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The hearing was called by Harris County Judge Kevin Fine, who last spring surprised many Texans when he granted a motion declaring the state’s death penalty statute unconstitutional. Judge Fine later took back the ruling and ordered the hearing. He says he needs more information.

Judge Fine issued his order in the case of John Edward Green Jr., who is charged with fatally shooting a Houston woman and wounding her sister during a June 2008 robbery.

It comes after death penalty opponents created serious doubt recently about whether two men were wrongly executed: one in 2000, and one in 2004.


Justice Thomas’ wife regrets call to Hill

BOSTON | The wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that a recent telephone call to Anita Hill, the woman at the center of a 1991 furor at Justice Thomas’ confirmation hearing, was probably a mistake.

In October, Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist, left an unexpected voice mail suggesting Ms. Hill consider apologizing “for what you did with my husband” at the hearing 19 years earlier.

Ms. Hill is now a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. The message was left on her office answering machine.

The message “was probably a mistake on my part,” Mrs. Thomas said in an interview with the Daily Caller, a political website. She added that the incident was “a private matter.”

During Justice Thomas’ 1991 confirmation hearings, Ms. Hill accused him, under oath, of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him at the Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

On Friday, Mrs. Thomas announced she was resigning as head of Liberty Central, a nonprofit conservative advocacy group that she founded in 2009. She said she will remain a consultant to the group.


CDC: 1 in 3 got flu shot

As the flu season gets under way, about 1 in 3 Americans have already been vaccinated, health officials reported Friday.

That’s about the same rate or even a little ahead of seasonal flu vaccinations at this time last year, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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