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News Scan

Texas Murderer Released From Prison: A Texas man convicted of murder and sentenced to 75 years in prison in 1985 will be released from prison Thursday after serving less than half of his sentence.  Robert Arnold of KPRC Houston reports that the state is legally obligated to release David Port early because he was sentenced under a previously existing Texas law that allowed violent offenders to shorten their sentences by earning 'good time' credits.  The law was abolished in 1995, but a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court requires that the credits apply to murderers sentenced under the former law.  Current Texas law requires violent offenders convicted of a first-degree felony to serve at least half of their sentence before they are eligible for parole.

Louisiana Death Penalty Bill Dies: A bill to resolve challenges to Louisiana's death penalty process has been dropped after passing both houses.  Michelle Millhollon of The Advocate reports that House Bill 328 would prohibit legal action to force disclosure of the source of lethal injection drugs and would have allowed the state to to buy execution drugs from compounding pharmacies outside of Louisiana.  The bill's author, state Rep. Joseph Lopinto, disgruntled about the Governor's veto of another one of his bills, said he was dropping SB 328 bill because it was a short-term fix to an issue being which will be settled by the Supreme Court.    

CA High Court Upholds Death Sentence: California's state Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of robbing and murdering a woman more than 16 years ago.  Parimal Rohit of Westside Today reports that Donald Ray Debose shot his victim and placed her in the trunk of her car before lighting it on fire and leaving the scene, the woman was rescued from the car but died five days later from the injuries she suffered.  Debose was also convicted of attempted murder for a similar attack he committed a week after the first killing, but his second victim was able to survive a gunshot wound to the head.

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