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Condemned Inmates Challenge Idaho's New Execution Protocol: Rebecca Boone of the Associated Press reports four inmates on Idaho's death row filed a lawsuit against the state in Boise's U.S. District Court late last week regarding the Idaho's new execution procedures adopted earlier this year, asking a judge to halt all executions until they are changed again. The inmates claim the new execution protocol would allow unqualified professionals to carry out procedures, creates a risk of extreme pain, and gives too much power to prison officials.

As Murders Rise in Chicago, Focus is on Gangs: Frank Main of the Chicago Sun-Times reports Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling for anti-gang legislation as murders rose 60 percent in the city for the first three months of 2012 compared to the same time last year. A bill passed by the House and now pending in the Senate would allow racketeering prosecutions of those directly or indirectly involved in gang activity through violent crimes, gun and drug crimes, or collection of illegal debts. A conviction would carry a fine of up to $250,000 and 10 to 30 years in prison.

Charles Manson Denied Parole for 12th Time: Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press reports California mass murderer Charles Manson was denied parole Tuesday for the 12th time. Manson and three female cult followers were convicted of slaying five people in 1969. Manson was also convicted of two other unrelated murders. The last parole hearing he attended was in 1997. Manson has been cited twice for having smuggled cell phones, and was cited for having a homemade weapon in his cell in October. He was originally sentenced to death, but his penalty was changed when the death penalty was temporarily outlawed in 1972.

Connecticut House Debates Death Penalty Repeal: The Associated Press reports the Connecticut House Tuesday began debating the death penalty repeal bill passed in the state Senate last week. The bill abolishes the death penalty in the state and replaces it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Offenders convicted under the new law would face prison conditions similar to those currently experienced by condemned inmates. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has said he will support the bill.

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