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POSTED July 10, 2012 9:26 p.m.

TEXAS SWITCHES TO 1-DRUG EXECUTION DUE TO SHORTAGE: DALLAS (AP) — Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state, announced Tuesday that it would become the latest to switch to single-drug executions amid a drug shortage that has left states scrambling for acceptable alternatives.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said it will begin using a single dose of the sedative pentobarbital to carry out death sentences. It had been using that drug in combination with two others, but its supply of one of the other drugs expired.

Texas began using pentobarbital last year after another drug, sodium thiopental, became unavailable when its European supplier bowed to pressure from death penalty opponents and stopped making it. But pentobarbital is now in short supply after its Danish manufacturer said it would try to prevent its use in executions.

An Oklahoma inmate asked a federal court on Tuesday to halt his upcoming execution because that state has only one dose of pentobarbital left. A lawyer for Michael Hooper said Oklahoma has no backup plan if the drug fails to render Hooper unconscious, and that creates a risk of cruel and unusual punishment.

WITHOUT IDS FROM HOME, MEXICANS STRUGGLE IN US: NEW YORK (AP) — She was born in Mexico and lives in the United States, but Laura Rocio Ordonez does not officially exist in any country.

She can't open a bank account or get married. She is invisible for both governments. Ordonez, 40, not only lives illegally in the United States but also lacks Mexican identification documents.

It's unclear how many immigrants living illegally in the United States fall into that category, but it's estimated that one in seven Mexicans lacks proof of birth. The numbers are high enough that Mexican officials recently traveled to New York to try help dozens of immigrants get IDs.

Mexican immigrants living illegally in the United States are in a far worse situation if they lack Mexican credentials.

For example, some banks accept consular identification cards and passports to open accounts. Immigrants with IDs from home also can obtain taxpayer identification numbers that allow them to pay taxes in the United States and obtain credit and mortgages. New York City public schools accept consular ID cards and similar documentation to enter buildings for meetings with teachers, although people who have no identification at all can be escorted inside.

DOCTOR: LACK OF SLEEP PROMPTED PILOT'S BREAKDOWN: LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A psychologist testified that a JetBlue Airways pilot who screamed about religion and terrorists during a flight had "a brief psychotic disorder" due to lack of sleep, according to a transcript of the trial obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

A judge found Clayton Osbon not guilty by reason of insanity during a brief and unpublicized trial earlier this month in Texas. Osbon had been charged with interference with a flight crew for his behavior on a March 27 flight from New York to Las Vegas.

Passengers said they wrestled the pilot to the floor after he ran through the plane's cabin yelling about Jesus and al-Qaida. The flight was diverted and safely landed in Texas.

JetBlue declined to comment on the psychologist's testimony, citing no medical authority on the topic. But company spokeswoman Sharon Jones said Osbon did not fly March 24 or March 25, and worked a round-trip flight March 26 that gave him 17 hours of off time leading into the flight March 27.

 

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