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News Scan

High Court Rejects Death Penalty Appeal: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Texas death row inmate Duane Buck's most recent appeal.  AP reports that his lawyers claimed in a statement yesterday, "His death sentence is the product of pervasive racial discrimination."  The claim arises from a statement by Buck's own expert witness.  In context, the statement was simply a reference to the demographic facts that the murder rate is higher among black men than white men and higher among men than women.  See this post from 2011, regarding a last-minute stay granted by the Supreme Court at that time.

CA Governor Loses Prison Oversight Appeal: A federal appeals court has rejected California Governor Jerry Brown's most recent appeal challenging a court ruling that required him to give a three-month warning before seeking to end federal oversight of the state's prison system.  Paige St. John of the Los Angeles Times reports that medical care within the California prison system has been run by a court-appointed official since being placed under a federal receivership in 2006.  Governor Brown appealed the decision in an effort to try and regain control of the $2.2 billion healthcare system.

Georgia Sets Execution Date for Convicted Killer: A Georgia man sentenced to death for raping and murdering an Atlanta teenager has been scheduled to be executed on June 17 after spending more than two decades on the state's death row.  Kate Brumback of the Associated Press reports that Marcus Wellons raped and murdered his 15-year-old neighbor in August 1989 after the young girl said goodbye to her mother and headed off to school for the day.  If the execution is carried out as scheduled, it will be the state's first execution in nearly 18 months.  

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