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1 of 2 Women on Federal Death Row Removed: Ryan J. Foley of the Associated Press reports U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett on Friday threw out the death sentence of Angela Johnson, one of two women on federal death row. Johnson was sentenced to death on four counts after she and her boyfriend killed five people execution-style, including two children, and buried them in shallow graves in 1993. The bodies were found in 2000. Johnson was the first woman sentenced to death in the federal system since 1976. Bennett said her defense lawyers were "alarmingly dysfunctional," and failed to present evidence about her troubled mental state. The ruling doesn't throw out her convictions. The U.S. Attorney General's office has 60 days to decide whether to appeal or continue seeking the death penalty again Johnson.

Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeal on Hormone Therapy for Inmates: The Associated Press reports the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Wisconsin state officials to reinstate a Wisconsin law banning hormone treatments for transgender inmates. The 2005 law was blocked by a federal judge weeks after its passage, and last year the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law violates the Eighth Amendment because it denies medical treatment. The law was passed after an inmate receiving hormone therapy filed a lawsuit, trying to force the prison to pay for his sex change.

Changes to Missouri DNA Laws Proposed:
The Associated Press reports Missouri State Seantor Will Kraus (R) has proposed legislation that would require crime labs to throw away a suspect's DNA sample within four months if a prosecutor decides to not file charges. A DNA sample would be required from anyone registering as a sex offender, as well as from out-of-state offenders who are transferred to Missouri prisons to serve their sentences. SB 789 has been endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and could be debated in the Senate in the coming weeks.

Washington Considers Changes to Parole, Probation Policies:
Jonathan Kaminsky of the Associated Press reports Washington lawmakers are considering a proposed remaking of the state's parole and probation practices, based on a pilot project in the state that focused on "swift and certain" punishment for parole violators. Under the pilot project, parolees would be put in jail for no more than three days for every minor parole violation. Parolees could spend up to 30 days in jail for more serious offenses. House Republicans have sought to exclude murderers, sex offenders, and others convicted of serious crimes from the program. "To put them under relaxed supervision has an impact under public safety," says Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia. "They could re-offend and that would be very devastating." The system is modeled on a program founded in Hawaii eight years ago which has been replicated in localities in over a dozen states. If initiated, Washington's program would be the first statewide program of its kind in the country, and would include both those on parole and probation. The U.S. Department of Justice will start pilot projects in four cities across the country soon. The history of the bill is here.   

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/26/3513633/missouri-senator-seeks-changes.html#storylink=cpy

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Taxpayers should not have to pay for hormone treatments for transgender inmates. Period. Full stop.

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