October 2, 2008 |
As the warden of San Quentin, I presided over four executions. After each one, someone on the staff would ask, "Is the world safer because of what we did tonight?" We knew the answer: No. I worked in corrections for 30 years, starting as a correctional officer and working my way up to warden at San Quentin and then on to the top job in the state -- director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
May 8, 2007 |
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.
September 7, 2002
The killing of Tupac Shakur in 1996 followed years of conflict involving Shakur, rapper Notorious B.I.G., their record companies and their gang followers. November 1994 Shakur is shot five times and robbed in the lobby of a recording studio near Times Square in New York. He blames the ambush on Notorious B.I.G., whose real name is Christopher Wallace, and Sean "Puffy" Combs, right, head of Bad Boy Entertainment. 1995 Notorious B.I.G. records a song called "Who Shot Ya?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2012 |
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.
April 8, 2014 |
It's hard to get executions right. This week, the Supreme Court denied appeals by Louisiana and Missouri death row inmates who argued that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs with which they are to be executed, and that denial of that information compromises their right to due process. It's unclear why the court refused to hear the cases, but the underlying argument remains potent. Another challenge is underway in Oklahoma, where two inmates are seeking stays of execution because state officials have revised protocols on the fly as the lethal drugs they usually use have become more difficult to obtain.
August 1, 2003 |
Someone is gunning for Marion "Suge" Knight. The head of Death Row Records grew famous glamorizing gang violence. He called his artists "inmates." His company logo depicted a hooded convict strapped into an electric chair. His producers grafted violent lyrics onto driving rhythms, punctuated by shotgun blasts and wailing sirens. That was make-believe mayhem. Now, Knight is being stalked by the real thing.
December 24, 2010 |
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 ?
March 12, 1999 |
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 22, 1997 |
Death Row Records has sued Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, accusing the powerful Los Angeles accounting firm of fraud and embezzlement. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that the accounting firm and one of its ex-partners, Steven Cantrock, diverted funds, failed to pay bills or file proper income returns for Death Row and its owner Marion "Suge" Knight.
October 23, 2002 |
Gov. George Ryan said he has "pretty much ruled out" granting blanket clemency to Illinois' death row inmates. As Ryan spoke in Springfield, the state's Prisoner Review Board was in its second week of clemency hearings for 142 of the 160 inmates on death row. The board was flooded with clemency petitions after the governor said he might commute all death sentences to life without parole. Ryan said his main concern is to make sure no innocent person is executed.