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News Scan

CA Governor Wants More Time to Address Prison Overcrowding: California Governor Jerry Brown has asked a panel of federal judges for a two-year time extension in order to meet the court ordered demand to reduce the state's  prison population by  7,000 inmates.  Howard Mintz of the Mercury News reports that the panel of judges gave Governor Brown until April to meet the deadline, but the state and lawyers for inmates have been unable to agree on a solution.  The governor's most recent proposal is to expand parole eligibility for nonviolent inmates and release elderly and medically incapacitated inmates who have served at least 25 years in prison.

OK Executes Convicted Murderer: An Oklahoma man convicted of stabbing a woman to death more than 25 years ago was executed by lethal injection Thursday evening.  The Associated Press reports that 52-year-old Kenneth Hogan, who claims to have acted in self defense, stabbed the woman more than 25 times in the back, neck, and chest before knocking over several items in her apartment in an effort to make police believe she was killed in a robbery attempt.  Hogan, who is the second person to be executed by the state of Oklahoma so far this year, was granted a retrial in 2003.  The second jury ultimately found him guilty and sentenced him to death for a second time.

CA Man Found Guilty of Murder at Retrial: A Northern California man who managed to escape the death penalty on appeal, has been convicted of murder again after acting as his own defense attorney in a bizarre retrial.  Jennie Rodriguez-Moore of the Record Net reports that 58-year-old Blufford Hayes Jr., who was found guilty of first-degree murder in 1982, was noticeably absent throughout the duration of his retrial, only showing up to court for jury selection and the reading of his verdict. Hayes missed days of testimony where he was supposed to be acting as his own attorney.  Prosecutors in the case worry that even though Hayes elected to be absent for most of his own trial, he may be able to win an appeal based on his absence and the fact that he didn't have an attorney.  The District Attorney's office did not ask for a death penalty during the retrial, and sought a life without parole sentence. Sentencing for Hayes is set for March 3.  

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