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News Scan

Supreme Court Denies Death Sentence Review: The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a motion asking to review the death sentence of convicted quadruple murderer Michael Ballard.  Tom Shortell of the Express-Times reports that the motion was filed against Ballard's wishes by a federal defender who has nothing to do with his case and is acting without his consent.  Ballard wrote a letter to the District Attorney earlier this month, stating that attorney Marc Bookman was acting against his desire to waive his appeals in order to avoid federal court and take accountability for his actions.  If executed, Ballard could become the first person executed in Pennsylvania since 1999.

Execution set for Georgia Murderer: A Georgia man convicted of murder and sentenced to death row more than 20 years ago is scheduled to be executed July 10.  Kate Brumback of the Associated Press reports that Tommy Lee Waldrip was sentenced to death row in 1994 after a jury found him guilty of murdering a store clerk who was scheduled to testify against his son in an armed robbery case.  Waldrip's brother-in-law and son were also convicted in the killing and are both serving life sentences. 

Texas Prisons Overwhelmed with Crime: Despite a drop in the number of inmates incarcerated in Texas prisons, authorities say prison crime levels are at an all time high.  The Associated Press reports that since 2009, 3,000 charges have been filed against prisoners-a number authorities contribute to a more hardened population of felons and a high turnover rate of corrections officers.  Currently, Texas houses more than 150,000 inmates in the state's 109 prisons, which is 9,000 inmates fewer than just a decade ago.

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