death penalty news---CALIF., US MIL., USA, N.C., ILL.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jun 23 18:10:02 CDT 2004
Jury recommends death penalty for man convicted of murdering Rosamond
The man convicted last week of the 1978 rape and murder of a young
Rosamond woman should die by lethal injection, a Kern County jury
recommended Wednesday morning.
The jury contemplating the fate of Larry Kusuth Hazlett Jr., 56, returned
its verdict in the death penalty phase of his trial after less than a day
Kern County District Attorney Ed Jagels had called Hazlett a "vicious
monster" and called for the jury to return a death verdict.
But Deputy Public Defender Dale Armitage had pleaded for the jury to
return with a recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of
parole, saying Hazlett had become a good citizen and family man in the
decades since the killing and would not get out of prison even if jurors
rejected the death penalty.
Hazletts fate now rests with Judge Michael Bush, who must consider the
jurys recommendation but is not bound to follow it. However, it would be
uncommon for the judge not to impose the recommended sentence. Bush will
formally impose sentence on July 14.
Hazlett was victim Tana Woolleys next-door neighbor when the 20-year-old
college student was found dead in her apartment Oct. 25, 1978. She was
Miss Rosamond in 1976.
The case was cold for years until an investigator cracked open the case.
DNA found at the crime scene later was proved to be Hazletts and he was
arrested in 2002.
William Woolley, Tanas father, said the jurys decision was justified,
although he had mixed feelings about the death penalty and feels sorry for
"If an animal kills somebody, you kill the animal," Woolley said. "Hes an
(source: Bakersfield Californian)
Death Penalty Sought For Accused Valentine's Day Killer----Suspect Is
Believed To Kill Two Former Girlfriends
Officials announced Wednesday they would seek the death penalty for the
man they think killed two of his ex-girlfriends.
Authorities suspect Mark Jeffery Brown, 45, killed Faye Williams, 40, last
year on Valentine's Day. They also believe he killed Charmaine Cannon, 37
in June of 1995.
Brown, 44, and Williams lived together for 8 years, but she had started
dating someone else shortly before her death. Witnesses say they were
arguing in their City Heights apartment the day she disappeared.
7 weeks later, her body was found in a riverbed along the Otay River
valley in Chula Vista.
Police said that after they took Brown into custody, they were able to use
DNA evidence to connect him to Cannon's killing.
Although Brown's trial is scheduled for October, it's not expected to
begin until 2005.
(source: NBC News San Diego)
Prosecutor seeks death penalty in two girlfriend killings
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing his
former girlfriend last year and strangling another ex- girlfriend 9 years
ago, it was announced today.
Mark Jeffery Brown, 45, is charged with the Feb. 14, 2003, murder of
40-year-old Denny's waitress Faye Williams, and the June 28, 1995, murder
of 37-year-old Charmaine Cannon. A special circumstance of multiple
murders also is alleged.
Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior told Judge William Kennedy that her
office will seek Brown's execution if he is convicted of all charges.
After Brown was arrested for killing Williams, investigators found
evidence - through advanced DNA testing unavailable in 1995 - that tied
him to Cannon's murder, police said.
A trial date is tentatively set for Oct. 4, but the proceedings are not
expected to begin until next year. That's because Brown's attorney
recently discovered a conflict and handed off the case to another lawyer.
A status conference is scheduled for July 21.
Williams' body was found on May 3, 2003, in the Otay River Valley near the
Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.
The defendant was in jail on an arson charge at the time.
Cannon's body was found in a City Heights apartment in 1995 by county
marshals serving an eviction notice.
(source: San Diego Union-Tribune)
Marital Arts Teacher Faces Death Penalty
A martial arts teacher is being ordered to stand trial for allegedly
killing a man with a chokehold.
Rafiel Torre was held for trial yesterday in connection with the 2001
death of Bryan Richards. The 32-year-old Rancho Cucamonga man was found in
the bed of his pickup truck in the parking lot of a supermarket.
Torre is charged with murder with a special circumstance of murder for
financial gain and could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors contend that Torre killed the man because he was having an
affair with his wife and to collect on Richards' one million dollar life
A former friend testified yesterday that Torre said he acted in
self-defense after Richards went to his martial arts studio with a gun and
confronted him about the affair.
Torre has pleaded not guilty.
(source: KABC TV News)
Local soldier won't face death penalty in spy case
The local soldier accused of trying to spy for the al-Qaida terrorist
network will not face the death penalty, the Army said Wednesday.
National Guard Spc. Ryan Gibson Anderson of Lynnwood was arrested in
February after a sting operation by the Army and federal officers. He was
charged with attempting to give intelligence to the enemy, attempting to
aid the enemy and providing information to people he believed were members
Anderson, who graduated from Everett's Cascade High School in 1995 and
converted to Islam about 5 years ago, had his 1st military court
appearance in May. Fort Lewis officials said Wednesday he will not face
the death penalty, and will face arraignment for a general court-martial
on Friday. The arraignment is expected to last 15 minutes.
Anderson is an armor crewman in Alpha Company, 1/303rd Armor Regiment of
the 81st Armor Brigade. He was taken into custody on the eve of his
brigades deployment to Iraq.
In charges filed earlier, the Army claimed Anderson tried to give
intelligence to the enemy on Jan. 23 and Feb. 10 about U.S. Army troop
strength, movements, equipment, tactics, and weapon systems, as well as
"methods and means of killing U.S. Army personnel and destroying U.S Army
weapon systems and equipment."
(source: Everett (Washington) Herald)
Violent culture creates apathy about torture
Re: Connect the dots on prison torture
The apathy of the American public regarding the torture of Iraqi and
Afghan prisoners is disheartening but not surprising. I wish Anne
Applebaum had gone a step further and tried to highlight with her
eloquence and insight the origin of this apathy. Is not this the same
public that witnesses with righteous satisfaction the execution of
prisoners, that calls for harsher punishment of convicted felons, that
reacts to the news of assault weapons massacres with stronger support of
the NRA and free access to guns? To add insult to injury, this same public
feigns a righteous indignation toward abortion, while fostering the very
culture of violence from which abortion and any other forms of assault to
human life stem.
The main legacy of the Reagan years, embraced and developed by the present
administration, has been the loss of the sense of human decency. We have
learned to feel good about ourselves by eliminating any sense of social
guilt, a process also known as "blame the victim." We now justify revenge
through capital punishment as "sense of closure." We blame the homeless
for their own poverty, the sick for their own diseases, the innocent
victims of shootings for not carrying a gun themselves. How different is
this attitude from that of the soldiers who enjoyed torturing and
humiliating potential terrorists?
(source: Anne Applebaumn, Letter to the Editor, St. Petersburg Tribune)
Groups urge approval for death penalty moratorium
More than a year ago, the state Senate approved a death penalty moratorium
for North Carolina.
That action sent it on to the House for consideration and that's where it
has sat since. But several groups are trying to relight the fires of
action on the issue.
Members of the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus, NAACP and the
Triangle Urban League gathered at the legislative building on Wednesday to
urge House leaders to allow the bill to come to a vote this session.
Supporters said suspending the death penalty for 2 years would give the
state time to study the system's flaws.
"And if it says the moratorium has proven we are doing it in a fair way;
if it proves that everything is going along fine, we've dotted our Is and
crossed our T's, if the study said that, then our clients are still there.
They're still locked up. They aren't going anywhere. You can crank up the
killing machine all over again," said Rep. Larry Womble, N.C. Black
Currently the bill is in the rules committee.
In order to gain approval, it would need to survive 1 vote at the
committee level and 2 in the state House itself.
(source; News 14)
Black leaders call for death penalty moratorium vote in House
Next to a large photo of two men exonerated of murder in the last 6
months, some of the state's top black leaders urged House members
Wednesday to abandon politics and bring a proposed death penalty
moratorium to a vote.
Rep. Earl Jones, D-Guilford, was among those who argued that some
lawmakers fear supporting the 2-year moratorium would hurt their
"We are in a political year. People want to ignore that," Jones said.
"Politics is a driving force. The elections are in November. That's the
Another problem is that House Co-Speakers Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, and
Richard Morgan, R-Moore, have agreed not to address any controversial
legislation during this short session, so lawmakers can focus on crafting
a balanced budget.
Moratorium supporters contend they have a bipartisan coalition of at least
61 votes to bring the issue to the House floor. That would also be enough
votes to pass the legislation, if the coalition remained intact.
The Senate passed similar legislation last session, making history as the
first Southern legislative body to approve a moratorium. The proposal
would halt executions while the death penalty is studied for fairness.
Prosecutions and sentencings would continue during the hiatus.
"Our clients (death row inmates) are still there. They're not going
anywhere," said Rep. Larry Womble, D-Forsyth. "You can crank up the
killing machine again."
A recent poll funded by the North Carolina Council of Churches, which
supports the pause in executions, found that nearly two-thirds of the
state's residents support a moratorium. Womble and others also pointed to
a study released last week by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy
Research that showed those who kill whites receive the death penalty twice
as often than those who kill minorities.
Black leaders also referred several times to the cases of Alan Gell and
Gell spent 6 years on death row for the fatal shooting of a Bertie County
man before being released earlier this year after he was found innocent at
a retrial. Gell's original conviction resulted from questionable testimony
by two co-defendants, and the prosecutors who won that trial are now under
investigation for withholding evidence.
Hunt spent 18 years in prison for the slaying of a Winston-Salem woman
before DNA evidence exonerated him in December and implicated another man,
who has since confessed to the crime.
"Why have a moratorium?" Larry Hall of the North Carolina Black Leadership
Caucus asked while pointing to the photo of Gell and Hunt propped on an
easel. "I think these 2 gentlemen say it all."
In the absence of House action, Gov. Mike Easley should issue an
administrative order halting executions and authorizing a study, said
Melvin "Skip" Alston, president of the state branch of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
"We call upon the governor to do what is right," Alston said. "We're going
to be holding him accountable."
Easley has said he doesn't support a moratorium.
"We're only asking for what is right," Alston said. "I think they should
(source: Associated Press)
Murder suspect in Du Quoin will not face death penalty
Officials in Perry County say they will not seek the death penalty against
21-year-old James Bagley if he is convicted in the brutal 2003 murder of
19-year-old Marshall Irvin.
Irvins body was found in a Du Quoin apartment shared by Bagley and his
girlfriend, 32-year-old Mindy Creekpaum on September 7, 2003. Irvin was
stabbed with scissors and beaten with a sledgehammer.
Perry County States Attorney David Stanton said if Bagley is convicted,
they would seek a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Meanwhile, Creekpaum will be tried in September on charged of murder and
obstructing justice. Both are being held in the Perry County Jail in
Pinckneyville on $100,000 bond.
(source: Chicago Sun-Times)
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