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Ohio Senate Approves Parole Notification Law: Rebecca McKinsey of The Colombus Dispatch reports the Ohio Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to approve Roberta's Law, which would create a mandatory notification system to victims and their families when the offender in their case is being released or having a parole hearing. The law is named after Robert Francis' daughter Rebecca, who was 15-years-old when she was raped and beaten to death by Paul Raymond Saultz in 1974. Saultz had just been released from a state mental hospital for molesting a 12-year-old girl. He was paroled after serving 30 years for his crime against Rebecca, and two years later he molested another girl. Francis did not know Saultz had been paroled until he read about it in the newspaper. Current law allows victims and families to voluntarily enroll in a notification system. Roberta's Law would automatically inform victims and families unless they opt out of the system. The measure would apply to offenses punishable by a life-imprisonment sentence.

Oklahoma in Need of Execution Drugs: Andrew Knittle of the Oklahoman reports the Oklahoma Corrections Department has only a single cocktail of drugs left in stock for executing inmates. Corrections Department officials and the state attorney general's office say there is no firm plan in place if pentobarbital or a suitable replacement cannot be found, but options are being explored. There are currently no more executions scheduled in the state for the rest of the year.

Significant Questions Arise Over DNA Sampling Laws: Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog has this piece about Maryland officials preparing to appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the right to collect DNA samples from those who have been arrested but not yet convicted of a crime, if the state's highest court does not reconsider its decision partially banning that procedure. Denniston points out six of the most significant constitutional issues that have arisen over similar DNA sampling laws. Maryland's attorney general said the decision by the Court of Appeals could affect the use of evidence that could help solve "190 unsolved cases."

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