[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- N.Y. / USA; CALIF. / HAWAII
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Wed Jul 21 23:49:20 CDT 2004
death penalty news
July 21, 2004
NEW YORK / USA:
NY, Other States Urge Death Penalty Ban for Juveniles
The New York Attorney General's Office has filed an amicus brief on behalf
of eight states, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ban the execution of
people for crimes they committed when they were under 18.
The brief, filed Monday, urges the Court to uphold a ruling of the Missouri
By a 4-3 vote, the Missouri court overturned the death sentence of
Christopher Simmons for murdering a woman during a robbery in 1993, when he
In 1988, the Supreme Court banned the execution of youths younger than 16
in Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815. The question in the Missouri case,
Roper v. Simmons, 03-633, which is expected to be argued in October, is
whether the execution for the crimes of youths 16 and 17 is constitutional
under the Eighth Amendment, which bans cruel and unusual punishment.
New York has banned such execution since at least 1963, and the state had
no death penalty on its books from 1977 until 1995. When it re-enacted
capital punishment in 1995, it carried forward the ban on executions for
the crimes of juveniles.
In addition to New York, the brief was submitted on behalf of Iowa, Kansas,
Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon and West Virginia. New York
Solicitor General Caitlin J. Halligan, Deputy Solicitor General Daniel
Smirlock and Assistant Solicitor Generals Jean Lin and Julie Loughran are
the counsel of record on the brief.
(source: New York Lawyer)
CALIFORNIA / HAWAII:
Former Isle man won't face death penalty
Former Hawai'i resident Eddie Rapoza, charged with murdering his wife and
two daughters, will not face the death penalty in California.
San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini said yesterday his
office determined the death pen-alty would not be appropriate, and that
Ra-poza, 37, should be subject to a sentence of life imprisonment without
the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.
Rapoza, of Foster City, Calif., is accused of driving a 2002 Dodge Caravan
over a 150-foot sea cliff near Moss Beach on Oct. 6, 2002, killing his
wife, Raye Rapoza, 34, their 4-year-old daughter, Tehani, and the nearly
8-month-old female fetus Raye was carrying.
Rapoza has said it was an accident and that his foot got stuck between the
accelerator and the brake pedal. He said police elicited a confession from
him while he was in the hospital, seriously injured and incoherent from
painkillers and other medication.
Prosecutors say Rapoza had a history of abusing his wife and purposely
crashed the minivan in an apparent murder-suicide attempt.
Raye Rapoza's sister, Robin Pang of Belmont, Calif., said she accepts the
district attorney's decision. "Nothing brings her or Tehani back. The main
thing is we want to make sure there's a fair trial and that justice is
served," she said yesterday.
The Rapozas were high school sweethearts from Wai'anae. Raye Rapoza was a
1986 Kamehameha Schools graduate and her husband attended Wai'anae High
School. They moved to Maui in 1990, leaving for California in 1996. While
on Maui, Raye Rapoza obtained a restraining order against her husband,
saying he was abusive and had threatened to drive them both off a cliff.
(source: Honolulu Advertiser)
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