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Justice Department Sues Arpaio: Walter Berry of the Associated Press reports the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Maricopa County office over allegations of civil rights violations and racial profiling. Federal officials said in the 18-year history of the DOJ's police reform efforts, only once before has the agency filed a lawsuit against a police department that they failed to reach an agreement with. The lawsuit means a federal judge will now rule on the matter.

Condemned California Serial Killer to Face Murder Charges in New York: Jennifer Peltz of the Associated Press reports the California Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for death row inmate Rodney Alcala to be extradited to New York to face charges in two 1970s killings. Alcala was sentenced to death for strangling four women and a 12-year-old girl in Southern California - killings that prosecutors say were accompanied by sexual abuse and torture. The Manhattan district attorney has charged Alcala with murdering two 23-year-old women. A conviction in New York wouldn't affect Alcala's death sentence in California, but a conviction would be insurance in case Alcala won an appeal in his death sentence case.

Arizona Death Row Inmate Sues Governor: Bob Ortega of The Republic reports attorneys for Samuel Villegas Lopez, who is set for execution in Arizona next week, has sued Arizona Governor Jan Brewer over three newly appointed members to the state's Board of Executive Clemency. Lopez claims that Gov. Brewer's appointees guarantee that clemency will never be granted in any controversial or high-profile case.  Lopez was sentenced to death in 1987 for the murder of Estefana Holmes, whom he raped, sodomized and stabbed than 20 times before slitting her throat. If Superior Court Judge Joseph Kreamer grants the petition, the board's actions in more than 60 other cases it has considered could be nullified, and Brewer would be forced to start the appointment process over again, causing significant delays in other clemency hearings. The petition asked Kreamer to send a request for a stay of execution to the Arizona Supreme Court.

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