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Editorial: In a civilized society, not even the most vicious crimes justify a death sentence

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It is soul-bruising to contemplate the torture that 10-year-old Anthony Avalos endured in his Lancaster home for more than a week before dying last year. Whippings with a looped cord and belt. Repeatedly held upside down then dropped on his head. Getting slammed into pieces of furniture and against the floor. Hot sauce poured on his face and mouth.
The road map of the abuse stretched from head to toe on his small malnourished body — bruises, abrasions, scabs and cuts visible on the outside. Traumatic brain injury and soft tissue damage on the inside. All allegedly perpetrated by his mother, Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva.
RELATED | California: Prosecutors seeking death penalty in Anthony Avalos torture case
If ever a set of circumstances called for the death penalty, this would be it. Few were surprised when Los Angeles County prosecutors said Wednesday that if the couple is convicted of the torture-murder, the jury will be asked to recommend a death sentence.
Such ca…

Confusion over Nebraska's execution drugs

OMAHA, Neb. —New questions are arising about Nebraska's effort to obtain the drugs needed to execute prisoners on death row.

Federal sources stated that the Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration said they have no idea what Nebraska officials are referring to when discussing that they're 'working with' Federal Agencies.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said during an October news conference that the state is working with the DEA, trying to get execution drugs from India.

Agents in St. Louis said that no one had spoken to Nebraska about this and officials at the DEA headquarters stated that nothing has changed, like they said weeks ago, the DEA will not approve the importation of this drug.

The governor's corrections director also told state senator's that he is working with the Food and Drug Administration, but a senior-level official in the agency's headquarters said the only word that matters is the court order blocking sodium thiopental importation.

Corrections spokesperson Dawn-Renee Smith is now attempting to clarify Ricketts' and Frakes' words:

"'Working with' simply means that we are still in the process of obtaining the chemicals and completing any necessary steps required by the DEA and/or the FDA."

The state indicated that it has taken some new action within the last week.

Source: KETV, David Earl, November 27, 2015

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