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News Scan

Update on Yesterday's Scheduled Executions:  The AP reports yesterday's execution of Texas death row inmate Lee Andrew Taylor, sentenced to death for the fatal stabbing of a fellow inmate 12 years ago, proceeded as scheduled.  The Supreme Court yesterday rejected Taylor's challenge to the effectiveness of his postconviction counsel, a claim that spared the life of fellow Texas death row inmate John Balentine on Wednesday (see previous post here).  The AP also reports Alabama death row inmate Eddie Duval Powell was executed as scheduled last night.

Murderer Shot Arkansas Mayor Who Backed His Parole:  A convicted murderer released on parole is accused of shooting the Arkansas mayor who backed his early release, reports Jeannie Nuss of the AP.  Records obtained by the AP show Everton Mayor Bill Gedes stated he would have no problem with Justin Bates returning to the Northern Arkansas town if he were released early from his prison term for second-degree murder.  Bates allegedly shot Gedes Wednesday evening and was arrested after an hours-long standoff with police.  Gedes is in critical condition.

Underwear Search Upheld:  The New Mexico Supreme Court today upheld a search stemming from a traffic stop in which the "officer pulled the waistband of Defendant's pants and underpants outward six to eight inches, looked down, and saw a plastic bag [of illegal substances] underneath Defendant's underpants."  The court found the officer had reason to believe the defendant was hiding something in his underpants and that the scope, manner, and location of the search were reasonable, but cautioned that "[i]nvasive, under-clothing searches remain the exception."  Milan Simonich of the El Paso Times has this story.

Can't Catch A Break:  Donna Gordon Blankinship of the AP reports an escaped convict from a Washington prison picked the wrong cabin door to knock on in his search for a phone - that of an off duty-prison guard from the same prison he fled.  The guard recognized James Edward Russell's red, prison-issue shirt and reported the incident after Russell was able to flee again.  Russell was apprehended the next day. 

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