[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----CALIF., ORE., WASH., TENN.
rhalperi at smu.edu
Thu Aug 18 11:43:28 CDT 2011
DA to seek death penalty for Schaefer's alleged prison killer
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a San Quentin inmate charged
with murdering Edward Schaefer, the man who killed a Novato girl with his
motorcycle, the district attorney said Wednesday.
Frank Souza, 31, is eligible for capital punishment because he is charged with
2 special circumstances: having a prior murder conviction, and "lying in wait"
to ambush Schaefer. Prosecutors notified Souza's lawyer this week that they
planned to pursue the death penalty.
Souza is already serving 60 years to life for the murder of a homeless man in
San Jose, likely making any sentence in the Schaefer homicide a moot point.
Souza's defense attorney, Gerald Schwartzbach, said the death penalty decision
is "irrational and fiscally irresponsible."
"One, he's never going to be released," Schwartzbach said. "Two, a capital
trial, and the preparation for a capital trial, is enormously more expansive,
consumes a great deal more time, money and resources.<>P> "Even if the
prosecution were successful and obtained the death verdict, Mr. Souza would
likely be on death row —— if the death penalty were to survive as a penalty —
20 to 25 years."
District Attorney Ed Berberian said there is still the possibility of parole in
Souza's prior murder case, or some unforeseen development in the courts.
"It's never easy to seek the death penalty on anyone, but he is someone who has
killed before," Berberian said. "He's responsible, clearly, for the deaths of
two individuals, and I just cannot find that there are mitigating
Souza is accused of stabbing Schaefer seven times in a prison yard on July 26,
2010. The attack occurred less than two weeks after Schaefer started his prison
sentence for killing 9-year-old Melody Osheroff and maiming her father in a
Novato crosswalk during a drunken ride in 2009.
"All I got to say is, 9-year-old girl," Souza said after Schaefer's slaying,
according to grand jury testimony by a prison Officer William Eberly.
Schaefer, who was convicted of murder, manslaughter and other charges, was not
eligible for the death penalty in his case.
(source: Marin Independent Journal)
Calif Supreme Court upholds Ninja Prowler sentence
The California Supreme Court has upheld the 1998 death sentence for the "Ninja
Prowler" whose sex assaults terrorized Riverside County nearly 2 decades ago.
Prosecutors say 40-year-old David Lynn Scott III was sentenced to death for the
1992 rape and murder of 38-year-old Riverside librarian Brenda Gail Kenny and
other sex attacks during a 5-month period ending in January 1993.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/olp5vI ) reports Thursday that
the state high court upheld Scott's death penalty in a 7-0 decision on Aug. 11.
Scott was dubbed the "Ninja Prowler" because survivors described a masked
intruder dressed in dark clothing who carried a pistol and two swords.
Prosecutors say Scott broke into homes at night, telling residents they should
get better home security.
(source: Associated Press)
Oregon holds execution rehearsal
The Oregon State Penitentiary has held a practice run for what could be the
state's 1st execution in almost 15 years.
The rehearsal was held Tuesday, which had been Gary Haugen's scheduled
execution date, The Portland Oregonian reported. The execution was postponed
when the state Supreme Court ruled in June that a mental competency hearing is
required before Haugen can waive further appeals. Another hearing is set for
Haugen complained to the newspaper about the way the rehearsal was carried out.
In a telephone interview Tuesday night, he said his lawyers were not notified
about it or given the chance to observe and that no spiritual adviser came to
He said earlier Tuesday a corrections official tossed a belt to him and told
him to measure his ankles, wrists, neck, arms and legs. He was not told
anything about the procedure but assumes the prison needs the measurements for
the straps to be used to secure him to the execution table.
"It needs to be done in not only an ethical way but in a moral and dignified
manner," he said.
Haugen, 49, has spent his adult life in prison. He was sentenced to death for
killing another inmate in 2007.
Oregon has held only two executions since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the
death penalty in 1978. The most recent was in 1997.
(source: United Press International)
Kennewick candidate who advocates death penalty for illegal immigrants
advances----1 in 4 voters in Tuesday's primary race for a seat on the Kennewick
City Council have supported candidate Loren Nichols, whose unabashed views
about illegal immigrants include ordering them out of Kennewick and subjecting
them to the death penalty if they refuse. Nichols garnered enough votes to move
on to the general election.
A Kennewick City Council candidate who advocates the death penalty for illegal
immigrants as well as making Kennewick an English-language-only community won
enough votes in Tuesday's primary to advance to the November general election.
Loren Nichols won 26 percent of 1,512 votes cast for a seat on the City
Council, knocking off opponent William Miller, who had declined to discuss his
position on any issues publicly until after the primary.
On Nov. 8, Nichols will face incumbent Steve Young, the city's current mayor,
who won the support of 62 % of voters.
Nichols, 56, a former Navy linguistics expert who has put his yard and lawn
service on hiatus, said he had no idea what to expect in Tuesday's primary, but
now feels confident going forward.
"As extreme as my position is, one in four voters agreed with me," he said. "It
shows that people are truly fed up. You just have to live here to understand."
Nichols said he's not affiliated with any political party. He first shared his
controversial views about executing illegal immigrants on a radio program last
In an area of the state known for its conservatism and a love-hate relationship
with undocumented immigrants, the comments drew wide attention and a range of
response, including an editorial in the Tri-City Herald denouncing Nichols'
remarks as having "the mentality of a bumper sticker" and urging voters to
Nichols repeated his remarks in an interview Wednesday, saying those crossing
the border illegally — a misdemeanor offense — should be shot on sight.
As a member of the City Council, he would push to see that illegal immigrants
are granted 30 days' notice to leave the city, he said, and those who refuse
should be subject to the death penalty.
Nichols also said he would seek to make Kennewick an English-language-only city
for all public discourse.
Paul Apostolidis, an associate professor of political science at Whitman
College in Walla Walla, leads an ongoing project called the State of the State
for Washington Latinos.
He said such a position is extreme even among conservatives.
A big part of the problem, he said, is a lack of Latinos elected to leadership
positions — "an absence of people ... with the stamp of approval of voters
behind them, getting out there saying 'You don't represent the people of this
Dora Morfin, a member of the Latino Civic Alliance, said the statewide advocacy
group never imagined Nichols would garner enough votes to move forward.
The organization didn't campaign against him, she said, because it didn't want
to call attention to a position it didn't consider legitimate.
Now, she said, the board will sit down to discuss what to do next. "People
thought he was just making racist remarks in the way he was talking about
people like they were some kind of property or animal," she said.
Washington is home to an estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants, though how many
live in Kennewick is unknown.
(source: Seattle Times)
TENNESSEE: Court Upholds Death Penalty Sentence
An appeals court has upheld the death penalty for a man who stabbed a drug
dealer to death.
Abu-Ali Abdur-Rahman was sentenced to die in the 1986 stabbing death of Patrick
Daniels in Nashville.
He claims that prosecutors withheld evidence that would have given him a life
sentence, instead of the death penalty.
Since being incarcerated, Abdur-Rahman has made a name for himself for
challenging the state's lethal injection procedure, and for his claims that he
killed his victim as part of an effort to "cleanse his community of crime."
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