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News Scan

Stay Denied for Fla Murderer: The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a last minute stay for a condemned murder scheduled for execution tonight.  Tamara Lush of the Associated Press reports that the execution by lethal injection of William Van Poyck is set to take place at 7:00 pm at the Florida State Prison.  Van Poyck was convicted of murder after an attempt to free a prisoner from custody resulted in the death of a guard.  In his appeals, Van Poyck maintains that his accomplice was responsible for the shooting, and that his sentence would have been different if the jury had known that.  Update:  The execution was carried out at 7:24 p.m., AP reports.

Senate Fight Over ATF Nomination: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been without a confirmed director since 2006, and acting director, B. Todd Jones, is looking to fill the vacancy.  Dan Freedman of Hearst News reports that during Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearing, Jones expressed his desire to improve "an agency in distress" and move beyond mistakes that have been made in the past.  Jones who has been the acting director of the agency since 2011, faced tough questioning from Senators Charles Grassley and Ted Cruz over issues including mismanagement of the agency and the Fast and Furious gun running scandal.

Triple Slayer gets Death Sentence: A death sentence was handed down yesterday in a Japanese courtroom for a man convicted of murdering the parents and the mother of two of his former homosexual partners.  The Japan Times reports that judge Masahiro Hiraki, a lay judge, had no choice but to sentence Katsumi Asayama, 47, to death because he murdered his three victims for "selfish reasons".  This was the 18th death sentence delivered since 2009 when Japan began incorporating citizens in the criminal justice process by allowing them to be judges in criminal cases.

County Receives Funds to Help Pay for Realignment: The Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee, the agency responsible for overseeing local prison realignment spending in Riverside County, has been given a $51.2 million allotment from the state for 2013.  Richard K. De Atley of Press Enterprise reports that the money will be spent on agencies such as county probation, mental health, and the sheriff.  The Sheriff's Department, which is in charge of overseeing county jails, has been struggling to keep up with the influx of inmates being sent in from area prisons due to realignment.  Besides overcrowding, Chief Deputy Sheriff Raymond Gregory reports that since realignment became law misdemeanor assaults on jail staff have increased 143 percent, and felony assaults have increased by 133 percent. 

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