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Nation in brief

Alabama inmate executed

By wire services
Published September 23, 2005

ATMORE, Ala. - A man convicted of killing a family of three and driving off in their vintage sports car was executed by injection Thursday.

John W. Peoples Jr., 48, died at 6:27 p.m. at Holman Prison near Atmore, prison officials said.

Peoples was convicted in 1983 in the killing of Pell City businessman Paul G. Franklin, his wife, Judy Choron Franklin, both 34, and their 10-year-old son, Paul.

Peoples did not look at or offer an apology to relatives of the Franklins, but thanked his own family for their support.

The execution was carried out after the Supreme Court denied Peoples' request for a delay and Gov. Bob Riley turned down his bid for clemency.

Peoples had argued that he had a right to die by electrocution, as his original death sentence stipulated, instead of lethal injection, a method Alabama adopted beginning in 2002.

Indictment says man was "to wage jihad' in U.S.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - One of five men from the same suburban mosque arrested earlier this year was indicted Thursday on federal charges alleging he intended "to wage jihad in the United States."

Hamid Hayat, 23, was already faced charges of lying to the FBI about attending a terrorist training camp. The new indictment accuses him of also providing material support to terrorists, the most serious charge that could be filed absent an actual terrorist act, prosecutors said.

"Whatever was taking shape in Lodi isn't going to happen now," U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said.

Scott said doesn't know exactly what was planned in Lodi, an agricultural town of 62,000 about 35 miles south of Sacramento, but said he believes indicting Hayat and deporting two Islamic leaders connected to the mosque put a stop to it.

Police: Driver intentionally crashed into Vegas crowd

LAS VEGAS - The driver of a stolen car who authorities say deliberately plowed into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip, killing two and injuring a dozen others, will face charges of murder and attempted murder.

Witnesses said the driver, Stephen M. Ressa, 27, of Rialto, Calif., accelerated as he drove along the crowded casino sidewalk, Deputy Police Chief Greg McCurdy said.

One witness described it as "humans being mowed down like a lawnmower," McCurdy said. "It appears he did this intentionally."

Ressa was arrested Wednesday at the chaotic scene that stretched for yards under the marquee of the Bally's hotel-casino. It was unclear Thursday if Ressa had retained a lawyer.

The injured were strewn along the sidewalk and treated in the street by emergency workers as stunned tourists looked on.

Eight of the injured remained hospitalized Thursday, including two in serious condition, officials said. Gordon Kusayanagi, 52, of Hollister, Calif., died Wednesday; Mark Modaressi, 26, of Irvine, Calif., died Thursday.

Appeals court issues stay on Ohio abortion law

CINCINNATI - A 1998 Ohio law that requires parental consent for girls younger than 18 to get an abortion was put on hold Thursday, hours before it was to go into effect for the first time.

The American Civil Liberties Union had sued on behalf of a Cincinnati clinic after the law was approved, keeping it on hold while the case was in the courts.

A federal judge this month ruled the law was constitutional, but she stayed her ruling until Thursday to allow time for an appeal.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued another stay Thursday, in place until further notice. The Ohio attorney general's office described it as a stopgap measure to give the court more time to decide whether to delay the law further while judges consider an appeal.

[Last modified September 23, 2005, 02:50:29]

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