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News Scan

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CA Bill to Return Sex Offenders to Prison Dies:  Paige St. John of the Los Angeles Times reports Assembly Democrats killed a bill, Tuesday, that would have sent sex offenders who violate parole back to state prison instead of county jail. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), was shot down on a 2-4 party line vote in a public safety committee. At least six such bills are still pending. More on one of the bills in this News Scan.

NY Cannibal Cop Found Guilty:  Benjamin Weiser of the New York Times reports that officer Gilberto Valle, 28, was convicted Tuesday, of plotting to kidnap, torture, kill and eat women. Valle had been discussing his fetishes on voraphilic internet sites, eventually crossing the line between fantasy and reality. Valle planned the crimes along with three others. He researched potential victims using a law enforcement database, and conducted surveillance. He faces a potential life sentence for one count of kidnapping conspiracy.

OK Rapist, Killer Set To Be Executed:  The Associated Press reports that the state of Oklahoma is set to execute murderer Steven Ray Thacker, Tuesday, at the OK State Penitentiary. In December 1999, Thacker raped and murdered Laci Dawn Hill, 25, of Tulsa.  On January 1, 2000, he killed Forrest Reed Boyd, 24, in Mississipi. The following day he killed Ray Patterson, 52, in Tennessee. Thacker waived his right to a hearing and does not plan to stop his execution.

AR Attorney General Seeks Lift on Stay of Execution for Six:  Jeannie Nuss and Andrew DeMillo of the Associated Press report that Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has requested the state Supreme Court to lift stays of execution for six inmates on death row. Don Davis, Stacey Johnson, Jack Jones, Jason McGehee, Bruce Ward, and Marcel Williams were granted stays after the court held the state's previous lethal injection law was unconstitutional. The request for lifting the stays comes after last month's enactment of a new lethal injection law, Act 139. Lawyers for the inmates are expected to oppose the request.

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Thacker was executed. As it should be. Full panoply of appeals/PCR and habeas, and then an uneventful execution. It's what Congress intended. Pity that so many other victims' families are cruelly toyed with by irresponsible federal courts issuing unexplained and lawless stays of execution.

Here's the news report: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/steven-ray-thacker-of-chouteau-okla-executed

As for the Arkansas killers, while they all richly deserve the needle (or actually more), one of the cases has special poignancy: Jack Jones. In 1995, Jones brutally raped and murdered a mother while attempting to murder her daughter. For 18 years, the daughter has awaited justice.

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