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Bill to Distribute Condoms in Prison Clears Another Hurdle: A bill aimed at distributing condoms to inmates in California prisons has passed the state's Senate Public Safety Committee and may soon head to the Governor's desk for approval.  Jennifer Chaussee of Reuters reports that the bill is moving through the Senate committee despite an existing law that criminalizes sex acts between inmates regardless of consent.  Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar measure last fall.

MO High Court Upholds Death Sentence: A Missouri man convicted of brutally murdering an elderly woman more than 20 years ago will remain on death row after the state's Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence.  Gene Hartley of KSPR 33 reports that Walter Brown stabbed the 81-year-old woman more than 50 times visiting her home to borrow $20.  Barton appealed his sentence claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. This is the fifth time Brown's case has gone to the state Supreme Court.  He has been sentenced to death three times for the murder.  
 
Felon Given Early Release Among Murder Suspects
: Three California men accused of killing a farmer last week have criminal records dating back several years, including one man who was released from jail just one month ago.  Pablo Lopez of the Fresno Bee (subscription) reports that 38-year-old George Salwasser Jr., a well known farmer and father of four children, was shot to death Thursday evening when he discovered a stolen truck on his property being stripped for parts by the suspects.  One of the suspects, Fabian Mansanalez, was sentenced in August 2012 to three years in jail after pleading no contest to felony battery charges, but was released early because of time served and good-time jail credits.  If convicted, each criminal faces a minimum of 50 years to life in prison.

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