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Rick Perry and Texas Executions: Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has this story on Texas Governor Rick Perry and the fact that Texas has more executions than any other state. According to the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation's Kent Scheidegger, the answer to why Texas has the most executions is "(1) size, and (2) not being obstructed by hostile courts." In Texas, governors are given little opportunity to slow down the execution process. In Texas the governor does not sign death warrants or set execution dates, and the governor is forbidden by the state constitution from calling a moratorium on executions. Local prosecutors make the decision to seek the death penalty, and clemency is only allowed if the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it. On the campaign trail last week, Perry said the death penalty is a decision to be made by states and said, "I will suggest to you that I'm going to work a whole lot harder on a balanced budget amendment to the United States constitution than I am for an amendment that will ban capital punishment."

Dirt From Serial Killer's Backyard For Sale: Pat Galbincea of The Plain Dealer (OH) reports Eric Gein of Serial Killers Ink is selling dirt collected from convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell's backyard for $25 per gram. Gein claims the dirt is valuable because Sowell's victims were buried in it and that, as of Monday, he had sold six bags. Gein admits he likely will not not sell any soil to locals because, "[a]fter all, all a Clevelander has to do is go to Imperial Avenue and get their own." Emily Valdez of Fox 8 Cleveland has this report on the reactions of the victims' family members.

Florida Supreme Court Lifts Stay of Execution for Cop Killer: Matthew Hendley of Broward-Palm Beach New Times reports cop killer Manuel Valle is scheduled to be executed on September 1 after the Florida Supreme Court today lifted his stay of execution. The stay was ordered after questions arose regarding Florida's switch to pentobarbital, which had not previously been used in an execution in the state. The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of the new drug is constitutional.

Illinois Revokes Health Care Licenses From Sex Offenders: The Associated Press reports a new law went into effect over the weekend in Illinois that allows the state to permanently revoke health care licenses from registered sex offenders and people convicted of violent felonies. Under the new law restrictions can also be imposed after charges have been filed but before conviction, and the state can require those charged with sex crimes or forcible felonies to see patients only in the presence of another health care professional. Several doctors have filed lawsuits against the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, claiming the state's action is creating a "double jeopardy" situation because they have already been disciplined and had their medical licenses restored after temporary suspensions.     

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I believe that Valle's execution is now slated for September 6th. Hopefully, Governor Scott will sign death warrants for all those Florida killers who have exhausted their appeals. It is well past time for justice to be done on so many cases.

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