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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.
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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.
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.
NATIONAL
March 5, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court, ruling unanimously in the case of a convicted Orange County murderer, said Monday that death row inmates did not have a right to a last-minute switch of lawyers after years of legal wrangling. But the court also left the door open for a change "in the interest of justice. " And the case of Kenneth Clair, the convicted murderer, may show the need for just such a change. In 1984, Clair was a homeless man in Santa Ana who had been charged with several burglaries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2009 | By Carol J. Williams and Jack Leonard
Los Angeles County sent more people to death row this year than Texas, Florida or any other state in the nation, condemning 13 convicted murderers -- the highest number in a decade, according to a Times review of justice statistics. The increase comes as a national report projects that the number of death sentences issued across the country this year will reach its lowest level since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Los Angeles County helped California buck that trend, boosting the state's death sentences from 20 last year to 29 so far this year, more than a quarter of the nationwide total of 106, according to a report released Friday by the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.
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
March 13, 2001 | TRACY WILSON
Convicted killer Justin Merriman is set to become the 13th man sent to California's death row from Ventura County since 1978, when California reinstated capital punishment. Here is a look at the other men and their crimes: * Kenneth McKinzie was convicted in 1999 for strangling 73-year-old Ruth Avril during a botched robbery at her Oxnard apartment building Dec. 21, 1995.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2000
The Innocence Project, which has used DNA testing to help free at least 65 wrongly convicted death row inmates in several states, is coming to California. Last week, California Western Law School in San Diego announced that it will house the California Innocence Project, which is slated to start work this fall. Justin Brooks, who will oversee the project, faces a rising tide of e-mails and letters from death row inmates, their parents and lawyers, all seeking help.
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