[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----S. DAK., PENN., UTAH
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jan 22 04:11:32 UTC 2007
Deaf Org. Responds To Wright Death Penalty Issue----Efforts to get the
death penalty thrown out in the murder trial of Daphne Wright have led to
a backlash within the KELOLAND deaf community.
Wright is scheduled to go on trial in March for murder and kidnapping in
connection with the death of Darlene VanderGiesen. Wright's lawyers say
the death penalty in this case would be "excessive" and unconstitutional
because of her deafness. But others who cannot hear say those legal claims
only add to the stigma of living in a silent world.
Court papers filed by Daphne Wright's lawyers say that people who've been
deaf since early childhood have severely limited vocabularies and a hard
time understanding English. The lawyers call this an "information gap"
that "produces a subtle, though highly significant cognitive deficit." As
a result, Wright's lawyers argue it would be impossible for her to
understand the legal process of her trial and therefore, she would be
unable to defend herself in a death penalty hearing. But Communication
Service for the Deaf say those with longterm deafness are not hindered in
their understanding of complex matters, including legal proceedings. Rick
Norris of Communication Service for the Deaf said, "I do know that there
are a lot of deaf people that feel as if a deaf person should be treated
just as a hearing person."
Rick Norris says claims by Wright's lawyers that deaf people can often
have "a lack of basic knowledge of legal terms" only contribute to an
unfair and inaccurate stereotype. "You see some language delays in
development in early years for some people, but to say that in general
deaf people have information gaps, they're not able to carry on
conversations, I think may be a stretch."
Defense lawyers also say that sign language would not help Wright in
court. Their motion states "research has shown that forcing an interpreter
to attempt to keep pace with the speaker dramatically increases the rate
of interpretation errors."
But Norris says South Dakota has a strong pool of certified professional
interpreters who can sign both quickly and accurately inside the
Wright's lawyers have found no cases since 1990 of an execution of a
person who's been deaf since early childhood.
(source: KELOLAND TV)
Jurors hung in death penalty deliberations
Nathan Shaw of Tyrone was spared the death penalty Friday after jurors
said they could not reach a decision on his sentence.
Jurors deliberated for almost 5 hours Friday evening before announcing
they were hung on whether Shaw should serve life in prison or be given the
Sentencing now falls to Blair County Judge Daniel Milliron, who can only
implement a life sentence in state prison as a maximum penalty.
Shaw was convicted Friday of 1st-degree murder for the stabbing death of
Jared Klein, 6, of Tyrone. Mirror reporters are working on stories for
(source: Altoona Mirror)
Man convicted in shooting death of teenager, death penalty sought
In Reading, a man was convicted of shooting the 15-year-old sister of a
man he thought had stolen a gun from him at a party, and jurors prepared
to hear testimony on whether he should face the death penalty.
The jury deliberated nearly 5 hours before finding John Cole, 27, of
Reading, guilty of 1st-degree murder, aggravated assault and related
Cole was held without bail in the Berks County Prison, and Judge Jeffrey
L. Schmehl scheduled testimony Friday on whether he should be sentenced to
Tiffany Colon, 15, was shot May 10, 2005, as she and her sister, Natasha,
22, walked on the sidewalk outside their home. 2 days earlier, 2 men had
stopped Tiffany Colon and her sister Jennifer, 18, said their brother,
Ramon, 19, had stolen a gun at a party, and threatened to kill them and
other members of their family if Ramon did not return the gun within 2
Tanya Davidson, a neighbor of the Colons, identified the men in a photo
lineup as Cole and Joshua Colon. Joshua Colon, 23, was convicted earlier
of 1st-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.
(source: Associated Press)
Death Penalty Vigil To Be Held At State Prison----Date Marks 30th
Anniversary of Gilmore Execution
Utahns opposed to the death penalty are set to gather at a vigil tomorrow
afternoon at the Utah State Prison. Lydia Kalish, the Utah State Death
Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Amnesty International, says all opinions
about the death penalty will be welcome at the vigil.
The vigil is being held to mark the 30th anniversary of the execution of
Gary Gilmore at the Utah State Prison.
Terry McCaffrey, Western Region Coordinator for Amnesty International,
says the goal of the vigil is to bring to light several concerns about the
death penalty, specifically the execution of the mentally ill.
The vigil will be held at 2:00 tomorrow at the Utah State Prison
(source: KCPW News)
More information about the DeathPenalty