[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----TEXAS, CALIF., NEB.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jul 12 15:55:21 CDT 2004
Letter: Story implies man already convicted
To The Editor:
As a former Plainviewan and interested citizen, I would like to express my
disdain at the unprofessional attitude and performance of your staff.
As we know, or we should know, any article that is written by the media
has an effect on the community and the judicial system. The media's form
of reporting alters and affects the perception of the community to events
that have happened within the area.
This systemic effect influences and affects the innocent lives that
surround this community. In the United States, we are innocent until
proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent - such as the recent story
in the media of the young gentleman who served many years in prison, then
was released due to his innocence.
Your journalist has failed to do his homework. In a recent story about a
local murder, he referred to an old case indicating that this person
(Christopher Salinas) had already been charged, tried and convicted.
Nowhere in his story was the word "alleged" used.
Your journalist has failed to investigate this case further before making
allegations. Therefore, my question to you is: How can you have the
courage to make this statement continuously every time an event happens in
Plainview? I am sure that other crimes have happened in Plainview but are
not continuously refreshed in the public mind.
I concur that the media's responsibility is to keep the public informed
but to what extent does the media need to go? Shouldn4t it consider the
influence and the wounds that it continues to reopen to the families
involved and the negative effect it might have on someone that is truly
innocent and how it might affect the lives after all is said and done?
It seems that there is something else amiss in the continuance of the
referral. It is truly something to think about for the community of
C.L. Martinez, Albuquerque, N.M.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: In mentioning murders in Plainview in the last year, we
have made no allegations toward Christopher Salinas, merely reported that
he was arrested, charged, indicted and remains in jail. As always, the
court will decide his guilt or innocence.)
(source: Letter to the Editor, Plainview Daily Herald)
Scott Peterson trial enters seventh week with police testimony on searches
Scott Peterson's trial resumed Monday with testimony from a police
sergeant about numerous searches of San Francisco Bay after the remains of
Peterson's wife and fetus washed ashore.
Modesto Sgt. Rick Armendariz testified that the several searches he
participated in last year turned up nothing of value.
The case resumed Monday following a four-day weekend. Amber Frey, the
case's most anticipated witness, could take the stand later this week.
Peterson allegedly was having an affair with Frey, a massage therapist.
She began cooperating with authorities soon after Laci Peterson was
Though a judge has imposed a gag order, preventing attorneys from
discussing who will be called, court officials recently advised the media
about special procedures for when Frey testifies.
The torso of Laci Peterson and the fetus she was carrying washed ashore in
April 2003, two miles from where her husband said he was fishing alone the
day she was reported missing -- Dec. 24, 2002.
Prosecutors are still making their case that Peterson killed his wife in
their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, trucked the body to San
Francisco Bay in a large tool box and plunged it overboard from a small
It seemed Frey would be called last week as the culmination of testimony
about how Peterson lied to authorities about his personal life --
including a denial of the affair. Instead, prosecutors shifted course and
showed pictures of the remains of Laci Peterson and the fetus.
Defense lawyers say someone else abducted Laci Peterson as she walked the
dog and held her captive before dumping her body to frame her husband.
Peterson, 31, could face the death penalty if convicted.
(source: Associated Press)
Trial In Norfolk Bank Slayings Costing County Big Bucks
Nearly 2 years after 5 people were killed at a Norfolk bank branch,
Madison County is being buried under hefty bills to prosecute the men
convicted in one of the nation's deadliest bank crimes.
So far, the costs that can be directly attributed to the case add up to
nearly $610,000, and that does not including costs for housing and feeding
the defendants at the Madison County jail or the hours and resources of
area law enforcement that went into the case.
Attorneys involved in the case say there still are plenty of claims yet to
4 men -- Jose Sandoval, Erick Vela, Jorge Galindo and Gabriel Rodriguez --
all have been convicted of 5 counts of 1st-degree murder for the Sept. 26,
2002, shooting deaths of 4 U.S. Bank branch employees and a customer.
Sandoval, Vela and Galindo have yet to be sentenced, and appeals will
follow. Appeals also remain for Rodriguez, the only 1 of the 4 not facing
the death penalty.
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith said the $606,657 so-far spent by the
county in prosecuting the men is higher than he expected.
(source: Associated Press)
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