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News Scan

OK Executes Convicted Murderer:  In its final execution of 2013, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections executed convicted murderer, Johnny Dale Black.  The Associated Press reports that Black was sentenced to death for his role in a 1998 brutal roadside attach on a 54-year-old man who died after suffering 11 stab wounds, several broken ribs, and two punctured lungs.  Black was the sixth person executed by the state of Oklahoma this year.

Death Penalty Advocate Calls for Reform: Former NFL football star Kermit Alexander, is calling on California to reform its death penalty process in order to provide justice for victims.  Alexander, who lost four members of his family in a violent home invasion, writes that district attorneys, law enforcement and victim's rights advocates are proposing an initiative that would "revamp the appeals process, Death Row housing and victim restitution."  Alexander is calling for the state to require death row inmates to work inside the prison in order to raise money for victim restitution, if the inmate elects not to work, he/she would lose access to privileges such as personal televisions and radios.  

Florida Lawmakers Aim to Toughen Sex Offender Laws: Four Florida senators have introduced legislation that would require tougher penalties for habitual sex offenders.  Rochelle Koff of the Miami Herald reports that the bills call for lengthening sentences and more thorough evaluations of offenders before they are considered for release.  The legislation is in response to  the recent kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 7-year-old girl at the hands of a registered sex offender, who had been evaluated and released from prison twice prior to the murder. 

Alleged LAX Shooter May Face Death Penalty: 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, the man charged with  murdering a TSA agent at Los Angeles International Airport last month, now faces a possible death sentence after a federal grand jury charged him with first-degree murder and multiple other felonies.  Andrew Blankstein of NBC News reports that along with the murder charge, Ciancia has also been charged with the attempted murders of two other TSA agents during his shooting spree targeting airport employees.  Three of the other felonies Ciancia has been charged with qualify as special circumstances.

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