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Japan | Trial ruling date for man accused of 1966 murder set for September

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Iwao Hakamada, who in a rare example is being retried over a 1966 murder case, will be given a verdict on Sept. 26, the Shizuoka District Court said Wednesday, which could see him finally acquitted more than five decades after he was sentenced to death by the same court. In the last trial session, prosecutors again sought the death penalty for the 88-year-old, saying there is enough evidence to show that Hakamata is the perpetrator, while defense lawyers argued that he is not guilty.

Texas executes Danielle Simpson

A convicted killer who volunteered for execution but in recent weeks changed his mind has been put to death in Texas.

Thirty-year-old Danielle Simpson (left) received a lethal injection Wednesday evening for the abduction-slaying of an 84-year-old east Texas woman who was weighted down with a cinder block and thrown into a river.

Simpson had won approval from a federal court that he was competent to decide to drop his appeals. Then Simpson changed his mind and allowed lawyers to try to save him. Attorneys contended he was mentally ill.

He was condemned for the murder of Geraldine Davidson, a former school teacher and church organist abducted nearly 10 years ago during a burglary of her home in Palestine, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

Simpson was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. Wednesday, nine minutes after a lethal dose of chemicals had been administered.

He became the 22nd person to be executed in Texas this year.

The 30-year-old Simpson, who was 20 at the time of the murder, gave a brief final statement.

"Yeah, I want to tell my family I love ya'll," said Simpson, strapped to a gurney. "Tell Kate I love her too. Tell brother, my kids I love ya'll. I'm gonna miss ya'll. I'm ready, ready."

Five members of Davidson's family witnessed the execution, while two of Simpson's sisters also were witnesses.

Read more: Danielle Simpson speaks about his nine-year term spent locked up in solitary.

Source: AP, Nov. 18, 2009

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