[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----CALIF., VA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri May 23 21:36:35 CDT 2008
Judge in death penalty case begins rarely used method of jury selection
William Jennings Choyce, a garbage man from Stockton charged with raping
and murdering 3 prostitutes a decade ago, might not get a lot of sympathy
if he ever argues that jury bias tainted his upcoming death penalty trial.
San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus has begun a rarely
used method of selecting jurors in Choyce's case that receives criticism
for taking a long time. Supporters say it weeds out those who have already
made up their mind on capital punishment before coming to court.
Opening statements for the Choyce, 54, aren't expected until mid-July. By
then, the judge and attorneys will have culled through 800 potential
jurors. Half of them will be called into the courtroom one at a time to
answer 15 minutes worth of heart-to-heart questions.
Under the so-called Hovey voir dire, jurors undergo individual questioning
without other jurors listening. They're asked to explain things like their
position on capital punishment, religious convictions and if they think a
person can blame child abuse for adult behavior.
(source: Stockton Record)
Man Facing Death Penalty Found Living In Hawaii
A man who has been living in Hawaii for at least a decade has been taken
back to California, where he may face the death penalty.
Honolulu police arrested Richard Curtis Morris Jr., 54, on a warrant from
Court documents said he is charged with murder for financial gain while
committing robbery and rape. In California, conviction of that charge can
lead to the death penalty.
California authorities would not comment about the case.
The crime happened more than 20 years ago, and that the arrest may have
been the result of a match in the national DNA database, sources said.
In Hawaii, Morris' record shows no violent crime, but he recently served a
year in prison for habitual drunk driving.
(source: KITV News)
Death row inmate given 2 more death sentences
A man already on death row in California for a different murder has been
given 2 more death sentences for the killings of college sweethearts
almost 2 decades ago.
Alfredo Prieto was convicted in February of the 1988 rape and murder of
Rachael A. Raver and the murder of Raver's boyfriend Warren H. Fulton III.
The jury recommended death sentences.
Tears came to Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows' eyes as he
addressed the 42-year-old Prieto. Bellows told him he had ruined the
families' lives and they will never recover.
Prieto declined to make a statement.
The cold case was solved after California entered a sample of Prieto's DNA
into a national database that matched samples from the crime scene.
(source: Associated Press)
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