[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----OKLA., CALIF., N.J., USA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Mar 18 20:15:36 CST 2006
Prosecutors plan to seek death penalty in double slaying
Tulsa County prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for a Broken Arrow
man who allegedly killed two people and seriously wounded another last
A document filed today says Alex Charles Naramore deserves the death
penalty because he's a continuing threat to society, he knowingly created
a great risk of death to more than one person and he killed in order to
avoid arrest or prosecution.
The 22-year-old Naramore is accused of killing Danielle Dougan and Stephen
Wilson on November 16th. He allegedly shot Rebecca Caswell, but she
Naramore has been in the Tulsa Jail since November 17th, and awaits a
March 27th arraignment in District Judge Tom Thornbrugh's court.
During his January preliminary hearing, evidence indicated Naramore
regularly bought cocaine at the residence where the shootings occurred.
(source: KTEN News)
Authenticity of pro-clemency statements doubted -- Investigator suspected
in Morales forgeries; 2 other cases probed
A former defense investigator suspected of fabricating pro-clemency juror
statements in Michael Morales' death penalty appeal has been linked to 14
more questionable declarations in 2 other capital cases.
Kathleen Culhane, who worked for the state-funded Habeas Corpus Resource
Center in San Francisco until mid-2005, is already under investigation by
the state attorney general's office for the statements she submitted to
Morales' defense attorneys earlier this year.
Prosecutors accused Culhane of fabricating statements from 5 jurors and a
witness against Morales, declarations that appellate attorneys have since
withdrawn. Morales' execution for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Terri
Winchell of Lodi has been put on hold on other grounds related to a
defense challenge to lethal injections.
The latest suspicions about Culhane's work came to light when Michael
Laurence, head of the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, sent letters to the
state Supreme Court asking to withdraw 14 declarations she had submitted
in support of appeals for 2 men on death row.
A former juror quoted in one of the statements told The Chronicle on
Thursday that the declaration was a fake.
Culhane's lawyer, Stuart Hanlon, said the statements were authentic.
"She maintains she in fact did everything correctly, never forged any
signature, never did anything wrong or illegal while aggressively trying
to help people on death row," he said. "She is proud of her work; she
doesn't really know what's happening here."
In one of his letters, dated March 6, Laurence said he had learned that "5
witnesses from whom Ms. Kathleen Culhane purportedly obtained signed
declarations did not sign those declarations."
The 5 were identified as jurors who found Cristhian Monterroso guilty and
then recommended that he be sentenced to death for 2 robbery-murders of
convenience store clerks in Orange County. The killings took place the
same day in 1991.
Appellate attorneys used the statements to support their argument that
Monterroso had been sentenced to death because of "race and ethnic
discrimination and xenophobia."
One statement, purportedly from the jury forewoman, referred to a
confession by Monterroso that prosecutors did not introduce at trial. "I
learned during the proceedings that Mr. Monterroso had confessed, and that
was enough for me," the statement said.
The same statement also quoted the forewoman as saying she had been a
member of a group "dedicated to immigration reform."
"Since the 1980s, it has been hard to avoid the huge numbers of illegal
aliens around the county," the statement said. "They are mostly Latinos,
and they have a lot of children. That upsets me, because these same
illegal aliens who use our public services do not pay taxes."
The statement quoted the forewoman as saying she had been motivated to
"speed the (death penalty case) along" to avoid "the waste of resources on
Another statement quoted a juror as saying she had deliberately ignored
the judge's admonition against discussing the case outside court and had
talked to her boss, an attorney, about what a sentence of life without
The statement said the juror's boss had told her that "there was a
possibility that someone with (a) sentence of life without parole could be
released down the line." That would be true only if an inmate's conviction
or sentence were overturned.
Ultimately, the statement said, she had told other jurors that Monterroso
"could be released if we voted against death."
In 2 letters dealing with another case, one sent Feb. 27 and the other on
Tuesday, Laurence asked the state Supreme Court to withdraw statements
purportedly made by two jurors who voted to convict Vicente Benavides,
along with declarations supposedly from seven of the defendant's
Benavides was sentenced to death after being convicted of the 1991 rape
and murder of a 21-month-old girl he was babysitting in the town of Delano
in Kern County.
Benavides' appellate attorneys used the statements to support their claim
that his trial lawyers had failed to do their job in finding family
members to speak on his behalf during the penalty phase.
They also tried to bolster their appeal with the jurors' purported
statements. One quoted a juror as saying that she had doubts about the
death penalty and Benavides' guilt, but that her prayer group had told her
"to do what God wanted and punish this man."
In an interview, Laurence would not comment on whether the jurors or
relatives had denied making the statements. However, the former juror who
supposedly talked to a prayer group told The Chronicle that the statement
was a fabrication.
"This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard," said the juror, Elewee
Jackson, 81, of Bakersfield. She said she does not belong to a prayer
Jackson said that a man had visited her 2 weeks ago and shown her the
signature on the statement, but that it was a forgery.
Laurence would not comment about either case. "The one thing I want to
stress is that the clients had nothing to do with any of this," he said.
"They should not suffer."
Hanlon said Laurence's actions were "not only damaging to (Culhane), but
his own clients. It seems what he is doing is devastating to Death Row
"I have lot of respect for him," Hanlon said. "He is one of the best. That
doesn't mean he knows what he is doing in this instance."
(source: San Francisco Chronicle)
Can you handle the truth?----Docudrama at OCC is not for the squeamish
DIRECTED BY: Arthur Waldman
WHEN: 8 p.m. today and Saturday
WHERE: Ocean County College Theater Company's Fine Arts Theatre, College
Drive, Dover Township
INFO: (732) 255-0424
Brimming with ultra-realistic frankness and scalding with truth, "The
Exonerated" opened at the Fine Arts Theatre of Ocean County College in
Dover Township last weekend.
The drama plays like a black-and-white documentary film, dealing with the
little-known truths behind 6 innocent individuals who were mistakenly
convicted of murder and served time on death row.
What we hear and see is shocking and astounding, giving us insights not
only into the cracks in the American justice system but the prejudices and
falsehoods that are essential parts of those cracks.
The drama is based on extracted interviews, letters and transcripts of 6
people who were wrongly convicted of murder.
Gary Gauger is a Midwestern organic farmer who was convicted of killing
his parents. As he sits on death row, he explains how he never got over
the shock of finding their dead bodies and keeps wondering why and how
they were killed and by whom. Shockingly, the only real evidence that
associated him with the crime is that he found the bodies. His story,
paraphrased, is simply that the justice system had to convict somebody,
and it arbitrarily chose him.
After years on death row, the real murderer was found, and Gauger explains
that he did not think that the murderer should be put to death, just
jailed for life.
Delbert Tibbs, an African-American poet, landed on death row after being
mistakenly convicted for the rape and murder of a white girl. Later the
conviction is overturned. What is astounding about his case is that Tibbs
did not even match the description of the real suspect and never should
have been arrested. The remaining four stories are just as upsetting.
"The Exonerated" makes its characters three-dimensional by not only acting
out limited parts of the characters' stories, but also by leaving us with
an in-depth look at how the lives of the exonerated were brutally changed,
if not completely taken away from them, even though at the play's
denouement, they all are free.
The 10-member ensemble is thumbs-up in the acting department. The cast is
highlighted by Edward C. Smith, South Toms River, as Delbert Tibbs, the
gospel-singing poet. Also standing out is Wendi Klemple, Dover Township,
as Sunny Jacobs, a charismatic yoga instructor whose husband was convicted
and executed for killing a police officer.
Director Arthur Waldman wisely creates the play's serious mood by having
actors costumed in come-as-you-are clothing, and virtually no setup just
10 chairs and spotlights on the speakers.
As good an evening of theater that it is, "The Exonerated" is not for
those who are sensitive about hearing graphic details of murder victims.
For an additional touch of authenticity, various members of the Ocean
County justice system appear in cameo roles.
(source: Asbury Park Press)
Attorney general tells of death-penalty doubts----Citing costs and her
"practical opposition," Zulima Farber said she backed extending the
In Trenton, the state's top prosecutor says she supports extending New
Jersey's moratorium on executions, does not think the death penalty is a
"necessary tool" for prosecutors, and believes it does not dissuade
"I don't think it's a deterrent, and I understand revenge," Attorney
General Zulima Farber said this week in her first major interview since
being sworn in Jan. 30. "I think some people deserve it, but I don't think
it's a necessary tool."
Farber attributed her opposition in part to the death penalty's drain on
resources and lack of implementation.
"I don't have a philosophical or religious opposition to the death
penalty. I have a practical opposition to the death penalty," she said.
10 prisoners are on New Jersey's death row. Although the state reinstated
capital punishment in 1982, its last execution took place in 1963.
In January, the Legislature voted to suspend executions while a 13-member
task force studied the fairness and costs of imposing the death penalty.
Farber has a seat on the study commission, which has until November to
make its report.
"I don't believe we're less protected in New Jersey in terms of law
enforcement because no one has been executed in going over 40 years,"
She said capital cases consumed precious state resources without perfect
A November study by the New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonprofit liberal
think tank, said capital trials cost an average of $162,960, compared with
$46,560 for non-capital trials. It also said death-row inmates were more
expensive to confine than typical inmates.
"I would welcome the analysis of the data and whatever the commission is
going to look at, and I would not oppose cessation," Farber said.
38 states allow the death penalty.
(source: Associated Press)
Return to public execution
The men and women who this week were arrested in association with the
child porn sting carried out by the Justice Department should experience
true justice. They should be dragged to Times Square in New York City,
hands tied behind their backs, and their crimes should be announced to the
packed square and an international TV audience. They should be given no
more than two minutes to sort out their business with God.
And then ... they should go meet Him!
They should have their necks stretched, a bullet placed in the back of
their heads, or a dozen bowling balls tied to their necks and dropped into
the ocean. Or all 3.
Whether they watched it or participated in it - and when it comes to moral
sin, the Bible doesn't distinguish between the 2 - they should receive the
same sentence. But what these mongrels have done goes beyond the pale of
When President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, the authorities saw
fit to burn and shoot Booth, but also publicly hanged his co-conspirators,
including a doctor who treated his broken leg following his shooting of
the president. They even hanged the women.
The crime the crew had conspired to commit was so deadly, lethal and
dangerous to the nation that it was obvious no wrongdoer in the matter
could be allowed sanction.
How much more evil is it for a father to engage in oral sex, even anal
intercourse with his 18-month-old infant? How violent an act is it to
injure a baby's rectum from such activity? How diabolical is it to
videotape it? And how far beyond perverse is it to encourage others to
watch while it is done?
My radio audience, in urban areas especially like New York City, seem to
always rally against the idea of death penalty. The normal arguments
relate to certainty of a convict's association with the crime. The rest
argue that God is the only one who can mete out true justice in such a
In this case - the identity of the sickening dogs is easy to prove -
they're the people raping their own children and watching the rapes occur.
So have the "trial" - if its necessary - but that should more or less
consist of, "here's the tape of the defendants doing what they are accused
of." Once that is proven, then there should be no more delay, no more
posturing, no more psychoanalysis calling for "understanding these
people's mental state." I have no interest in understanding their
reasoning for sodomizing their 18-month-old baby, and I would want to lock
up anyone who did.
This is not now, nor should it become, a matter of these persons' mental
state, capacity, or potential. There is no need for "intense counseling"
where they can uncover "demons that made them do it."
This is a matter of perverse appetite that is so far beyond control that
it is unredeemable. The ability to be compassionate to a person in this
position should not humanly attainable. And for those who argue that it
would be God's will to extend such compassion, then let us agree by
sending them to meet Him forthrightly.
Let us return to the public, the benefit to the human psyche, of putting
these offenders to death in a brutal and agonizing fashion before the
world's TV cameras for all to see. In doing so, we send the resolute
message that there is a God, and that it is always better to meet Him on
His terms, rather than yours. In scarring our now hardened hearts with the
shock of what happens to wrongdoers, perhaps we can avoid the pain that
comes with the shock to the innocent of the wrongdoer's actions.
Let Tim Robbins and Jesse Jackson hold the vigil and weep for the pain
that the molester will experience. We know they care more for the cause of
their agenda rather than the pain of the child who will be stunted
mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and perhaps physically - because
someone they trusted made their 18-month-old body their own personal
Determine the facts as to the matter of guilt and let justice be done
And let it be so for the sake of our children we seek to protect, and for
the restraint it might encourage in others whose proclivity to evil might
Try them, show them, hang them - and let the people learn.
(source: WorldNetDaily - Kevin McCullough)
Caught Up in DNA's Growing Web
The announcement this week that DNA from a paroled violent felon working
as a bouncer matches that found on plastic ties used to bind a murdered
graduate student highlights DNA's power to implicate people already in
15 years ago, as a Manhattan homicide prosecutor, I was an aggressive
proponent of taking DNA from convicted murderers, rapists and other
violent felons so we could catch them when they committed crimes again. I
even quit my day job to write a book likening the identification of
criminals through DNA to the voice of God speaking on earth.
I still firmly believe in the power of DNA to catch the guilty and
exonerate the innocent. This week's developments seem likely to vindicate
that faith again. But for all this technology's promise, proposals by some
to extend DNA databanks far beyond convicted felons, and even to the
general population, go too far.
In the early 1990's, state legislatures did what many early proponents of
DNA urged: they passed laws to take DNA from those convicted of murder,
rape and other violent felonies. Then they enacted laws to take DNA from
most convicted felons. Misdemeanor sex crimes were next, a logical,
But the proposed next steps in DNA collection were more problematic. In
1998, New York City's police commissioner, Howard Safir, proposed that DNA
be taken from all arrestees. And Gov. George Pataki has sought to take DNA
from people convicted of any misdemeanor, without proof that such
offenders are more likely than the general population to commit violent
felonies or sex crimes (the kinds of offenses where DNA evidence is most
And the buzz today among prosecutors, judges and defense lawyers is that
proposals to take DNA from the entire population are next.
What, if anything, is wrong with this picture? DNA databanks do help
apprehend dangerous criminals (and thereby prevent crime). But most people
aren't violent criminals and never will be, so putting their DNA on file
exposes them to risks that they otherwise wouldn't face. First, the people
who collect and analyze DNA can make mistakes (witness the Houston Police
Department Laboratory, whose slapdash DNA procedures led to at least one
wrongful conviction). Second, people can be framed by the police, a rival
or an angry spouse. Third, DNA is all about context; there may be innocent
reasons for a person's DNA to be at a crime scene, but the police are not
always so understanding.
Indeed, with a universal national DNA databank, innocent people may be
embroiled in criminal investigations when their DNA (a single hair or spot
of saliva on a drinking glass) appears in a public or private place where
they had every right to be.
Even if we get past those objections (do you trust the government with
your DNA on file?), the practical barriers to universal collection loom
larger still. In a nation with no institutionalized national
identification cards, photo files or fingerprinting, just imagine
requiring all citizens and residents to report to the local registry for
So the advocates of universal testing will urge the collection of DNA at
birth. Aside from the atmospherics of registering newborns (don't you know
that children are our future ... criminals), rapid technological advances
suggest that we will not be using the same methods to analyze and store
DNA results 20 years from now, when those grown babies begin committing
DNA databases should expand, but some fundamental principles should guide
their development: government should aim DNA collection at those most
likely to commit the crimes DNA can solve (rape and murder); before
expanding collection, it should focus on improving laboratories and
testing samples from unsolved violent crimes sitting untested in storage
closets or refrigerators; and it should recognize (as have some but not
all of our courts) that it does not have an unlimited right to every
person's DNA without some showing of special need.
When the proponents of universal collection make their way to the body
politic, they'll tell us that this is the next big thing. But there's
nothing cutting edge about technology that is likely to be outdated before
it becomes useful, or vast databases maintained by government bureaucrats
who will require you to explain the presence of your alleged DNA at a
crime scene at peril of prison. Instead, it sounds like some misguided,
dismal imagining of our future.
(source: Harlan Levy, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan,
is a lawyer and the author of "And the Blood Cried Out."----Op-Ed, New
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