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News Scan

Execution in Mississippi Today: Emily Le Coz of Reuters reports Gary Carl Simmons Jr. is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Mississippi at 6 p.m. local time Wednesday. Simmons was convicted of kidnapping, rape, and capital murder in 1997 and sentenced to death. In 1996, Jeffery Wolfe and his girlfriend drove to Mississippi to collect on a drug debt. After his accomplice shot Wolfe, Simmons hog-tied and locked Wolfe's girlfriend in a footlocker. He later took her out to rape her and said "that her life depended on how well she performed sexually," according to court documents. After he put the woman back in the foot locker, Simmons, a grocery store butcher, dismembered and gutted Wolfe's body in the bathtub using knives from his work. Simmons and his accomplice then scattered Wolfe's remains in an alligator-infested bayou behind Simmon's property. Wolfe's girlfriend was able to escape and ran to a neighbor's house to call police. Update:  WAPT has this story on the completed execution.

House Committee Votes to Place Holder in Contempt: Jordy Yager of The Hill reports the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines on Wednesday to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena in the case of the gun-walking operation "Fast and Furious." After the committee's vote, it was announced that the full House will vote on the contempt measure next week.

Texas Inmate Receives Fourth Execution Date: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports a September 25 execution date has been set for Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster, who was granted three stays of execution in 2011. Foster was convicted in 2004 of the rape and fatal shooting of 30-year-old Nyanuer "Mary" Pal, whose body was found by workers in a ditch in west Fort Worth in 2002.

CA Serial Killer Brought to NY to Face Murder Charges: Jennifer Peltz of the Associated Press reports convicted serial killer and California death row inmate Rodney Alcala was brought to New York Wednesday to face charges for killing two women in the 1970s. Alcala is accused of strangling a flight attendant to death with a stocking in her Manhattan apartment in 1971, and killing the daughter of a former Hollywood nightclub owner, who disappeared from Manhattan the year before her body was found in the woods on a suburban estate in 1978. In 2010, Alcala was convicted of strangling four women and a 12-year-old girl in Southern California in the 1970s and was sentenced to death. He has been incarcerated since his 1979 arrest in one of the California killings. Before that, Alcala had also served about four and a half years total in prison on convictions of furnishing marijuana to a minor and kidnapping and trying to kill an 8-year-old girl. He represented himself in his 2010 California trial. It is unclear whether he will have a lawyer or represent himself in New York.

Arizona Inmate Wants Execution Delayed Until New Governor: Amanda Lee Myers of the Associated Press reports attorneys for Arizona death row inmate Samuel Villegas Lopez, who is scheduled for execution next week, wants the execution delayed until Arizona has a new governor. In their filing in the Arizona Supreme Court, his attorneys argue that Governor Jan Brewer unconstitutionally appointed a new, stacked state clemency board, and that Lopez can't receive a fair hearing. His clemency hearing is scheduled for Friday.

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