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News Scan

N.C. State Can Continue to Set Execution Standards: Sam Favate of the Wall Street Journal reports the North Carolina Supreme Court has decided to continue to have ten elected officials,  ranging from the lieutenant governor to the attorney general, set the execution protocol for the states death row inmates without meeting publicly. The court stated that the Council of State has the authority to set the execution standards. The inmates argue the the council failed to follow state statutes when members signed off on new execution procedures in February 2007 and failed to hear from those representing the inmates.The Supreme Court stated that "the council wasn't under any obligation to follow the law's procedures for new policies in this case." The revised protocol approved in February 2007 called for a more restrictive role for doctors in executions and details the equipment and drugs to be used in executions and the personnel qualified or required to attend or participate.

Assault Weapons Found in Home of Cartel Leader: Richard Serrano of the LA Times reports 100 assault rifles purchased under ATF's Fast and Furious were transported from Phoenix, AZ to what is believed to be the "hub" for gun traffickers in El Paso, TX. Forty of those high powered assault weapons were found in the home of a top Sinaloa cartel enforcer, Jose Antonio Torres Marrufoin in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The cartel was terrozing Mexico with some of the worst violence that city has seen. Marrufoin has been indicted in El Paso, TX, however he cannot be located. "We have seized the most important cache of weapons in the history of Ciudad Juarez," Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte said at the time. In fall 2009 the Fast and Furious program allowed illegal buyers to walk away with weapons hoping that agents in Phoenix could track the weapons and arrest cartel leaders. 

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