Rapper Ray Jasper was put to death by the state of Texas last night after bidding a final farewell to his family and daughter. Jasper was convicted for the 1998 murder of David Alejandro.
According to reports, Jasper confessed to slitting Alejandro's throat in order to steal equipment from his San Antonio studio, but he also said that two accomplices were responsible for inflicting over 25 stab wounds. His accomplices, Steve Russell and Douglas Williams were spared the death penalty and are both serving life sentences.
"To my family, we are one," Jasper said before being injected with pentobarbital. "To my beautiful daughter, the best thing that ever happened to me, I love you endlessly. I am you and you are me forever," the Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported. more >>
A New Jersey teen who brought a lawsuit against her parents in order to gain child support and college tuition formally dropped the case against them on Tuesday. Rachel Canning moved back into her parents' home and is working to form a new relationship with them.
Judge Peter A. Bogaard heard testimony from Rachel, stating that she wanted to dismiss the case and ruled in her favor after stating that she made a "knowing and voluntary decision." The case was then dismissed, meaning that there will be no more court cases involving the family, and Rachel will continue to live with her parents until leaving for college.
Rachel moved out of her home in November and lived with a friend whose father paid for all of her court costs. She claimed that her parents had been neglectful and were refusing to pay for her school tuition. Her parents claimed that Rachel simply refused to follow the house rules and decided to move out on her own. more >>
Attorneys defending Utah's ban on same-sex marriage said in their most recent court filing that legalizing gay marriage would be an "unprincipled judicial wrecking ball" that would destroy state authority.
In its 120-page reply, submitted late last week, Utah told the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowing a judge to determine the constitutionality of a state's same-sex marriage ban undermines the state's sovereignty.
Utah's special assistant, Attorney General Gene Schaerr, wrote in the court filing that lifting a state's same-sex marriage ban is not akin to previous court rulings that lifted interracial marriage bans, but rather it is "an unprincipled judicial wrecking ball hurtling toward an even more important arena of traditional state authority." more >>
The state of Oklahoma is scrambling to find the drugs necessary to carry out the execution of Clayton Lockett, which is scheduled for Thursday. The state has said it will do its best to find a drug that will put Lockett to death but may not be the typical course of execution.
"This has been nothing short of a Herculean effort, undertaken with the sole objective of carrying out ODOC's duty under Oklahoma law to conduct Appellants' executions," Assistant Attorney General Seth Branham said in a letter to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals filed yesterday. "Sadly, this effort has (so far) been unsuccessful."
So far the state has failed to obtain pentobarbital and vecuronium bromide from a pharmacy but is still looking for some form of combination to carry out the execution. The state could legally use electrocution or the firing squad, but only if lethal injection is deemed unconstitutional. Since the only thing holding up the execution is a lack of drugs, that rules out switching to electrocution or firing squad. more >>
Cameron Douglas is finally out of solitary confinement, perhaps thanks to the efforts of his father, actor Michael Douglas. Michael Douglas chose to address the situation during his Emmy acceptance speech two years ago, leading to a new push for the younger Douglas to be moved back into general population.
"It's true," Anthony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance told Radar Online. "That's what I heard. It actually happened a little while back. I'm not sure of the exact date."
Cameron had been in solitary confinement for nearly two years after relapsing on drugs while incarcerated. He was already sentenced to five years in 2009 after being found guilty of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. However, a judge added four-and-a-half years in 2011 when he was caught with drugs. The decision to keep Cameron in solitary confinement for so long greatly upset his father. more >>
A South African pastor, who is attending Olympian Oscar Pistorius' trial for the murdering of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, believes it was Satan who made the athlete commit the act.
"Oscar did not kill [Steenkamp], Satan made him do it. I pray to God to help him," said the Rev. Isaac Malaza, according to Times Live.
"I came today to pray for Oscar. He shouldn't do something like this again that breaks the hearts of his family." more >>