[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----N.J., CALIF., N.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jan 17 18:52:09 UTC 2007
Suspect caught in N.J. cop-killing; prosecutor to seek death penalty
Lenew Foxworth stood outside police headquarters yesterday and thought
about what he would like to ask the man accused of murdering his cousin,
Officer Tyron Franklin.
"I would say to the young man, 'I hope and pray you understand what you
did,' " Foxworth said. "You took a life and left a young child without a
Foxworth and other relatives of Franklin, a rookie police officer who was
off-duty when he was gunned down Jan. 7, while ordering food at a
chicken-takeout restaurant, said the arrest yesterday morning of a
23-year-old suspect helped ease the pain somewhat.
He said the Franklin family holds no hatred toward suspect Teddy
Charlemagne, who is the same age as the officer he is charged with
"They just want justice to be done," he said.
Acting on a tip phoned in from the public within the past 2 days, officers
from local, county, state and federal agencies tracked Charlemagne to the
apartment of a friend in Irvington, and arrested him at about 8 a.m.,
Paterson Police Lt. Anthony Traina said.
The suspect, who was unemployed and had no known permanent address, has
four felony convictions for drug and weapons offenses, Traina said. He was
being held on $2 million bail on charges of murder, armed robbery and
illegal weapons possession, and is scheduled to make an initial appearance
in state Superior Court tomorrow morning.
The arrest brought relief to the Paterson Police Department, many of whose
members worked on their days off during the search and never asked to be
paid, Police Chief James Wittig said.
"Our feelings toward him [Franklin] we really can't even express," the
chief said. "This was a young kid, 23 years old, who was killed."
"We're very happy today," Traina added. "But we are still very distressed
that one of our officers was taken down. That pain will never go away.
This can only put a little cherry on top of it that we got this guy."
Despite a moratorium on executions in New Jersey, Passaic County
Prosecutor James Avigliano said his office intends to seek the death
penalty against Charlemagne.
David Wald, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, said that
the death-penalty law remains on the books and that there is nothing
preventing a county prosecutor from seeking to use it.
The officer, dressed in plain clothes and unarmed, had taken money from
his wallet to pay for his food when a man tried to rob him, authorities
Since then, officials released a sketch of a man and a description of a
vehicle in which he was riding. A reward of $60,000 was offered, and will
be paid to the informant if Charlemagne is convicted of the murder, Traina
Franklin, who was engaged and was the father of a 16-month-old son,
graduated from the city's police academy in April.
He grew up in Westwood, where his high school principal remembered him as
a gregarious athlete who played football and wrestled.
Franklin's father had retired as a captain in the Paterson Fire
Department, and wanted his son to follow him, but Franklin chose the
The rookie officer had entered the restaurant around 1:15 a.m. He was shot
several times with a handgun after a struggle as a few employees looked
on. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center less
than an hour later.
Another person shot in the confrontation, identified only as a 42-year-old
man, has been released from the hospital.
Besides his son and fiancee, Franklin is survived by his mother, 3 sisters
and a brother.
(source: Associated Press)
State wants 4 months and secrecy to revamp execution procedures ---- Death
penalty now on hold pending judicial review
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a federal judge on Tuesday for 4 months
to revamp the state's lethal injection procedures and also requested that
the administration be allowed to come up with the changes in secret.
In filings with U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel, the administration
said it would tell Fogel on May 15 how it would change death penalty
procedures that the judge described as so flawed that they bordered on
Fogel put executions in California on hold last year as he considers
arguments by lawyers for Michael Morales, who was scheduled for execution
last February. In response, Schwarzenegger ordered state corrections
officials in December to begin making changes that will include better
training for prison employees who administer the death penalty, a
screening process for execution team members and a better record-keeping
The administration reiterated Tuesday that it would proceed with those
changes but said it needs until May to develop a wide-ranging proposal.
Also on Tuesday, Schwarzenegger asked that Fogel issue a protective order
that would prevent the public from learning how it comes up with the
changes, including the experts that corrections officials consult with. A
protective order would allow the administration to deny requests under
public access laws for information on how it is creating policies.
Corrections officials want the chance to develop a proposal without
interference from groups that oppose the death penalty or others, said
Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for Attorney General Jerry Brown. Brown's
office represents the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
in the case. Barankin noted that some experts, such as medical
professionals, would not talk to the department if their names became
"The whole world will see the final report,'' he said.
But an attorney for Morales said the protective order was unnecessary.
"We are extremely troubled at the administration's attempt to discuss this
important policy in total secrecy,'' Ginger Anders said.
Morales' attorneys will file a response to the governor's filing within 2
(source: San Francisco Chronicle)
State working to fix death penalty
State officials trying to bring California's method for carrying out the
death penalty within constitutional limits asked a federal judge Tuesday
to allow them to conduct their work out of reach of attorneys for a
condemned Stockton man.
They also set a May 15 deadline to unveil the improved method that will
withstand constitutional tests.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel last month found California's method of
execution unconstitutional, saying, "Lethal injection is broken, but it
can be fixed." Fogel also urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to take the
lead in fixing the problems.
The federal court proceedings, which for now have halted all California
executions, arise from objections by Stockton's Michael Angelo Morales,
sentenced to death for the 1981 murder and rape of 17-year-old Terri Lynn
Morales was steps away from California's death chamber at San Quentin
State Prison when his attorneys won the delay on grounds California's
executions violated inmates' protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
The governor's office and that of California Attorney General Jerry Brown
affirmed their commitment Tuesday to fixing the execution protocol but
added in court papers that specialists they call should not be drawn into
the public courtroom deliberations.
Those specialists should "feel comfortable discussing alternatives,
options and possibilities without fear that they will be subpoenaed or
deposed simply due to their participation in ... policy discussions,"
court papers said.
The state has asked for a March hearing at which Fogel would consider
their request for an order allowing them to fix problems. The state
officials could unveil their new execution protocol by May 15, court
In a news release, Schwarzenegger said his office set a clear time line
for resolving Fogel's concerns over lethal injection.
"I am committed to doing what it takes to revise the protocol, including
its implementation, so that the will of the people is maintained, and the
death penalty continues in California," Schwarzenegger said.
(source: The Record)
Calif. to Review Death Penalty by May 15
State officials said Tuesday they would submit revised lethal injection
procedures to a federal judge by May 15 in an attempt to revive
California's death penalty.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled last month that the state's
execution method was unconstitutional, though he left open the possibility
it could be fixed.
Fogel said executioners were poorly trained, worked in dim, cramped
quarters and failed to properly mix the lethal, 3-drug cocktail used to
kill condemned inmates.
The attorney general and governor's offices said Tuesday the state was
"committed to reviewing, evaluating and revising the current lethal
injection protocol with respect to the identified deficiencies and any
others that may emerge during the evaluation.''
They said they would file a report with Fogel laying out the changes in
procedures they planned to make.
California has been under a capital punishment moratorium since February,
when Fogel halted the execution of convicted rapist and murderer Michael
(source: Associated Press)
It may seem unjust, but executions are on hold for now----Gov.
Schwarzenegger has ordered a review of lethal injection procedures to see
if they violate the "cruel and unusual" standard.
Question: A recent court ruling in California shows that lethal injection
may be a form of cruel and unusual punishment. My view is if you were
given the death sentence, you were the one acting in a "cruel and unusual"
manner. Where is this going? Is the death penalty not being enforced?
-- J.J., El Segundo
Answer: The federal court ban on executions in California dates back to
February 2006 and was recently extended. But the thought is that things
can be fixed.
Last month, California was given a 30-day period to revise its procedures
on lethal injection. Implementation will take longer (perhaps as much as a
year), but our governor already has ordered his staff to come up with
revised execution procedures.
The bottom line is that California is among a few other states (such as
Florida) where death by lethal injection has been called into real
question because it may violate the Eight Amendment prohibition against
cruel and unusual punishment. Specifically, lethal injections may not be
efficient and painless. They may instead be prolonged and/or agonizing.
For many, justice delayed is (or feels like) justice denied. Thus, perhaps
the only way to address your frustration is to repeat something here that
I have heard many times: Our legal system is not perfect, but it's the
best system ever devised.
(source: Ron Sokol, Ask The Lawyer, Daily Breeze)
Prosecutor: Execution is appropriate sentence for Robinson
In Raleigh, a prosecutor says death is the appropriate punishment for
Marcus Robinson in the 1991 slaying of a Fayetteville teenager.
Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis met today with Governor
Easley at a clemency proceeding for Robinson.
Easley also met with defense lawyers who argued that their client has a
brain defect that governs his behavior and that the state's method of
execution could be extremely painful.
Grannis says Robinson and an accomplice shot victim Eric Tornblom in the
head simply because they wanted to rob him. Grannis says he knows the
victim's family and that Tornblom was a "good kid" who gave Robinson a
Easley also met with District Court Judge John Dickson, who was the
prosecutor in Robinson's tril at the time. Dickson disagreed with defense
arguments that Robinson had a mental illness.
(source: Associated Press)
Ban on doctors aiding executions may advance
The N.C. Medical Board might move a step closer today toward forbidding
physicians from participating in executions.
The board's policy committee is expected to vote to adopt the new rule
limiting a doctor to being an observer at an execution. The committee
first approved the policy in July but it had to be published in the
board's quarterly publication so that doctors across the state could offer
commentary before final approval could be given.
Today's vote will send the matter to the full board, which could make it
final as early as Thursday.
In part, the proposed policy states: "physician participation in capital
punishment is a departure from the ethics of the medical profession."
State law requires a physician to be present at executions. In the course
of litigation about the state's method of lethal injection, prison
officials have revealed that a doctor and nurse stand in a room adjacent
to the execution chamber where a heart monitor and a brain wave monitor
Monitoring vital signs and brain-wave activity violates doctors' ethics
code, according to the American Medical Association. Those revelations
prompted a handful of North Carolina doctors to urge the board to take a
position against physicians being involved in executions.
The medical board has never disciplined a doctor in connection with an
Innocence panel to meet
The N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission, the new state entity designed to
exonerate innocent inmates, will have its 1st meeting today behind closed
Paul Reinhartsen, who is acting as the commission's liaison for the
Administrative Office of the Courts, explained the committee would break
up into subcommittees -- one to discuss who should be hired as executive
director and another to decide how the commission will operate and screen
cases for review.
North Carolina is the 1st state in the nation to create a panel to review
innocence claims. 5 of the 8 members must agree the incarcerated felon
deserves judicial review. Then a 3-judge panel must unanimously agree that
a defendant has presented "clear and convincing evidence" of innocence to
The commission is exempt from the state's public meeting laws. While
personnel discussions are closed to the public, the commission has the
discretion to allow the public to hear the discussion about how the
commission will operate.
Reinhartsen said the commission's chairman, Superior Court Judge Quentin
Sumner of Rocky Mount, did not respond to requests for comment about why
the rules discussion would be closed and will not make himself available
to the media after the meeting.
Sumner, through Reinhartsen, also declined to disclose which members are
serving on which subcommittees.
The other commission members include Raleigh lawyer Wade M. Smith, Durham
lawyer Charles L. Becton, Stanley Police Chief Heath Jenkins, Lincoln
County Sheriff Barbara A. Pickens and Jacqueline Greenlee of Archdale,
Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly and Mel Chilton, executive
director of the N.C. Victim Assistance Network.
(source: The News & Observer)
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