[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- NEW MEX., VIRG.
j_sommer at gmx.net
Tue Mar 1 21:22:14 CST 2005
death penalty news
March 1, 2005
Death penalty dead in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Senate takes over the death penalty debate Tuesday, one day
after the state House voted to ban it.
House members voted 38 to 31 to kill the death penalty in favor of life in
prison without the possibility of release or parole.
The bill's sponsor Rep. Gail Beam, D-Albuquerque, says it has a good chance
of making it to the governor's desk.
"There are people who support this bill who in principle still believe in
the death penalty," says Beam. "But they also don't believe that it can be
carried out justly in this state or anywhere in this country," she says.
But not all lawmakers agree.
Rep. Jane Powdrell, R-Sandoval, says she thinks eliminating the death
penalty could be a mistake.
"Any jury has the right to convict someone and give them life without the
possibility of parole but if that individual has committed a crime that
deserves the death penalty then I think he or she should get the death
penalty," says Powdrell.
Gov. Bill Richardson is out of state and could not be reached for comment.
In the past, he has supported the death penalty as long as it has
safeguards to protect the innocent from being executed.
(source: KRQE News)
Teen Sniper No Longer Faces Death Penalty
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday barring the execution of juvenile
killers means Lee Boyd Malvo can no longer face the death penalty for his
role in the 2002 Washington sniper case or other slayings around the country.
Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, has already been convicted
and sentenced to life in prison without parole for two of the murders.
Prosecutors had planned to try him in other jurisdictions in hopes of
obtaining a death sentence.
However, Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said that
in light of the ruling, he would not pursue another conviction against Malvo.
"I see no need to go to the expense and the trouble," Ebert said.
Virginia had been chosen to prosecute Malvo first because it permitted the
death penalty for 17-year-olds, while Maryland did not.
The ruling Tuesday also means that Malvo, now 20, is free to give a full
account of his crimes without fear of additional punishment. His lawyers
have hinted that Malvo might be willing to come clean if the death penalty
were no longer an option.
Cheryll Witz, whose father was fatally shot on an Arizona golf course in
2002, is hoping Malvo will now confess to that crime. Malvo and Muhammad
have long been suspects in the slaying of Jerry Taylor, but authorities
have not charged the pair for lack of evidence.
"I want him to say if he killed my father," Witz said in a telephone
interview. "Until you have a definitive answer, you don't have closure."
(source: AP / WJLA)
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