California Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, April 10, 2008, 02:16:30 AM

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California serial killer given second death sentence
A sister of one victim called Los Angeles serial killer Chester Dewayne Turner "a monster" as he received a second death sentence.
Aug. 1, 2014

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Seven years after Chester Dewayne Turner was sentenced to death in California for 10 murders, he was given a second death sentence Friday for four more.

The judge in Los Angeles followed the recommendation of the jury that convicted Turner, 47, in June of killing Cynthia Johnson, Elandra Bunn, Deborah Williams and Mary Edwards.

Maxine Johnson told the Los Angeles Times she is glad her sister's killer will be "kept out of civilization."

"He did all the victims wrong," she said. "He's a monster."

All the killings Turner has been charged with occurred between 1987 and 1998, mostly in a narrow corridor along 30 blocks of Figueroa Street, a major artery in Los Angeles. The area at the time was known for drugs and violent crime.

Turner became a murder suspect after he was convicted of a violent sexual assault and required to give a DNA sample in 2003. His DNA was linked to two unsolved crimes, inspiring investigators to examine other cold cases.

In 2007, Turner was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for killing 10 women and the 6 1/2-month fetus of a pregnant victim.
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Another prime example for the existence of the DP  >:(  But I fear he'll still be alive for many years to come or is there hope  ???
Born in Berlin, American at heart


Supreme Court Confirms Death Penalty for Encino Murder
Aug 5, 2014.

The California Supreme Court on Monday vacated a finding in a double murder case that the killings were "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel," while affirming the killer's death penalty.

Attorneys for Robert Carrasco - who was sentenced to death in 1999 for the Dec. 26, 1994, shooting death of co-worker George Camacho at Ross Swiss Dairy in Los Angeles and the Oct. 24, 1995, shooting death of Allan Friedman in Encino - alleged that there were numerous errors made at trial.

Carrasco did not get a fair trial, they said, because the judge denied a request for a second attorney, counsel was ineffective and evidence of the defendant escaping from jail pending trial should have been barred, among other reasons.

The only error conceded by the high court was an instruction given to the jury about the special circumstance allegation of a heinous crime. The standard for the allegation is "a conscienceless or pitiless crime that is unnecessarily torturous to the victim," the jury was told.

The Supreme Court previously ruled that instruction to be "unconstitutionally vague," Justice Goodwin Liu wrote in his opinion.

"Nevertheless," Liu wrote, "defendant was not otherwise prejudiced because the jury would have heard the same evidence ... giving the erroneous instruction did not change the underlying facts available for the jury to consider when it returned a death verdict at the penalty phase."

The court concluded that a second special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders was sufficient to support a death sentence.

Carrasco killed his first victim, Camacho, a 29-year-old father of two, because Camacho had been allowed to get his night shift back after it had been given to Carrasco.

A co-worker testified that Carrasco said he would lose about $9,000 a month from his second job painting cars if he gave up the shift. Carrasco denied making that statement.

Several witnesses testified that Carrasco admitted to or boasted of the killing and threatened to hurt anyone who talked about it.

Allan Friedman, 28, the second victim, was shot at least seven times during a drug deal gone bad.

Carrasco told his supervisor at the dairy that he had planned to meet Friedman to exchange $25,000 to $35,000 for a kilo of cocaine and then shoot Friedman and keep the drugs and the money.

After the initial deal, Carrasco demanded the cocaine back and, when Friedman tried to drive off, Carrasco shot him, grabbing a bag that turned out to have only a book inside.

According to a man who drove Carrasco to the exchange, the defendant told him that it wasn't the first time he had killed someone. Carrasco described it as "just like popping a balloon" and told the driver that it was "nothing to him."

Carrasco was arrested in February 1996 and denied committing the murders.

On May 31, 1997, he escaped from the North County Correctional Facility. Carrasco, who had been a trusty, or inmate worker, was arrested the next night in West Los Angeles, about 40 miles away.

On the witness stand, Carrasco told jurors that he was given his first gun, a .357-caliber Magnum revolver, by some older teenagers when he was 10 years old, the same year his father died.

He always had a gun with him after the Los Angeles riots, he said, because his drive took him past buildings that had been burned. But he said had "never pointed a gun at anybody," and he and Camacho were good friends.

He identified another man, a gang member, as Camacho's killer.

Defense attorneys said that Carrasco's trial lawyer was ineffective, because he failed to raise issues of past drug use, an alcoholic, abusive stepfather and head injuries, among other things, during the penalty phase of trial.

The high court rejected those arguments.
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Judge tosses death sentence in Sacramento slaying
August 27, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A federal judge in Sacramento has overturned the death sentence of a transient convicted of fatally stabbing a man more than 30 years ago.

The Sacramento Bee reports ( ) that U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton on Tuesday adopted the recommendation of a magistrate judge who said Larry Junior Webster had been denied a fair trial during the penalty phase because his attorney failed to mount a strong case in favor of a lesser sentence.

Prosecutors now have 90 days to decide whether they want to retry the penalty phase.

Webster, now 65, has been on death row since 1983, when he was found guilty of lying in wait and killing 36-year-old William Burke in Sacramento to steal Burke's car.

Webster's attorney, William Owen, said he took over the case to find that no preparations had been made for the penalty phase.
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Judge Lawrence Karlton has been a pain in the butt for a long time.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money - Margaret Thatcher
The most terrifying words in the English language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan


Death penalty verdict for man who murdered mother, 3 girls
December 30, 2014 9:32 PM

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) -- A Los Angeles County jury says a man should die for the torture killings of a Lancaster woman and her three young daughters.

Jurors reached the verdict Tuesday in the case of Corey Lynn King, who was convicted last month of first-degree murder, torture and arson.

Prosecutors say 24-year-old King stabbed Sonya Harris and her 14-year-old daughter more than 50 times each in their home in 2008. He then stabbed, beat and stomped Harris's 11-year-old daughter and strangled her 9-year-old girl.

Prosecutors say the motive for killing Harris was unclear, but the girls were slain because they were witnesses.

After the killings, King doused the bodies and home with gasoline and set it on fire.

He scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 20 in the Antelope Valley courthouse.
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Man again sentenced to death for 1983 Garden Grove murder
February 7, 2015

On Friday, Feb. 6, a man was sentenced to receive the death penalty for raping and murdering a 22-year-old woman in an alley behind a bar in 1983. The defendant was previously convicted and sentenced to receive the death penalty in this case in 1985. In June 1990, Ramirez appealed to the California Supreme Court, who affirmed the defendant's conviction. His conviction was later overturned by the Federal District Court for the Central District of California on writ of habeas corpus.

Richard Raymond Ramirez, 55, was found guilty by a jury in the re-trial of this case on May 15, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape, one felony count of rape, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. A mistrial was declared in the previous penalty phase of the trial on June 3, 2013. A new jury recommended Ramirez receive the death penalty on Nov. 24, 2014.
Circumstances of the crime

On the night of Nov. 20, 1983, 22-year-old Kim Gonzalez was at Mr. Barry's bar in Garden Grove. Throughout the night, Gonzalez was seen in the bar with then-24-year-old Ramirez, whom she had met two weeks earlier at the same bar while out with her brother and a friend. The defendant spent the night drinking, talking, dancing with, and kissing the victim.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Nov. 21, 1983, Gonzalez left the bar through a door that led to the rear parking lot. Ramirez followed Gonzalez outside carrying a longneck bottle of Budweiser beer. Once outside in a nearby alley, Ramirez attacked the victim.

Ramirez raped Gonzalez and then murdered her by stabbing her 19 times. One of the stabs went through her neck, severing the victim's spinal cord. After murdering the defendant, Ramirez fled the scene. Gonzalez's body was found in the alley at approximately 6 a.m. on Nov. 21, 1983. The victim was naked from the waist down with her pants and underwear pulled down near her ankles and knees.

Fingerprints were later retrieved from a Budweiser beer bottle 15 feet from the victim's body. The defendant's fingerprints were identified as those left on that bottle found in the alley.

Semen was collected from the scene from the rape of the victim. While DNA testing did not exist in 1983, medical experts at the time determined using available scientific methods that 60 percent of the male population, including defendant, could have been the source of the semen.

The Garden Grove Police Department investigated this case.
Previous conviction and death penalty sentence

Ramirez was found guilty by a jury in March 1985 of first degree murder, rape, sodomy, and the special circumstances of murder in the commission of rape and murder in the commission of sodomy. The Orange County District Attorney sought the death penalty at that time. The first jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision, and a second jury in a re-trial of the penalty phase determined that Ramirez should be sentenced to death. Ramirez was sentenced to the death penalty on July 26, 1985.

The original trial and penalty phase was prosecuted by former Deputy District Attorney and Superior Court Judge, the Honorable Thomas Goethals.

Ramirez appealed to the California Supreme Court, who affirmed the defendant's conviction in June 1990. The defendant ultimately filed a writ of habeas corpus to the Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

During pendency of federal proceedings, Ramirez was linked to the murder of Gonzalez through DNA using technology that was not available in 1983.

In February 2008, Federal District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall overturned Ramirez's conviction as to both the guilt phase in the first trial and penalty phase in the second trial. She opined that a juror in the original guilt phase trial failed to reveal he had filed an application to be a law enforcement officer, even though he was never asked by the defense attorney.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.

The article above was released by the Orange County District Attorney.
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California death row inmate dies of natural causes
March 23, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A California man awaiting execution for three 1984 murders that netted him less than $450 has died of natural causes.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says 70-year-old Teofilo Medina Jr. died early Sunday at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, where he had been taken for hospice care.

He was sentenced to death in 1987 in Orange County and again in 1989 in Riverside County for killing three convenience store and gas station clerks.

The department said the 1984 robberies together netted him less than $450.

The spree came less than three months after Medina's release from an Arizona prison where he had served a term for rape.

Sixty-seven condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978, while 14 have been executed.
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i have read some rubbish in my time but surely there is a very very simple solution to this problem

line them up and...... Let's go scum. Lights out time!


Hell yeah  >:( What a crap, empty prisons of the overdue >:(
Born in Berlin, American at heart


U.S. appeals court overturns death sentence of California man
March 31, 2015

A federal appeals court unanimously overturned the death sentence Tuesday of a California man, ruling that his lawyer was incompetent during the penalty phase of his trial.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered California to reduce the inmate's sentence to life without parole or give him a new sentencing trial on the grounds that his lawyer failed to investigate and present evidence that might have persuaded the jury to spare his life.

Tuesday's decision referred to the inmate as only John Doe, saying sexual abuse he suffered in prison might "place him at risk in a prison environment." The ruling also referred to others in the case, including the defense lawyer who performed ineffectively and the murder victim, by only their initials.

Doe was convicted of killing a woman in 1984 during a burglary at a house near where he lived. The court did not identify the county in which the crime occurred.

During the penalty phase of Doe's trial, when jurors decide whether the defendant should be sentenced to death or life without parole, Doe's lawyer failed to present evidence that he had been repeatedly raped in prison in the South when he was teenager, had been neglected and abused as a child and had developed mental illness and engaged in substance abuse.

"Evidence about Doe's childhood would have demonstrated to the jury that the trauma he suffered in prison was not isolated, but rather the most disturbing of multiple episodes in a horrific series that stretched back to his birth," Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a Carter appointee, wrote for the court.

Under a 1996 law, federal judges must defer to the decisions of state judges in such cases. The California Supreme Court upheld Doe's conviction and sentence.

But because Doe filed his challenge in 1994, the panel said it was entitled to review the evidence from a fresh perspective.

"There is a substantial probability that there would have been a different result at the penalty phase had counsel's performance during that phase of the trial not been ineffective," the panel concluded.

The ruling quoted Doe's lawyer, identified as J.B., as admitting he did not prepare adequately for the penalty phase because he was inexperienced and over-confident.

Doe was 17 when he was sent to a "notorious" but unidentified prison in the South for stealing two purses, the court said. Evidence indicated Doe was brutally and repeatedly raped while in prison and emerged years later with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the court.
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Serial wife killer on death row offers info on where he buried body in exchange for execution date
May 06, 2016

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (KGO) --
A serial wife killer who's been on San Quentin's death row for three decades is demanding that his sentence be carried out. And, he's offering to reveal where he buried one body, if the state sets an execution date. But, his own children want him to rot in prison. This is a prime example of the dysfunction of California's death penalty.

Support for the death penalty has been slipping in California. It's now at its lowest level in 40 years, partly on moral grounds. But a major part of it is that our system of carrying out a death sentence is seriously broken. Case in point -- Gerald Stanley.

Jay Stanley told the I-Team's Dan Noyes, "I'm not afraid of nobody in this world except for my dad."

Jay was five years old and his sister was six years old, as they headed to school on a Tuesday morning with their mother, Kathleen, at the wheel. When they pulled into Concord's Cambridge Elementary, their father jumped in the passenger door and opened fire.

Jay: "I remember hearing the shots and I remember him dragging my sister out of the car and I remember chasing them."
Noyes: "He left you?"
Jay: "Yeah."
Noyes: "Why?"
Jay: "I don't know."

Jay ran back to the school all alone, to see his mom on the ground beneath a white sheet: "And he always claimed to love me and my sister so much, but yet he had no problem killing my mom."

Stanley, a professional hunting guide, spent just 4.5 years in prison. Within months of getting out, his new wife, Diana Lynn, went missing in Tehama County.

That same year, his next wife, Cindy Rogers, was about to report Stanley's physical abuse. That would violate his parole, so he staked out her father's resort in Lake County with a high-powered rifle, and shot her from across the highway as she sat by the pool with her son.

The I-Team obtained a police interview in which Stanley said, "Someone killed my wife."

Detective: "That's right."
Stanley: "And I didn't do it."

Stanley denied the murder, but got convicted. During sentencing, prosecutors connected him to another woman, Ranee' Wright, found dead that same summer, tossed in an oil well.

Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson told Noyes, "He was a very cold blooded, heartless killer."

Anderson worked the case as a young deputy sheriff. Now, he's the prosecutor trying to get Stanley's death sentence confirmed. Stanley has been on death row 32 years.

"Either you abolish the death penalty or you enforce it," Anderson said. "There's no sense having it if you are not going to use it."

For years and years, Stanley has had two competing teams of attorneys. His court-appointed federal defenders are filing appeals to keep him alive. But, his private attorney is fighting to follow Stanley's desire to die.

Stanley even sent a letter to the judge, offering to reveal where he buried Lynn's body if the state would set an execution date.

Gerald Uelmen, Santa Clara University Law Professor, believes, "There's something wrong with the system where the death penalty just becomes a form of suicide."

Uelmen is an expert on evidence. His most famous client was O.J. Simpson. He also headed a 4-year study into "flaws in California's death penalty system that render it dysfunctional." The panel recommended many changes, including finding more, competent attorneys for death penalty cases and increasing funding. The study that cost a $1 million was published in 2008.

Noyes: "What improvements have been made?"
Uelmen: "Nothing, the report has been filed away on the shelves of legislators. They have not addressed any of the problems."

So death penalty cases such as Stanley's drag on, an average of more than 30 years in California, from sentencing to execution. The national average is half that.

Jay told Noyes if his father had been put to death decades ago, it would have provided some closure. Now that Stanley wants to die, Jay would like him to just sit there and suffer.

"It just seem like he's trying to get the easy way out now and I don't want that," Jay told Dan Noyes. My mom didn't get the easy way out and I don't think he should."

The state last put someone to death in 2006. There are competing measures on the November ballot -- one from prosecutors to streamline the process, the other to abolish the death penalty. So, you'll have a chance to weigh in at the polls.
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California court upholds death sentence for "Bedroom Basher"
June 5, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man dubbed the "Bedroom Basher," who was convicted of a series of slayings that occurred in the late 1970s in Southern California.

The court issued its decision Monday. Gerald Parker was sentenced to death following his conviction on murder charges in the slayings of five women in Orange County. He was also convicted of a sixth attack.

The attacks occurred in 1978 and 1979, but remained unsolved until prosecutors say DNA evidence linked them to Parker in 1996.

Prosecutors say Parker - a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines - broke into the women's apartment., sexually assaulted and beat them.
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