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News Scan

Jurors in Drew Peterson Trial Begin Deliberations: The Associated Press reports that jurors in the case of Drew Peterson began deliberations Wednesday in Illinois. Peterson pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the death of his third wife in 2004. Her death was initially considered an accident, with no physical evidence collected, until Peterson's fourth wife disappeared in 2007. The case is the first in Ill. without any physical evidence.

Mother of Kidnapped, Murdered Girl Will Attend Execution: The Associated Press reports Tina Curl has raised enough money to attend the execution of her daughter's killer, Donald Moeller, in South Dakota. Moeller was convicted of kidnapping, raping, stabbing, and slashing the throat of Curl's 9-year-old daughter in 1990. The execution is set to take place between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. Prison officials will decide the exact date and time.

TX Juvenile Rapist Up for Parole: Andrea Watkins and Damali Keith of My Fox Houston News report convicted juvenile rapist Venancio Medellin had a parole hearing Tuesday morning. Medellin confessed to raping a 14-year-old girl when he was 14 and watching 5 others rape, rob, beat and strangle the girl and her 16-year-old best friend to death in a gang initiation in 1993. Among the murderers was his older brother, the infamous Jose Ernesto Medellin, who was executed in 2008.  Medellin has become eligible for parole after serving 19 years of his 40-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child. The father of the 14-year-old victim testified before the Texas Parole Board asking for Medellin to remain in prison. Three of the murderers were executed and two others who were juveniles are serving a life sentence. The parole board will announce their decision when ready.

AL Requires Prison Visitors Fingerprint Scans: Marty Roney of USA Today reports visitors at Alabama prisons are required to submit fingerprint scans as of August. Alabama is the first state in the country to impose a prison visitor fingerprint requirement policy. The fingerprints are used strictly for visitor identification verification, and are not stored in a database or shared with other enforcement agencies at any level.

TX Prisons Will Block Smuggled Cell Phones: Mike Ward of Statesman News reports TX will begin blocking calls from smuggled cell phones at two prisons later this year. The system will resemble the CA system of managed-access, and will intercept all outgoing calls and put through only previously approved calls. All other calls will be stopped.

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