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News Scan

Repeat Sex Offender to be Released Soon: A California man with a lengthy history of sexual assaults on college campuses dating back to 1998 will be released from jail in a few months after a judge gave him the maximum sentence for his most recent offense; six months in county jail.  Corin Hoggard of ABC 30 in Fresno reports that 49-year-old Fidel Tafoya, who committed his most recent sexual assault just five months after his last conviction, elected not to participate in a treatment program-an option that would have possibly reduced his punishment.  Tafoya has 15 convictions for sex-related crimes in multiple states and is expected to be released from jail in as little as three months.  

New Bill Aimed at Federal Probation Reform: U.S. Representative Dan Maffei of New York is scheduled to introduce a bill  aimed at strengthening federal probation laws and eliminating flaws that were exposed by a recent high-profile murder case.  Mark Weiner of The Post-Standard reports that the case that inspired the reform involves a man who raped a 10-year-old girl and murdered a school librarian after disabling his electronic bracelet for the 46th time without any intervention or investigation by federal probation officers.  The new bill would make it a federal crime to tamper with electronic monitoring devices and establish a nationwide standard requiring probation officers to respond to all tampering alerts.

Tennessee Seeks Execution Dates For 10 Murderers: Now that the Tennessee Department of Corrections has responded to all of the challenges surrounding their death penalty policies, officials have asked the state Supreme Court to set execution dates for 10 of its death row inmates.  Brian Haas of the Tennesseean reports that the state was forced to put executions on hold in 2011 after running out of the lethal injection drug sodium thiopental, leaving officials to find a replacement execution method, which finally happened in September.  Tennessee has executed only six death row inmates since 1960 and none since 2009. 

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