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Rhode Island Refuses to Hand Over Murder Defendant: Laura Crimaldi of the AP reports the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit heard argument today regarding Rhode Island's refusal to turn over a murder defendant to federal authorities in an attempt to protect him from facing the death penalty. Jason W. Pleau was indicted in federal court last year for the September 2010 robbery and fatal shooting of a gas station clerk at a bank. If convicted, Pleau could face the death penalty. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee refused a request to turn over Pleau, citing the state's longtime opposition to the death penalty. Governor Chafee filed a request after the hearing seeking to join the case.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Five Years Later: Emanuella Grinberg of CNN reports on the status of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, signed by President George W. Bush five years ago this week. The law set forth national standards for monitoring sex offenders in U.S. communities. This week also marks the deadline for states, tribes, and U.S. territories to meet the act's requirements or face a 10% cut in federal justice assistance funding. Fourteen states have implemented SORNA, with many making last minute submissions. According to Linda Baldwin, director of the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, the biggest hurdles for most states are implementing technology and adjusting statutes.

Utah Law Enforcement Agencies Launch Anonymous Crime Tipping Program: PR Newswire reports more than 50 law enforcement agencies in Utah today have launched an anonymous crime tipping program that allows the public to send secure and anonymous tips to law enforcement through their web browser, text message, or smart phone. Rep. Greg Hughes says, "in this day of shrinking state budgets and downsizing of resources, it's important for law enforcement to find new ways to fight crime." The program, TipSoft, is already being used by more than 800 law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Delaware Set to Have First Execution Since 2005:  Esteban Parra of The News Journal (DE) reports that Delaware death row inmate Robert W. Jackson III is set to be executed between midnight and 3 a.m. Friday.  Jackson was sentenced to death for killing 47-year-old Elizabeth Girardi with an ax during a robbery of her home in 1992.  Two different juries voted on a death sentence for Jackson.  Jackson's attorneys have continued to seek a stay of execution, challenging the use of the drug Pentobarbital that Delaware plans to use, along with new claims that he is innocent.  Adam Taylor of the News Journal has this update on the Third Circuit panel which will hear arguments on the claims via telephone at 5 p.m. in the Philadelphia Federal Courthouse.  

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