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Defying judicial convention, a Houston judge has refused to stay a teen killer’s execution until the Supreme Court can weigh in on the question of capital punishment for juvenile offenders. The matter is on the high court’s October docket, but State District Judge William Harmon says he sees no reason to delay the spring execution of Edward Capetillo, who was 17 when he murdered two people during a robbery. Two other Harris County inmates convicted of killing as teens are scheduled to die in June … Yaser Esam Hamdi is scheduled to meet with his lawyer for the first time Tuesday. Public defender Frank Dunham says a member of the military will monitor the meeting with his client, who has been held as an enemy combatant since his 2001 capture in Afghanistan … Call it an olive branch from lawmakers to the judiciary. In response to Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s recent call for better communication, U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Judy Biggert, R-Ill., have formed a congressional caucus on the judiciary. The lawmakers say they hope to work with the courts on issues such as judicial salaries, hiring and reforms to sentencing guidelines … A federal appeals court has recommended political asylum for a Chinese woman who suffered for speaking out against her country’s strict population control. In a case of first impression, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Xu Ming Li should be eligible for asylum. The lone dissenter in the 10-1 ruling, Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld, wrote that a forced medical exam on Li and threats to sterilize her boyfriend were simply hard facts of life in China. – Lori Patel

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