November 3, 2012
From afar, California in a presidential election year is defined by and largely written off because of its color: not golden but deep, Democratic blue. This perception, however, doesn't do justice to the contests taking place in the state. Over the last several months, readers have sent The Times hundreds of letters weighing the 11 initiatives on the Nov. 6 ballot. The discussion has been spirited, especially on Proposition 30 (Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase) and Proposition 34 (which would do away with the death penalty)
October 23, 2012
Re "Cruel isolation," Opinion, Oct. 18 Shane Bauer shines a rare light on solitary confinement in our prisons, a punishment that for those so incarcerated is truly a fate worse than death. Those who vote for Proposition 34 to end capital punishment, while absolving themselves of complicity in taking a human life, should realize that in many cases sitting on death row will be replaced by such torture. It is because execution is so disturbing that California has mandated extra assurance that the sentence is just, including expensive automatic appeals.
February 23, 2009
Thomas Francis Edwards died a week ago Saturday of natural causes at age 65. That may not sound strange until you consider that Edwards, the convicted killer of a 12-year-old Orange County girl, had been on death row for 22 years. That's right. Two decades later, the state of California still hadn't carried out a sentence imposed in the mid-1980s. And there's nothing unusual about that.
October 3, 2012
Re "300th prisoner freed by DNA testing," Oct. 1 The NFL's replacement referees blow a game-deciding call and it's decried as the unthinkable finally happening. The calamity is front-page news and even commands the attention of the White House. But the news that yet another person on death row has been freed based on DNA evidence, the 18th death row inmate and 300th overall, elicits barely a yawn and is buried inside The Times. The "bad calls" by prosecutors, judges, juries and appellate courts in each of these cases surely merit a little more attention and perhaps a little more analysis of how and why they were made.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2004 |
Three months after Angelina and Frank Rodriguez got married, the Montebello woman took out a $250,000 life insurance policy on her husband and began trying to kill him. First, authorities said, she fed him poisonous oleander plants, sending him to the hospital with an upset stomach. Then, she allegedly loosened the gas cap on the clothes dryer at their home before leaving to visit a friend in San Luis Obispo. Finally, Rodriguez spiked her husband's Gatorade with shots of green antifreeze.
May 5, 2011
Last year, California added 28 inmates to the state's death row, eight of whom were sentenced in Los Angeles County. They aren't in much danger of an early demise, however, thanks largely to legal delays, including a decision Tuesday by state officials not to pursue executions in 2011. The seemingly never-ending court battles mean that convicts in capital cases are far more likely to die of natural causes than by lethal injection. But that won't stop them from costing taxpayers an estimated three times more than other inmates.