[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----WIS., PENN., S. DAK., GA., CALIF., S.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Aug 22 16:52:44 UTC 2006
New 'No Death Penalty Wisconsin' Website
This November voters will head to the polls for several big races and
several statewide questions - gay marriage and the reinstatement of the
A new campaign kicked off today urging people to vote no. Wisconsin was
the first state 153 years ago to get rid of the death penalty all
together. But, on November 7th voters could start the process of
reinstating capital punishment.
The group 'No Death Penalty Wisconsin' launched their new website today in
an effort to get more information out to a broader audience.
Ray Krone is also part of that mission. Krone spent 10 years on death row
in Florence, Arizona for killing a waitress - DNA evidence eventually
linked the crime to another man. Krone now uses his freedom to educate
people about the death penalty and why it should be abolished. Until the
vote, Krone will go around the state for the 'No Death Penalty Wisconsin'
He also says executing a prisoner costs twice as much as keeping them in
prison the rest of their life because of the appeals process.
Coincidentally, 155 years ago today, Wisconsin executed its last prisoner.
According to no death penalty Wisconsin, that public hanging later helped
sign the death penalty repeal act into law.
(source: WKOW TV News)
Poll: Most Wisconsin Voters Support Reinstituting Death Penalty----Death
Penalty Has Been Illegal For More Than A Century
Wisconsin voters appear ready to sanction the return of the death penalty
to the state in November, according to a new poll.
The survey, sponsored by WISC-TV, found that a majority of likely voters
said that they favor legalizing the death penalty when the question
appears in the November referendum.
The survey found that 54 % favor the death penalty and 39 % oppose it. 7
%said that they're undecided.
The death penalty has been banned for more than a century in Wisconsin.
The telephone survey of 600 people statewide has a 4 % margin of error.
State Supreme Court upholds death penalty
More than 2 years after an automatic appeal was filed on behalf of Mark D.
Edwards, the state Supreme Court upheld that he should die by lethal
injection for the 2002 deaths of a husband and wife and their 17-year-old
Appellate docket sheets indicated six justices unanimously upheld the
death sentence on Monday. However, an opinion on the matter was not
immediately published online, but likely will be this morning.
Edwards, 23, was convicted of 1st-degree murder in the deaths of Larry
Bobish Sr., 50, his wife, Joanna, 42, and their daughter, Krystal. He was
convicted of 2nd-degree murder in the death of Krystal Bobish's unborn
child, who was 28 weeks in gestational age.
Additionally, Edwards was convicted of attempted homicide for trying to
kill Larry Bobish Jr., 14, when his family was killed on April 14, 2002,
and burglary and arson.
Edwards, currently incarcerated in the State Correctional Institution at
Greene, went to the Bobish's Kennedy Street Extension home in North Union
Township in the early morning of April 14. There, he shot Larry Sr., and
then Joanna Bobish.
As Krystal Bobish came to confront him, he shot her, and according to
testimony, kicked her in the stomach.
The most compelling testimony of the May 2004 trial came from Larry Bobish
Jr., whom family called "LJ."
The teen told jurors he pleaded with Edwards, telling him, "I'll do
anything if you stop."
His pleas were met with a gunshot, and then Edwards used a knife to cut
his throat. The boy testified he laid on the floor of the family's home,
hoping to avoid further injury if he acted like he was dead.
Edwards set the home on fire, and Bobish Jr. was able to escape. An
off-duty police officer delivering papers with his sons noticed the fire
and summoned help.
During the trial, testimony indicated that Bobish Sr. was selling a drug
called "wet" from his home, and Edwards stole some of it. Wet is a liquid
that contains embalming fluid. People dip cigarettes in it, and then smoke
When Bobish Sr. demanded payment, testimony indicated that Edwards instead
went to his home to kill him.
During the penalty phase of Edwards' trial, his attorney presented
evidence that he has an IQ of 77, just above the 70 cutoff for mental
retardation. His defense at trial was that he did not kill the Bobishes,
and Edwards testified that a confession given to police that admitted his
involvement was made up.
In June 2004, less than a month after his sentence was handed down, an
automatic appeal was forwarded to the state Supreme Court. That is a
typical step when a death penalty verdict is delivered.
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys argued the case over briefs, the
last of which was filed in March 2005.
(source: The Herald-Standard)
The Death Penalty in South Dakota: What About the Victim?----Sense of
justice gets tramped in the rush to save a murderer
A full court press is under way in the South Dakota media to either save
convicted murderer Elijah Page, or make Governor Mike Rounds look bad, or
both (I haven't decided which of these possibilities is the right one,
The Rapid City Journal featured a 1,900-word piece on Sunday entitled
"Portrait of Elijah" which had a headline big enough to read from 30-feet
away. It also came with no less than 11 pictures of Page, 9 of them of him
when he was a child; this certainly must have been a sympathy ploy.
The next day, the Journal had two more stories on Page and how sad and
depressed he is, and how he has "one chance to live," if he'll just change
his mind about going willingly to his execution.
On the other end of the state, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader ran an
interview with Governor Rounds in which the paper tried to paint a
supposed inconsistency between the governors pro-life views and his
decision so far not to grant clemency to Page. They also ran several other
articles about how young Page is to be facing execution, articles about
how Page could stop the execution if he would only ask for an appeal (you
could almost hear the longing sighs in these articles) and similar fare.
There is very little in any of these articles about the life of Chester
Allan Poage, which was brutally stolen from the victim, or about the
heart-wrenching agony the murder of her son has caused Dottie Poage.
Let me say up front that I don't have a dog in this fight. I didn't know
Page's victim, Chester Allan Poage, and I don't know his family. I also
don't know any of Poage's murderers or their families. But as any
responsible member of society should, I have an interest in seeing that
justice be carried out.
At the risk of being painted as bloodthirsty (I am already painted that
way in the blogosphere), Im writing this piece in the defense of justice,
because the voices for justice are all too scarce at the moment.
In any discussion about capital punishment, the deterrent issue always
comes up. It's definitely a valid one, though deterrence should be a
benefit of capital punishment rather than the primary reason for it.
The current deterrent value of the death penalty is dubious due to our
poor record of actually utilizing the death penalty. Oh, sure, there are a
number of people on death row, but when the average time from sentencing
to execution is 12 years, the cause and effect are so greatly separated
that it doesn't send the message it should. Weve havent even executed 100
people a year for the past 25 years (we've averaged 40 per year as a
nation) while averaging 2,555 on death row each year during that same
time, or executing 1.5% of those on death row each year. When you only
stand a 1.5% chance of getting the punishment you deserveif you're even
caught and convicted in the first placethen how much deterrent value can
there be? But the answer to a misapplied procedure isn't to abandon it
altogether, but to START APPLYING IT CORRECTLY in the first place. In this
case, that would be to apply it quickly and certainly.
Then there are the protests about the execution of innocent people.
Despite the multitude of claims about innocent people on death row (ask
any incarcerated person and youll find that a guilty person behind bars is
as rare as hen's teeth), there remains today no documented case of an
innocent person being executed. We also go to sometimes ludicrous lengths
to protect the accused (I was in law enforcement for several years, and so
have some knowledge of the legal protection afforded to suspects), and
with the advent of DNA testing (not always a factor in every case), the
odds of an innocent person being executed are pretty low.
Remember that the threshold for a guilty verdict is "beyond a reasonable
doubt," which is a high threshold indeed. Many convicted murderers aren't
even sentenced to death, and since 1973, 37% of death row cases have been
overturned or commuted (this doesnt mean they were innocent, just that due
to some factor which might include a due process technicality, the
threshold for their death sentence and/or finding of guilty is not deemed
to be met). We also live in an imperfect world; we should do everything
possible to keep the innocent from being punished, but if we wait for
perfect justice before administering justice, well have no justice.
Another common argument is that the death penalty isn't uniformly applied,
that poor or minority convicts are sentenced to death more often than rich
white ones. That might or might not be the case, but there is certainly no
justification in claiming that because all do not receive their due
punishment, that none should (again, waiting for perfect justice will get
you no justice). Instead, we should be working harder as a society to make
sure that no one who is guilty, regardless of ethnic background or
economic status, escapes what they deserve.
Some also argue that a life sentence without parole leaves open the
possibility of spiritual repentance and the personal redemption of the
guilty. Repentance of the murderer is certainly a possibility, but how
long should the guilty be given to repent? They have the weeks and months
leading up to trial, they have the time during the trial, they have the
time during sentencing, and, on average, have 12 years between sentencing
and execution. Is this not enough?! Even God, as loving and longsuffering
as He is, doesn't allow unbelievers to live perpetually until they repent
of their sins; when their time is up, if they haven't repented by that
time, it's eternally too late.
(In this case, it's been over 6 years since Elijah Page murdered Chester
Allan Poage and I have yet to read a single account which indicates Page
has expressed remorse of any kind for his crime. How much more time does
he need to repent?)
And even if they did repent of their crime, that doesnt erase the debt
they owe for wrongfully taking a human life. Would that every murderer
would not only repent of their crime, but would repent of all their sins
so they could enter the kingdom of God. But even such repentance would not
absolve them of their duty to restitutionthe closest that a murderer can
come to restitution.
Further, keeping a convicted murderer incarcerated for decades places
guards and other inmates in danger, and if they escape, the public is yet
again placed in danger.
Some religious people object to the death penalty on what they consider
Biblical grounds. As well-intentioned as they may be, opposition to the
death penalty can't be supported through the Bible. We usually hear the
incident of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 cited. However, this
event says more about the Pharisees attempting to entrap Jesus than it
does about capital punishment: Christ did not condemn the death penalty in
this passage, and this woman was caught in adultery, not murder.
Christ, in fact, may have directly affirmed the validity of the death
penalty in Matthew 26:52 when he said, "all who draw the sword will die by
the sword." Jesus' apostle Paul certainly seemed to affirm it when he said
of wrongdoers in Romans 13 that governmental authority "does not bear the
sword for nothing."
The grace brought to humanity by Jesus Christ also did nothing to reduce
the righteous and holy nature of God. In fact, the grace which the Messiah
purchased for humanity on the cross was necessary because God demands the
appropriate punishment for wrongdoing. If that were not so, then Jesus
wouldnt have needed to take the punishment that we sinners deserve.
While the advent of the Messiah means the ceremonial laws of the Old
Testament are no longer required, God's moral laws were not changed a bit.
He said in Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law
or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
Except for a few radial liberals, I don't know of anyone who is arguing
that the Ten Commandments are outdated.
Even if the Law had been abrogated, God issued the edict of capital
punishment long before Moses ever delivered the Law. In Genesis 9, as Noah
and his family came off the ark, God said he would demand an accounting
from humans for the life of their fellow men: "Whoever sheds the blood of
man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made
man." He may have issued this command in response to the violence God gave
as a reason in Genesis 6 for destroying earth by flood. God doesnt see the
wrongful taking of human life as anything less than less than the highest
of offenses and neither should we...
...Since the situation currently before us is not just an academic
discussion of the death penalty, we would be remiss not to examine the
particulars of this case involving Elijah Page and Chester Allan Poage.
According to court reports, Page and his fellow murderers (Darrell Hoadley
and Briley Piper) decided in March of 2000 to kidnap and murder their
"friend" Chester Allan Poage so they could steal his possessions. At the
house where the three murderers had been living, they pulled a gun on
Poage and forced him to get on the floor where Piper kicked him
unconscious. They tied Poage to a chair and Page forced him to drink a
mixture of "crushed pills, beer and hydrochloric acid." Court documents
say Poage begged for an explanation of why his friends were doing this to
him, but Page hit him in the face and told him to "shut up." While the
murderers discussed how they might kill Poage, Poage pleaded for his life
and offered to give him everything he owned if they would let him live.
After getting Poage to divulge the PIN of his ATM card, they put the
victim in a car and drove him to Higgins Gulch. They forced Poage out of
the vehicle and into 12-inch deep snow where he was made to take off all
his clothes except for a tank-top style undershirt, shoes and socks; the
temperature was about 25 degrees F. The 3 murderers then held Poage down
and tried to cover him up with snow, then took him to an icy creek about
50 feet from the road. Court documents say Page and Piper admit to kicking
Poage "numerous times" in the head and other parts of his body. Poage
attempted to escape at one point, but this only brought recapture and more
beating. They made Poage lay in the icy creek water "for a lengthy period
of time." Poage begged to be allowed to get in the warm vehicle, saying he
would rather bleed to death in the warmth of the vehicle than to freeze to
death in the creek. Piper initially agreed to let him in the vehicle if he
would wash off the blood from his body in the creek, but after Poage did
this, Piper reneged and they continued beating him. After more beating,
they put Poage back in the stream where they tried to drown him. Piper
stood on the victim's neck, then stabbed him twice or more in the head and
neck. They apparently also beat him with stones. Poage was still moving
even after this brutal punishment, so they dropped large rocks on the
victim's head which is believed to have finally killed him. The court
documents state that Page admitted dropping these rocks on his friends
head. About 3 hours after they started beating Poage at the creek, Page
and the others left Poage for dead in the water. Page and the others then
stole some of Poage's property and used his ATM card to get some cash.
Over a month later, Poage's remains were found in that creek.
This is the work of Elijah Page, the man some believe isn't deserving of
Every account of Page's childhood is a pitiful one. No one seems to
dispute that he was ignored, neglected, and even terribly abused. Might
his life (and that of his victim, Chester Allan Poage) have been different
if his parents had treated him as he deserved? Almost certainly. If we
contend Pages upbringing had no effect on the kind of person he became, we
might as well say it doesn't matter how parents treat their children, what
they teach them, or how they raise them. Yet none of us was raised
perfectly; all of our parents made mistakes, just as Im making mistakes
with my children. No matter how good or bad our upbringing, each of us
remains responsible for what we do with it. Children from terrible
backgrounds go on to become tremendously good people, just as people who
had every advantage sometimes end up some of the most evil among us.
Regardless of what happens to us, we always retain the free will to choose
good or evil. Page chose evil.
Elijah Page should have been given his justice from abusive parents long
ago. But because he was denied justice, should we now continue the circle
of denied justice and deny it to Chester Allan Poage?
Because Page was abused as a child, should we then excuse him from the
penalty he deserves? What would you think if someone caught driving under
the influence of alcohol was caught and given a penalty of a $5.00 fee?
Would that be appropriate? Would it be appropriate if his father was an
It also doesn't matter that Page might have been under the influence of
drugs at the time he murdered Poage. He exercised his free will to take
those drugs, just as he exercised his free will to commit the torture and
murder of Poage. In order for there to be any rationale for excusing
violence under the influence of drugs, every drug user would have to
commit violence as an irresistible effect of the drug use. Even then,
however, the drug user exercised the free will to take the drug, therefore
should own the consequences of any actions he committed after taking the
There isn't even the slightest iota of a question of Page's innocence. He
has admitted repeatedly, in detail, his guilt in the murder of Chester
Allan Poage. So you can't even invoke an "O.J. Simpson"-like or cop-killer
"Mumia Abu-Jamal"-like protest that Page might be innocent of the charges
that a jury found him guilty of beyond a reasonable doubt.
I don't normally like to cover the same ground twice in an article, but
that "Portrait of Elijah" piece from the Rapid City Journal really
bothered me. Im wondering when they plan to do a "Portrait of Chester
Allen Poage?" Was there this kind of outcry, this kind of public
hand-wringing after an innocent young man was brutally tortured in a
stream bed for hoursby men who ostensibly were his friends? What does this
disproportionate response from some in the public say about the moral
fiber of our society?
More to the heart of why we have the death penalty, it is the pursuit of
justice. Justice requires that the penalty for a crime be commensurate to
the harm it has caused and its offense to society.
A key characteristic of the justice system of a civilized society is the
principle of restitution. It was in Gods laws to Israel, and has been in
every civilized culture throughout history.
What would you think if a man raped a woman and when he was caught, his
penalty was 30 days in jail? Would it be appropriate if his parents had
allowed him to look at pornography when he was a boy? Of course nothis
crime is his crime, regardless of his upbringing. I think we would all
agree that giving a convicted rapist 30 days in jail would be an offense
to the victim, to the sanctity of her body which had been violated. To
treat such a crime with such triviality would also be an offense to the
civilized society that has an interest in preventing such behavior through
incarceration and deterrence.
English philosopher John Stuart Mill once said to the British Parliament:
"Does fining a criminal show want of respect for property or imprisoning
him, for personal freedom? Just as unreasonable is it to think that to
take the life of a man who has taken that of another is to show want of
regard for human life. We show, on the contrary, most emphatically our
regard for it, by the adoption of a rule that he who violates that right
in another forfeits it for himself."
In equating capital punishment with the murders acts, we attempt a sort of
moral equivalency that not only do most thinking people reject, but God
himself also rejects. It not only ignores the difference between the
actions of individuals and the obligations of duly appointed governments,
but also disregards the motivations involved. Throughout the Bible we find
that God makes a distinction between the wrongful, malevolent killing of
an innocent person, and acts of rightful killing which include self
defense, the defense of others, justified warfare, and capital punishment
As Don Feder so aptly said, "If capital punishment is state murder, then
imprisonment is state kidnapping." We can understand when a simple child
makes the mistake of moral equivalency, but thinking, supposedly rational
adults are without excuse. Capital punishment is not an act of vengeance
by a hurt or angry individual; it is the impartial, objective rendering of
justice to a wrongdoer by duly established authority (established by both
God and man).
In the end, this really has nothing to do with Elijah Page, what he wants,
or what anyone else wants. It has to do with showing the proper value for
human life. It has to do with demonstrating to Poages memory, to his
mother Dottie, and to society that his life had meaning and worth. It has
to do with justice for Page's victim, Chester Allen Poage.
Some say that capital punishment offends the value of life. Yet our
society, since it has lost its will to administer the death penalty
swiftly and in all cases of murder, has lost the value of life to the
point where we viciously defend the right to kill our unborn children in
the womb or kill those disabled people who otherwise encumber us. Further,
it is not capital punishment that offends the value of life; it is the act
of the one deserving of capital punishment who has offended the value of
life--by the wrongful taking of innocent life.
Failure to execute a convicted murderer erodes human dignity and the value
of life. It says that the life of the victim is less valuable and less
important than the life of the one who wrongfully killed the victim.
That is not the message God sent to humanity, and it is not the message
our government should send to its citizens, both innocent and guilty
(source: Editorial,Bob Ellis (Editor), The Dakota Voice)
Commute death sentences, bishop urges S.D. guv
In an opinion piece published Aug. 19 in the Rapid City Journal daily
newspaper, Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City asked Gov. Mike Rounds to
commute two convicted killers' sentences to life imprisonment.
Elijah Page, 24, is scheduled to be executed the week of Aug. 28 for his
part in the 2000 beating, torture and killing of Chester Poage during a
Briley Piper, 25, also awaits execution for the crime. A 3rd man, Darrell
Hoadley, 26, was sentenced to life in prison.
Bishop Cupich wrote that, clearly, criminals must be held accountable for
"But let's be honest," he said. "The execution of convicted criminals is
an act of violence. It is an act of violence in which - with our
representative form of government -- we all participate."
The only way to break society's cycle of violence is to uphold the dignity
of all human life, Bishop Cupich said.
"When the state and its leaders affirm that even those who commit horrific
crimes retain their basic human dignity and worth, society is sent a
powerful and uniquely compelling message about the dignity of all human
life," he wrote.
Page's and Piper's cases are especially problematic, according to the
bishop. The jury that convicted Hoadley in the same crime refused to
sentence him to death. Page and Piper pleaded guilty and their cases did
not go to trial.
"While this saved the state a jury trial, it deprived them of the
opportunity afforded Mr. Hoadley," wrote Bishop Cupich, "namely to present
mitigating circumstances to a jury during the sentencing phase." South
Dakota law says a judge who accepts a guilty plea should impose sentence
without input from a jury.
While Page and Piper were primarily responsible for Poage's death, Hoadley
admitted participating in the attack "and his behavior was
indistinguishable" from that of the others, said the bishop. "This
disparity in the process and the disproportionate sentences merit a
reconsideration of the death sentences imposed by the judge."
The jury that heard Hoadley's case "reflects society's growing rejection
of capital punishment," said Bishop Cupich. He cited polls that found
support for the death penalty declining, especially among those who
describe themselves as "pro-life." They say respect for life is among the
reasons they oppose the death penalty, he said.
"We have enough violence in our society," he wrote. "The death penalty
only adds more."
Bishop Cupich's article cited Pope John Paul II's remarks during a 1999
visit to Missouri, in which he emphasized that there are other means to
protect society from violent crimes.
He noted that Page has ended his appeals, in essence volunteering to be
"This offers little comfort," Bishop Cupich said. "In fact, it suggests
that the state is being seduced into participating in Mr. Page's own
suicide. The most compassionate thing one can say is that his desire to
die reflects a state of mind which calls into question his capacity to
make a responsible decision."
The Republican governor, Rounds, is a Catholic who describes himself as
In an interview with the Rapid City Journal published Aug. 18, Rounds said
he would take Bishop Cupich's thoughts into consideration along with other
According to the paper, Rounds has said his Catholic beliefs played a role
in his decision to sign a recent law that would ban nearly all abortions
in the state. But when it comes to the death penalty, the paper quoted
Rounds as saying there's a difference between murderers and the unborn.
"The church has for years recognized that while you should do everything
you can to save life, that there is a difference between innocent unborn
life and the possible execution of a convicted criminal," he said,
according to the Journal.
The last execution in South Dakota was in 1947. Besides Page and Piper,
there are 2 other men on death row in the state.
(source: Catholic News)
Motion: Rights violated----At witness says Jerry Jones was incapable of
making an intelligent decision on waiving his rights.
In Clahoun, the judge in a Gordon County capital murder case declined
Monday to rule if the defendant was aware of his rights while writing
answers to investigators' questions while hospitalized.
Superior Court Judge Carey Nelson said he will review all records before
deciding that issue pertaining to Jerry Jones, accused of murdering his
estranged girlfriend's parents and sister, and his own daughter in January
Jones pleaded guilty in December to charges of murdering Tom and Nola
Blaylock, their daughter, Georgia Mae Bradley, and his 10-month-old
daughter, Jerri Georgia Jones.
He also faces charges of kidnapping in the abduction of Brittany Phelps,
Brandy Jones and Tami Hope Peeler, the three surviving daughters of
Agent James Harris with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said he was
unsure how to conduct the interview with Jones, who shot off the lower
portion of his face in a botched suicide attempt.
"It was unusual," Harris said of the interview.
Harris said Jones had appeared alert and coherent and wrote on a piece of
paper that he would answer investigator questions if he could ask some
questions. Harris also said he was on a 2-way radio with James Garmond,
lead investigator, because he had limited knowledge of the case.
Harris said he read his Miranda warning to Jones, who signed a paper with
"Miranda" written at the top. Harris said he and officer Eric Chadwick of
the East Ridge Police Department signed each page and noted the time.
Jones asked about the condition of the three children in the Ford Explorer
with him when he crashed during a police chase. Harris told him they
survived and were not hurt.
When asked why he killed the three adults, Harris said, Jones gestured
with his hands, moving them to about shoulder height, with palms upward,
but refused to write the answer.
"I took that to mean he didn't know," Harris said.
When asked why he killed his infant daughter, Jones wrote "Revenge."
Defense expert witness Dr. Stephen Hagan, a forensic psychologist, said
the trauma of multiple surgeries, medications, being restrained to the
hospital bed and being dependant on law enforcement officials to contact
nurses would all make for a hostile interview environment and render Jones
incapable of making an intelligent decision on waiving his rights.
Nelson gave no date when to expect a ruling on that motion, the motion to
suppress evidence gathered at Jones's Reservoir Street apartment in Rome,
the motion to suppress the death penalty and the motion to suppress parts
of victim impact statements.
2 days were scheduled for attorneys to make their case, but after they
were able to present their arguments Monday, Nelson canceled Friday's
court date and told attorneys to be ready to argue any last-minute motions
A sentencing trial, set to begin Feb. 19, is expected to take about a
month to complete.
(source: Rome News-Tribune)
U.S. may seek death penalty for accused Mexican drug kingpin
The federal government may seek the death penalty for the accused kingpin
of one of Mexico's oldest and most notorious drug cartels, a prosecutor
Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, 36, did not seek bail during his 2nd
court appearance in five days. He pleaded not guilty last week to
racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to import and distribute
controlled substances and money laundering.
Laura Duffy, an assistant U.S. attorney, said the government may seek new
charges against Arellano Felix that would allow for the death penalty or
life in prison if he is convicted. She did not elaborate on the possible
charges at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns.
Arellano Felix currently faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison
under a 2003 indictment that accused him and others of moving tons of
Colombian cocaine and Mexican marijuana to the United States and
involvement in a string of assassinations or plots, U.S. authorities said.
Last week, Mexican Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said Mexico
would seek Arellano Felix's extradition to Mexico, but perhaps not until
he had been tried and sentenced for crimes in the United States.
Arellano Felix, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at his wrists
and ankles, gave one-word answers in Spanish to procedural questions at
the bail hearing Monday. He was captured by the U.S. Coast Guard last week
off the coast of La Paz, Mexico, aboard the U.S.-registered sport boat
Seven other men aboard the yacht were arrested and taken to the United
States last week, including Arturo Villarreal Heredia, whom U.S.
authorities said was a high-ranking figure in the Tijuana-based Arellano
Felix cartel. On Monday, Burns ordered the release of one, Luis Raul
Jiminez Toledo, who will be returned to Mexico. The other 6, who have not
been charged with any crime, are being held as material witnesses.
Burns rejected a request to release Francisco Javier Mesa Castro after the
defendant's attorney, Andrew Nietor, said his client was only a crew
member aboard the fishing boat.
The others ordered held were Cesar Niebla Lerma, Juan Pedro Romero Fiol,
Edgar Omar Osorio and Jose Luis Betancourt Espinoza. Authorities had
previously identified Niebla Lerma as Marco Villanueva Fernandez and
Romero Fiol as Ernesto Gonzales Fimbles.
John Kirby, a former federal prosecutor in San Diego who worked on the
2003 indictment, said Arellano Felix took over field operations after his
older brother Benjamin was jailed in Mexico in 2002 and brother Ramon was
killed that same year.
Another brother, Eduardo Ramon Arellano Felix, remains at large. According
to Kirby, he has exited the day-to-day operation of the cartel.
"Javier was basically anointed to head things while Benjamin was in jail,
and with that pipeline gone I don't see that anyone else is there to take
his place or to head off inroads by other cartels who want to operate in
Tijuana," Kirby said.
(source: Mercury News)
Death Penalty Upheld For Former Sheriff's Deputy
The California Supreme Court Monday upheld the death penalty of a former
Kern County sheriff's deputy who killed 2 prostitutes in Bakersfield in
1986 and 1987.
David Rogers, now 59, was convicted in Kern County Superior Court of
1st-degree murder for fatally shooting 15-year-old Tracie Clark in
February 1987 and 2nd-degree murder for the shooting death of 20-year-old
Janine Benintende in January 1986.
The bodies of both women were thrown into a canal, police said.
Rogers was given the death penalty for Clark's murder and an additional
sentence of 15 years to life in prison for the earlier slaying.
Police said he confessed to killing Clark but claimed he lacked the intent
for 1st-degree murder because of mental illness resulting from extensive
physical and sexual abuse by family members.
The state high court, in a ruling issued in San Francisco, unanimously
affirmed the conviction and death penalty.
The panel rejected a series of appeal arguments, including Rogers' claim
that the trial judge should have conducted a hearing on whether he was
mentally competent to stand trial.
Rogers's direct appeal to the California Supreme Court is the 1st step in
the appeal process. He can now continue appeals through habeas corpus
petitions in state and federal courts.
(source: NBC News)
Solicitor: Seeking Death Penalty in Souers Murder Case
Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Bob Ariail will seek the the death penalty
against Jerry "Buck" Inman for the May 26 murder of Clemson student
In a statement released to FOX Carolina, Ariail says, "We have completed
our review of the case and have spoken with both law enforcement and
Souers family," "We are all in agreement that this is the proper course
for us to take."
Ariail is unsure, at this point, when the case would go to trial. Inman is
currently housed in the S.C. Department of Corrections.
(source: Fox News)
Death penalty sought in Souers killing
The 13th Circuit Solicitor's Office will seek the ultimate punishment
against the man accused of the strangulation death of Clemson University
student Tiffany Souers in May.
Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Bob Ariail made the decision Tuesday after
completing his review of the case and speaking to law enforcement and
members of the Souers family.
"We are in agreement that this is the proper course for us to take," Mr.
Ariail said in a statement.
Mr. Ariail said he was unsure when the case would go to trial.
Ms. Souers mother, Bren, told the Anderson Independent-Mail recently the
family would support the solicitor "100 percent" in pursuing the death
penalty after learning that, were he to be convicted and sentenced to life
in prison, he would not face permanent "lockdown."
Ms. Souers, a 20-year-old civil engineering student from Ladue, Mo., was
found dead in her off-campus apartment in Central May 26. She was naked
except for a bra. Her ankles and wrists were bound.
Inman is a convicted sex offender who is charged with murder, kidnapping
and criminal sexual conduct. He also faces additional charges in
connection with a crim spree in Tennessee and Alabama in the days leading
up to the Souers killing.
(source: Independent Mail)
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