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News Scan

Condemned Inmate Says in Letter His Death Will Bring Justice: Kristi Eaton of the Associated Press reports, in his first public comments since his October sentencing, South Dakota death row inmate Eric Robert said in a letter that the South Dakota Supreme Court owes it to him and his victim's family to let his execution proceed in a timely manner. He said it's the only way his victim's family can get justice. Robert pleaded guilty to killing a prison guard in April, 2011. He had been serving an 80-year sentence for a kidnapping conviction. "Victims of non-capital offenses receive their justice when the perpetrator is placed in custody. Victims in capital cases receive their justice when the perpetrator is executed. Give the Ron Johnson family their justice, they have been forced to wait too long," he said.

U.S. Will Seek Death Penalty Against Rhode Island Inmate: The Associated Press reports federal authorities announced Monday their intention to seek the death penalty against Jason Pleau if he is convicted of the shooting death of a gas station manager outside of a bank in 2010. Pleau had been in the middle of a legal tug-of-war between Rhode Island's governor and federal prosecutors. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee had been fighting to prevent Pleau from being tried in federal court, where he could face the death penalty. Rhode Island, where Pleau is serving an 18-year sentence for a probation violation in another case, does not have capital punishment. The Justice Department was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge earlier this month to say whether or not it intended to seek the death penalty in this case.

Execution Date Set for Oklahoma Inmate: Rachel Petersen of McAlester News-Capital reports an execution date has been set for August 14 for Oklahoma death row inmate Michael Edward Hooper. In 1993, Hooper killed his 23-year-old ex-girlfriend and her two children - Tanya, age 5, and Timmy, age 3. "Hooper shot each victim in the head twice and buried their bodies in a shallow grave in a secluded field," said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. "The victims had been missing for several days before being discovered."

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