[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----CONN., N.Y., N.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Mar 31 10:59:37 EST 2006
Convicted murder ruled competent for death penalty hearing
A Hartford man convicted in a double homicide has been found mentally
competent to face a second death penalty hearing.
In May of 2004, a jury convicted Jessie Campbell the 3rd of shooting 2
women to death and injuring a third during a rampage in August of 2000.
But the jury was deadlocked when it came to deciding whether he should get
the death penalty or life in prison.
One issue since then has been Campbell's mental competence. Yesterday a
judge ruled he is competent.
The finding means jury selection can begin April 10th. The death penalty
hearing itself is expected to begin sometime in June.
(source: Associated Press)
ASSEMBLYMAN FINCH PUSHES DEATH PENALTY FOR COP KILLERS
Assemblyman Gary D. Finch R-Cayuga, has ridiculed the fact that the
proposed state budget agreement reached late Tuesday contains $1.7 million
in new funds for the capital defenders office, an agency dedicated to
defending inmates on death row - even though the state no longer has a
death penalty law.
To solve the discrepancy, Assembly Republicans have proposed an amendment
allowing for capital punishment for individuals convicted of murdering
police or correction officers. However, the measure was rejected by
"I cannot fathom why nearly $2 million is appropriated to an agency to
protect inmates on death row when there is no capital punishment law in
place," said Finch. "I have absolutely no problem with the agency or the
appropriation, so long as there is a capital punishment law in place. The
answer to me is quite simple: allow eligibility for the death penalty to
those individuals who recklessly take the lives of our police and
The state Senate is expected to take a full vote on this issue, and
Assembly Republicans are confident the measure would pass the Assembly if
the house was allowed to vote on this legislation. The Assembly Codes
Committee defeated a separate Assembly Republican effort to reinstate the
death penalty past year.
"In December, I voted tough on crime and I will continue to do so," said
Finch. "Unfortunately, Speaker Sheldon Silver has found yet another way to
spend taxpayers' money instead of taking a stand to be tough on crime. By
allowing for the possibility for individuals to receive the death penalty
for murdering an officer in uniform, we are taking a stance against crime.
I am honored to stand up for our police and correction officers."
Gov. George Pataki and state legislators in December passed and signed
into law 2 bills that toughened illegal gun-trafficking laws as well as
increased the penalties for violence against police officers. A proposal
to include the death penalty as a possible sentence for those who murder
police and correction officers was dropped when Democratic leaders would
not budge, added Finch.
(source: The Palladium Times)
Our view: Death penalty considered for child rapists
South Carolina is trying to follow Louisiana's lead by allowing
prosecutors to seek the death penalty against twice-convicted child
The proposal, which was passed by the S.C. Senate, focuses on sex
offenders convicted twice of raping a child younger than 11.
Many states, including North Carolina, allow capital punishment in the
most heinous and atrocious murders.
And there are cases in which these horrible deaths call for nothing less
Abner Nicholson shot and killed Sharpsburg police Chief Wayne Hathaway in
1997. Timothy Keel lured his father-in-law to a remote spot in Edgecombe
County and murdered him in 1990. Kermit Smith kidnapped, raped and
murdered an N.C. Wesleyan College cheerleader in 1980.
Keel and Smith already have been executed, and Nicholson still is on death
But there are cases of murder that don't rise to the level of capital
punishment - a bar fight that goes horribly wrong or a crime of passion
that ends with death. The intent to kill typically is not present in those
"It happened so fast, and before I knew it, she was dead" is a common
defense tactic in trials.
However, twice-convicted child rapists can't rely on that same defense.
"It happened so fast, and before I knew it, I raped her" wouldn't hold
much water with many jurors.
Raping a child younger than 11 is a horrible crime. Doing it twice is
especially heinous, and those convicted of it should face a possible death
The death penalty should never be regarded lightly. But if any crime
outside of murder warrants it, the rape of a child surely fits the bill.
(source: Opinion, Rocky Mount Telegram)
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