December 13, 2005
The bid for clemency and scheduled execution of Stanley Tookie Williams caused pain and anguish for people on both sides of the case and both sides of the debate. And it ignited a media frenzy heard 'round the world. But regardless of your position on capital punishment, one fact remains: If there were no death penalty, Williams would have been in a jail cell for the rest of his life, and his activities and causes -- good or bad -- would likely be unknown and unheralded by most of the world.
February 20, 2006
Re "It's not about Michael," editorial, Feb. 16 The Constitution makes it clear that cruel and unusual punishment is unconstitutional. For those who believe that a life spent behind bars is crueler than (almost) immediate death, I ask them to reflect on their position: Is this position not unconstitutional unto itself? Life expectancy for inmates imprisoned over long periods is far less than the average lifespan outside prison. Is it not just as cruel, or even crueler, to prolong this agonizing way of life?
January 5, 2004
In his Jan. 1 commentary, "The Death Penalty: A 1% Nonsolution to Crime," Jeff Gillenkirk uses the usual "no deterrence" argument and points out that "no study has ever quantified a link between motivation and murder statistics." Well, of course. Until someone invents a mind-reading machine, there cannot possibly be a way to determine motivation for anything people do, or refrain from doing. This is true regarding all crimes and all punishments. And why would anyone expect a punishment that is used so rarely to have any major deterrent effect?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2001 |
A public forum on capital punishment is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Cal Lutheran University. Moderated by radio news personality Warren Olney, a panel of experts will discuss whether a moratorium on the death penalty should be imposed in California. Participants will include legal scholars and representatives of victims' rights groups, as well as Neil Quinn, Ventura County's chief deputy public defender, and Greg Totten, chief assistant district attorney.
February 15, 2004
Re "Convicted Killer Gets Last-Minute Reprieve," Feb. 10: I was never certain that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to the U.S., but I am certain that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is a dire threat to our justice system. After 21 years, this case has been reviewed by experts from both the defense and prosecution, and the evidence is overwhelming in the guilt of Kevin Cooper in the grisly murder of four innocent people. But the ultraliberal judges of the 9th Circuit need to see additional proof.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 1998 |
Rabbi Mark S. Miller of Temple Bat Yahm will speak on "Capital Punishment and Jewish Law" during the meeting of the Orange County chapter of the International Assn. of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists' lunch program from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the offices of Straddling, Yocca, Carlson and Rauth. Reservations are requested. The offices are at 660 Newport Center Drive, 16th floor, Newport Beach. (714) 668-6240.
December 12, 1991 |
Even without one of its top players, the Peninsula High girls' basketball team had the look of a champion last weekend. "Defensively we were great," said Panther Coach Wendell Yoshida, whose team opened the season by easily winning the championship of the eight-team Capital City Shootout at Sacramento State University. "When we put all the pieces together, it's scary how good we could be."
June 25, 2004 |
New York's highest court struck down the state's capital punishment law in a ruling overturning a death sentence. The State Court of Appeals in Albany ruled in a 4-3 decision that a provision of the law on instructing juries of the consequences of a deadlock -- that the defendant could someday be released -- violated the state's constitution. The case was an appeal by convicted killer Stephen LaValle, who was sentenced to death in 1999 for the 1997 murder of teacher Cynthia Quinn.
October 30, 1992 |
A new movie about a bloodthirsty serial killer who ritually removes his victims innards could reasonably be accused of piggybacking Hollywood's current vogue for liver-chomping wackos. William Friedkin's "Rampage," however, was completed more than five years ago. (It was held up in legal entanglements following the closure of its distributor, the DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group.) It has the dubious distinction of being ahead of the curve--the deadman's curve.