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NY Ex-Con Sets House Ablaze, Shoots Firefighters: The Associated Press reports ex-convict William Spengler set his home on fire then shot two responding firefights to death in New York on Monday. One of the victims was a police lieutenant and volunteer firefighter. Police believe the charred remains found in the home is Spengler's sister. He had been convicted of killing his grandmother with a hammer in 1980. After serving 17 years, he was released and was not to possess weapons. Despite this, Spengler used an assault rifle to murder two firefighters before killing himself on a nearby beach, where his body was found. He also non-fatally shot two more responding firefighters. He left behind a suicide note explaining his enjoyment of killing people. Seven more homes also caught fire. Residents of the neighborhood had been evacuated, and returned Tuesday.

FL Has Most Death Sentences in 2012:
Rafael Olmeda of the Sun Sentinel reports Florida sentenced 21 inmates to death in 2012, more than any state nationally. The state executed three people last year, including rapist and murderer Robert Waterhouse, former police officer Manuel Pardo who killed nine in 1980, and David Alan Gore, a serial rapist who confessed to killing six people. Last year, California came in second with 14 put on death row. Texas sentenced nine to death and executed 15 inmates. Arizona, Mississippi, and Oklahoma executed six each. Delaware sentenced just one to death. There were 14 states who did not send anyone to death row last year. There are 33 states who have the death penalty in the nation.

CDCR Reviewing SHU Inmates: Paul Elias of the Associated Press reports California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials will be reviewing case files of thousands of inmates in secure housing units to determine transfer eligibility. According to the CDCR, SHU prisoners are dangerous and must be isolated in order to stop them from running gangs and dealing drugs outside of prison. System-wide, about 6,000 inmates went on a hunger strike to bring attention to the poor living conditions of the units. The transfers would be back into the general prison population. Since October, 88 cases have been reviewed with lighter regulations; 58 will be transferred, and 25 are eligible to work toward reintegration. Prior to October, 63 SHU inmates were transferred in 2012. The new regulation will remain in effect until October 2014, at which point it will be reworked then become permanent.

CA Governor Grants 79 Pardons for Convicted Felons: The Associated Press reports the California Governor's Office announced Monday that Governor  Jerry Brown granted pardons to 79 convicted felons. They had been convicted of crimes including drug offenses, robbery, theft, and driving under the influence. They had served their sentences and had not re-offended in at least a decade following their convictions. The pardons restore the right to own a firearm if the felon was not convicted of a crime involving a deadly weapon. Their criminal record will not be erased.  

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