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The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Judge Walker told reporters Wednesday that he never considered recusing himself from the case because he thinks his sexual orientation was irrelevant in deciding the constitutionality of Proposition 8. It’s the first time that Judge Walker confirmed longtime rumors that he’s gay.

He said a judge stepping aside because of sexuality, ethnicity, national origin or gender would be “a very slippery slope.”

The former corporate lawyer was appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush. Since retiring, he’s returned to private law practice, specializing in mediation and arbitration.

GEORGIA

Firm in India halts sales of execution drug to U.S.

ATLANTA | A pharmaceutical company in India says it is no longer going to sell a key lethal injection drug to U.S. prison officials.

It’s the latest firm to stop selling the drug to states in the U.S. amid a severe shortage of the drug sodium thiopental.

Kayem Pharmaceutical posted a statement on its website Thursday, citing its Hindu beliefs in the decision to stop selling the drug.

Nebraska announced in January it had acquired 500 grams from Kayem, which is based in Mumbai. A company salesman said he also sold the drug to South Dakota, but state prison officials couldn’t be reached.

At least seven states have secured sodium thiopental from overseas. The drug is part of a three-drug cocktail that most of the 34 death penalty states use.

INDIANA

$221.7 million jackpot ticket sold in local store

INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier Lottery officials say a Powerball ticket sold at a convenience store in the southern Indiana city of Clarksville is worth $221.7 million.

The jackpot for the Wednesday night’s drawing initially was estimated at $218 million.

Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Kathryn Densborn said at a news conference Thursday that the winner can take a 30-year annuity worth $221.7 million or a lump sum cash payment of $111.7 million.

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