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News Scan

FL Supreme Court Revamps Rules for Death Penalty Appeals: Florida's highest court has approved a series of proposed changes aimed at improving and expediting death penalty appeals.  CBS Miami reports that some of the changes involve revising requirements for attorneys in charge of handling death penalty cases as well as preventing defendants from representing themselves in post-conviction proceedings.  Another rule will require attorneys involved in death penalty appeals to have at least three years experience in post-conviction litigation and have experience with capital cases.

Parole Officer Warns Against Releasing Convicted Rapist: The former parole officer of a California man known as the 'Pillowcase Rapist' is speaking out against his upcoming release, calling Christopher Hubbart scarier than a "Mexican Mafia killer."  Christina Corbin of Fox News reports that Hubbart, who is scheduled to be released later this month, has admitted to raping more than 40 women between 1971 and 1982.  Hubbart will not be on formal probation or parole, but will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor and register as a sex offender.

Utah Seeks to Expedite Upcoming Execution: Utah's Attorney General's Office has asked a federal judge to continue moving forward with convicted killer Ron Lafferty's pending execution.  Ben Winslow of Fox 13 reports that Lafferty was convicted of murdering his sister-in-law and her daughter in 1984, claiming that he was forced to do so because of orders from God.  Attorneys for Winslow claim their client suffers from religious delusions and competency issues, however, a federal judge earlier this year ruled he was in fact competent and able to assist in his own defense.

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