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IA High Court Bans LWOP for Teen Killers:  In a 4-3 ruling Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court banned judges from sentencing juveniles convicted of first-degree murder to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Ryan J. Foley of the AP reports that justices ruled in the case of Isaiah Sweet, who was age 17 in 2012 when he committed the premeditated murders of his grandparents, determining that juveniles should have the option to someday prove to the parole board they have been rehabilitated given that their brains are still developing.  The dissenting justice, Edward Mansfield, criticized the ruling, calling it wrong to strike down a sentencing option that state lawmakers overwhelmingly reauthorized last year.  However, the ruling doesn't guarantee parole for juveniles offenders but, rather, contends that parole officials and not sentencing judges should make the determination.  Iowa is the 19th state to ban life without parole sentences for juveniles either through legislation or courts, while the Iowa high court is the second state court to outlaw such sentences based on the state constitution.

Kate Steinle's Family files a Lawsuit over her Death:  The family of Kate Steinle, the woman fatally shot on a San Francisco pier last July by an illegal immigrant, filed a lawsuit Friday over her death.  Fox News reports that the lawsuit argues that the city's sanctuary city law that protects illegal immigrants from deportation was responsible for the release of repeat drug offender and habitual border crosser Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was released from custody despite a request from federal immigration authorities that local officials keep him in custody for possible deportation.  Even in the face of national outrage, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors upheld the city's sanctuary city protections on Tuesday for illegal immigrants.  Ross Mirkarimi, the sheriff at the time of Steinle's killing, ICE and the Bureau of Land Management were named in the lawsuit.

CA Laws Give Young Offenders 2nd Chance, Concerns Victims:  New laws in California have qualified over 14,000 inmates convicted of serious crimes as juveniles and sentenced as adults for early parole hearing, troubling victims.  Nicole Comstock of Fox 40 reports that SB 261, which went into effect in January 2016, raised the age of eligibility for parole hearings, coming two years after a law implemented in 2014 allowing youth offenders who committed crimes prior to the age of 18 -- many of whom were sentenced to life -- to have a parole hearing after serving between just 15 and 25 years.  San Benito County District Attorney Candice Hooper, who recently fought to keep a convicted serial rapist and murderer behind bars after he was granted a parole hearing last month, criticizes the new laws for benefiting prisoners at the expense of their victims.  According to the CDCR, 347 youth offenders who became eligible for parole hearings as a result of the law have been granted parole. 

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CT High Court Upholds Death Penalty Repeal:  The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, upheld its previous ruling Thursday that found the death penalty unconstitutional and abolished it.  Daniel Tepfer of the CT Post reports that the ruling was made in the appeal of convicted murderer Russell Peeler Jr., whose sentence was changed from death to life without the possibility of release.  In 2012, the General Assembly repealed capital punishment in the state, which was intended to be applied only to people convicted of a capital felony after April 25, 2012 and not the state's already-sentenced death row inmates; however, the state Supreme Court's ruling last year extended it to the 10 inmates on the Connecticut's death row, including Peeler.  In January 1999, Peeler, a drug kingpin, was sentenced to death for ordering the murders of an eight-year-old boy and his mother because the boy was scheduled to testify against him in another murder case.

Report Highlights Unintended Consequences of CA Policies:  Los Angeles County is experiencing an overwhelmingly large caseload in their mental health courts due to strained court resources, and AB 109 and Proposition 47 are believed to be contributing factors. Abbey Sewell of the LA Times reports that the mental health courts have seen an increase in their case referrals jumping from 944 in 2010 to 3,528 in 2015. Likewise, the number of misdemeanors also spiked from 225 to 2,178 in the respective years. In a preliminary report, the county's Office of Diversion and Reentry believes that the implementation of AB 109 and Prop. 47, the growing homeless population and the lack of beds for acute psychiatric care are responsible for the staggering statistics.

Death Penalty Sought Against GA Man who Killed Priest:  A man accused of murdering a priest last month has been indicted and will face the death penalty in a Georgia court.  Sandy Hodson of the Augusta Chronicle reports that Steven James Murray, 28, fatally shot Rev. Rene Robert, a Florida resident who was trying to counsel him, on April 18.  It is believed that Murray tricked Robert into accompanying him to visit his children and later forced Robert into the trunk of his own car before committing several burglaries and an arson.  At some point, Murray pulled the car over, took Robert out of the trunk and shot him to death.  Prosecutors cite four statutory aggravating circumstances in the notice of intention to seek the death penalty:   

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Va. GOP File Lawsuit to Block Felons from Voting:  Virginia Republicans filed a lawsuit Monday in the state Supreme Court to block over 200,000 felons from voting in November, arguing that Gov. Terry McAuliffe abused his power when he restored the voting rights of convicts with completed sentences.  Alanna Durkin Richer of CNS News reports that the lawsuit, brought by House Speaker William Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment along with four other Virginia voters, argues McAuliffe's executive order violates the separations of powers by suspending the state's ban on voting by felons and ignores the decades-old practice of governors being able to restore voting rights only on a case-by-case basis. McAuliffe's announced the sweeping order last month, which allows an estimated 206,000 felons who have completed their sentences and any supervised release by April 22 to vote, run for public office, serve on a jury or become a notary public.

OK Considering New Execution Method:  The state of Oklahoma is seriously considering nitrogen hypoxia as its primary method of capital punishment in lieu of the current method of lethal injection, which has come under Grand Jury investigation in the state. Grant Hermes of News 9 reports that the method works by pumping pure nitrogen gas into a face mask or sealed hood of the individual being executed and cause death by lack of oxygen.  According to an unnamed doctor and unnamed professor who testified in front of the jury, nitrogen hypoxia would be "easy and inexpensive," "simple to administer" and "quick and seemingly painless."  The method was signed into law last spring as an alternate execution procedure.

More Gitmo Detainees Set to be Transferred: 
The Obama administration is preparing the transfers of up to 24 Guantanamo Bay detainees this summer.  Catherine Herridge and Lucas Tomlinson of Fox News reports that the announcement of more transfers comes as President Obama continues progression towards closing the camp, so far reducing the population from 242 detainees to 80.  An official could not state confidently whether the countries receiving the detainees would keep them locked up or track them.  Republican Sens. Mark Kirk, of Illinois, and James Lankford, of Oklahoma, have introduced an amendment to hold countries that accept transfers accountable.

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'Blue Lives Matter' Bill to become La. Law:  A bill that would make attacks on police officers and other first responders a hate crime is expected to become law in Louisiana this week.  Greg Hilburn of the Daily Advertiser reports that state Rep. Lance Harris' bill, House Bill 953 or "Blue Lives Matter," will be the first law of its kind in the nation specific to law enforcement, amending an existing law which classifies hate crimes as those based on bias against race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry.  The bill won unanimous support in the House and overwhelming support in the Senate, and is expected to be signed into law sometime this week by Gov. John Bel Edwards.  Update:  Gov. Edwards signed the bill into law Thursday.

AB 109 Probationer Arrested on Numerous Violations:  An AB 109 probationer was arrested in Murrieta, Calif., over the weekend along with two other people with active felony warrants.  Trevor Montgomery of Valley News reports that David Rutledge was arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, driving with a suspended license, possession of methamphetamine and narcotics-related paraphernalia, and booked on one felony count of revocation. At the time of his arrest on Saturday, Rutledge was out on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for a weapons charge.

Border Crossings Spike Dramatically:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended roughly 38,000 illegal immigrants in April, marking the highest surge in nearly two years. Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports that the immigrants crossing the border are not just families who are migrating to flee violence, as numbers now reflect a worrisome spike in other illegal immigrants, topping at 27,000.  Yuma County, Ariz., Sheriff Leon N. Wilmot says there are both push and pull factors contributing to the surge and "basically a lot of it has to do with the fact they're obtaining the assistance with regards to when they're released" once they arrive at the border and turn themselves in.

Prosecutors want Execution Date for OH Killer:  Prosecutors in a Youngstown, Ohio, case say it's due time for an execution date to be scheduled for a death row inmate who fatally shot a three-month-old over 13 years ago.  WFMJ reports that John Drummond, 38, has exhausted all of his state and federal court reviews of his convictions and death sentence, and prosecutors are requesting that an execution date be set.  In 2003, Drummond used an assault rifle during a drive-by shooting to fire 11 shots into a home, killing the intended target's infant son.  In all, he was convicted of eight charges.

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MA Officer Killed, Suspect Dead:  Jorge Zambrano killed Officer Ron Tarentino Jr. during a routine traffic stop in Massachusetts on Sunday and injured an 18-year state trooper veteran.  Fox News reports that after an 18-hour manhunt, Zambrano was killed in a shootout with Massachusetts police when he opened fire on state troopers in an Oxford duplex.  The state trooper sustained a gunshot wound in the left shoulder and is expected to make a full recovery.  Zambrano had numerous previous arrests and court appearances, including a hearing for motor vehicle charges just four days before fatally shooting Officer Tarentino, who is the second Massachusetts police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year.

Obama's Reintegration Plan Sparks Fear:  President Obama is pushing for administrative reforms to better integrate ex-offenders into society, sparking concern that such reforms could jeopardize public safety.  Andrea Noble of the Washington Times reports that some of the reforms include the removal of questions regarding criminal history on federal job applications and college applications, and making it a federal violation for landlords to disqualify a renter only due to their criminal history.  According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, at least one half of 25,000 federal offenders released will be rearrested and at least one quarter will be re-incarcerated within eight years of their release.

TX Family Killed by Drunk Driver with Previous DUI Conviction:  Three members of a Houston family were killed early Saturday morning when a drunk driver with a previous drunk driving conviction blasted through a red light and broadsided the driver's side door of the family's vehicle.  Bob Price of Breitbart reports that the suspect, Jeremy Valdez, 25, attempted to flee the scene of the crash but was chased down by a witness, who held him until deputies arrived.  Valdez, who was previously convicted of drunk driving in January 2011, has been charged with three counts of felony murder in the deaths of Emilio Avila, 33, Adla Nolasco, 41, and high school senior Mauricio Ramires, 18, who was scheduled to graduate on June 4.

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Signatures for Death Penalty Measure Submitted:  Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings submitted 593,000 signatures Thursday for a November ballot initiative to accelerate executions for death row inmates, which will appear alongside an opposing measure to repeal capital punishment in the state.  Elliot Spagat and Don Thompson of the AP reports that the measure would speed up the appeals process for death penalty cases by assigning attorneys to condemned inmates more quickly, limiting the number of appeals and forcing them to be filed sooner.  The whole process would have to be completed in five years, sharply contrasting the current system, in which inmates don't get a lawyer assigned until five years after their sentence.  Other provisions of the measure would allow death row inmates to be housed in prisons other than San Quentin and require them to work and pay victim restitution while they await execution.  California has the largest death row in the nation with nearly 750 convicted killers, but an execution hasn't been carried out for a decade and only 13 total have been executed since the capital punishment's reinstatement in 1978.

CA Parolee Added to FBI's Most Wanted List:  A convicted felon and parolee from Los Angeles has been added to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list after fleeing last month following the murder of his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child.  Willian Avila of NBC Los Angeles reports that Philip Patrick Policarpio, 39, a parolee, became angry with his pregnant girlfriend on April 12 and beat her in the face with his firsts before shooting her in the forehead with a handgun, killing her.  In 2000, Policarpio fired nine shots into another car over a dispute, after which he fled to the Philippines.  He was deported to the U.S. the following year, convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison.  He was released on parole in May 2014.

OH Jury Recommends Death for Serial Killer:  A jury recommended the death penalty Thursday for a Cleveland serial killer convicted of murdering three women.  The AP reports that Michael Madison, 38, was convicted of aggravated murder earlier this month in the deaths of three women whose bodies were found wrapped in garbage bags near his apartment in July 2013.  The judge will now consider the jury's recommendation and issue a final decision on May 26.

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An Academic has Second Thoughts on Ferguson Effect:  A criminologist has parted ways with liberal deniers of the "Ferguson effect," which suggests that crime has gone up amid the barrage of anti-police rhetoric resulting in a decrease in proactive policing following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, in August 2014.  In this piece in the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone quotes University of Missouri at St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld admitting that, after looking over 2015 data from 56 large cities and noting that homicides jumped 17% and as much as 33% in some cities from 2014, "[t]he only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect."  Going back to 1960, the only double-digit increases in the nation were 13% (in 1968), 11% (in 1966, 1967 and 1971) and 10% (in 1979).  James Wilson and George Kelling introduced broken windows theory in 1982, arguing that proactive policing and elimination of signs of disorder could sharply reduce crime.  When the theory was employed in New York City beginning in the 1990s, homicides decreased from 2,445 in 1990 to 328 in 2014.  The numbers "aren't flukes or blips" says Rosenfeld, which discount the mainstream media's mantra that a "rising epidemic of racist police" is what is driving up the crime rates.

Court Considers MO Lethal Injection Protocol:  The Missouri Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday that a judge incorrectly dismissed a lawsuit last year challenging the state's procedures for obtaining lethal injection drugs.  Margaret Stafford of the AP reports that the lawsuit, filed on behalf of two former state lawmakers and two Missouri residents, argues that the state is in violation of federal and state law because it uses an illegal prescription to obtain pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy for executions.  The lawsuit was dismissed in July 2015 after a circuit court judge ruled that taxpayers have no standing to challenge Department of Corrections' operations and the Missouri Supreme Court has jurisdiction in death penalty-related lawsuits.  At the time, the Missouri attorney general's office argued that the lawsuit was illegally attempting to enforce federal food a drug laws privately.  It is unclear when the appeals court will issue a ruling in the case.

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Death Sentence Ordered for KS Man:  A judge followed a jury's recommendation on Wednesday and sentenced a Kansas man to death for the 2013 killings of a young woman and her 18-month-old daughter.  Tony Rizzo of the KC Star reports that Kyle Flack, 30, was found guilty earlier this year of capital murder in the shotgun slayings of Kaylie Bailey, 21, and her toddler, Lana.  Flack was also convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of Steven White, 31, and second-degree murder in the death of Andrew Stout, 30, receiving life in prison and 22 years three months, respectively.  He received an additional nine months for illegal possession of a firearm.  A motive for the murders, which occurred on the same farmhouse, is unknown.

Cartel Member Caught Crossing Border:  A self-confessed Los Zetas cartel member was arrested in Texas over the weekend entering the U.S. illegally and is now in federal custody.  Ildefonso Ortiz of Breitbart reports that the cartel member, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was arrested Saturday near the border city of Roma, just north of Aleman, Tamaulipas.  The member's arrest is one of many that commonly occur along Texas border communities, including arrests of high-ranking drug cartel figures.  Earlier this month, five Gulf Cartel members were apprehended crossing into Roma from Miguel Aleman, claiming to be fleeing their rivals in Mexico.

Case could Yield 1st Death Penalty for CA County in Years:  The fate of an Oakland, Calif., man convicted of killing an eight-year-old girl and another man three years ago will be decided by a jury this week, marking the conclusion to Alameda County's first death penalty trial in years.  Angela Ruggiero of the East Bay Times reports that Darnell Williams, 25, was convicted last week of the July 2013 killing of Alaysha Carradine and the September 2013 death of Anthony Medearis, 22.  Carradine was spending the night at a friend's house when she died in the crossfire of a barrage of bullets Williams sent into the home, where he had gone intent on hurting loved ones of a man he believed killed his friend.  Two months after Carradine's death, Williams murdered Medearis after arguing over a dice game.  The last time the Alameda County district attorney prosecuted a death penalty case was for David Mills, who was sentenced to die in 2012 for killing three people in Oakland in 2005.  If Williams is sentenced to death, his execution may not be carried out for 20 years or more due to the state's years-long appeals process and a moratorium on executions amid an ongoing legal battle over the lethal injection protocol.  California has executed just 13 inmates since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978, the last of which was in early 2006.  As of Jan. 1, 743 death row inmates are awaiting execution.

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Constitutional Carry Passed by MO Lawmakers:  The Missouri legislature passed a bill last Friday that lifts the permit requirement for the concealed carry of firearms, and Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to decide whether or not to sign the measure into law.  Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon reports that the bill allows any law-abiding adult who can legally possess a firearm to carry a concealed firearm on their person without having to obtain a separate permit.  Additionally, it extends "castle doctrine" protections to house guests and removes the requirement that someone in a public place who reasonably believes their life is threatened must retreat before using deadly force to protect themselves.  The measure passed with a 114-36 vote in the House and a 24-8 vote in the Senate.  Gov. Nixon has not announced whether he will sign or veto the bill.  If he vetoes it and the original vote count holds, the legislature could override the veto.

Bill Addresses Uncooperative Foreign Nations:  A congressman introduced a bill last Friday that stipulates withholding foreign aid and travel visas from countries that refuse to repatriate illegal immigrants who have been given a final order of removal from the U.S.  Melanie Hunt of CNS News reports that Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and 20 Republican co-sponsors proposed the Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act of 2016, citing the crime of Jean Jacques, who murdered a woman six months after he was released from prison when his home country of Haiti refused to take him back.  The legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to submit a report to Congress every three months detailing those countries that refuse to repatriate their citizens and will, in turn, subject those countries to the bill.  The bill also gives victims of crimes resulting from foreign countries' lack of cooperation legal standing to due in federal district court. 

CA Considers Making Lethal Injection Drugs:  Since pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell lethal injection drugs for executions, new rules proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) allow prison officials to manufacture barbiturates at its own compounding pharmacies to carry out the death penalty.  Frank Soltze of KPCC reports that the plan outlines the four barbiturates California prison officials would be allowed to use for executions -- amobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital and thiopental -- and provides the option to sidestep big drug companies by either compounding the chemical itself or contracting with a private non-state compound pharmacy.  Compounding pharmacies differ in that they are barred from simply copying barbiturates and other drugs already on the market, and also require a preexisting doctor-patient relationship, a patient with a particularized need and a prescription for the specific compound from the doctor.  The CDCR is taking public comment on its proposed regulations through July 11.  It has been over 10 years since California carried out an execution.

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Police Seek Answers in Nationwide Crime Spike:  Major cities across the U.S. are experiencing dramatic increases in homicides and other violent crimes in the first months of 2016, leaving law enforcement officials grasping for answers as to the common denominator.  Andrea Noble of the Washington Times reports that last week, FBI Director James Comey reignited the debate over the "Ferguson effect," the notion that the crime uptick is due to police becoming less aggressive out of fear of being the subject of the next "viral video."  However, there is not enough data yet to prove or disprove the theory.  Alternative theories offered by law enforcement leaders include quicker escalation of violent gang beefs due to social media, the heroin and opioid epidemic and the fact that crime rates had been low for some time and therefore "can only go up."  The data was provided by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and included 63 reporting police departments that compared statistics from the first three months of 2015 and 2016.  Combined, the statistics show 114 more murders, 260 more rapes, 837 more robberies, 3,132 more violent assaults and 818 more nonfatal shootings recorded this year compared to last year.

Illegals Finding More Loopholes to Stay:  Law enforcement officials from various agencies say that Central and South American immigrants are finding new loopholes to manipulate the U.S. immigration system and remain in the country.  Ildefonso Ortiz of Breitbart reports that immigrants are receiving a temporary permission to stay by claiming the lesser-known "Humanitarian Parole," which differs from refugee status.  While refugee status is achieved when an individual is unable to return to his or her home country because of "persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion," humanitarian parole allows immigration officials to bring in an otherwise inadmissible individual into the country for a temporary period of time due to a compelling emergency.  Officials say, however, that immigrants claiming humanitarian parole "appear to be coached."  The revelation comes as the Rio Grande Valley is experiencing another surge in children and family migrants coming over the southern border.  In the first three months of the year, there was a 120% increase in the number of family units and an 81% increase in unaccompanied minors.

Bill Addresses Mental Health among Criminals:  New legislation introduced by a Georgia Congressman seeks to address mental health and addiction issues among the country's incarcerated population.  Rudy Takala of the Washington Examiner reports that Rep. Doug Collin, R-Ga., says that approximately 35-40% of incarcerated individuals have mental health or addiction issues, a figure that equates to an estimated two million people.  His bill, the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, authorizes the Department of Justice to distribute grants to facilities and programs aimed at identifying mental health victims and directing them to appropriate treatment, including mental health courts and crisis intervention teams.  It would also support training for law enforcement.  The bill has 40 Republican and 57 Democratic cosponsors in House.  Its Senate counterpart was approved by a bipartisan vote in December.

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Murder Rates Spike Across US:  Over 20 major U.S. cities have experienced large increases in homicides in recent months, new data shows.  Eric Lichtblau and Gardiner Harris of the NY Times reports that Chicago's numerical increase in homicides in the first three months of this year was the most significant, with murder up to 141 from 83 over the same period a year ago.  Other dramatic spikes were seen in Las Vegas, up to 40 from 22, and Dallas, up to 46 from 26.  Other cities showing sharp increases include Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, Newark, Phoenix and San Antonio.  FBI director James Comey believes that the surges could be linked to less aggressive policing stemming from the "viral video effect," otherwise known as the "Ferguson effect."

Illegal Immigrant to Stand Trial for Quintuple Murder:  A judge ruled Thursday that an illegal immigrant who killed five men in two states earlier this year will stand trial in Missouri.  Fox News Latino reports that 40-year-old Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino, a Mexican national, is accused of murdering his neighbor and three other men at the neighbor's Kansas City, Kan., home in early March and then killing another man 170 miles away in Missouri.  He faces charges of first-degree murder, burglary and criminal action in the Missouri case, and Missouri prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.  In the Kansas murders, he is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, though it isn't clear whether Kansas prosecutors will seek the death penalty.  A motive for the killings has not been disclosed.  Serrano-Vitorino was previously deported in April 2004 and illegally reentered the U.S. sometime after that.  Despite legal run-ins since, including a battery conviction in Kansas last summer, he has avoided deportation.

Two NH Cops Wounded in Shooting, Suspect Caught:  An armed suspect who shot and wounded two police officers in two separate location in Manchester, N.H., Friday morning is in custody following an intensive manhunt.  Fox News reports that the shootings were connected to a robbery at a gas station.  Authorities have not yet released the identity of the suspect.  One of the wounded officers was already released from the hospital, while the other one remains there in stable condition.

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GA Murderer Executed:  Georgia executed a convicted murderer Tuesday evening for the 1996 killing of his 19-year-old neighbor.  Victor Morten of the Washington Times reports that Kenneth Fults was put to death by lethal injection following two unsuccessful last-ditch efforts to halt it.  Fults pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Kathy Bonds in the back of the head five times during a burglary following a week-long crime spree that included the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.  Fults was the fourth person executed in Georgia this year and the 12th nationwide.

Execution of AL Cop Killer Stayed:  A federal appeals court granted a motion to stay the Thursday night scheduled execution of an Alabama cop killer less than 12 hours before it was to be carried out.  Kelly Cohen of the Washington Examiner reports that the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay in order to hear arguments that 65-year-old Vernon Madison is incompetent to face the death penalty because a series of strokes left him with "vascular dementia and memory deficits" and "he no longer understands why the State of Alabama seeks to execute him," his attorneys argue.  Madison is on death row for the 1985 murder of police officer Julius Schulte, who was shot point blank in the head while responding to a domestic disturbance call.  Madison was on parole at the time.  Now, his attorneys must file briefs addressing his health issues by May 27 and the attorney general's office has until June 10.  His attorneys must reply by June 17.  Update:  Alabama has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the stay, Mark Berman reports in the WaPo.

Chicago Violence Steadily Rises:  Since early Wednesday afternoon, four people were killed and at least 14 were wounded in Chicago, continuing the city's streak of violence this year, Rosemary Sobol, Grace Wong and Alexandra Chachkevitch of the Chicago Tribune report.  The violence included five people shot in the Park Manor neighborhood and a triple fatal shooting at an Englewood home.  A resident who works near where one of the incidents occurred said, "I've been in this neighborhood six years and no problems happened.  And now I'm scared to walk outside."

Gang Member Arrested for Rape 12 Hours After Release:  A Los Angeles gang member had been out of jail for 12 hours when he was arrested for raping a woman in a Lincoln Heights park restroom.  The LA Daily News reports that 27-year-old Edgar Lobos forced the 31-year-old victim into the restroom at gunpoint when she was walking through the park on Monday evening.  The victim and witnesses were later able to identify Lobos based on his distinctive facial tattoos.  Lobos' criminal history includes vandalism, possession of controlled substances and domestic violence.  Before being released from jail shortly before the attack, he was serving time for a narcotics-related parole violation.

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House Set to Vote on Opioid Measures:  House Republicans are scheduled to vote this week on 18 bills addressing the opioid addiction epidemic devastating communities across the country.  David M. Herszenhorn of the NY Times reports that some of the bills include measures that would make it easier for doctors to treat patients with opioid addiction; give law enforcement officers greater authority to interdict drug trafficking; offer greater protections for veterans and children affected by the epidemic and require the federal government to conduct studies evaluating the nation's capacity for opioid addiction treatment.  The bills, if approved, will be packaged together and then reconciled with similar legislation adopted in the Senate.

SF to Expand Sanctuary City Law:  Elected officials in San Francisco are voting Tuesday on whether to pass an ordinance that would expand the city's sanctuary city laws, which would further tie the hands of law enforcement and increase protections for illegal immigrants.  Michelle Moons of Breitbart reports that the measure, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, is being considered by the Board of Supervisors and would prevent local law enforcement from providing an inmate's personal information or release date to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Avalos says the ordinance was proposed in response to "xenophobic" sentiment.  The proposal comes as the first anniversary approaches of the death of Kate Steinle, who was fatally shot on a San Francisco pier last July by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a criminal alien who had been deported five times and convicted of seven felonies.  Shortly before Steinle was killed, ICE requested a detainer on Lopez-Sanchez, but San Francisco officials denied it and released him.

TX Fighting Order to Reveal Execution Drug Supplier:  Texas is headed to an appeals court Wednesday to fight an order made by a judge over a year ago to disclose the source of its lethal injection drugs.  Michael Graczyk of the AP reports that while attorneys for condemned Texas murderers argue that knowledge of drug suppliers identities ensures an execution "comports with the Constitution" and verifies the drug's potency, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice contends that publicly identifying them would lead to imminent violence for pharmacies.  Texas currently receives its execution drugs from an unidentified compounding pharmacy, its source since traditional pharmaceutical makers refused to sell their products to prison agencies for use in executions.  The state has carried out 537 executions since 1982, six of which occurred this year.  The Texas appeals court is not expected to rule immediately in the case, and it's possible the decision could be appeals to the state Supreme Court.

Phony ACLU Estimate on Cost of Execution Drugs:  The ACLU of Northern California obtained prison agency records that it says suggests the state might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy execution drugs for lethal injections.  Maura Dolan of the LA Times reports that Ana Zamora, criminal justice policy director for the ACLU chapter, estimated after viewing a series of emails from 2014 that drugs for a single execution would cost between $133,080 and $150,000, instead of the approximate $4,193 stated in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's proposed lethal injection regulatory package.  However, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation president Michael Rushford says the drugs could be obtained at even less than $4,000 for each execution if the department used compounding pharmacies as its source.

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Judge Frees Abuser to Kill Girlfriend:  A Las Vegas judge is facing criticism after failing to lock up a domestic abuse defendant who went on to kill his girlfriend and himself two days after her ruling.  Fox News reports that Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson, who has run domestic violence courts for nearly four years, claims she had no indication Travis Spitler, 40, would fatally shoot Christina Franklin, 28, outside their children's day care, despite the fact that Franklin had informed the judge two days before her death that Spitler had punched and kicked her in front of their children just after Christmas, threatening to kill her.  Rather than lock Spitler up, Tobiasson ordered him to have no contact with Franklin and denied revocation of his bail.  Two days later, Spitler showed up at the day care and fatal shot Franklin and injured his two children (ages three and four), before turning the gun on himself.

Kansas Detective Fatally Shot by Parolee:  A Kansas City, KS, detective shot by a parolee near the Kansas Speedway on Monday afternoon died from his injuries.  Tony Rizzo, Glenn E. Rice, Laura Bauer and Robert A. Cronkleton of the KC Star report that nine-year veteran detective Brad Lancaster, 39, was shot several times by Curtis Ayers, 28, after responding to a report of a suspicious person.  Following an exchange of gunfire, Ayers fled in Lancaster's vehicle before abandoning it and carjacking another vehicle with two children inside, who were unharmed.  Ayers then carjacked yet another vehicle before crashing it, after which he shot another driver in an attempt to take her vehicle, but she managed to drive away with survivable injuries.  Ayers was shot and captured while trying to flee on foot and suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Ayers was released on parole in early January after serving time for child abandonment, fleeing a police officer, and interference with a law enforcement officer.  He was also prosecuted for domestic battery and making a terroristic threat.  Lancaster's killing marks the first death of a Kansas City, KS, police officer in the line of duty since 1998.

Blood Testing for Driving on Pot Questioned:  The legal tests adopted by six states to determine levels of impairment of drivers under the influence of marijuana have no scientific basis and should be scrapped, according to AAA's safety foundation.  The AP reports that a study commissioned by the foundation found that it's not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC that can reliably determine impairment because it is far more complex than a test for blood alcohol content.  The study says that THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, can linger in frequent marijuana users long after using the drug, and additionally, there is no science that shows drivers become impaired at specific levels of THC in the blood.  The foundation recommends replacing the laws in Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington with ones that rely on specifically trained police officers to determine a driver's impairment, backed up by a THC test.  Studies show that driving under the influence of marijuana doubles the risk of a crash, and another study found that drivers in fatal crashes who had recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized it for recreational use in December 2012.  At least three states, and possibly as many as 11, will vote this fall on legislation to legalize marijuana for either recreational or medical use, or both.

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FL Death Penalty Debate Continues:  A Miami-Dade judge ruled Monday that Florida's death penalty system, even with the new changes enacted, is unconstitutional because jurors are not required to agree unanimously on execution.  David Ovalle of the Miami Herald reports that Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch issued the ruling in the case of Karon Gaiter, who is awaiting trial for first-degree murder.  Hirsch stated that Florida's new law requiring 10 of 12 juror votes to impose the death penalty "goes against the long-time sanctity of unanimous verdicts in the U.S. justice system."  Even though the new law also requires jurors to unanimously vote on aggravating factors, Hirsch says the fixes don't matter.  The U.S. Supreme Court declared Florida's death sentencing system unconstitutional in January, in the case of Timothy Lee Hurst, because it did not require the jury to return a specific finding on the existence of an aggravating circumstance needed to make the case eligible for the death penalty.  (The article incorrectly implies that the problem related to the ultimate sentencing decision.  See Kent's post earlier today.)  The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in the Hurst case and now, with Hirsch's ruling, the debate rages on.

Drug Dealing is a Violent Crime:  Former directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy William J. Bennett and John P. Walters have this piece in the Washington Examiner dispelling the claims made by President Obama that federal prisons are filled with "non-violent drug offenders" and that drug dealing is a "victimless crime."  Bennett and Walters say that the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act that is now before Congress is based on these lies, as 99.5% of those incarcerated in federal prison for drug convictions are guilty of serious trafficking offenses and among state drug inmates, 77% reoffended within five years of release, a quarter of them committing violent crimes.  Beyond that, "only the dishonest and willfully blind can claim that drug trafficking is a non-violent" and victimless crime and push for the release of experienced drug traffickers as the nation endures a 440% increase in heroin overdose deaths over the past seven years.  Bennett and Walters conclude that, knowing all of this, it is irresponsible to release drug dealers from prison before they have completed their just sentences.

Bloody Mother's Day Weekend in Chicago:  By the time Mother's Day weekend came to an end in Chicago, eight people were killed and 43 wounded in shootings across the city, making it the most violent weekend since September.  Alexandra Chachkevitch and Megan Crepeau of the Chicago Tribune report that on Saturday alone, in the span of 3.5 hours, someone was shot every 14 minutes.  The victims ranged in age from 16 to 58.  At least 1,225 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year, breaking records not seen since the 1990s. 

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