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News Scan

CA Seeks More Time to Address Prison Overcrowding: California prison officials have asked for a two-month extension in order to meet their first court-ordered deadline for reducing the state's overwhelming prison population.  Paige St. John of the Los Angeles Times reports that the state was supposed to have reduced its prison population down to 143% of so-called "design capacity" by Monday, but just one week earlier was told that empty medical beds in the newly completed Stockton prison would not be counted as available space and a way to alleviate overcrowding in other facilities.  In the last five months, 1,200 inmates have been released from state-run facilities.

Indiana to Implement Tougher Sentencing: Starting today, sentences in Indiana will mean more for those convicted of committing a violent crime.  Julian Grace of WTHI-TV reports that anyone sent to prison for committing a violent crime must serve at least 75% of their sentence as opposed to just 50% which it was in the past.  The move comes after detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department discovered that 15 murders committed last year would not have happened if those convicted in the cases had been given longer sentences for prior crimes.

CA High Court Upholds Death Sentence: California's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of murdering a 5-year-old girl more than a decade ago.  The Associated Press reports that 39-year-old Alejandro Avila appealed his sentence based on the claim that he was unable to receive a fair trial due to public outrage and prejudice against him.  Avila was convicted in 2005 for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion.

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