May 7, 2008 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Georgia execution first since ruling

The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Lynd
(Full-size photo)

A Georgia man who killed his live-in girlfriend was executed Tuesday, the first inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of lethal injections.

William Earl Lynd was pronounced dead at 7:51 p.m. EDT, said Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Mallie McCord. It came less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected efforts to block it.

The roughly three dozen states around the country that use lethal injection held off on carrying out any executions for more than seven months while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of the three-drug cocktail that’s used. It was the longest pause in U.S. executions in a quarter century. The Supreme Court last month upheld the legality of lethal injections.

Washington

House subpoenas Cheney aide

A House Judiciary panel voted Tuesday to subpoena vice presidential aide David Addington as part of a broad inquiry into the Bush administration’s treatment of detainees.

Addington, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, signaled in correspondence released last week that he might testify under oath about controversial interrogation policies if lawmakers demanded his testimony.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., took that step Tuesday, initiating a voice vote in which Democratic lawmakers called on Addington to answer questions about his role in drafting legal memos that underpinned coercive U.S. interrogation measures.

Santa Fe, N.M.

Sect leader charged with sex crimes

The leader of an apocalyptic sect in northeastern New Mexico was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony sex crimes against children.

State police arrested Wayne Bent, 66, on three counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

According to the affidavit for the arrest warrant, Bent is alleged to have touched three girls in 2006 and 2007. All of them were under 18 at the time, and one of them was 12.

Bent, who goes by the name of Michael Travesser and claims to be the Messiah, is the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church. A posting on the church’s Web site attributed to Bent’s grown son, Jeff Bent, said his father was arrested on “false charges.”

Bent has acknowledged having sex with followers – including his daughter-in-law – and lying naked with virgins. He said the virgins asked for sex, but he refused.

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