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News Scan

Maine Makes Database of Probationers Public: Heather Steeves of Bangor Daily News (ME) reports a new database created for the Maine Department of Corrections allows people to search for those on probation in the state. The department said the goal is to reduce the workload for corrections staff who handle information requests by allowing victims to track their abusers. The Department of Corrections lists the locations of probationers only by the city where their regional office is located. The database is updated daily.

Upcoming Executions in Arizona and Pennsylvania: Michael Kiefer of The Republic (AZ) reports the Arizona Supreme Court Tuesday approved execution dates for Robert Moormann and Robert Towery. Moormann will be executed February 29, and Towery will be executed March 8. Towery strangled a man to death in 1991 during a robbery of the victim's home. Moormann killed his adoptive mother during a "compassionate furlough" from prison in 1984, where he was already serving time for kidnapping. He cut her body into pieces and dumped them in garbage cans around the city of Florence, AZ. Warren Howeler of the Morning Times (PA) reports Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett Monday signed the execution warrant for Dustin Ford Briggs, who is scheduled to be executed March 8. Briggs was convicted for the 2004 shooting deaths of two sheriff's deputies.

Homicide No Longer a Top Cause of Death: Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports homicide has been dropped from the list of the nation's top 15 causes of death for the first time in 45 years. It is unclear whether it means homicide was off the list 46 years ago, or if the list has only been around for 45 years. The report from the National Center for Health Statistics is here. Update: This article by David Brown in the WaPo clarifies that homicide entered the top 15 in 1965.

Ohio Judge Halts Upcoming Execution: Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press reports U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost Wednesday delayed the January 18 execution of Charles Lorraine in Ohio. Lorraine stabbed a 77-year-old man five times with a butcher's knife and stabbed his 80-year-old wife nine times before burglarizing their home in 1986. Frost said the state diverted from its execution policies when it failed to document the drugs used in its last execution in November and failed to review the medical chart of the inmate before the execution. Ohio is appealing the judge's order.

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