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News Scan

TX Executes Convicted Murderer: The Texas Department of Corrections executed convicted murderer, 59-year-old Suzanna Basso, making her the 14th woman put to death in this country since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.  Jon Herskovitz of Reuters reports that Basso was convicted and sentenced to death in 1998 after authorities say she was the leader in a plot to kidnap, torture and beat a disabled man to death in order to rob him of cash and collect money from his insurance policy.  Basso became the seventh person executed in the U.S. this year, and the 510th person executed in the state of Texas since 1976.

Jails Enrolling Inmates in Obamacare: At least six states and counties across the U.S. have begun enrolling inmates in Obamacare and Medicaid in an effort to shift the responsibility of covering medical costs from the state to the federal government.  Mark Niquette of Bloomberg reports that the expansion of Medicaid will also allow inmates to have medical coverage when they are released, a plan that the Ohio Department of Corrections expects could save them $18 million on hospitalizations alone.  Former U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, who was on the Senate Finance Committee when the Affordable Care Act was passed, has said he doesn't recall the law being designed to cover inmate medical costs and is bothered by federal taxpayers having to foot the bill for inmate hospital stays.

TN Sets Several Execution Dates: The state of Tennessee has announced plans to execute 10 of its death row inmates over the next two years after an agreement was reached to change the drug protocol used in lethal injections.  Michael Cass of the Tennessean reports that the executions are scheduled to be carried out between April 2014 and November 2015, with three executions taking place this year and the other seven in 2015.  Nickolus Johnson, who was convicted of murdering a Bristol police officer in 2004, is set to be the first inmate executed, and will be put to death April 22, 2014.  

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