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Alabama executes man who murdered three fast food workers: prison spokesman

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Alabama executed a 46-year-old man on Thursday for the 1994 murders of three fast-food workers during a late-night robbery, in the 13 execution this year in the United States.

Alabama put Robert Melson to death by lethal injection at 10:27 p.m. local time at its death chamber in Atmore. It was the second execution in Alabama in 2017.

Melson made no last statement and there were no complications with the execution, prison spokesman Bob Horton said.

Melson was convicted of murdering James Nathaniel Baker, 17, Darryl Collier, 23 and Tamika Collins, 18, during a robbery at a fried chicken fast food restaurant in Gadsden, about 115 miles northwest of Montgomery.

“It is my prayer that, with tonight’s events, the victims’ families can finally have closure,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement.

As the restaurant was closing at about midnight, Melson and another robber forced four employees to remove cash from the restaurant safe and then ordered them into a freezer, court documents said.

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Melson fatally shot three of the workers while the fourth, Bryant Archer, was shot multiple times but survived, the documents said.

Archer identified one of the robbers as Cuhuatemoc Peraita, a former employee at the restaurant, but did not know the shooter, they said. Police later linked Melson to Peraita, who was 17 at the time of the killings and too young to be executed under U.S. law.

Peraita was sentenced to life without parole. While in prison, he killed another inmate and currently is on death row, according to court records.

Lawyers for Melson tried to halt his execution, arguing a drug in the state’s lethal injection has been linked to troubled executions in Alabama, Arizona and Oklahoma, where inmates could be seen twisting on death chamber gurneys. They said its use violated constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

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The lawyers contend the drug, the sedative midazolam, does not render a person sufficiently unconscious for surgery and should not be used in executions where it is typically followed by a drug that halts breathing and another that induces cardiac arrest.

Last week, a federal appeals court in Atlanta issued a stay of execution for Melson because of the drug issue.

Alabama appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted Melson’s stay, allowing the execution to proceed on Thursday.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Jon Herskovitz in Austin; Editing by Bill Trott, Jonathan Oatis and Michael Perry)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks

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Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.

The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.

Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad

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Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.

In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140768516288782336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.

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