October 18, 2005 in Nation/World

Katrina evacuee wins lottery

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Oklahoma City A Hurricane Katrina evacuee is the first $25,000 jackpot winner of the Oklahoma lottery.

Caronell E. Allen, living in Bethany since he fled New Orleans, claimed his prize Monday at the Lottery Commission office.

Allen, who bought the $5 ticket at a Buy for Less store on the northwest side of Oklahoma City, said he plans to put his winnings in the bank.

He also got a job as a construction site laborer the day before he bought the ticket.

“Everything’s looking up,” he said.

Court rejects challenge to lethal injection

Nashville, Tenn. The Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously rejected claims Monday that the three-drug combination used to execute killers can cause extreme pain in violation of the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Lawyers for Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman, who was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 1986 beating death of a Nashville drug dealer, had sought to change the state’s method of execution.

Abdur’Rhaman’s lawyer, Bradley MacLean, said he will appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court has never found a specific form of execution to be unconstitutional.

Like many states, Tennessee uses a three-drug mixture in lethal injections. First, an anesthetic puts the inmate to sleep. The second drug, Pavulon, paralyzes the muscles, and the third, potassium chloride, stops the heart.

The inmate’s lawyers argued that the anesthetic could fail to work, and the Pavulon could then mask the signs, leaving the inmate in extreme pain without the ability to cry out.

Senators are urged to turn down raise

Washington Senators should do their part in reducing federal spending by turning down a pay raise, Sen. Jon Kyl said Monday.

Under Kyl’s amendment to a spending bill covering federal workers, senators would forgo the estimated 1.9 percent cost-of-living increase that will automatically go into effect unless the Senate votes to reject it.

The pay increase, also applicable to House members, would boost the salary for rank-and-file lawmakers by $3,100 to $165,200.

The $2 million in savings would take care of about three minutes of the year’s deficit.

The House earlier approved a similar spending bill with only one lawmaker speaking out against the pay increase, but House conservatives have recently revived the issue in a package of proposals to cut federal spending in light of the mounting costs of rebuilding after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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