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Federal Inmates to be Allowed MP3 Players: Kevin Johnson of USA Today reports the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is unveiling a project that will allow many federal inmates to carry MP3 players with personalized music lists. The devices will be sold in prison commissaries, and the list of songs inmates can choose from will be monitored to exclude "explicit" tracks. Bureau spokeswoman Traci Billingsley says, "The MP3 program is intended to help inmates deal with issues such as idleness, stress and boredom associated with incarceration." Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it is "difficult to see how all of the necessary safeguards can be put into place to stop prisoners from using MP3 players as bargaining chips or other malicious devices." The music program is currently being tested at a women's unit in West Virginia and is expected to expand to the rest of the federal prison system this year.

Arizona Death Row Inmate Denied Clemency: Amanda Lee Meyers of the Associated Press reports Arizona's clemency board on Friday rejected Robert Henry Moormann's request to recommend that Governor Jan Brewer reduce his sentence to life in prison or delay his execution scheduled for this Wednesday. Moormann was serving nine years to life in prison in 1984 for kidnapping an 8-year-old girl when the state granted him a three-day "compassionate furlough" to visit his 74-year-old adoptive mother. Moormann beat, stabbed, and suffocated her before dismembering her body. He then went around to various businesses, asking to dispose of spoiled meat and animal guts, before throwing most of her remains in trash bins and sewers in Florence, AZ. A federal judge on Thursday also declined to delay Moormann's execution and that of another death row inmate, Robert Charles Towery. Towery is scheduled to be executed March 8. Their attorney's had argued that the state's new execution protocol violates the inmates' constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

California Senator Proposes Changes to State's Death Penalty Law:
Tom Roebuck of Patch reports California State Senator Joel Anderson (R) has introduced two measures to address the lengthy death penalty process in the state. Senate Bill 1514 would remove the automatic appeal to the State Supreme Court for offenders sentenced to death. Senate Constitutional Amendment 20 would amend the California Constitution so that appeals of death penalty cases to go courts of appeal instead of the California Supreme Court.   

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