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News Briefs

August 31, 1995

[Barry Lee Fairchild]

Convicted killer executed in Arkansas

VARNER, Arkansas (CNN) -- Convicted killer Barry Lee Fairchild was executed by injection Thursday night after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal.

Fairchild's lawyers argued he shouldn't be put to death for the 1983 murder of an U.S. Air Force nurse because some test scores show he's retarded. Fairchild confessed to kidnapping and raping the woman, but claimed he didn't kill her. Earlier this month a federal judge agreed. But Arkansas' death penalty laws also apply to accomplices to murder.

Fifteen witnesses, including two from the media, were present to see Fairchild executed by lethal injection, according to state corrections spokesperson Allen Able. "He didn't ask for anything special," he said. "He didn't eat his last meal."



[George Pataki]

New York revives death penalty

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Criminals may be sentenced to death in the state of New York for the first time 22 years. Surrounded by by families of murder victims Thursday, New York Gov. George Pataki welcomed the return of the death penalty law which takes effect Friday.

"Midnight tonight, the death penalty takes effect. The people are ready, and justice will be served," Pataki said.



New Citadel candidate ready to take the torch from Faulkner

[Nancy Mellette] CHARLESTON, South.Carolina (CNN) -- A female cadet at a North Carolina military school wants to take over as lead plaintiff in the battle to open The Citadel to women.

Nancy Mellette, a senior cadet at Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, N.C., wants to join The Citadel's all-male cadet corps. Mellette's attorney, Robert Black, asked a federal court Thursday to allow his client to join the case Shannon Faulkner won to become the Citadel's first female cadet. Black is Faulkner's former attorney.



Consumer Safety Commission issues warning on used cribs

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Parents should avoid using hand-me-down cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned Thursday. According to the consumer group, cribs cause more infants deaths than any other nursery item.

Antique cribs and those not built to current safety standards can trap or cause injury to small children. CPSC is working with other child advocacy organizations to encourage parents to discard old cribs and help parents purchase new beds for their children.



[Fireman by truck]

Brush fires blaze in Southern California

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- Smokers are believed to have ignited two brush fires in Southern California which have consumed more than 13,000 acres of forest land.

A brush fire in Cleveland National Forest has claimed 7,750 acres. A second fire in the Dulzura area has burned more than 6,000 acres. A third fire of unknown cause flared Thursday morning in Cabazone. More than 2,000 firefighters are working to extinguish the fires.



Lead faucet lawsuit settled

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Seven water faucet manufacturers have agreed to a plan that would result in virtually lead-free faucets in four-years. The plan settles a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council challenging the lead content of brass alloy water faucets.

NDRC says lead faucets pose a dangerous threat to consumers. The settlement is enforceable only in California but several of the manufacturers say they will comply with the plan nationally.



[Frank Rubino]

Noriega requests new trial

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega asked for a new trial Thursday on drug trafficking charges.

Noriega's attorney Frank Rubino claims the U.S. government cut a secret deal with a key witness in exchange for his testimony against Noriega. The U.S. government is "sleeping with Satan," said Rubino who contends his client was prosecuted for political reasons.

Noriega is serving a 40-year sentence for protecting U.S.- bound cocaine shipments for Colombia's Medellin cartel.



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