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October 27, 2005
STANLEY "TOOKIE" WILLIAMS is a charismatic symbol of what's wrong with the death penalty -- and of what's wrong with the debate about the death penalty. His story of sin and redemption powerfully illustrates the unfairness of capital punishment. But to argue that capital punishment is unjust for some defendants is to concede that it may be acceptable for others. The reason to oppose capital punishment has to do with who we are, not who death row inmates are.
January 16, 1996
Re " 'Freeway Killer' May Finally Face Execution," Jan. 6: I am outraged that you would elect to report that despite 14 years on death row his lawyer says that William Bonin "is concerned but his spirits are good." As a member of the 1981 grand jury that handed down a murder indictment on Bonin, I have a clear recall of his testimony. The murder involved a young boy of about 12 who was planning a trip to Disneyland on his birthday. He came to the home of his sister who lived across town to collect some unused tickets, which were used for Disneyland rides in those days.
May 2, 2001
Convicted killer Justin Merriman will become the 12th man sent to death row from Ventura County since the death penalty was reinstated in California in 1978. 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.
May 8, 2007 | Sara Catania, SARA CATANIA is a contributing writer at Mother Jones and author of the forthcoming book, "A is for Afro."
LAST MONTH, the state of Texas executed James Lee Clark, a plumber's assistant who raped and killed a teenage girl. Clark's lawyers argued in vain that their client, a high school dropout with a low IQ, should have been spared because of his mental impairment. Within hours of Clark's death, California's highest court spared Jorge Junior Vidal from a possible death penalty trial in the torture and murder of a teenager because he is mentally retarded. Five years ago this June, the U.S.
October 9, 2012 | By Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times
SAN QUENTIN - John C. Abel is the first to admit he's led a crook's life. He robbed banks and convenience stores, grocery marts and check-cashing joints. He terrified people with Uzi-style Mac 11s and .22-caliber handguns, Browning pistols and Dirty Harry-style Magnums. His stickup jag dated to the 1960s and sliced through the country from Massachusetts to California. "Even a couple islands up there by Seattle," he adds, in the genial voice of an old ballplayer reminiscing about a far-traveling career.
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.
January 17, 2006 | Henry Weinstein and Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writers
California prison officials executed 76-year-old murderer Clarence Ray Allen at the state prison here early today after his final appeal was turned down by the U.S. Supreme Court. His death was announced at 12:38 a.m. by Elaine Jennings of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Allen, who turned 76 Monday, was by far the oldest of the 13 convicts executed in the state since California restored the death penalty in 1977 and the second oldest in the nation.
March 12, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A judge dismissed murder charges against a man who spent nearly 17 years on death row before Northwestern University student journalists helped gather evidence to clear him. Since Anthony Porter's release Feb. 5, key witnesses have recanted their testimony and Alstory Simon of Milwaukee was videotaped admitting to the 1982 shooting deaths of two teenagers in Chicago.
October 20, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A Texas death row inmate killed himself hours before he was to be executed, proclaiming his innocence in a message scrawled in his own blood. Michael Johnson, 29, was found at 2:45 a.m. after he used a makeshift metal blade to cut his jugular vein and an artery in his right arm, Texas prison spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said. The suicide occurred despite close vigilance on death row, where guards check every 15 minutes on inmates. Johnson was sentenced to die for the Sept.
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