(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

 The ribbon was cut today on a $68 million federal courthouse in Jefferson City, named for former Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R).

 It replaces an older building, which shares space with a post office, and where judges, jurors, lawyers and criminal defendants all shared the same elevator.  Bond says the new facility is sorely needed.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

The Illinois Supreme Court calls it "absurd" to let inmates earn money in prison and then take it away to pay the cost of keeping them behind bars.

The court dismissed a lawsuit in which the Department of Corrections tried to take $11,000 from the savings of convicted murderer Kensley Hawkins. He saved the money working at a furniture-assembly job at a Joliet prison.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

A law enforcement group is supporting legislation to address a backlog of jail inmates waiting to be transferred to crowded state psychiatric facilities.

UPDATED 6:08 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011 with comment from Clay's attorney:

Last week we told you that supporters of Richard Clay asked Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to halt Clay's execution. Well, now it seems that Nixon has granted their request.

The governor issued the following statement this afternoon:

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Ill. Gov. George Ryan, currently in prison, was allowed to leave prison Wednesday to visit his very ill wife, Lura Lynn.

The paper says that the visit was revealed when prosecutors filed response to a motion made by Ryan's lawyers  to let their client out on bail.

A federal judge has ruled that former Illinois Gov. George Ryan must remain in prison.

Ryan's attorneys want elements of his conviction tossed based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision curtailing anti-fraud laws - known as "honest services" laws.