FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (AP) - A Texas judge has refused for a second time to delay the next month’s scheduled execution of a convicted murderer whose attorneys say is severely delusional and ineligible for the death penalty.
State District Judge N. Keith Williams in Gillespie County refused Wednesday a renewed request by attorneys for convicted killer Scott Panetti that Panetti’s Dec. 3 execution date be reset or withdrawn. Williams rejected a similar appeal last week.
The 56-year-old Hayward, Wisconsin, man faces lethal injection for the fatal shootings of his in-laws 22 years ago at their home in Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country.
Panetti’s lawyers contend his long-diagnosed mental illness appears to have worsened since his last evaluation seven years ago and more time is needed to determine if he’s competent now for execution.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A former priest accused of sexual abuse won’t be getting any money from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in its bankruptcy case.
Federal bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley has tossed out a claim from Marvin Knighton, who says he was wrongly defrocked and money he contributed to his retirement account should be returned to him.
Knighton was charged with child sexual abuse in 2002 but acquitted by a jury the next year. The church still removed him from the priesthood, however, saying its investigation found two allegations against him had merit.
Knighton has steadfastly denied wrongdoing and originally asked for $475,000 in back pay, retirement contributions and expenses from the archdiocese in its long-running bankruptcy. The amount was eventually reduced to about $22,000 in retirement contributions, which Kelley denied Nov. 6.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The University of Wisconsin System has announced the three finalists vying to become UW-Milwaukee’s next chancellor.
The finalists are Gail Hackett, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Mark Mone, UW-Milwaukee’s interim chancellor; and William “Mike” Sherman, senior vice president and provost and chief operating officer at the University of Akron.
System officials say the finalists will participate in an as yet-to-be-scheduled series of public forums with faculty, students and staff. A selection committee will then pick one candidate and forward that name to the Board of Regents, which will make final hiring decision.
UW-Milwaukee has been searching for a replacement for Chancellor Michael Lovell since late spring, when Lovell left the school to serve as president of Marquette University.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - The nation’s Republican governors on Wednesday lashed out at President Barack Obama’s plans to unilaterally protect millions of immigrants from deportation, but clashed over whether their congressional colleagues should threaten a government shutdown in response.
The issue dominated the first full day of the Republican Governors Association annual meeting, where a half-dozen potential presidential candidates addressed an issue that could weigh heavily in the GOP’s wide-open presidential primary.
One of the likely candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, threatened to file a lawsuit to block Obama’s executive order, which the president was expected to announce Thursday night.
Perry likened the president’s move to sticking “a finger in the eye of the American people” and described a lawsuit as “a very real possibility.”
Recent Republican White House candidates - Perry among them - have struggled to navigate the immigration debate while facing overwhelming conservative opposition to an immigration overhaul and Hispanic voters’ growing influence in national elections. While united in their opposition to Obama’s plans, GOP governors on Wednesday offered little clarity on what the party should do instead.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the group’s outgoing chairman, blamed Obama for failing to address immigration reform earlier in his presidency, but refused to explain his personal position on the issue. Instead, he urged Congress to avoid a government shutdown to block an executive order on immigration.
“It’s incumbent upon everybody in Washington, D.C., to do their jobs. And running the government is their job,” Christie said. “All this kind of hysteria about shutdowns to me is just people who can make news.”
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