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Kansas Bill Seeks to Expedite Death Penalty Appeals: Kansas prosecutors will testify in support of a bill that would force the Kansas Supreme Court to process appeals from death row inmates more quickly.  Tim Carpenter of CJ Online reports that Senate Bill 257 would allow capital punishment appeals to be funneled through the court system in about three years, a vast improvement to a process that could sometimes take decades to complete.  Kansas authorized the use of capital punishment in 1994, but has yet to execute any of its 13 death row inmates.

White House Drug Experts Contradict Obama's Pot Claims: President Obama's recent claim that marijuana is no worse than cigarettes or alcohol is directly contradicting research posted by the Office of National Drug Control, which is part of the White House.  Ernest Istook of the Washington Times reports that the anti-drug website run by the White House has several pages devoted to explaining the serious dangers of marijuana, and even states that marijuana smoke contains "50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke."  The Drug-Free America Foundation has labeled the statements made by the President as irresponsible, and anti-drug leaders are concerned that these types of statements may have negative repercussions with youth.

Supreme Court Rejects Death Row Inmate's Appeal: The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal filed by convicted  murderer, Charles Rhines.  The Argus Leader reports that Rhines, who challenged his conviction amid claims that South Dakota's execution protocol was inhumane, was convicted of murdering a 22-year-old donut shop employee during a botched burglary in 1992.  Rhines also has a federal habeas corpus claim pending in federal district court.

More Crime in San Diego County Due to Realignment: County Supervisor Dianne Jacob warned the La Mesa County Chamber of Commerce to be prepared to see an increase in thefts, burglaries, and other offenses due to the effects of Realignment.  The La Mesa Courier reports that in 2012, which was the first full year Realignment was in effect, the crime rate in La Mesa rose 11 percent and the property crime rate increased by 12 percent.  Prison Realignment shifted more than 3,000 former state prison inmates to San Diego county, and three out of four of these offenders were labeled as being 'high risk' for reoffending.  

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