[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- IOWA, CONN.
j_sommer at gmx.net
Fri Apr 8 10:48:38 CDT 2005
death penalty news
April 8, 2005
Senate Considers Adding Limited Death Penalty To Sex Offender Measure -
Members Propose Penalties Against Repeat Offenders
Senators considering sex offender legislation that was passed by the House
said they want to consider adding a limited death penalty element.
The limited death penalty would apply to people who are convicted of
kidnapping, raping and killing a child. The addition is one of several
changes that the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering before moving
the sex offender bill to the Senate for debate.
Other additions being considered include adding a life sentence to those
sex offenders who commit such acts for a second time, and lifetime
supervision for any sex offender.
"It will no longer be an experience where you sit in prison for 2½ years
and then you walk out the door free. They'll be sitting there for 10 years,
and then hopefully be under lifetime supervision and [then] second offense,
life," Sen. Chuck Larson, of Linn County.
Senators expect the sex offender bill will go to the Senate floor for
debate in a few weeks.
Doctor: Serial Killer Mentally Competent
Psychiatrist Says Connecticut Serial Killer Who Wants to Be Executed Is
A state psychiatrist Thursday stood by his earlier finding that serial
killer Michael Ross is mentally competent in deciding to forgo further
appeals and volunteer to be executed.
Dr. Michael Norko was the first witness to testify in new competency
hearings for Ross, who is scheduled to die by injection May 11 in what
would be the first execution in New England in nearly 45 years. He has
admitted killing eight young women in Connecticut and New York in the 1980s.
"He clearly understands what's at stake," Norko said. "The evidence is this
is his decision, which he makes in contrast to what his friends, supporters
and lawyers have advised him to do."
Norko also testified that he's seen no evidence that Ross' decision was
made out of despair and depression wrought by years of close confinement on
"He's been able to cope OK on death row," Norko said. "Overall he has been
able to utilize his strengths to adapt to his circumstances to the extent
that it's possible to adapt to the circumstances."
Norko found Ross competent in December, but later questioned that finding
after reading letters Ross wrote from prison. However, under questioning
from prosecutor Kevin Kane, Norko didn't waver from his earlier findings
based on a re-evaluation.
Ross' attorney T.R. Paulding and court-appointed lawyer Thomas Groark were
expected to cross-examine Norko later in the day.
After hearing Norko's original findings, a judge ruled that Ross was
competent, and that ruling was upheld by the state Supreme Court.
Ross came within hours of being put to death on Jan. 28, but the execution
was delayed when Paulding announced a potential conflict of interest.
It was later disclosed that Chief U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny
had threatened to go after Paulding's law license if he found that
Paulding, in pressing for a prompt execution, had neglected or ignored
evidence that his client was incompetent.
(source: AP / ABCNews)
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