drugs, as the company in March said there was little it could do to prevent the ultimate use of its drug and dismissed forcing distributors to sign "end user agreements" to prevent the drug from being sold to prisons.  "We have now realised that even though we can't be completely certain where the drugs end up we should work towards making it harder for the prisons to get the drugs," said Lundbeck spokesperson Mads Kronborg.

More Than 100 Arrested in California Gang Sweep:  California authorities raided more than 50 properties and arrested 101 suspected members of the "Nuestra Familia" gang, a Northern California gang tied to the state prisons and Mexican drug cartels and characterized by California Attorney General Kamala Harris as "one of the most vicious and lethal gangs in our state."  This week's sweep, conducted by more than 300 state, federal, and local agents, was the fifth and largest in two years targeting gang members in Central California.  Yesterday's arrests included two street commanders who controlled operations in Madera and Merced counties.  "Literally, they've been terrorizing these two counties," said Harris.  Don Thompson of the AP has this story.

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