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Posted: Apr 8, 2014 3:45 PM

Updated: Apr 8, 2014 3:46 PM

HOUSTON (AP) A federal appeals court has rejected a death row inmate's claims that he's mentally impaired and ineligible for execution for the slaying of an East Texas woman nearly 18 years ago. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday moves 57-year-old Robert Ladd closer to execution for the murder of 38-year-old Vicki Ann Garner at her Tyler apartment in 1996. Her body, bound at the legs and wrists, had been set on fire and she was beaten with a hammer.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The Texas Board of Education is considering a proposal to add a Mexican-American studies course as a statewide high school elective. Proponents say the move would give students a deeper understanding of their state, where Hispanics make up 51 percent of public school students and which was once part of Mexico. Critics dismiss the proposal as an attempt to inject progressive politics into the classroom.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has refused to delay a Mexican national's scheduled execution this week. Attorneys for condemned inmate Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas asked that his punishment be put off or his sentence be commuted to life in prison. The 44-year-old Hernandez-Llanas is set to die Wednesday evening in Huntsville for the 1997 fatal bludgeoning of former Baylor University history professor Glen Lich. Lich had employed Hernandez-Llanas at Lich's ranch near Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Former President Jimmy Carter will be the keynote speaker on the first day of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. The summit opens Tuesday and marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in public places based on race, ethnicity, religion or gender.

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