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News Scan

CA Bill Requiring Qualifying Inmates to Pay for Imprisonment Fails: Torey Van Oot of the Sacramento Bee reports SB 1124, which would require the courts to order those who could afford to pay for part of their stay in state prison or county jail to do so, failed today by a 2-3 vote in the California Senate Public Safety Committee. Sen. Ron Calderon (D) suggested creating a report outlining how often the option to force repayment is exercised, and also suggested looking into a pilot program.

Agreement Made on Timetable to Reconsider Haugen's Death Sentence: Peter Wong of the Statesman Journal reports the timetable for Gary Haugen's request for the death penalty to be reinstated in his case was agreed upon in an open court proceeding today. Haugen has been in prison since 1981 for the murder of his girlfriend's mother, receiving a second sentence in 2004 for the murder of a fellow inmate. Haugen is seeking to reinstate the warrant Judge Joseph Guimond signed on Nov 21, 2011, prior to retiring. The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the warrant for his execution in a 4-3 decision. Haugen had been scheduled to die by lethal injection on Dec. 6, 2011, until Gov. John Kitzhaber announced  on Nov. 22, 2011, he was issuing a reprieve to Haugen and imposing a moratorium on all executions until the end of his term on Jan. 12, 2015. The hearing is set for June 11, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. in Marion County Circuit Court after written arguments are submitted by Haugen's lawyers and by the state. In a statement in court Wednesday, Haugen called it "an unsolicited reprieve."

Kansas Pulls Inmates From County Jail After Four Escape: John Hanna of the Associated Press reports the Kansas inmates who were being held at the Ottawa County Jail have been moved back to a state facility after four inmates escaped Wednesday morning. Two still remain missing. The inmates armed themselves with homemade knives and were able to open the cell doors after overpowering guards after complaining about a broken water line in the holding area. Three of the inmates had medium-security status based on evaluations done when they entered the prison system. Records show the three also had numerous disciplinary issues while behind bars. 

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