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NATIONAL
February 27, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Condemned Oklahoma inmates filed a lawsuit this week seeking details about the drugs that will be used to execute them amid a growing national debate about how to deal with the shortage of lethal injection drugs. Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri and other death penalty states have been scrambling for lethal injection drugs after major manufacturers - many based in Europe with longtime opposition to the death penalty - stopped selling to them. The issue sparked national controversy last month when relatives of an Ohio inmate who witnessed his execution complained that he took more than 15 minutes to die, appearing to gasp and snort.
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NATIONAL
February 24, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - It's unusual for this Supreme Court to overturn a death penalty conviction, more so without dissents from conservatives Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. But Monday all nine justices found a double murder conviction so troubling that without hearing oral arguments they rebuked an Alabama appeals court and sent the case back to consider whether Anthony R. Hinton deserved a new trial. In three restaurant robberies in Birmingham 29 years ago, two restaurant managers were killed and one injured.
OPINION
February 19, 2014 | By Josh Fattal
On the morning of my appearance before an Iranian Revolutionary Court, where I was convicted on a fabricated charge of espionage, I heard the chant "Death to America!" from the world beyond my prison window. The chant, and the associated stereotype of Islamic Iran, was quite different from what I heard in Section 209, the grim area of Evin Prison where political detainees are beaten, tortured and held without charge. As Americans, my friend and cellmate Shane Bauer and I were denied contact with Iranian inmates during our imprisonment there.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
An internal L.A. County Sheriff's Department email obtained by The Times raises new questions about the role former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka played in the handling of a jail inmate who was working as an FBI informant. Federal prosecutors allege that seven current and former deputies took part in a conspiracy to hinder the FBI by, in part, hiding Anthony Brown within the jail system after they learned he was an informant. Brown was secretly providing information to the FBI about deputies suspected of being corrupt or abusive.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
This year's Academy Award documentary short subject nominees prove more substantial than their animation and live-action counterparts. Of the three Oscar shorts categories, the docs - a supersized collection of works broken down here into two separate programs - are the most cohesive bunch, with themes of mortality and reconciliation. Two shorts from Program A feature subjects already well documented elsewhere. "The Lady in Number 6" profiles Alice Herz Sommer, the now-110-year-old pianist who recited Chopin's études from memory while inside the Theresienstadt concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown has dodged an artillery barrage fired by a battalion of liberals: federal judges and prisoners' lawyers. It's a big victory for the centrist. But it's a win-win for a lot of people: the unrelenting judges and lawyers, the packed-like-sardines inmates, the taxpaying public and state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Because the judges Monday gave him a two-year extension on his deadline to end prison overcrowding, Brown won't be forced to release hordes of convicts - among them some potential Willie Hortons - as he runs for reelection this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 2014 | By Anh Do and Adolfo Flores
A Santa Ana detective testified Monday that she posed as an inmate, going undercover into the jail cell of a defendant in a high-profile beating case after the woman refused to talk with police and demanded an attorney. Det. Patricia Navarro said she never identified herself to Vanesa Tapia Zavala when she secretly recorded their conversation in a jail cell, trying to get her to share details about the fight outside a downtown Santa Ana nightclub that left a recent college graduate comatose, and then dead days later.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Jack Leonard, Richard Winton and Robert Faturechi
Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies conspired to assault a handcuffed jail inmate and struck him with a flashlight before writing reports that falsely claimed he attacked them, according to a federal indictment made public on Friday. The alleged attack was witnessed by a jail chaplain who wrote a sworn declaration saying he witnessed deputies beat an inmate in Men's Central Jail.  The indictment does not mention the chaplain but accuses Deputies Joey Aguiar, 26, and Mariano Ramirez, 38, of beating an inmate on the same date in February 2009.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Richard Winton
Federal authorities on Friday indicted two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies who allegedly beat a chained jail inmate, then falsely accused him of attacking them. Deputies Joey Aguiar and Mariano Ramirez were indicted on charges in connection with the beating of an inmate in February 2009. According to the indictment, Aguiar and Ramirez punched and kicked the victim before using pepper spray on him. The deputies also struck him with a flashlight, prosecutors charged. DOCUMENT: Read the indictment The deputies then wrote false reports claiming that the inmate had "viciously kicked his legs at deputies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Jack Leonard, Robert Faturechi and Richard Winton
Federal prosecutors announced charges Friday against two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies accused of assaulting a handcuffed inmate in a case that broadens the FBI's ongoing inquiry and raises new questions about how the Sheriff's Department has investigated deputy misconduct in the nation's largest jail system. Sheriff's officials previously rejected allegations that the deputies used excessive force despite a jail chaplain coming forward to say that he witnessed the 2009 incident and believed the deputies beat a helpless inmate.
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