NATION IN BRIEF

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Calif. Erred During Execution

SAN JOSE -- A California official said Tuesday that state prison guards had bungled last year's execution of former gang leader Stanley Tookie Williams.

Dane Gillette, California's senior assistant attorney general, said guards did not connect a backup intravenous line to the left arm of Williams, a condemned killer and former Crips gang leader from Los Angeles who garnered global publicity after writing anti-gang books.

The backup assures the continuous flow of chemicals that anesthetize, paralyze and then kill.

Gillette testified at the start of a four-day federal court hearing into whether lethal injection, the procedure used for executions in 37 U.S. states, causes undue suffering.

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· MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Two miners whose jobs included watching for safety hazards inside the Sago Mine before the deadly explosion in January have committed suicide in the past month. Neither man had been blamed for the disaster that killed 12 of their comrades, and neither one's family has definitively linked the suicides to the accident. Those who knew the men say the disaster haunted them.

· LOUISVILLE -- A federal judge temporarily suspended Kentucky's law forbidding protests within 300 feet of military funerals and memorial services. U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell said Tuesday that the law, prohibiting nearly all protests at military services, wakes and funerals, goes too far in limiting free speech.

· CONCORD, N.H. -- A top aide to Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) resigned after disclosures that he posed as a supporter of Bass's opponent, Democrat Paul Hodes, in blog messages intended to convince people that Hodes was not competitive. Operators of two liberal blogs traced the postings to the House of Representatives' computer server. Bass's office traced the messages to his policy director, Tad Furtado, and Furtado resigned.

· COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Police have arrested three women who are accused of forcing a pregnant 16-year-old to drink turpentine in an attempt to cause an abortion. Investigators have not determined whether the turpentine has had any toxic effects on the teenager, who is three months pregnant, or on the fetus.

-- From News Services


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