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News Scan

Feds Cracking Down on MS-13:  The U.S. Attorney General and the head of the Department of Homeland Security are promising to identify and aggressively prosecute members of the brutal Salvadorian gang MS-13.  Sadie Gurman of the Associated Press reports that there are at least 10,000 members of the gang operating in the U.S.  Recently several members were arrested for the machete and baseball bat murders of several high school students and four young men in New Jersey. The former head of the Justice Department's organized crime and gang section told reporters that he believes that stricter vetting at the border is necessary to stop MS-13 members from coming into the U.S., noting some are coached to tell immigration officials they're escaping violence in their home country in order to stay.  "My own view is there has to be some correlation between lax immigration policies and replenishment of the gangs in places where they already existed," he said.

Survivalist Convicted of Killing PA Cop:    Eric Frein, the survivalist who gunned down two Pennsylvania state troopers in 2014, was convicted of aggravated first-degree murder Wednesday.  CBS News reports that Frein targeted the two officers at random and intended to kill more in order to spark a revolution.  The shootings left one officer dead and another permanently disabled. Frein was caught after a 48-day manhunt in the rugged Pocono Mountains. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Frein at a sentencing hearing beginning today.  

Media Bias Against the Death Penalty:  Sacramento Bee editorialist Foon Rhee penned this column on the death penalty in California after communicating with CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger yesterday.  Responding to his question on whether the state was ready for frequent executions, Kent wrote: "I don't see California scheduling a rush like Arkansas did or needing to.  Also, California has no intention of using midazolam.  The four alternative drugs in CDCR's new protocol are all barbiturates, and Texas has demonstrated that the single-drug method with barbiturates is the way to go -- dozens of executions performed without significant incident.  The federal court in our method-of-execution case has already ruled that California can go ahead with that method.  We might be looking at one or two a month until the executions that have just been waiting for the method challenges to resolve have been carried out.  After that, the rate would be determined by how fast they come out of the pipeline, which includes federal court review.  The majority of Californians favor these executions being carried out, and I do not see a rate like that having any adverse effect on public support."  After reading the column one might ask, why did he even ask for Kent's opinion? 


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