[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----N.C., CALIF., NEV.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Oct 18 01:22:33 CDT 2007
Potential jurors quizzed on death-penalty
Jury selection continued this week in the Lisa Greene double-murder trial,
as prosecutors quizzed potential jurors about their views on the death
penalty and how well they knew people who may end up as witnesses.
The judge dismissed at least one potential juror Monday after she said her
anti-capital punishment beliefs would not let her fairly consider whether
she could impose the death penalty.
"I don't think ... I could send someone to their death, even if the
evidence was clear and blunt," the woman said. Other potential jurors said
they could consider the death penalty regardless of their personal views.
Greene, 42, is accused of setting fire to her house Jan. 10, 2006, killing
her children. She is charged with 2 counts of 1st-degree murder and 1
count of arson in connection with the fire. Daniel Macemore, 10, and his
sister, Addison, 8, died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation
during the fire at their Midland home.
Superior Court Judge Robert Bell said last week it could take weeks before
a full jury is chosen.
(source: Charlotte Observer)
The End to the Laci Peterson Mystery----Scott Peterson Finally Confesses
Unique, inspiring, and dramatic, "'I'm Sorry I Lied to You,' the
Confession of Scott Peterson," by Donna Thomas, is a literary sojourn into
the dark and disturbing world of Scott Peterson's life on California's
Death Row. Based on the infamous brutal murder of Laci Peterson and her
unborn son, Conner, "'I'm Sorry I Lied to You,' the Confession of Scott
Peterson," reexamines the evidence, the speculation, and the major players
of one of America's most heinous murders. Publication date is set for
December 15, 2007; wherein, Thomas, a well-known anti-death penalty
advocate, details her personal visits to Scott Peterson on San Quentin's
death row and describes that fateful day when Scott confessed to her.
Although many books have been written about the Peterson case, this
author's work is unique in that it examines the detailed workings of the
mind of Scott Peterson firsthand. Vilified by the press, the family of the
victim, and various other literary entrepreneurs, Scott Peterson is seen
by Thomas as an individual who although convicted of the capital offense
of murder is still a human being.
Donna Thomas exposes certain aspects of the events, characters, and
circumstances that were not highly published during the investigation,
arrest, and trial. She also questions the motivation and competence of
some of the participants. These ideas alone are a source of necessary
checks and balances in an already overtaxed criminal justice system. Also,
questions are raised in this true crime literary piece as to whether Scott
Peterson did or did not receive a fair trial.
One question that Donna Thomas does not raise is the matter of Scott
Peterson's innocence. Although in the beginning she believed Peterson was
innocent, it is the brutal and graphic confession while visiting Scott in
San Quentin that changed the course of her investigation, Donna's
relationship with Peterson, and altered her emotional and spiritual
essence forever. The passages detailing this aspect are brutally shocking
and without remorse.
"'I'm Sorry I Lied to You,' the Confession of Scott Peterson" will take
you to a literary dimension seldom experienced within the realm of modern
reading. Donna Thomas' legal expertise and humanistic endeavors create an
atmosphere of suspense unequaled in any previous writing on the subject.
Her visits to San Quentin are accentuated with sights and sounds of a
world seldom seen and contain some well-known death row inmates of equal
or greater infamy. Inside this secret insight into the mind of a man still
being talked about today, you will also find photographs never before
Ms. Thomas continues to work on cases of people wrongly accused all over
the country, she maintains residences in several cities.
Court Stays Execution in Nevada
With 90 minutes to spare, the Nevada Supreme Court stayed the execution of
a convicted murderer for at least 60 days late Monday to consider whether
the 3-drug cocktail used in lethal injection constituted cruel and unusual
Nevada thus became the 5th state to stop a scheduled execution since Sept.
25, when the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a similar appeal
by 2 men on Kentucky's death row.
Lawyers for the Kentucky men argued that the 1st drug administered, sodium
thiopental, sometimes failed to render an inmate fully unconscious,
allowing him to experience pain. Meanwhile, the 2nd drug, pancuronium
bromide, paralyzes him and leaves him without the ability to move or call
for help as the 3rd drug, potassium chloride, stops the heart, an often
painful process. That combination, opponents say, violates the Eighth
Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment.
Unlike in the Kentucky case, though, the Nevada inmate, William Castillo,
34, did not wish to postpone his execution and instructed his
court-appointed lawyer not to appeal. But the American Civil Liberties
Union of Nevada was granted legal standing to oppose Mr. Castillo's
execution on behalf of a Spanish-language newspaper in the Reno area,
Ahora, which contends that masking the suffering of a dying inmate
violates the news media's right to observe the impact of the punishment.
"From our point of view, this is an issue of broader First Amendment
principle," said Lee Rowland, the A.C.L.U. lawyer who argued the case.
"This is not simply a matter of one person's request to die. It's about
the broader power of the state. No one, not Mr. Castillo or you or I, has
the right to petition the government to be tortured."
Of the 38 states with the death penalty, all but one use lethal injection.
Nebraska uses the electric chair. Since the United States Supreme Court
agreed to hear the Kentucky case, the top courts in Arizona, Arkansas,
Delaware and Texas ruled that all lethal injection executions must wait
until the Supreme Court's ruling.
In Nevada, lawyers are expected to argue for the stay to be extended until
the ruling by the United States Supreme Court.
The director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, Howard Skolnik, said
Mr. Castillo was disappointed by the delay. Mr. Castillo was condemned for
the 1995 slaying of a retired Las Vegas teacher, Isabelle Berndt, 86.
Mr. Skolnik said the state did not think the drug cocktail constituted
cruel and unusual punishment. "There is no concern of the drugs that are
used on our part," he said, adding, "Everybody is waiting to see what the
Supreme Court does."
(source: New York Times)
More information about the DeathPenalty