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News Scan

Ohio Serial Killer Convicted of Aggravated Murder:  The Plain Dealer (OH) staff reports a Cuyahoga County, Ohio jury convicted Anthony Sowell today of multiple counts of aggravated murder and related offenses for the slayings of 11 women whose bodies were discovered in his home.  The same jury will now decide whether to impose a life or death sentence. 

Illinois Sex Offenders Will Lose Medical Licenses:  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn yesterday signed into law a measure that will permanently strip the medical licenses of doctors and other health care workers who have been convicted of sex crimes, forcible felonies, or battery of a patient.  A spokesperson for Quinn said the governor acted in response to a Chicago Tribune investigation finding that doctors with criminal histories often faced little or no punishment from state regulators.  The law is set to take effect in 30 days.  Megan Twohey of the Chicago Tribune has this story

Sloppy Finances in California Prison System: 
The Press-Enterprise has this op-ed about a recent audit indicating careless financial practices within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  The audit says the department often failed to monitor reimbursement of workers' salary and travel advances and to reconcile bank accounts to verify the accuracy of its records.  The author of the article opines this type of financial mismanagement is especially troublesome at a time when the state is in a financial crisis, and that "[t]he sloppy fiscal oversight also erodes public confidence in a prison system already under court assault for crowded conditions, substandard medical care and assorted other ills."

"New life for death penalty":  The Daily Triplicate out of Crescent City, California has this editorial by Richard Weins that starts out, "It's possible to agree with someone's description of a problem and completely disagree with that person's solution."  While California's current capital punishment system is admittedly flawed, scrapping it altogether (as recent legislation has proposed) is not the only solution.  Weins's proposal: "Streamline the costly appeals process so that a condemned person gets one thorough review of the sentence. Make sure that review includes any DNA evidence that might indicate the jury erred. If the sentence stands up, carry out the execution immediately, no further appeals allowed."

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