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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2011 | By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
A San Quentin inmate on death row for the 1978 murder of three USC film students was found dead in his cell, state prison officials said Wednesday. David Leslie Murtishaw, 54, died Tuesday night of an apparent heart attack in his single-person cell, said officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The former Santa Fe Springs resident was convicted in the fatal shootings of film students James Lee Henderson, Martha Bernice Soto and Ingrid M. Etayo.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 2011 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
After upholding nearly 50 death sentences in a row, the California Supreme Court on Monday broke its pattern by overturning the convictions of a reputed gang leader in Los Angeles and his alleged accomplice in two killings that sent both men to death row for 15 years. The state high court unanimously ruled that Cleamon Johnson and Michael Allen, convicted of killing rival gang members Peyton Beroit and Donald Loggins in 1991, were denied a fair trial when a judge removed a juror who appeared to be critical of the prosecution's case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2012 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Police and death row inmates agree on one thing, a law enforcement group told its members: They both oppose next week's ballot measure to replace the death penalty with life without parole. That statement, in a newsletter from the Los Angeles Police Protective League opposing Proposition 34, highlighted what some California criminal defense lawyers have been saying for months. Many death row inmates who are years away from execution would rather gamble on being executed than lose their state-paid lawyers, a preference that seems to be confirmed by a limited, informal survey of some on California's death row. VOTER GUIDE: 2012 California Propositions "That is a significant sentiment, since the death penalty in California is mostly life without parole anyway," said Don Specter, director of California's Prison Law Office, who personally supports the initiative.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
A bitterly divided Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out a jury verdict won by a New Orleans man who spent 14 years on death row and came within weeks of execution because prosecutors had hidden a blood test and other evidence that would have proven his innocence. The 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas shielded the New Orleans district attorney's office from being held liable for the mistakes of its prosecutors. The evidence of their misconduct did not prove "deliberate indifference" on the part of then-Dist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
The killer of a 12-year-old Orange County girl who has spent 22 years fighting execution has died on death row, escaping what the victim's father termed "the justice the world deserved." Thomas Francis Edwards, 65, died of natural causes Saturday at San Quentin State Prison's medical facility, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported Monday.
HEALTH
August 9, 2010 | Marc Siegel, The Unreal World
The Premise: Calvin Jenkins ( Robert Wisdom), an inspirational speaker and musician, is on death row for the murder of a pastor. He is brought to the ER at James River hospital after experiencing recurrent seizures in prison. A brain MRI reveals a Chiari malformation, an abnormality of the lower part of the brain that causes it to slip downward. Jenkins needs surgery, but this is not available in the prison. The hospital administrator feels that operating on Jenkins will financially benefit the hospital.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
Serial wife-killer Jerry Stanley wants to die. Imprisoned on death row for the past 28 years, Stanley insists he deserves execution for the cold-blooded killing of his fourth wife in 1980 and for shooting to death his second wife five years earlier in front of their two children. Despairing of the isolation and monotony of San Quentin's rooftop fortress for the purportedly doomed, Stanley earlier this year stepped up his campaign for a date with the executioner by offering to solve the cold case of his third wife's disappearance 31 years ago — by disclosing where he buried her body.
NATIONAL
December 24, 2010 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
It's not that difficult to find the heart of this small east Texas city with wide-open spaces and lanky pine trees that breach the pale blue sky. Cruise past the 67-foot statue of Sam Houston (who's buried here), the town square and the plantation-style homes with the porches that wrap all the way around. Turn on to Avenue I, and there it stands: high, red brick walls the color of a schoolhouse. Inside are cramped cinderblock cells, inmates, guards and ? what put Huntsville on the map ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
After Delbert Tibbs dropped out of a Chicago seminary in 1972, he went on the road, walking, hopping freight trains and taking odd jobs across the U.S. One day in early 1974, police stopped him near Ocala, Fla., and questioned him about a crime 220 miles to the south. The officers took some Polaroid snapshots of Tibbs and then, satisfied he wasn't involved, sent him on his way. About a month later, in Lee County, Miss., a highway patrolman stopped him again and arrested him for rape and murder.
OPINION
November 15, 2009
Re "When death penalty means a better life," Nov. 11 Isn't it nice that our death row inmates enjoy such luxurious accommodations compared to the rest of the prison populace? You talk about milking the system. The fact that Billy Joe Johnson requested the death penalty because he knows he won't be executed for at least 30 years, and is now able to enjoy a life of relative comfort at taxpayer expense, is yet another example of our bureaucratic stupidity. The estimated cost of $138,000 a year to house these death row inmates (compared to $49,000 a year to house other prisoners in maximum- security facilities)
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