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News Scan

FBI/LAPD Gang Task Force Combat Gang Violence: A joint task force of the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department's criminal gang homicide unit have solved 32 homicides and made 168 arrests over the summer, reports Andrew Blankstein in the Los Angeles Times. The three-month operation "Save Our Streets" sought to quell gang violence and clear the backlog of unsolved gang killings in South Los Angeles. The federal assistance came as a great relief to the city police department, as budget cuts have recently required the department to limit overtime and accordingly, the number of hours dedicated to investigations.

California Tax Payers Won't be Paying for Transgender Inmate's Sex Change: Jack Dolan of the Los Angeles Times reports Lyralisa Stevens, a transgender California inmate, lost her legal bid for a sex change operation funded by the state. On Wednesday the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco denied her request for surgery after a two-year legal battle. Stevens, who was born male but lives as a female, has been receiving hormone treatments from the state, which cost about $1,000 a year per recipient. Stevens wants her male genitalia removed so corrections authorities would be compelled to move her to a woman's lockup, an operation that would cost between $15,000 to $50,000. Her attorney is considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Alabama Execution Scheduled for Later Today: Peggy Gargis of Reuters reports Derrick O'Neal Mason, 37, is set to be put to death by lethal injection today at 6pm local time at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Mason was convicted murdering 25-year-old Angela Cagle during an attempted robbery of a convenience store. According to authorities, Mason forced her to strip naked before shooting her twice in the face at close range. Earlier this month, the judge who sentenced Mason asked Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to spare Mason's life, writing in a letter that had he tried the case as a more experienced jurist, he would have sentenced Mason to life without parole. Governor Bentley said yesterday he would not intervene to halt the execution.

Jaycee Dugard Sues Feds: Brooke Donald of the AP reports Jaycee Dugard filed a lawsuit against the federal government today for failing to monitor convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido while he was on federal parole. The complaint alleges that federal parole officers were aware Garrido was dangerous and that their negligent supervision left Garrido to be free to kidnap Dugard.
"Had federal parole authorities demonstrated a modicum of vigilance ... Jaycee and her daughters would not have been forced to endure a virtual lifetime of physical and mental abuse," Jaycee's lawyers said.

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