[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MO. CALIF.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jan 23 23:14:13 CST 2006
Supreme Court denies state's appeal in death row case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied the state's appeal of a ruling
that overturned a man's conviction in a 1987 murder.
Leamon White, of Kansas City, was convicted of slitting the throat of a
drug dealer at a Kansas City crack house on Jan. 6, 1987. 2 other people
were stabbed and two children escaped after being tied up.
The 2 surviving stabbing victims identified White as one of 3 assailants.
White has maintained his innocence and appealed his 1989 conviction and
death sentence. He had argued that his attorney was ineffective, and that
the victims confused him with someone else and no physical evidence tied
him to the crime scene.
Opponents of the death penalty have pointed to White's case as one they
believe involves an innocent man being sent to death row.
In June 2004, a federal district court threw out White's conviction and
sentence, agreeing that his attorney was ineffective.
Last November, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the state's request to block
the order overturning White's conviction from taking effect. Monday's
ruling denied the state's efforts to have the Supreme Court hear the case.
The ruling means the case goes back to the Jackson County prosecutor to
determine if there will be a new trial, said Scott Holste, spokesman for
Attorney General Jay Nixon.
In overturning the conviction and sentence, the federal appeals court
agreed with a lower court that White's attorney should have presented
testimony from other witnesses during the trial - including one of the
children in the house when the crime was committed.
The state had argued that decisions about which witnesses and evidence to
present are a part of trial strategy, not attorney mistakes that require a
(source: Associated Press)
Death Sentence Verdict in Pato's Place Trial
A verdict was reached after only hours of deliberating. A jury has
recommended Timothy and Donald Young be sentenced to death for committing
the worst mass murder in Tulare County history.
The Young brothers were convicted last month of murdering five people at
Pato's Place bar in Tulare back in 1995.
10 years and 40,000 pages of evidence later, family members finally had
Donald and Timothy Young will be sentenced to death for killing 5 people
at Pato's Place Bar in Tulare.
"It's very emotional and this has gone on for an extremely long time,"
said prosecutor Kathy Montejano. "You wonder if a day like today will ever
come, and it has." It took jurors just one day to deliberate on the
sentence. None of them wanted to speak to the media.
Donald Young's lawyer, Michael Idiart, said his client felt that after the
conviction, a death sentence was inevitable, "He anticipated this result
in terms of the punishment, but keep in mind we still have a sentencing
date and the judge in effect is a 13th juror. He may consider some other
punishment, like life without parole."
Prosecutors say that's highly unlikely.
The Young brother's father, who attended court everyday since last
September, says he will be waiting for the appeal.
"The Lord is going to bless us. God gave us his word that vengeance is his
... he shall repay," said Luttrell Young. "So, I feel the guilty parties
will eventually be found and my son will be vindicated. That's the way I
feel about it."
(source: ABC News)
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