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News Scan

First Medical Parole Granted in California: Sam Stanton of The Sacramento Bee reports Craig Lemke, 48, has become the first person granted medical parole through a new California state law that authorizes the release of incapacitated inmates. Lemke is also the first three-strikes inmate to be released through a ruling by the state Board of Parole Hearings. The new law is designed to save the state millions of dollars in medical care for incapacitated inmates and guarding such inmates full time. There is ongoing debate about whether three-strikers should be allowed early release by medical parole.

Two Executions Scheduled for Today: Corrie MacLaggan of Reuters reports Lee Taylor, 32, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Texas later today. Taylor was serving a life sentence for aggravated robbery when he fatally stabbed a fellow inmate in 1999. Taylor will be the fifth inmate executed in Texas this year. Monique Fields of Reuters reports Eddie Duvall Powell, 41, is scheduled to be executed at 6pm local time in Alabama for raping, sodomizing, and murdering a 70-year-old woman in 1995. Powell's execution will be the fourth in Alabama this year.

Oldest Ward of the State to be Released: Stephen Baxter of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports
Donald Gerald Schmidt, 39, will be released from a youth correctional facility sometime between today and June 25. Schmidt was tried as a juvenile when he was 16 and convicted of molesting and drowning a 3-year-old in 1988. Schmidt has had parole hearings every two years since 1997. Santa Cruz County prosecutors argued that Schmidt has a mental disorder that makes him a danger to the public and should continue to be incarcerated. He has been in youth lockups since his conviction, making him the oldest ward of the state. Most juvenile offenders are released from the state system at age 25.

Latin American Countries Join Fight Against HB 87 Immigration Law: Greg Bluestein of the AP reports that 11 countries, including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, filed briefs late Wednesday asking a federal judge to block Georgia's new immigration law before it takes effect, arguing the law could possibly jeopardize the current ties between the U.S. and Latin America.  As it stands HB 87 would allow law enforcement to check the immigration status of a suspect who cannot provide identification and empowers them to turn over anyone found to be in the country illegally to federal authorities.  People who harbor illegal immigrants and immigrants who present false documents when applying for a job could also be charged under HB 87. 

Lesson Learned: Before You Honk at a Cop Make Sure Drugs Aren't in the Car!: Sebastian Force of WPIX (NY) reports that after Michael Rost, 30, honked his horn twice at a police officer in a middle of investigating a civil matter, the officer pulled Rost over and ask for his credentials. When Rost opened the glove compartment, he also revealed a steel pipe and a plastic baggie that had leafy substance in it. Rost was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and several other offenses.

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