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Bigger stakes, smaller crowds (access required)

Bigger stakes, smaller crowds <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

As the national immigration debate rages, enthusiasm in Arizona fades.

Russell Pearce stood on the Senate lawn last Saturday, reciting the same anti-illegal immigration rhetoric that boosted him to national fame in 2010 with the passage of his SB1070. This time, the crowd around Pearce had become much smaller.

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Former chairman of Board of Clemency denies most allegations of misconduct (access required)

Former chairman of Board of Clemency denies most allegations of misconduct <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

A worker’s discrimination complaint has led to detailed allegations of an intolerable working environment at the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency under Chairman Jesse Hernandez.

Among other things, Hernandez ogled women in the office, called a staff member a heathen for not attending church, urged workers to gossip about one another and promoted a girlfriend who wasn’t qualified for the job, the state Department of Administration reported Wednesday.

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Process takes ‘too long’ (access required)

Process takes ‘too long’ <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Horne considers legal action in attempt to speed up death penalty cases

The 11 convicted killers Arizona has executed since 2010 spent an average of 22 years on death row. Attorney General Tom Horne thinks that is too long. He also thinks suing the federal government will speed up the process, but others say that a successful lawsuit would bring few or no gains because Arizona lacks criminal defense attorneys who are qualified to do proceedings known as capital post-conviction relief and are willing to do it for $100 an hour, the rate set in statute. That has historically left the Arizona Supreme Court scrambling to find enough attorneys to handle the constant stream of death cases.

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High court won’t weigh in on new campaign limits (access required)

High court won’t weigh in on new campaign limits <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The Arizona Supreme Court declined to accept a case challenging the state’s new campaign contribution limits.

In a Tuesday afternoon order, Justice Robert Brutinel wrote that the court would not accept a petition for special action filed by opponents of HB2593, who hoped to bypass the lower courts and go straight to the Supreme Court. Brutinel did not elaborate on the high court’s reason for declining jurisdiction in the case.

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