EXECUTION ISSUES & CHICAGO SHOOTINGS

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TEXAS

Texas appears to be running out of pentobarbital, a drug used by the state for executions. It has been reported that prison officials only have enough of the drug on hand to complete the scheduled executions of Manuel Vasquez on Wednesday and Randall Mays on March 18th. It is not clear what attempts the state will take to go forward with other scheduled executions set for April. Prison officials have declined to name the supplier of the drug notwithstanding a state court order requiring them to do so because that matter is on appeal.

Vasquez (46) was sentenced to death for beating and strangling 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra in March of 1998 with the assistance of two other men, Johnny Joe Cruz and Oligario Lujan. The state alleged they were acting at the behest of the Mexican Mafia because Ybarra had failed to pay a 10% fee to the gang from proceeds from drug sales.

Mays, who was 47 at the time of his offense, was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Henderson County Sheriff Deputy, Tony Price Ogburn. A second deputy, Paul Steven Habelt was also killed during the May 2007 shootout at May’s residence in Payne Springs, Texas.

CHICAGO

Two people are dead and at least 8 others are injured, including several children, from gunshot wounds Monday night in the Chicago area according to a breaking story in the Chicago Tribune.

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