[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----N.J., TEXAS, USA, N. MEX.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jun 8 14:44:47 CDT 2005
STEPSON FORCED TO STAB?--Man admits to murders, avoids death penalty
A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to two murders, both committed during robbery
attempts this year, and said that during one killing, he forced his
stepson to stab the victim.
Anthony Rodesky, 35, struck a plea deal to serve 60 years in state prison.
The deal spares him a possible death penalty trial and means his wife,
Ranota Rodesky, won't be prosecuted for hiding the guns her husband used.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 29.
Rodesky matter-of-factly told state Superior Court Judge Linda G. Baxter
about the murders. The first happened in Maple Shade on March 22, when
Rodesky was attempting to rob a hotel owner, Ranjit "Randy" Patel.
"I was going to rob him. He screamed. I shot him," the heavily tattooed
Rodesky also admitted to the April 1 murder of James F. Mickno, 45, owner
of Floor Decor in Maple Shade. Rodesky said he lured the man to his home
to rob him.
In an unwavering voice, Rodesky said, "I shot him 7 times."
Rodesky said his stepson, 17-year-old Andrew Hamilton, heard the shots in
their Berlin Township home and went to the room.
"I stuck my gun to his (Hamilton's) head and told him to stab him or I
would kill him," Rodesky said. The boy, Rodesky said, knew that he was
serious about carrying through with such a threat.
Rodesky's claim that he forced Hamilton to participate in the killing did
not appear to change the way authorities are handling the boy's case.
Hamilton is charged in juvenile court with murder and prosecutors are
seeking to have his case moved to adult court.
In Tuesday's plea hearing, Rodesky denied that he was a State Police
informant, which had been reported last month by WTXF-TV in Philadelphia.
State Police have neither confirmed nor denied whether that was true.
Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi said the families of both
victims were consulted about the plea deal.
(source: Associated Press)
3 won't face death penalty in immigrant smuggling case
3 people, charged with taking part in a smuggling operation that left 19
people dead, will not face death sentences.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby not to
seek the death penalty against the 3, according to records made public
The defendants are among 14 people indicted in a failed smuggling attempt
in May 2003 in which a trailer loaded with more than 70 immigrants was
abandoned at a Victoria-area truck stop. Nineteen immigrants died.
Victor Sanchez Rodriguez, accused of leading 1 of 3 smuggling rings
involved in the deaths; his wife, Emma Sapata Rodriguez; and Rosa Sarrata
Gonzalez still face life imprisonment if convicted of smuggling charges.
Prosecutors have sought the death penalty against only the truck's driver,
"In fairness to the government, this was the only individual who could
have stopped (the deaths)," said Lupe Salinas, a professor at Texas
Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
The 3 will be tried Oct. 17. Williams will be tried Dec. 5. Of the other
10 defendants, 2 were convicted and 1 was acquitted in December, 5 have
pleaded guilty, 1 is awaiting a trial date and 1 is at large.
(source: Associated Press)
Anti death penalty advocates might be losing fight
With a vote looming, advocates for a 2-year moratorium on executions
thought they had the needed support to get the legislation through the
But before a long legislative day was over Wednesday, June 1, plans by
Democratic leaders to run the bill had been scuttled. Opponents puffed
confidently that the legislation wouldn't be seen on the floor.
Supporters indicated that they would need to make changes to get the
necessary support to pass a bill.
It wasn't the day moratorium supporters had hoped for or expected. 2 years
ago, they celebrated when the Senate daringly and unexpectedly approved
moratorium legislation. Since then, they anticipated the day when
Democrats again controlled the House and the chance to push the bill
through the chamber presented itself.
When House Speaker Jim Black indicated late last year that he supported a
moratorium, success seemed even more likely.
2 high-profile exonerations - 1 involving former death-row inmate Alan
Gell, the other one-time lifer Darryl Hunt - provided living, breathing
examples that North Carolina's criminal justice system could come
precariously close to making the ultimate error in judgment.
Still, this week's washout on the road toward a moratorium shouldn't have
come as any surprise.
Among the 36 states with the death penalty, Illinois is the only one to
enact a moratorium. Even there, Gov. George Ryan, not legislators, halted
And while polls show that the public has gnawing doubts about whether the
death penalty is being administered fairly, large numbers of North
Carolina lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, live in conservative
districts. They certainly don't want to be portrayed as soft on crime
before their next election.
Although the Senate vote 2 years ago didn't fall along partisan lines,
this isn't 2003. The political atmosphere is far different after several
legislative Republicans lost or nearly lost primaries in 2004 in which
they were painted as failing to walk the conservative line. Electoral
trends showing the middle class increasingly voting Republican worry
Democrats as well.
As a moratorium vote neared Wednesday, enough Democrats defected to make
success unlikely. Supporters claimed 4 Republican votes. But with
Democrats holding just a 63-57 majority in the chamber, the GOP support
wasn't enough to offset the Democratic losses.
Of course, opponents, with some justification, claim that many moratorium
supporters see a temporary halt to executions as the first step toward a
permanent end to the death penalty in North Carolina.
They also point out that the study of the death penalty, which would take
place during the 2-year moratorium, can be done without a halt to
In recent years, the legislature also fixed some of the most obvious
problems in the administration of the death penalty: from giving
prosecutors discretion on when to seek the death penalty to banning
executions of the mentally retarded.
But juries convicted the majority of the 175 inmates on North Carolina's
death row before those changes took place. That fact alone will keep the
moratorium talk alive, and may yet mean a reprieve in the House.
(source: Up & Coming Magazine 2005)
DA to seek death penalty against two Portales men -- An elderly couple's
bodies were found in the trunk of this burned out car
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case of 2 men accused of
killing a Portales couple whose bodies were found in the trunk of a burned
District Attorney Matthew Chandler says the decision was made after
careful consideration of evidence and discussions with law enforcement and
the victims immediate family.
Charges against 32-year-old Jerry Fuller and 41-year-old Stanley Bedford,
both of Portales, include 1st-degree murder and kidnapping.
The bodies of 70-year-old Odis Newman and his 69-year-old wife, Doris,
were found March 2nd. An arrest warrant affidavit says they were alive
when they were placed in the cars trunk.
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty