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Brown's Bill Helps his Crime Initiative:  Dan Walters has this piece in the Sac Bee about a bill California Gov. Jerry Brown signed last week in which he effectively gave himself an extension and incentivized county clerks to count signatures on the bill in time for it to make the ballot on Nov. 8.  Brown's new crime initiative is being criticized because of its potential to increase crime by lessening punishment for criminals.  When he failed to submit signatures by the April 26 deadline, he changed the rules.  AB 120 appropriates $16.3 million for election-related expenses under the condition that county clerks complete signature counts by June 30.  Brown also gave himself until May 20 to collect signatures, 23 days later than the original submission date.  "This entire episode -- a governor apparently getting special treatment no one else could have obtained -- has a smarmy tinge,"  says Walters.  "And if he's successful, it could have long term consequences for the political process."

Another CA City Blames Crime Rise on Prop. 47:  Crime increased in Red Bluff, Calif., in 2015 according to the police department's 2015 annual report, and the city's chief of police suspects Proposition 47 is the reason.  Joe Szydlowski of the Redding Record Searchlight reports that major violent and property crimes rose 12.6% in 2015, with a 28% spike in simple assaults and a 17.6% increase in thefts.  Domestic violence calls also jumped 16% and arrests rose 42%, which may be because more people who used to be incarcerated are now out in the community, says Kyle Sanders, the city's police chief.  Burglaries did decrease, but Sanders thinks it is likely due to some burglaries being charged as thefts under the voter-approved measure. Prop. 47 passed in Nov. 2014 and reduced several felonies to misdemeanors.  Sanders notes that Red Bluff experienced three years of consistency in major crime data and saw the dramatic spike in crime after Prop. 47's implementation.

Fla. High Court Weighs Death Penalty Law:  The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing the state's death penalty law Thursday to decide whether the U.S. Supreme Court's January ruling, that the state's system is unconstitutional, should be applied retroactively to already-sentenced death row inmates.  Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Jan. 12 ruling was brought on by the case of Timothy Lee Hurst, who is on death row for the 1998 murder of his co-worker.  Justices ruled that Florida's death sentencing system was unconstitutional because it gave too little power to juries and ordered the Florida Supreme Court to review Hurst's sentence.  Assistant Attorney General Carine Mitz argues that Hurst should still be eligible for execution because the Legislature addressed the defects of the old law.  The new law requires juries to agree on one aggravating factor in order to apply capital punishment.  There are currently 390 inmates on Florida's death row.

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Convicted Sex Offender Arrested After Multiple Deportations:  An illegal immigrant from Mexico with multiple state and federal convictions was arrested in Utah by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for failing to register as a sex offender and for re-entering the U.S. illegally.  Fox News Latino reports that 37-year-old Sergio Amador-Olive has two state sexual assault convictions and two federal immigration convictions dating back to 2003.  He faced deportation in 2003, 2010 and 2014, but continued entering the country illegally.  An ICE press release states that Amador-Olive's case will be presented to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for federal prosecution.

Daytona Sword Killer Gets Death for 3rd Time: 
A jury voted 11 to 1 Tuesday to recommend the death penalty for the third time for a man who used a sword to hack and slice another man to death in Daytona Beach, Florida, over two decades ago.  Frank Fernandez of the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 52-year-old James Guzman was found guilty last week at his third death penalty trial for the 1991 killing of 48-year-old businessman David Colvin.  The first two convictions were overturned on appeal.  At the latest trial, the jury unanimously agreed on four aggravating factors presented by the prosecution, including that Guzman killed Colvin during a robbery, that he killed to eliminate a witness, that it was an especially heinous killing and that he had murdered before.  Guzman had served just nine years of a 30-year sentence for the 1982 shooting death of a Miami woman.  He was released from prison four months before he killed Colvin.  Guzman's case is the first in the 7th Circuit in which the jury recommended death since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Florida's death penalty process in January, ruling that judges had too much power in death penalty decisions.

Execution Date Set for TX Man:  A murderer inmate on death row for fatally shooting a young woman in southwest Texas 15 years ago is set to die by lethal injection on August 10.  The AP reports that 33-year-old Ramiro Gonzalez murdered 18-year-old Bridget Townsend in January 2001, but her remains weren't found until two years later when Gonzalez disclosed their location to authorities after receiving two life terms for the abduction and rape of another woman.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case last December.

AL Man Found Competent for Execution:  One of Alabama's longest-serving death row inmates has had his request to suspend his May 12 execution denied by a state circuit court judge.  Kelsey Stein of AL reports that Vernon Madison has been on death row for 31 years for the 1985 slaying of Officer Julius Schulte, who was responding to a domestic disturbance call.  Madison's attorneys argued at a competency hearing last month that several strokes had caused such a mental decline that he was no longer competent to be executed, but Mobile County Circuit Judge Robert Smith disagreed, issuing a ruling Friday that attorneys had not proven their argument and the execution can move forward.

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Va. Gov Sued for Allowing Felons to Vote:  Republican lawmakers in Virginia announced Monday that they are pursuing legal action against Gov. Terry McAuliffe over his decision to restore the voting rights of thousands of felons.  Kelly Cohen of the Washington Examiner reports that Virginia's GOP leaders say McAuliffe overstepped his constitutional powers as governor and was politically motivated when he issued an executive order 10 days ago restoring the voting rights of about 206,000 convicted felons.  Virginia is often a swing state in general elections, and many Republicans believe that McAuliffe, a Democrat, is attempting the influence the election's outcome this November.

Budget Grows, Deportations Drop:  In the last few years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) budget for detention and removal has increased while deportations plummeted, according to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.  Caroline May of Breitbart reports that from FY 2012 to FY 2015, ICE's deportation budget grew 25% while the number of deportations declined by nearly 43%.  The total number of illegal immigrants deported in FY 2012 was 409,849, compared to 235,413 in FY 2015, and the budget jumped from $2,750,843,000 in FY 2012 to $3,431,444,000 in FY 2015.  In the midst of it all, ICE deported nearly 41% fewer criminal aliens last year with 25% more resources than it had in FY 2012.

Dozens of Escapes from WA state Mental Hospital: 
In the wake of two violent patients' escape from Washington state's largest mental hospital last month, the Associated Press investigated and found 185 instances in which patients escaped or walked away over the past 3.5 years.  Martha Bellisle of the AP reports that at least five patients committed assaults or other offenses after either bolting out unsecured doors, jumping over fences, crawling out windows, running away from staff during off-campus appointments or wandering off after being allowed outside.  Of the 185 escapees or walk-offs, the public was notified in just five instances, even though many had violent histories, were convicted felons or registered sex offenders, or had protection order against them.  Some of the missing had been charged with crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping, assault and robbery prior to hospitalization.

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High Court Turns Away CA Death Penalty Challenge:  The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to California's death penalty system after an Orange County murderer filed an appeal arguing that waiting decades on death row results in "psychologically inhumane stress."  David G. Savage of the LA Times reports that Richard Boyer was condemned to death in 1984 for the robbery and murder of an elderly Fullerton couple.  That conviction was later overturned due to a police error, but he was tried, convicted and sentenced to death again in 1992.  Justice Stephen Breyer filed a two-page dissent Monday arguing that Boyer's appeal should have been heard.  California's death row is that largest in the nation with 743 inmates awaiting execution, but it has carried out just 13 in 40 years.  None have been carried out for the last ten years because of the lack of a valid execution protocol, but a new one is in the process of being established due to litigation brought by CJLF on behalf of murder victims' families.

Five Seattle Cops Hurt as Protest Turns Violent:  Five Seattle police officers were injured Sunday after an anti-capitalist May Day protest erupted in violence.  Fox News reports that demonstrators pelted officer with rocks, flares, bricks and Molotov cocktails, and also vandalized windows, buildings and parked cars.  One officer suffered a head laceration after being struck by a rock, another was injured, but not burned, by a Molotov cocktail and a third was bitten.  The other two officers' injuries were not detailed by the department.  The protests began peacefully, with demonstrators advocating for workers and immigrants, calling for better wages, an end to deportations and support for the Obama administration's plan to give work permits to illegal immigrants who have American children.  The ensuing violence resulted in nine arrests.

Three Bills Address Illegal Entry into the US:  Seven House Republicans, headed by Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, have proposed three pieces of legislation aimed at discouraging people from entering the country illegally.  Pete Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner reports that one of the bills, the Interior Immigration Enforcement Act, states that "any alien who is age 18 and older" and enters the country "shall be fined ... or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both."  A second bill, the Zero Tolerance for Illegal Entry Act, requires all illegal immigrants to be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law.  The third bill, the Criminal Alien Detention and Removal Act, requires illegal immigrants convicted of a felony to be automatically deported by U.S. Marshals after their sentence is served.

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Under-the-Radar Routes for Refugees:  It appears the Obama administration is pursuing under-the-radar "alternative" ways to admit more Syrian and other refugees as soon as this year, causing further fear of the crisis becoming a "terrorist Trojan horse."  Adam Shaw of Fox News reports that during a "high-level meeting" on March 30 in Geneva between the administration and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, commissioner Filippo Grandi called for pursuing "alternative avenues" for refugees, such as more flexible mechanisms for family reunification, including extended family members.  He also suggested labor mobility schemes, student visas and scholarships, and visas for medical reasons.  Some have expressed concern that the Obama administration isn't "going to let anyone know about it" and that if refugees are coming in through several different visa programs, properly vetting them will be difficult. The administration's goal is to admit 10,000 Syrians in FY 2016 and increase the total number of refugees from around the world to 100,000 by the end of FY 2017.

Sens. Renew CJ Legislation Overhauling Mandatory Minimums:  A bipartisan group of senators revamped the push for criminal justice reform Thursday, focusing on legislation that would overhaul mandatory minimums.  Andrea Noble of the Washington Times reports that the bill, which has 37 co-sponsors, would ban retroactive applicability to offenders with any serious violent crimes on their records and avoid inclusion of provisions that would increase criminal intent requirements for prosecutors.  It also adds new mandatory minimums for offenses involving fentanyl, a deadly opioid.  Some senators are not on board with the bill, however, criticizing it for not focusing on "real consensus reforms that promote rehabilitation and reduce recidivism."

Consistent Surge of People Crossing Border Illegally:  The Border Patrol chief says that the number of people crossing the border illegally is inconsistent with the surge two years ago but that agents are better prepared to handle it this year.  KRGV reports that over 80,000 people have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since October, with the numbers of Central Americans staying consistent and the number of Mexicans dipping.  Analysts say that Mexico's improving economy may be discouraging many citizens from making the dangerous journey.  However, Central Americans will keep coming and exploiting loopholes in the system "until we start enforcing the laws," says Border Patrol Union President Chris Cabrera.  The coming surge will be felt by more than 3,000 agents who serve in the Rio Grande Valley.  Cabrera says at least 1,500 additional agents are needed in the area to effectively combat the coming wave of migrants, despite Chief Patrol Agent and Commander of the South Texas Corridor Manuel Padilla Jr.'s insistence that agents are prepared.

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Nearly 20,000 Criminal Aliens Freed in 2015:  Nearly 20,000 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes were released from custody and into American communities last year, including hundreds charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and homicide.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports that together, the illegal immigrants tallied a total of 64,000 crimes, including 12,307 drunken driving convictions, 1,728 cases of assault, 216 kidnapping and over 200 homicide or manslaughter convictions.  The precise breakdown can be read here.  Approximately half were released by immigration judges, another 2,000 were freed in order to comply with a 2001 Supreme Court decision that put a six-month cap on the length of detention for immigrants "absent extenuating circumstances," the Obama administration was unable to arrange travel documents to send someone back home in time in 89 other cases.  In 7,000 cases, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released criminal aliens at its own discretion.

GA Executes Man for Triple Slaying:  After the State Board of Pardons and Paroles declined Tuesday to spare the life of a death row inmate, Georgia executed him Wednesday evening.  The AP reports that 37-year-old Daniel Anthony Lucas was put to death by lethal injection for the 1998 killings of a man and his two children, who interrupted Lucas while he was burglarizing their home.  Lucas is the fifth person to be executed in Georgia this year, tying a record set in 1987 and 2015 for the most executions carried out by the state in a calendar year since capital punishment's reinstatement in 1976.  He was the 42nd person executed in the state by lethal injection.

Border Agents Seek More Fencing, High-Tech Gear:  Federal agents in charge of patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border have requested 23 additional miles of fences, better radios and more aerial drones to tighten border security.  Julia Harte of Reuters reports that the extra fences sought by California and Texas agents, if installed, would be the first major fencing along the 1,954-mile border in five years and cost about $92 million.  It would cover three sections of the border and consist primarily of metal or concrete bollards clustered closely together.  There is currently 653 miles of fencing along the border --  a mix of wall-like fences and more basic vehicle barriers.  More high-tech gear such as radios and aerials drones are also being sought by agents, as the Border Patrol agents' union has been openly critical of the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection for neglecting their stocks in basic equipment.

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San Bernardino sees Uptick in Homicides:  San Bernardino, Calif., has had seven homicides in nine days, a pattern police Chief Jarrod Burguan says is "more than numbers."  Doug Saunders of the San Bernardino County Sun reports that the city has logged 24 homicides so far this year, all of which have either been drug- or gang-related.  Last year, there was only a total of 44 homicides for the entire year, including the 14 who were killed in the terrorist shooting at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2.  San Bernardino police officials believe the "underlying causes trace to the passage" of AB 109 and Proposition 47.  AB 109 was implemented in 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown in an effort to reduce prison overcrowding by diverting several inmates from state prisons to county jails, resulting in early releases.  Prop. 47, passed by voters in 2014, lessened the sentences of several felony property and drug offenses.

Obama admin Fails to Screen Social Media of Refugees:  Despite promises made following last year's terrorist attack in San Bernardino, the Obama administration is not effectively screening the social media profiles of all Syrian refugees.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports that the government is 8,370 refugees short of its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees, with just over five months left in the fiscal year, sparking concern that the administration will reduce screening even more to accelerate the process.  In order to meet the president's intended target, 75 applications would have to be approved every workday for the remainder of the fiscal year -- nearly seven times the average so far.  Last year, one of the San Bernardino attackers was found to be an immigrant who had posted her desire to wage jihad on media.  Though her post was not public, the president acknowledged that social media messages should be screened.  While Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez insisted months ago that it was increasing its monitoring, another USCIS official confirmed Tuesday that "the agency has not reached that point."

Prop. 47 Shows More Failure than Success:  Local governments in California are searching for solutions to Proposition 47, described by most law enforcement officers as "the biggest public safety disaster in the last several decades."  Lauren King of the Woodland Daily Democrat reports that state voters passed the measure in 2014 reducing "nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes" from felonies to misdemeanors and allowing previous convicts of such crimes to apply for reduced sentences.  In the first half of 2015, compared to 2014, California had the greatest increase in property crime, according to a report released by the Public Policy Institute of California, compiled from the FBI's crime statistics.  Specifically, San Francisco property crime jumped 66% while Sacramento became number one in the nation for violent crime.  Overall, the state claimed six of the nations top 10 cities with the biggest increases in crime after Prop. 47's passage.  Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig says one of the measure's greatest flaws is its failure to mandate drug rehabilitation.  He acknowledges that there may be "a few success stories" to come out of the measure, but far more people have become victims because of it.

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OH Man Gets Death for Killing Mother:  An Ohio man was sentenced to death Monday for the 2013 beating death of his mother.  Chanda Neely of Cleveland reports that 28-year-old James Tench beat 55-year-old Mary Tench to death after she confronted him about his use of her credit cards.  Her skull was fractured in the beating.  Last month, a jury found Tench guilty of three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.  In addition to a death sentence, Tench received 49 years.  He is currently serving a five-year sentence for a 2014 robbery.  He maintains his innocence in the murder of his mother.

Central American Countries Airlifting Cuban Immigrants to U.S. Border:  The Obama administration has not demanded that Central American countries stop airlifting Cuban immigrants to the southern U.S. border, a State Department official admitted Tuesday.  Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner reports that at a hearing under question from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Francisco Palmieri, a senior official in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere, testified that Central American countries have not been told to refrain from airlifting Cuban immigrants to the U.S. border, insisting instead that these countries enforce their own immigration laws.  Costa Rica and Panama have flown approximately 8,000 Cuban migrants to northern Mexico.  Over a five-month period, 18,500 Cubans have arrived at the Texas-Laredo Border field office as part of a significant surge.

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Street Behavior in SF Worsens, Stirs Debate:  San Francisco is feeling the ramifications of its liberal ethos that has turned the city into a "consequence-free zone," with crime increasing sharply and city officials divided as to how to address it.  Thomas Fuller of the NY Times reports that since 2010, property crime in the city is up more than 60% and recent data shows it has the highest per-capita property crime of the nation's top 50 cities.  Nearly half of the cases are smash-and-grabs from vehicles.  Violent crime has also spiked 18% since 2010.  The city "is now divided over whether to respond with more muscular law enforcement or stick to its forgiving attitudes."  While the Chamber of Commerce and city tourist board call for harsher measures to improve the "condition of the streets" -- homelessness, public intravenous drug use, aggressive panhandling and the large population of mentally ill on the streets -- others criticize such solutions as a "punitive approach that is ineffective and inconsistent with the values of San Francisco."  However, despite the traditional "values of San Francisco," a recent Chamber of Commerce poll shows that the primary concern of the city's residents is the spike in "street behavior."

Lawyers Seek Clemency For GA Murderer:  Attorneys for a Georgia death row inmate set to die this week have filed a clemency petition asking the state parole board to spare his life.  The AP reports that Georgia's State Board of Parole and Pardons, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, will hold a clemency hearing Tuesday for 37-year-old Daniel Anthony Lucas, a convicted murderer scheduled to be executed on Wednesday.  Lucas was sentenced to death for the 1998 murders of a 37-year-old man and his two children, aged 11 and 15, who interrupted him and another man, Brandon Rhode, while they burglarized their home.  Lucas, then 19, received the death penalty for the slayings, as did Rhode, who was executed in September 2010.  Lucas' lawyers argue that his childhood was troubled and plagued by drugs and abuse, and his status as a model inmate should exempt him from the death penalty.  If his execution is carried out this Wednesday as scheduled, it will be the fifth in the state this year.

Steady Increase of Illegals an Omen of the Surge to Come:  Apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the southern border increased last month after a winter lull, and authorities are expecting the numbers to steadily rise during the summer.  Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the LA Times reports that the Border Patrol saw a 28% increase in illegal border crossers from February to March of this year, with a total of 33,335 people caught in March compared to 26,076 in February.  Of those apprehended, 4,452 were families traveling together, 46% more than the month before, and 4,240 were unaccompanied minors, 37% more than the month prior.  The figures reported are higher than in 2014, when a surge of Central American migrants prompted crisis-level emergency measures.  Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson touted a month-to-month decrease in migration during the winter, attributing the decline to stepped-up enforcement, but the recent influx indicates it was likely seasonal.  This article authored by Breitbart's Brandon Darby and Bob Price delves deeper into the dangers of illegal immigration and the consequences of an open border.

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ISIS Suspect Planned Route Through Mexico:  A document filed Wednesday by prosecutors in a case against an American man accused to trying to join the Islamic State terrorist group described the man's plan to open up routes from Syria to the U.S. through Mexico.  Fox News Latino reports that 21-year-old Gules Ali Omar and a group of his friends in Minnesota's Somali community plotted to join the Islamic State, communicating with the foreign terror group's members about the route so it could be used to send fighters to America to carry out terrorist attacks.  Omar and four others have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit murder outside the U.S.  Their trial begins May 9.  Five other men have pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist organization and another is at large, believed to be in Syria.  According to the FBI, approximately 12 people have left Minnesota in recent years to join militant groups fighting in Syria and, since 2007, over 22 have joined al-Shabab in Somalia.

Chicago Tallies 1000th Shooting:  As of Wednesday, 1,000 people have been shot in Chicago, rising to levels last seen in the 1990s and far outpacing shooting incidents in the much larger cities of New York and Los Angeles.  Kelly Cohen of the Washington Examiner reports that according to Chicago Police Department data, there were about 600 shooting victims at the same point last year and just 483 the year before.  Additionally, as of Sunday, the homicide total was 64% higher than last year's, jumping from 98 to 161.

Va. Gov. Grants Voting Rights to Thousands of Felons:  Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a sweeping executive order Friday that would restore the voting rights of over 200,000 convicted felons.  The AP reports that the action, which would impact an estimated 206,000 felons, means that every felon in the state who has completed their sentence and finished any supervised release, parole or probation requirements as of April 22 is eligible to vote, run for public office, serve on a jury and become a notary republic.  Most of the convicts that will be affected by the order are African American and Latino, two groups that vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates.  John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said McAuliffe's "decision to issue a blanket restoration, without regard to the nature of the crimes committed doesn't speak of mercy.  Rather, it speaks of political opportunism."

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High Court Hears Oral Arguments about DUI Laws:  The Supreme Court expressed doubt Wednesday during oral arguments in three cases challenging North Dakota and Minnesota laws, that make it a crime to refuse to test for alcohol in a driver's blood, breath or urine even in the absence of a search warrant.  The AP reports that drivers prosecuted under the laws, which were upheld by state supreme courts in both North Dakota and Minnesota, argue that they violate the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.  Justices "seemed to be searching for a middle ground"; Justice Kennedy took issue with the states' "extraordinary exception" to make it a crime for people to assert their constitutional rights, while Justice Kagan said a breath test is "about as uninvasive as a search can be.  Deputy Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn implored the justices not to assume warrants are available 24/7.  CJLF filed an amicus brief in one of the North Dakota cases, Beylund v. Levi.

Half-Mile Tunnel Found on Border:  U.S. authorities announced Wednesday that a sophisticated cross-border tunnel was discovered, running a half-mile from a Tijuana house to a large lot in San Diego and equipped with an elevator, a rail system, lighting and ventilation.  Elliot Spagat of the AP reports that investigators are unsure when the tunnel was completed but that the tenants operating the San Diego wooden pallet business, where the tunnel ended on the U.S. side, arrived about a year ago.  Investigators began monitoring the area last fall after noticing suspiciously heavy traffic in the lot.  Six people were arrested last Friday in connection to the tunnel.  Over a ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana were seized.  The tunnel in the 13th sophisticated secret passage found along California's border with Mexico since 2006.

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VA to Keep Execution Drug Suppliers Secret:  Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring signed off late Tuesday on the legality of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plan to keep the identities of pharmacies that supply the state with execution drugs secret.  Laura Vozzella of the Washington Post reports that Herring's legal opinion came just over a week after McAuliffe amended a bill that would have made the electric chair the state's default execution method in the event that lethal injection drugs are unavailable.  His amendment scraps that approach, instead allowing the state to specially order the drugs from compounding pharmacies, "whose identities would be kept secret to shield them from political pressure."  Herring, a democrat, only passed judgment on the plan's legality and did not weigh in on its merits.  The General Assembly is scheduled to take up the proposal during its annual veto session on Wednesday.

OH High Court Upholds Death Sentence:  The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the death sentence Wednesday of a man who fatally shot a convenience store clerk during a robbery nearly eight years ago.  Jim Provance of the Toledo Blade reports that 30-year-old Anthony Belton argued that he should have been allowed to have a jury determine his sentence, claiming a violation of his Sixth Amendment rights.  The high court rejected the argument with a 6-1 vote because Belton pleaded no contest to the charges against him and "Ohio law does not permit a jury to sentence a capital defendant if the defendant has elected to enter a plea of guilty or no contest to capital charges."  Belton was convicted of one count of aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated robbery in the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Matthew Dugan during an August 2008 gas station holdup.  He still has several federal appeals he may pursue.  Ohio has not carried out an execution since Jan. 2014 due to court and gubernatorial moratoriums, though the current moratorium will expire at the end of this year.

Border Patrol Agents Assaulted with Rocks:  U.S. Border Patrol agents patrolling the Arizona desert Tuesday were assaulted by a group of marijuana smugglers who threw rocks at them when they began closing in.  Bob Price of Breitbart reports that agents had been tracking the smugglers through the desert and were assaulted with the rocks as they approached the group, prompting the agents to fire their weapons, though no injuries were reported.  The assailant and one other suspect were taken into custody and multiple bundles of marijuana were seized.  There have been extensive reports about the use of rocks to seriously injure Border Patrol agents, which are often baseball-sized or larger.

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Immigration Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Criminal Alien Threat:  A hearing will be held in the nation's capitol on Tuesday by the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee to examine the public safety threat posed by criminal aliens stemming from the Obama administration's weak immigration policies and failure to secure the border, according to a press release from earlier this month.  Under Obama's weak enforcement of immigration laws, between October 2011 and December 2014, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released criminal aliens with violent backgrounds from detention over 105,000 times.  "It should not take the tragic death of another innocent life for this administration to begin enforcing out laws," said Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).  A Maryland sheriff, a bishop and two mothers of victims murdered by illegal immigrants will be present as witnesses at the hearing.  One of those mothers testified that the illegal immigrant who murdered her daughter had his bail set at "less than the amount it cost to bury my baby."

CA Border Patrol Finds 3rd Tunnel in One Year: 
Border Patrol agents in southern California discovered the third cross-border tunnel from Mexico to the U.S. in just one year, officials announced Monday.  Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner reports that the 142-foot-long man-made tunnel, uncovered Sunday, originated 60 feed south of the border.  All three tunnels were found in the Calexico region, a U.S. town of 40,000 residents.  Immigration officials did not confirm or deny whether an arrest had been made in connection to the tunnel. The announcement of the discovery comes as immigration experts warn that California could see a new surge in unaccompanied alien children from Central America this year.

Chicago Toddler Survives Being Shot in the Head:  A one-year-old Chicago girl was released from the hospital Monday after being shot in the head last week.  Alexis Myers of the Chicago Tribune reports that Khlo'e Chatman-Teague was struck by a stray bullet last Friday when someone from another vehicle opened fire on her aunt's vehicle that she was in.  A single bullet pierced the trunk of the car and flattened before lodging at the base of the little girl's skull.  Khlo'e is one of four children under the age of 10 shot in Chicago so far this year.  Shootings and homicides have increased by more than 50% through mid-April over the same period in 2015.  "It's safe nowhere in Chicago," said Kelly Chatman, Khlo'e's mother.

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Supreme Court Begins Hearing Amnesty Case:  Supreme Court justices will begin hearing their biggest case of the term Monday morning to consider whether President Obama overstepped his constitutional powers when he granted a tentative  amnesty to five million illegal immigrants.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports that Obama first announced his deportation policy in November, the objective of which is to grant nearly half of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. a proactive stay of deportation, allowing them access to work permits, driver's licenses, Social Security numbers and some taxpayer benefits.  The policy prompted 26 states to sue, arguing that the amnesty caused economic harm.  The states, led by Texas, also argue that President Obama broke administrative law and immigration law, and violated the Constitution, when he strayed too far from the Take Care Clause, writing law rather than simply carrying it out.  The amnesty has been halted by lower courts on statutory grounds until justices decide.  The justices are expected to make a ruling by the end of June.

Another Record-Breaking Year Expected in Alien Children Surge:  Unaccompanied alien children apprehended on the U.S. border has surged more than 1,200% since 2011 with no end in sight as the flow increased significantly in the first five months of FY 2016.  Adam Kredo of the Free Beacon reports that a Congressional Research Service report shows that in the first five months of 2016, nearly 20,000 illegal immigrants children -- mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala -- were apprehended at the border, "setting the state for another potentially record-breaking year."  Experts warn that illegal immigrant children will continue to surge into the country so long as the United States' immigration policy is viewed as advantageous to illegal immigrants.

Urgency in CA to Find Roadside Test for Drugged Drivers:  As California moves closer toward legalization of adult recreational marijuana use, there is a new urgency in the state to find a "practical and reliable" field test to determine when a driver is under the influence of marijuana.  Brooke Edwards Staggs of the LA Daily News reports that California Sen. Bob Huff has proposed Senate Bill 1492, which would authorize use of saliva swab tests to help police officers detect for the presence of marijuana and other drugs.  Critics argue that the proposed device is still "too experimental and unreliable to be put into wider use" and isn't even effective at testing the two types of drugs most frequently encountered, marijuana and prescription medicines.  The state is partnering with UC San Diego's Center for Medical Cannabis Research Center to conduct research, beginning the fall, to study how marijuana impacts motor skills.

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Illegal Immigrant Charged with Deaths of TX Firefighter, 2 Children:  A previously deported illegal immigrant who killed a volunteer firefighter and his two children earlier this month in a car crash now faces both state and federal charges.  Bob Price of Breitbart reports that Margarito Quintero was drunk and driving without a license when he slammed head-on into Nevada Volunteer Fire Department Captain Peter Hacking's vehicle, killing him and his two young children.  He faces charges of criminally negligent homicide as well as a federal charge of illegally reentering the U.S. after being deported in 2008.  Quintero's case is just one of many examples of criminal aliens reentering the U.S. after deportation due to such a porous southern border.

OH Man Accused of Killing 4 will Face Death Penalty:  An Ohio man indicted on 46 charges in connection with a 2014 quintuple murder will face the death penalty.  John Harper of Cleveland reports that 20-year-old James Sparks-Henderson is accused of shooting four people, ranging in ages of 17 to 60, to death at a Cleveland home in November 2014.  One of the victims was pregnant, and her unborn child also died after being delivered following the shootings.  Before the decision to seek the death penalty in the case came to light, there were initial reports that Sparks-Henderson would strike a plea deal.  Prosecutors would not comment on whether that option is still being pursued. 

Senate Blocks Sessions' Immigration Amendment:  Senate Democrats held up a vote Thursday on an immigration amendment introduced by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., intended to boost enforcement of immigration laws.  Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner reports that Sessions pushed for an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill that would give airports two years to develop systems for implementing a biometric exit system in order to track people who overstay their visas.  During a Senate hearing in January, the Department of Homeland Security admitted that they don't track individuals who overstay their visas.  Even with Democratic leader-in-waiting New York Sen. Chuck Schumer's statement that the lack of such a system is a national security threat, the Senate failed to agree to include the measure.

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