[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----TEXAS, VER., N.C., KY., WASH.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Sep 17 13:33:06 CDT 2005
Murder Suspect Appears Before Lubbock Judge
The man accused of killing 29-year-old Summer Baldwin made his 1st
appearance in front of a Lubbock judge on Friday.
Rosendo Rodriguez III, 25, was calm and straight-faced as he was charged
with murder. Officials say he could possibly be put to death for his
Rodriguez walked out of a Lubbock courtroom silent after being charged
Police say he beat Baldwin to death, then stuffed her body inside of a
suitcase and left it in a Lubbock dumpster. It was found at the Lubbock
Landfill on Tuesday.
Officials arrested Rodriguez near his parent's home in San Antonio on
Lubbock District Attorney Matt Powell says he's confident they have the
right man in custody.
"Good police work tracked him through cell phone records, debit card
purchases ... and they were able to track his whereabouts and pinpoint him
to that location," he says.
Rodriguez could potentially face additional charges, even the death
penalty, because Baldwin was 5 weeks pregnant when she was killed.
"We will look at the autopsy and let them determine the course of the
fetus and if there's 2 or more people killed, or a child under 6, he could
potentially face capital charges," says Powell.
Rodriguez had studied at Texas Tech and was a member of the Omega Delta
Phi fraternity until, the group's president, Mike Solis, says, the
"brothers" voted to remove him.
"He pledged in 1998 and he was a member until 2000 when we blackballed him
for reasons I can't disclose," says Solis.
"I would imagine most thought when a young lady's found at the landfill
that the chances of solving it were slim and here we are, less than 48
hours later, and we have a suspect in custody," says Powell.
Wal-Mart surveillance video from 3:30 a.m. Monday shows Rodriguez buying
the suitcase that police say Baldwin was found in. Police reports say the
bar code on the suitcase found and the one purchased matched.
Reports also show police tracked Rodriguez's debit card to the purchase of
the suitcase and disposable gloves.
Police say Rodriguez killed Baldwin sometime between midnight when she was
last seen and 3:30 a.m. Monday, when he was buying the suitcase.
KAMC-28 spoke with Rodriguez's dad, Rosendo Rodriguez II. He says this is
totally out of character for his son.
"I beleive in my son's innocence," he says. "His life has not been
perfect, but the overwhelming majority has been good in his life. This is
inconceivable to me, but I am biased. He is my son."
Rodriguez's father says his son attended Texas Tech for a few years
beginning in 1998, but did not graduate. He says he enlisted in the Marine
Corps Reserves last year, but contrary to other reports, he did not go to
Iraq. He also says Rosendo has a son with a previous girlfriend, who will
turn 4 in November.
Sources have told KAMC-28 that Rodriguez is being kept separate from
another inmate, who is believed to be the father of Baldwin's unborn baby.
(source: KAMC News)
Order in the court: Texas justice to cost more
The Texas Legislature may have been unable to come up with a plan to pay
for public education (despite 5 tries at it), but the 1 thing lawmakers
made sure they got done during the most recent special session was a bill
increasing the salaries of state judges.
Perhaps it was just sheer coincidence that lawmakers' retirement pay is
linked directly to judges' salaries.
Whatever was the motivation, taxpayers, as usual, will be stuck with the
tab - and here is where they'll get poked.
Potter County District Clerk Caroline Woodburn pointed out during the
Sept. 12 commissioner's court meeting that the fee for civil filings will
increase by $37 beginning Dec. 1. And in case you haven't guessed, the fee
increase is earmarked to pay the increasing salaries of state judges.
Before the generosity of legislators, district judges were getting by on a
yearly salary of $108,000. An increase of 23 % will raise it to $125,000 a
year, and, interestingly, lawmakers with 10 years of service get a 20
%increase in their retirement pensions.
Now taxpayers know from where that money will be coming - their wallets.
(source: Editorial, The Amarillo Globe-News)
Marine arrested in killings----He is the 2nd man held in deadly 2003
attack on a Sugar Land family
A 2nd suspect has been arrested in the slayings of a mother and son in
Patricia Whitaker and her son, Kevin, were shot in a Dec. 10, 2003, attack
that left her husband and other son, Bart, wounded.
Steven Champagne, 23, was taken into custody Wednesday in Camp Pendleton,
Calif., on a charge of capital murder, Sugar Land police said Friday.
Police spokeswoman Pat Whitty said Champagne is in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Police expect him to be brought back to Texas in the next few weeks.
He was being held in the San Diego County Jail without bail. Investigators
said in court documents that Champagne, Chris Brashear, 23, and Bart
Whitaker, 25, carried out the shooting spree.
Brashear was arrested Monday night and has been charged with capital
murder. He is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail without bail.
Police have not disclosed a motive for the slayings.
According to court documents, Brashear was the triggerman and waited
inside the house with a 9 mm pistol for the family to come home, firing on
the Whitakers when they walked in the door.
Investigators said Champagne told police that Brashear and Bart Whitaker
acted as though they were wrestling for the weapon and that Whitaker was
shot during the staged scuffle, according to court documents.
The documents say Champagne was parked on another street and drove the
getaway car for Brashear, who was taken into custody Monday night at his
attorney's office in Houston.
Bart Whitaker has not been charged, and is the subject of a
missing-persons report filed by his family last year.
In July 2004 Bart Whitaker left the city, saying he feared he would be
charged with a crime he didn't commit.
In addition to Whitaker, his father, Kent Whitaker, 57, was wounded in the
attack. Patricia Whitaker, 51, and Kevin Whitaker, 19, died on the 1st
floor of the house in the 1100 block of Heron Way from gunshot wounds to
(source: Houston Chronicle)
The Dealth Penalty in A Culture of Victimization And Kitsch
Vermont has no death penalty. Still, federal prosecutors demanded that
Vermont hold a capital punishment trial in a recent federal murder case
which crossed a state line. And a jury of twelve Vermonters delivered the
first death sentence in 50 years -- another notch in Bush's belt as the
feds contrived to teach liberal Vermont a lesson. Accompanying that
verdict, there is now a push to bring capital punishment back at the state
There are 2 entrances to the Federal Building in Burlington. One is near
the corner of a busy street; it is wrapped around that corner -- for
maximum visibility -- that we held our weekly vigils against bringing the
death penalty to Vermont. Yet the press massed itself daily at the other
entrance, a smaller, mid-block one, half-hidden by luxuriant trees. Why?
Because it was there that "the family" emerged for lunch or dinner. It was
there they could be exhaustively interviewed and photographed for their
every response to the courtroom events.
In the room itself, one whole side of the public seating was marked off as
"reserved". For whom, the sign was tacit. But that was where the family
and their friends sat, sparsely, compared to the larger public packed into
an equal space on the other side. The empty seats around them were treated
as sacred space, not for outsiders. It was a rare courtroom visitor who
was clueless enough not to take the hint.
The family. The word brings up Elian Gonzalez and Terri Schiavo. Even the
defense counsel in his summation, chose to praise the family, that very
family whose insistance before the trial sought death for their client,
and whose performance before the jury and in the media did much to condemn
him. That family was extolled as a prime example of what their client
never had -- a loving clan that could come together to support one another
in hard times, and celebrate in good ones. A model family which had
overcome its many hardships. If only Donny had had one...
In a country where more than half of marriages end in divorce, where
single-parent households are now in the majority, "Family" has taken on
iconic, white-hat status. Elections are won on "family values". All our
holidays feature "family fun". You want to be a bad guy? Target the
family. Worse, turn them into victims.
The family played their media hand with skill. I am not suggesting that
their pain over the murder was not authentic. I don't know what many
things they were really feeling, or who was advising them on their
strategies. Perhaps they were even played by the media more than they
played it. But the overall effect was such as to achieve their goal -- to
get a death verdict from a Vermont jury for the 1st time in half a
century. Perhaps they felt justice was served. Perhaps it was merely
revenge. But what they said they wanted was "closure".
We found much support as we stood Wednesdays at noon against the death
penalty. Yet there were still many passers-by who felt otherwise. "An eye
for an eye," they would yell from their cars, or "They kill us-we kill
While the rest of the western world has long put capital punishment behind
it, the United States perversely bucks the trend. For years, Amnesty
International has indicted the US for its killing of juveniles, killing
the mentally ill, for the wide regional disparities in executions, for the
arbitrariness of those selected for execution, the obvious role of race in
those selections, the systematic exclusion of opponents of the death
penalty from juries, the use of peremptory challenges to exclude blacks
from sitting on capital trial juries, especially if the defendant is
black, for the assignment of inexperienced, often incompetent counsel to
indigent offenders, for a whole array of procedural bars to appeal, for
the increasing unwillingness of federal courts to consider new
constitutional questions, and for the very narrow view of the role of
clemency taken by governors and pardon boards. All these, says AI, puts
the US outside the norms of international behavior.
No technical or bureaucratic problems were present in the Fell trial.
Fell's guilt was admitted, and his legal representation was competent and
strong. The judge was attentive, and scrupulously fair. The drama was
focussed on one question only -- would the jury unanimously ask for death?
The answer was yes.
Whence the still strong American embrace of the death penalty? I suggest
it arises from two spurious needs, both of which have been normalized by a
bizarre combination of collateral damage from our war-making and
politically-correct "sensitivity". The 1st is obvious; the 2nd less-so.
One of the hallmarks of our contemporary culture is its curious
competition for victim status. In addition, since 9/11, our administration
has actively flown the banner of the victimized, crucified, vengeful
Christ. Now that we as a nation have suffered so, we have a right to judge
and punish. The city on a hill. And our punishment is far from unholy: we
kill in order to redeem.
As we continue to victimize others around the globe, it is most convenient
to proclaim our American selves as victims. And national claims trickle
down to groups and individuals. Whites claim victimization by affirmative
action, males by feminism, Republicans by "the liberal media", the rich by
"big government" - and so forth, a whole convenient upsidedownism whereby
victimization is seen not only as a right, but as a claim on resources.
The competition is fierce.
Think for a moment about the demands of the Victim's Rights Movement.
First of all, it is now unquestioned that murder victims are more than
those killed, but are now legally seen as all friends and family affected
by the crime, expanding the test of victimhood to the suffering of those
left behind, whose emotional performances seem so persuasive to juries. A
new spotlight for "the family".
For the most part these people insist on vengeance as the only possible
"closure" for their distress, a word that has been recently taught them by
the political culture and its media-as if the effects of a murder are ever
"closed". Protecting the community via life without parole will simply not
serve. Though it would achieve immediate closure of the case -- no further
appeals, no further media attention to open old wounds -- still "real"
closure concerning a murdered loved one is sold to us as requiring the
death of the murderer. That psychiatry does not support such dynamics (see
David Brizer's essay, p xxx) is neither here nor there. Life imprisonment
just isn't satisfying.
Concerning the jurisprudence of sentencing, what the Victims' Rights
Movement has done is to substitute private for public justice, normalizing
a sense of entitlement to the death penalty. Only a satisfying personal
experience will do , and this now becomes the only adequate gesture for
the rest of the community. The goal of the Victims' Rights Movement is to
repersonalize criminal justice so that the public -- and potential juries
-- must declare an alliance with either the victim or the offender.
Criminal sentencing thus becomes a test of loyalty to one's community - a
dangerous new path which predisposes toward the punishing needs of the
emotionally involved. Rehabilitative strategies are overlooked, rejected
as not sufficiently reparative to the new class of victims. Capital
punishment becomes the ultimate assertion of righteous indignation, and
the highest form of public victim-recognition.
No less a legal figure than former Attorney General Janet Reno has raised
victim status to absurd heights: "I draw most of my strength from
victims," she said, "for they represent America to me: people who will not
be put down, people who will not be defeated, people who will rise again
and stand again for what is right. You are my heroes and heroines. You are
but little lower than the angels."
Is victimhood, then, not a goal worth striving for?
The elevation of extended victims to sub-angelic status has two major
consequences. First of all it normalizes and legitimates revenge in place
of retribution, opening society to suffer an unending chain of reciprocal
act of vengeance. We see this result playing out overtly in the Middle
East, and covertly in the consciousness of people of color in this
country, and around the world. By creating victims, we become the new
victims, and victims are beatified.
And in this beatification, legitimate questions of restorative justice are
-- Just what are the real needs of those who have been harmed? What, on
deeper questioning, is really important to them? On surveys and in
interviews, victims have most often indicated that acknowledgement by the
perpetrator of the damage he or she has done is crucial, and would go a
long way to easing them. Quite often questions need answering which would
otherwise gnaw: why?, how?, what were the details of the death?
Imaginations haunt; facts set to rest.
-- And what about the defendent's needs? Restorative justice belongs to
all parties, before any situation can be in some measure "restored".
Again, as surveyed, perpetrators most often need to acknowledge what has
happened, and in some way make amends. They don't know how to do that, and
the system does not help them. We are opoen to helping those soldiers
psychologically wounded from killing Iraqi innocents, but not a civilian
who has killed one of our own.
Aiding both victim and perpetrator would restore as best it could. Further
killing restores very little.
A further social dimension of embracing the vengeful victim plays out in
the political sphere: revenge killing by the state becomes part of a
strategy of governance that makes us fearful and dependent on the illusion
of state protection, that divides rather than unites, that promises simple
solutions to complex problems. The number of men and women condemned to
die grows each year, and we are treated to the spectacle of people running
for public office on the basis of how many they are prepared to kill.
Tough on crime, it's called.
Caught up in the contemporary cultural preoccupation with identifying and
paying homage to "real" victims, the idea that criminals can be victims
too all but disappears, and deeper sociological, political and cultural
issues are ignored as the white hats simply execute the black ones. Any
mature engagement in responding to society's most severe social problems
is shouted down by victims' claims for lethal "closure". Constitutional
guarantees of equal treatment under the law are overlooked. Our fragile
democracy increasingly calls for strong symbols of public sovereignty,
like expanding jails and capital punishment. The desire for victim status,
and a fearful aversion to non-government violence lead to a apprehensive
attitude toward others. Increasing fear and frustration mark the current
The focus on victims functions as a strategy of political legitimation.
The centrality of crime to governing, especially in a democratic state,
requires citizens who imagine themselves to be victims, potential victims
or those responsible for the care victims. As criminals are demonized,
many ordinary citizens are enlisted as authorizing agents and
appreciative, applauding audience for America's own brand of lethal
violence. To be for capital punishment is to be a defender of traditional
morality against permissivism and of the rights of the innocent over the
rights of the guilty. Down with protesters. Up with the fall from grace,
with no prospect for redemption. In the land of the free and the home of
the brave, we are all victims.
And can the land of the free ever evolve to crawl out of such embracing,
larger, muck? Let's look at the muck to determine its adhesiveness.
There is a concept in the Russian language known as poshlust. Speech or
attitudes or states of soul that are poshlust-y embrace values that are
almost, but not quite, kitsch , containing some level of authentic thought
or emotion, but nevertheless, more -- or less -- subtly -- trumped-up,
false or phony. A quintessential example of poshlust appeal is contained
in the defense summation to the jury I described at the opening of this
chapter. For diagnostic purposes, this allusion is worth quoting in full:
We see such devotion and love in [the victim's] family, that [it] is
overwhelming. They have been here every day in support of Terry, because
that's all they have left. That's --that's what they, that's where they
have committed as a family and have come together. And, you know, and that
doesn't, that never even came close, close to existing to what the
childhood that Donnie had. And isn't it important? How -- and that's what
-- that's what this mitigation is -- our mitigation case is all about.
Don't underestimate the power, the significance of, of a father figure,
someone to care, someone to nurture, someone to provide. Don't
underestimate the power and significance of a mother's love for her
children. Look, look at what it's done, what it's done for the King
family. They will never -- and it was poignant when Michael -- the
grandson's letter was read, and he said -- and he compared it to 9/11, and
it definitely -- their family will never be the same, and America will
never be the same. But America is not destroyed, and when you see their
faces and heard their testimony about their love for Mrs. King, their
family's not destroyed. It can't be because they have too much of those
protective, nurturing factors that exist, that are what we all -- that
makes us who we are.
Surely, overwhelming love, devotion and commitment are worth rewarding.
And yes, nurturing fathers are rare enough and nice. The comparison of a
death in the family to the world-shaking 9/11 may have its metaphorical
value. And while the assertion that "America is not destroyed" may be
somewhat nearsighted, still the co-appeal of both prosecution and defense
to the jury's patriotism (if for opposite purposes) is probably a
universally-endorsed tactic of the times. The summary, however, bodes ill.
For it seems there cannot be "too much of those protective, nurturing
factors...that are what we all -- that make(s) us what we are."
The Oprah-appeal of this language, this thinking; the culture that feeds
on it, that somehow seems to need and support it; the implied be-all,
end-all prioritization of untutored emotion which we see amply
demonstrated in every facet of contemporary American culture -- this is
not a likely milieu to transcend the kind of selfish emotionalism with
which victims demand harsh penalties "for closure". That a defense lawyer
in a capital case would -- buoyed along by these normative phrases, and
counting on the jury's receptivity to them -- would lionize the very
family asking for his client's death is a self-defeating notion, lethal,
as it turned out, to the defendent. What was the defense inhaling? Only
air polluted by ubiquitous poshlust could create such confusion.
Not once in my hearing were the non-poshlust-y dimensions seriously
presented to the jury as a challenge:
-- that, if they disapproved of murder, should they really be willing to
cooly, and premeditatively, murder someone?
-- that there is no scientific psychological evidence for "closure" after
demanding death. Indeed, that families and jury members often suffer after
-- that the US stands alone among western nations in exacting the death
penalty, and that they must question the reasons for such exceptionalism.
-- that there were likely Rovean political reasons for retracting the
government's previously agreed upon plea bargain -- and did they want to
cooperate with this?
Instead, the defense strategy focussed entirely on the poshlust-y
dimensions of Fell's horrible childhood. Why? Because poshlust is the
reigning language and currency of the land, the only dimension one can
assume operative in a juror? Or in a voter? Or a consumer? Or a 17-year
old wanting to "serve his country" and help "establish democracy and
freedom across the world"?
As long as poshlust rules American culture and American hearts, and is
offered up to juries, we may have a hard time joining the majority of the
world in opposition to the death penalty. In this, we are truly victims.
1. Some family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, after
personally witnessing Timothy McVeigh's execution, complained he did not
suffer enough: he just closed his eyes and went to sleep.
2.See Nabokov's hilarious -- and ominous for us -- section on poshlust in
Chapter 3 of his book on Nicolai Gogol.
3. Poshlust is worse than kitsch because kitsch is obvious: garden gnomes,
or a fluorescent Elvis painted on black velvet, or "Support the Troops" on
magnetic yellow ribbons.
4. A week after the Fell verdict, a Georgia jury sentenced Eric Rudolph, a
multiple murderer involved in terrorist attacks on abortion clinics and
the Atlanta Olympic games, to life without possibility of release. Unlike
Fell, Rudolf was only partially repentent. He apologized to the 1996
Atlanta Olympics bombing victims, with no mention of the abortion clinic
victims, whom he seemed glad were killed or wounded. An eye for an eye,
after all. But Georgia, unlike Vermont, is already a death-penalty state.
And William Sessions is not one of its federal judges. The government did
not have to make a point by rejecting his plea bargain.
(source: Left Hook)
Accused boyfriend faces death penalty----Aggravating factors cited in
death of former UNCC volleyball star
Mecklenburg prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Seyi Tayo
Odueso, who is charged with murder in connection with the July slaying of
his girlfriend, former UNC Charlotte volleyball star Christy Ann Galvin.
Galvin, 26, was found slain in her bed. Her car, a silver 2003 Nissan
300Z, was missing.
Authorities in New York found Odueso, 27, trying to cross into Canada. He
was driving her car.
During a hearing this week, Mecklenburg Assistant District Attorney Marsha
Goodenow informed Odueso and his lawyers that prosecutors would seek the
Goodenow told Superior Court Judge Bob Bell that there were one or more
aggravating factors in the killing. She did not elaborate.
Within the past 3 weeks, 4 suspected killers have been convicted in
Charlotte in domestic slayings. 2 men and a woman were sentenced Thursday
to prison terms ranging from nearly 8 years to 15 years.
2 weeks ago, Mecklenburg Assistant District Attorneys Beth Freeman and
David Maloney obtained a 1st-degree murder conviction in the 2002 domestic
slaying of 32-year-old Antron Norman Lindsey.
Rodney Craig, 33, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for
murdering Lindsey, his ex-girlfriend.
Defense attorney Mark Foster said Friday that Craig will appeal,
challenging evidence prosecutors were allowed to introduce involving
allegations of prior domestic violence against Lindsey and his ex-wife.
Foster said Craig also will challenge the judge's decision to allow police
officers to testify about alleged violence and other misconduct against
Lindsey. The defense, Foster said, couldn't cross-examine Lindsey.
"My client was convicted primarily on his alleged past bad behavior,"
Lindsey was shot in the head, chest and arms.
"The defendant made the decision to murder Antron Norman Lindsey -- a
mother, daughter, and sister," Freeman told the Observer. "The murder was
malicious, brutal, and it was personal.
"Antron pleaded for her life in her last moments, but the defendant
ignored her pleas and took something that did not belong to him, the life
of Antron Lindsey. By his own actions, the defendant imposed upon himself
a life sentence."
Freeman said Craig shot Lindsey as she sat on a bed. When she tried to get
up, the prosecutor said, he shot her two more times, including in the
"Sadly, I don't think the trial answered the question of `why' Antron's
life was taken," Freeman said. "But, hopefully, there is some peace for
Antron and for her family in knowing that the person who took her life has
been held accountable."
(source: The Charlotte Observer)
Jury Deliberating In Local Death-Penalty Case----Parker Faces 3 Murder
In Lousiville, jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon in the Kenneth
Parker murder trial.
Parker faces 25 charges, including 3 counts of murder and 4 more counts of
attempted murder. He's the reputed leader of the Victory Park Crips gang.
Defense and prosecuting attorneys made their closing remarks Friday
morning and early afternoon, and jurors got the case after 2 p.m., WLKY
NewsChannel 32's Julia Harding reported.
If they convict Parker, he's eligible for the death penalty.
In his closing arguments Friday, Parker's defense attorney, David Meija,
reminded jurors that his client is on trial for murder -- among other
charges -- not for being a gang member or leader.
"No one has identified Kenneth Parker as a participant in any of these
(killings)," Meija said, before sounding almost sarcastic. "He was in the
Victory Park Crips. Isn't that enough?"
Meija also said there is no proof that Parker committed the crimes, but
prosecutor Tom Van de Rostyne painted a much different picture of the
defendant in closing statements, Harding reported.
"Kenneth Parker is a cold, calculating killer," he said. "He kills who he
wants to, where he wants to and when he wants to."
Jurors brought overnight bags to the court, indicating that they've been
told to prepare for perhaps a long weekend of deliberations.
(source: The LouisvilleChannel)
Attorneys debate legality of death penalty for child killer----A judge
will issue a written decision on whether Richard Clark can be executed for
the rape and murder of 7-year-old Roxanne Doll.
A Snohomish County judge on Friday said he will issue a written decision
in the case of a 7-year-old girl's killer who claims he shouldn't be
executed because he is mentally retarded.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne heard attorneys' arguments on a claim
that the state's death-penalty statute is unconstitutional because it
potentially allows for a mentally retarded person to face the death
The argument came in the case of Richard Matthew Clark, 36, who was
convicted in the 1995 rape and murder of Roxanne Doll of Everett. A jury
found him guilty of aggravated murder, and in a special sentencing
proceeding said he should die.
The state Supreme Court upheld the conviction but said the jury had heard
too much information during the sentencing hearing. The court sent the
case back to Snohomish County for sentencing, which could wind up being
nearly a full-blown trial.
Clark's lawyers, Jeffrey Ellis of Seattle and Kevin Cole of Mercer Island,
in July claimed that Clark is mentally retarded and should not face
execution. Instead, they argue, he should receive life in prison without
the possibility of release.
Courts around the United States have ruled since 2002 that mentally
retarded people may not be executed.
Washington fails to adequately protect mentally retarded defendants, Ellis
told Wynne on Friday.
"The problem, your honor, is in the state of Washington a person who is
mentally retarded can still be executed," Ellis told the judge.
The claim raises some questions, including whether it is up to the the
judge or the jury to decide whether Clark is mentally retarded. There's
also the question of how much proof is needed to make that determination.
In Washington, an IQ of 70 or below is the mark set by the Legislature as
the mental retardation level. Clark's lawyers maintain his IQ hovers only
a point or 2 above 70.
Ellis said he's prepared to bring in experts from around the world, if
necessary, to show that the 70 IQ mark is not a rigid number in settling
on mental retardation.
Deputy prosecutor Seth Fine said Ellis is wrong.
"The Legislature is entitled to employ a fixed standard to determine what
degree of intellectual deficiency is sufficiently significant to prevent
imposition of the death penalty in all cases," Fine said. "The (state)
statute is constitutional as written."
Clark's sentencing trial is now set for March. Wynne said he will probably
take a couple of weeks to issue his decision.
(source: The Herald)
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