Jon's Feed
Jun 30, 2015

Oklahoma to quickly resume executions after Supreme Court decision

June 30 (Reuters) – Oklahoma is looking to resume executions
as soon as August after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week
that a drug used in the state’s lethal injection mix was
appropriate and legal, officials said on Tuesday.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a request
with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution
dates for three death row inmates who were a part of the suit
before the U.S. Supreme Court – Richard Glossip, John Grant and
Benjamin Cole, all convicted murderers.

Jun 25, 2015

Texas wants its gold back and promises to build it a safe home

AUSTIN, Texas, June 25 (Reuters) – Texas has a new law to
set up a depository for gold that is backed by many in the
state’s Republican leadership who have expressed distrust of the
U.S. Federal Reserve and feel more comfortable with a
precious-metal backed currency.

“The law will repatriate $1 billion of gold bullion from New
York to Texas,” Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s office said,
adding that the facility would increase “the security and
stability of our gold reserves.”

Jun 25, 2015

U.S. judge dismisses suit seeking blame in troubled Oklahoma execution

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed
on behalf of an Oklahoma death row inmate who died in a flawed
execution in a procedure that his lawyers said violated the
prisoner’s constitutional rights.

The judge in Oklahoma said this week that while there may
have been aspects of the April 2014 execution of murderer
Clayton Lockett that raised questions of negligence, the process
did not violate constitutional protections against cruel and
unusual punishment.

Jun 24, 2015

U.S. to alter long-term detention of immigrant families with children

By Jon Herskovitz and Doina Chiacu

(Reuters) – U.S. immigration authorities plan to cut back on
long-term detention for families with children who entered the
country illegally while speeding up how they are processed at
detention centers, the homeland security secretary said on
Wednesday.

The flood of immigrants coming mostly from Central America
and crossing the southern U.S. border has slowed from peaks last
year, but is still high, Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

Jun 23, 2015

Confederate statues at University of Texas hit by critics, vandals

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Statues of three Confederate leaders standing for decades at the University of Texas were vandalized with red paint amid fresh calls this week for their removal, university officials said.

The statues at the often left-leaning university in Austin, a liberal city in conservative Texas, have gained new attention due to the debate in South Carolina about taking down the Confederate battle flag on the state’s capitol grounds, a week after a white gunman allegedly shot dead nine black worshipers at a historic church.

Jun 22, 2015

Texas enacts ban on shark fin trade

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas has banned the trade of shark fins in the state, a move that could end its status as one of the main U.S. centers of activity for the product prized as a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.

Governor Greg Abbott during the weekend signed into law the measure to ban the trade, becoming the 10th U.S. state with such a measure, according to Oceana, an international advocacy group to protect the world’s oceans.

Jun 19, 2015

Texas Supreme Court allows a same-sex couple to divorce

AUSTIN, Texas, June 19 (Reuters) – The Texas Supreme Court
on Friday upheld a divorce granted in a lower court for a
same-sex couple, a rare decision in a state that has a
constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The court ruled that state authorities, who tried to block
the divorce, did not have appropriate standing in the matter and
upheld the divorce of Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly, who were
married in Massachusetts in 2004.

Jun 19, 2015

At least four dead as Tropical Depression Bill soaks central U.S.

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – At least four people have been killed by Tropical Depression Bill, which on Friday settled over Arkansas and Missouri, and led to flash flood watches in five states.

Bill, the second named tropical storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, is expected to lose strength as it moves into the Ohio Valley, bringing about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cms) of rain in places such southern Illinois and Indiana as well as western Kentucky, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

Jun 19, 2015

Texas Supreme Court allows same-sex divorce

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld a divorce granted in a lower court for a same-sex couple, a precedent-setting decision in a state that has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The court ruled that state authorities, who tried to block the divorce, did not have appropriate standing in the matter and upheld the divorce of Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly, who were married in Massachusetts in 2004.

Jun 18, 2015

Texas to execute man for bludgeoning mechanic to death in robbery

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas is set on Thursday to execute Gregory Russeau, 45, who was convicted of killing a 75-year-old auto mechanic in a 2001 robbery and driving off from the crime scene in the victim’s car.

Texas plans to put Russeau to death by lethal injection at its death chamber in Huntsville at 6 p.m. CDT. There were no court petitions to halt the execution filed as of Wednesday afternoon, according to online records.