[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----CALIF., FLA., CONN., N.C., KY.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Aug 12 14:48:21 UTC 2006
Prisons: Alexander Propose Saving Californians $20 Billion
Widespread spending abuse in California's prison system has more than
doubled since Governor Schwarzenegger was elected in 2003 and the governor
has failed to address a growing prison crisis. However the governor has
been more concerned with building more prisons to deal with the state's
growing prison population; now over 172,000 inmates in a system designed
to accommodate less than 100,000. Stewart Alexander, Candidate for
California Lieutenant Governor with the Peace and Freedom Party, wants to
cut the fat by $20 billion.
Stewart A. Alexander ---- 2006 Candidate ---- California Lieutenant
Governor ---- Peace and Freedom Party
Over the next decade Stewart Alexander is proposing to save Californians
more than $20 billion by cutting the wasteful spending in California's
prison system. Alexander estimates the prison system is wasting more than
$1.5 billion annually through poor management and spending abuse.
The waste is rampant throughout the entire prison system; salaries for
guards, medical personnel, outside contracted services and facility
maintenance. In one situation a surgeon billed the department of
corrections for nearly $1.5 million in 1 year; and 1 out of 10 prison
guards are paid over $100,000 annually with overtime, 1 guard was paid
more than $185,000.
The spending abuse has more than doubled since Governor Schwarzenegger was
elected in 2003 and the governor has failed to address this growing
However the governor has been more concerned with building more prisons to
deal with the state's growing prison population; now over 172,000 inmates
in a system designed to accommodate less than 100,000.
Governor Schwarzenegger wants to build 2 more prisons, at a cost of $1.2
billion to help reduce overcrowding, however many are of the opinion that
building more prisons at this time will not offer any short or long term
solutions, to include State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero.
Stewart Alexander is the Peace and Freedom Party Candidate for California
Lieutenant Governor and he remains strongly opposed to building more
prisons, he says many other problems in the prison system must be dealt
with and building more prisons is not the answer.
Alexander recently introduced a proposal to reduce California's prison
population below 100,000 by placing ten's of thousands of inmates in the
homes of their relatives. These prisoners would have tracking devices,
none with sexual offences and not convicted of a crime involving violent
behavior. Alexander also wants the closure of one, possibly two prisons by
the year 2009.
Alexander says, "The state will save more than $1.5 billion annually by
cutting waste and controlling spending, and it is necessary to eliminate
any unnecessary spending that the governor is proposing. Also the state
has a revolving door policy for inmates, sentencing laws that keep tens of
thousands of inmates in the system costing taxpayers $100's of millions
annually. Sacramento must now act to help resolve this problem."
Over the next decade Alexander says, "Better prison management and a new
governor will save Californians $20 billion on prison operating expenses,
and shutting down death row will save Californians another $50 billion."
For more information search the Web for Stewart A. Alexander for
California Lieutenant Governor.
stewartalexander4paf [at] comcast.net
Pompey released as state drops case
Mary Bradwell intermittently switched from pacing the lobby of the Manatee
County jail Friday afternoon to peeking through the glass wall that has
separated her from her grandson for almost 4 years.
But when Jeffrey L. Pompey walked through the door at 2:40 p.m.,
Bradwell's next action was clear.
Like a scene in a movie, Pompey dropped the paper bags containing his
belongings as the 2 clutched one another for what seemed like minutes.
"Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord," Bradwell repeated several times as
the 2 hugged.
When asked how it felt to be out of jail, Pompey simply answered, "All
On Monday, Pompey, 25, was slated to stand trial on 1st-degree murder
charges for the 3rd time in 4 months. But Friday, the state attorney's
office announced it would no longer pursue the case.
Kelsey Schaefer, a member of Pompey's defense team, spoke for the group
Friday afternoon. The remaining members of the team, her father, Steven
Schaefer, and Carolyn DaSilva, cut out early to celebrate for the weekend.
"We're gratified by the state attorney office's actions today," Kelsey
Schaefer said. "It's a shame it took so long, but we're glad they made the
decision today instead of waiting until next week."
A single bullet took the lives of two men Aug. 14, 2002, at a Foodland
grocery store in the 900 block of 15th Street East.
A video camera captured two hooded men entering the grocery store and
trying to rob a cash register of its contents, which proved unsuccessful.
One of the men put an SKS assault rifle to the back of 32-year-old Dong
Sub Lim's head and pulled the trigger, killing the clerk and 31-year-old
customer Ramon Coto-Delgado while he waited in line.
Prosecutors said Pompey was one of the men in the store at the time - the
one who pulled the trigger. Authorities arrested him 6 months after the
men's deaths. The second suspect remained at large. The 1st 2 murder
trials resulted in hung juries, with identical 9-3 votes by jurors in
favor of acquittal. The 1st trial began May 15, took 4 days and ended
after 5 hours of deliberations. The 2nd, which started June 26, consisted
of 4 days of testimony and arguments, but only 3 hours of deliberations.
Throughout the case, Assistant Public Defenders DaSilva and Steven
Schaefer argued that jurors were too focused on the "brutality of the
Assistant State Attorney Art Brown blamed the lack of a key witness. That
key witness, Roderick Wright, Pompey's half-brother, was apprehended
nearly 3 weeks ago, and was scheduled to be present for Monday's trial.
Wright previously testified that during a phone call, his half-brother
confessed to the shooting. That testimony led to Pompey's indictment.
In a September deposition, Wright said Pompey told him he was attempting
to move the store clerk out of the way when his rifle fired accidentally.
He later recanted his statement, and said Pompey never admitted to the
DaSilva had said earlier that Wright was not a credible witness.
Wright's recanting of his original testimony convinced prosecutors to drop
the case, Brown said.
"The grand jury relied in part on the testimony of Mr. Wright," Brown
"We had hoped to present his testimony, but now that he's recanted, we had
"We've been told his view is, 'Blood doesn't testify against blood,' "
The defense has complained in the past that the prosecution either paid,
coerced or offered plea deals to witnesses in return for their testimony
DaSilva and Schaefer planned to call four additional witnesses who would
have testified that Theodore McCullough confessed to the double murder
while in prison. McCullough died in a 2003 car accident.
But none of that will be necessary now.
Pompey and his grandmother, the woman he's known as a mother since he was
only 2 months old, plan to leave Bradenton.
"I have the U-Haul packed," Bradwell said. "We're leaving here, and I'm
not telling anyone where we're going."
But before they head out of town, one thing was for sure - Pompey would
get an extra serving or two of his favorite food, fried chicken.
"He's going to get all he wants," Bradwell said. "I'm just happy to have
my son back."
Pompey faced a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of
parole, if convicted. Before the 1st trial, prosecutors dropped plans to
seek the death penalty after questions were raised about whether Pompey
was mentally retarded. Florida law prohibits the execution of a mentally
(source: Bradenton Herald)
Pastor has rewritten Bible to fit his own point of view
Recently I read a letter to the editor titled "Death Penalty is God's
Supreme Justice" (Commentary, Aug. 4). I need to take issue with Dean
Rutherford, pastor of Hemet Valley Christian Church.
I don't know him or this church, but I am dismayed at the intolerance of
his point of view. My Bible simply says, "You shall not kill."
Pastor Rutherford has rewritten the words of the Bible to fit a point of
view or personal interpretation.
Be that as it may, if we're going to use the Bible to guide our judicial
system, I would like to point the good pastor to Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are
the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
If we hang the Ten Commandments on the walls of our court rooms and
legislatures, I would also like to see the complete Beatitudes next to
Personally, I believe these belong in our hearts and not in our faces.
In the case of swift justice, if we did not allow for the appeal process
currently in place, we would likely have killed 123 innocent persons who
did not belong on death row.
This is the number of persons who have been exonerated from death row
since the death penalty was reinstated. They've served in some cases
multiple decades of wrongful incarceration on death row. Recently, it has
been discovered that Texas most likely executed 2 innocent inmates.
Therefore, promoting swift justice is promoting injustice.
It is amazing to me how many people still say the death penalty
"preserve(s) the quality and sanctity of human life." It's as if you're
saying, "I'll show you how precious human life is by taking your life."
I'm sure this is a hangover from the false concept that the death penalty
is a deterrent, which it is not. The job of the government is to protect
Life without release is protecting us and at a much lower cost. In most
cases, the cost to prosecute a capital case - with the special appeals and
guidelines for interrogations, research of mitigating circumstances,
segregation from the general prison population, and the execution -
exceeds the cost to keep an inmate in prison well beyond the average life
span of an inmate.
In the majority of these cases, the defendant requires a public defender
because they are of limited economic resources.
To ensure justice, it is important that our public defenders be well
funded. Please look at the statistics of who is on death row. You will
find a disproportionate population to the general population when
comparing race, ethnicity, and economic status.
The death penalty is not perfect. The imperfections disproportionately
kill the innocent. The death penalty no longer has a place in a modern
President, Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty
(source: The Hemet Valley Chronicle, Aug. 11)
NORTH CAROLINA----impending execution
46 relatives of N.C. death row inmate want to attend execution
More than 40 relatives of a death row inmate have filed a lawsuit asking
that all of them be allowed to attend the execution scheduled for next
week, lawyers said.
The Central Prison warden has told Samuel Flippen that only his parents
can attend the execution, which defense attorneys say violates a state law
that allows any relatives to attend an execution of a family member,
according to a copy of the complaint given to The Associated Press late
The lawsuit was filed in Wake County Superior Court by 46 family and
extended family members of Flippen, defense attorneys said in a statement.
Flippen, 36, was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1994 beating
death of his 2-year-old stepdaughter, Britnie Nichol Hutton, in Forsyth
County. He is scheduled to die at 2 a.m. Friday.
The complaint said that Central Prison Warden Marvin Polk gave Flippen a
letter Aug. 8 explaining only his mother and father may attend the
In a written statement, Flippen's attorneys said they will ask a judge for
a temporary restraining order Monday to stall the execution unless all
relatives are allowed to attend.
' The room where witnesses usually watch an execution is small and
typically must accommodate reporters, law enforcement, and family members
of both the victim and death row inmate.
In another attempt to stall the execution, defense attorneys had asked a
federal judge to rule the execution method of lethal injection
unconstitutional because it amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
The judge rejected the argument Thursday, and Flippen's attorneys have now
asked the judge to stay his ruling until they can appeal to the 4th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, according to a spokesman for the state Attorney
Defense attorneys said they plan to file the request Sunday with the
federal appellate court.
A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's Office did not return
after-hours messages Friday inquiring about the case.
Forsyth County prosecutors argued that Flippen beat his stepdaughter
because she was crying. He dialed 911 to report the child was injured
about 40 minutes after his wife of 5 months left for work. He told
paramedics and detectives he believed the toddler had fallen from a chair.
The child later died of what prosecutors said was a blow to the abdomen.
After his trial in 1995, the jury recommended Flippen be executed. The
state Supreme Court overturned that sentence and ordered a 2nd jury to
consider Flippen's lack of prior criminal convictions before recommending
its sentence. The 2nd jury deliberated for more than six hours before
recommending a death sentence in 1997.
(source: Associated Press)
Jury urges death penalty for ex-Louisvillian
A jury recommended the death penalty Thursday night for a man convicted of
fatally shooting a Lexington music store employee in 2004.
Taquan C. Neblett, 29, was convicted of killing employee Derek Elam and
shooting store owner Sami Hajibrahim in July 2004 while he robbed Sami's
Music on South Limestone.
Neblett had a prior murder conviction. In 1993, at the age of 16, he
killed a Louisville cab driver after he did not have the money for cab
"By the choices he has made in his life, he has forfeited his right,"
Assistant Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn told the jury
on Thursday. "His right not to just live a free man in the community, but
he has forfeited his right to simply live."
Neblett served 9 years in prison and was paroled in 2003, seven months
before the Lexington shooting.
Neblett's attorneys had argued at trial that Hajibrahim accidentally shot
Elam, and then Neblett charged Hajibrahim, grabbed the gun and shot him.
Neblett was convicted on murder, 1st-degree robbery, 1st-degree assault
and evidence tampering charges on Wednesday.
Neblett's fate is now in the hands of Circuit Judge Gary Payne, who can
accept or reject the jury's recommendation. He will sentence Neblett on
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty