[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----OHIO, VER., IOWA, N.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jun 20 15:08:25 CDT 2005
Man Avoids Death Penalty In Murders Of 3 People----Hodge Pleads Guilty To
In Columbus, a man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Monday in
the deaths of 3 people.
Paul Hodge was brought into court to face the possibility of the death
penalty in murders that took place in 2001 and 2002. Instead he returned
to jail, facing involuntary manslaughter and likely jail time, NBC 4's
Kyle Anderson reported.
Hodge, 33, first changed his plea in the March 2002 murders of Ricky
Palmer and Denise Evans. Both were found in their northeast side home
bound with duct tape and shot in the back of the head, Anderson reported.
Palmer and Evans' bodies were found by 1 of their 3 children.
Prosecutors said Hodge and Eric Franklin went to the Dawnlight Avenue home
with an Ed Hodge, who told them they would find $300,000 and drugs in the
Just minutes before the double-murder hearing, Hodge pleaded guilty to
involuntary manslaughter in the drug-related death of Manuel Rueben in
2001, Anderson reported.
Rueben's body was found in a car parked outside a north side school. In
exchange for the pleas, Hodge testified against other defendants in the
Hodge will likely be sentenced to 21 years in prison in August, Anderson
(source: NBC4 News)
State and religious leaders protest death penalty trial
Vermonters against the death penalty are speaking out against the capital
trial of Donald Fell.
Vermont's Bishop Kenneth Angell, Co-adjutor Bishop Salvatore Matano,
former Governors Phil Hoff and Madeleine Kunin and Rabbi Joshua Chasan are
protesting on the opening day of the potential death penalty case.
Fell is facing 4 federal charges stemming from the November 2000 abduction
and murder of 53-year-old Terry King of North Clarendon.
2 of those charges, kidnapping and carjacking, both with death resulting,
carry the federal death penalty.
Angell says the state must not perpetuate the crime of murder by becoming
a society that kills for retribution.
(source: Associated Press)
Williams: Death penalty right punishment for Johnson
Beginning his closing arguments, assistant U.S. attorney, C.J. Williams
said the death penalty is the right punishment for Angela Johnson.
"This is the appropriate case for what was horrendous and horrible
crimes," said Williams, "that she committed, have led us here."
Williams said the murder of five North Iowans included a long term and
premeditated decision in protecting an established drug conspiracy.
Williams talked about Johnson's role in abducting, transporting and
allowing the murders of Greg Nicholson, Terry DeGeus, Lori Duncan and her
2 daughters, Kandace and Amber.
Showing a picture of Lori Duncan and her daughters, Williams reminded the
jury that the 3 were totally innocent and died only because they were with
Rejecting Johnson's attorneys' suggestion that Johnson had shown remorse,
Williams said, "Not once during testimony did anyone say she said, 'I'm
sorry'. Do no forget what the victims and their families have gone
Johnson's attorneys will begin their final arguments after the morning
(source: Mason City Globe Gazette)
Plan for a stay idles: Death-penalty vote remains uncertain
A proposed moratorium on the death penalty has idled without a vote in the
N.C. House for four years, but that might soon change.
Or it might not.
House leaders are considering the timing of a possible vote after wrapping
up their version of next year's state budget. They're also competing with
moratorium opponents for the support of a few legislators who might change
their positions, depending on the details of the bill and the length of
the proposed moratorium.
"We need to watch the next couple of weeks to see how both Democrats and
Republicans think more about the bill," said Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, a
co-sponsor of the moratorium bill.
The current version of the bill would suspend executions for two years
while a legislative commission studied how the state uses the death
penalty. Luebke and other supporters argue that the state should not
continue putting people to death without the safeguards that a study might
suggest. Opponents say that a commission can do its work without a
A vote on the bill had been planned for June 1, but supporters retreated
from that idea when they did not have the votes and when the House was
busy trying to pass other bills before a mid-session deadline.
House Speaker Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, said at the time that he wanted to
schedule a vote on the moratorium for soon after the budget negotiations.
But that could still be a while.
"I've been working on new versions and had just begun to talk about it
when we left last week," Rep. Joe Hackney, the primary sponsor of the
moratorium bill, said Friday. "I sort of doubt it will come up next week."
Hackney said that the bill still doesn't have enough votes to pass in its
current version, and that he's not sure yet how possible changes to the
bill would affect votes.
It is possible that the bill will never come to a vote in the full House.
The moratorium bill was first introduced in the House in April 2001. It
would not affect prosecutors' ability to ask for the death penalty, and it
would not affect juries' ability to sentence people to death. Based on the
number of executions in recent years, perhaps fewer than 10 cases would be
The Senate passed a version of the bill 2 years ago on a 29-21 vote,
including 6 Republicans who voted for it and 5 Democrats who voted against
it. But the bill died when the House never took action on it.
In the House, where Democrats have a 63-57 advantage this year, about 4
Republicans are expected to support the moratorium, and 10 Democrats are
expected to oppose it.
A key factor, legislators said, has been whether a moratorium would lead
to the abolition of the death penalty. Rep. Mitch Gillespie, R-McDowell,
said that a temporary suspension of executions could become just as
"temporary" as a half-cent increase in the sales tax that legislators
passed in 2001, renewed in 2003 and are considering renewing a second
"They're going to come back with some bleeding-heart liberal reason of why
we need to extend it for another two years," Gillespie said.
Luebke said that he holds no illusions about the death penalty's
. "I know North Carolina. The people of our state want a death penalty,
but they want it administered fairly," he said.
(source: Winston-Salem Journal)
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