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News Scan

Murder Suspect Was Set Free by Prop. 36: A habitual felon with a prior murder conviction is the prime suspect for last week's murder of an Air Force Reservist and mother of two.  Marin Austin of Fox 40 reports that Moses Valdez was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for voluntary manslaughter in 1993, but was paroled prior to completing his sentence.  In 2011, Valdez was arrested again for running from police which constituted his third strike, resulting in an automatic 25-year-sentence.   The following year, California voters passed Prop 36, which abolished the third strike sentence for a non-violent felony, allowing Valdez to be released from prison once again.  Police have yet to locate Valdez, and consider him to be armed and dangerous. 

Two Suspects Convicted in Cop Killing:  Two of the four men accused of murdering a Chicago police officer in 2010 have been found guilty of first-degree murder.  The Associated Press reports that the two men served as lookouts for their friends in an attempt to steal the officer's motorcycle.  The officer confronted the group and a gun-fight ensued leaving the officer and one of the suspects dead.  Both men face mandatory life sentences, the fourth suspect is still awaiting trial.

Update: Florida Executes Convicted Killer: A Florida man convicted of murdering his wife and stepdaughter 22 years ago has become the eighth person executed by the state of Florida this year.  Karl Etters of the Tallahassee Democrat reports that Florida uses a three-drug cocktail to execute prisoners.  The execution began at 7:10 p.m. and the inmate was pronounced dead 17 minutes later.  This was the 89th execution carried out by the state of Florida since the death penalty was reinstated in 1979.

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