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News Scan

Governor Signs Bill Toughening Megan's Law Penalties: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a bill that calls for tougher penalties under the nationally supported sex offender registry guidelines of Megan's Law.  Keith Brown of Wall Patch reports that the law requires stiffer penalties for individuals if their victim is physically or mentally incapacitated and also charges convicted sex offenders a $30 monthly fee in order to offset the cost for offender supervision.  The law also prohibits parole officers from handling more than 40 sex offender cases at once in an effort to reduce overwhelming case loads.

Secretary of State Asks to Delay Texas Execution: In a rare move, Secretary of State John Kerry has asked the state of Texas to delay the execution of a Mexican national convicted of murdering a police officer almost 20 years ago.  The BBC reports that while Kerry believes that 46-year-old Edgar Tamayo was tried and prosecuted fairly, he has asked the Texas Department of Corrections to delay the execution out of concern for how the case could affect relations between the U.S. and Mexico and the negative impact it may have on the way Americans are treated overseas.  Texas Governor Rick Perry is reportedly planning on allowing the execution to take place as scheduled later today.  

Judge Sentences Mass Murder to Six Life Terms: A Tennessee judge has sentenced a man convicted of murdering six people in 2012 to spend six consecutive life sentences in prison.  Nicole Emmett of AL.com reports that 32-year-old  Zakkawanda Moss was found guilty of murdering six people, including an unborn child, after police say he robbed his former crime partner, and in an effort to hide the crime, proceeded to kill all of the witnesses.  Moss' co-defendant, 36-year-old Henry Burrell, has also been charged with six counts of capital murder and is scheduled to begin trial early next month.

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