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Life Imprisonment

December 2, 1987 | TERRY PRISTIN, Times Staff Writer
James Hawkins Jr. should be imprisoned for life without possibility of parole for the execution-style murders of two reputed drug dealers, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury recommended Tuesday. Hawkins, 43, once regarded as a community hero for battling street gangs along with his grocer-father, could have been eligible for the death penalty for the murders and robberies of Roger Grant and Larry Turner in June, 1984.
January 2, 2014 | By Aoun Sahi
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf missed another court appearance Thursday, the third time he has failed to show up at his closely watched treason trial. Jan Muhammad, a senior police official in Islamabad, told a three-judge special panel that Musharraf complained of heart trouble while en route to Thursday's hearing and was rushed to a military hospital. He also missed two previous hearings after explosives were found near his home in the Islamabad suburbs and along the route to the court.
A self-employed tile setter who shot and wounded his pregnant wife in the head outside her Huntington Beach doctor's office was found guilty Tuesday of attempted murder. Anthony L. Totten, 33, formerly of Lake Elsinore, sat motionlessly when the verdict was announced in Orange County Superior Court. He faces life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
December 11, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Congress sent President Obama legislation on Wednesday that its chief sponsor said he wished weren't necessary. The Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to disinter from national cemeteries any veterans who have committed capital crimes. The measure was approved by the House on Wednesday after earlier passing the Senate. It grew out of what its chief sponsor, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), said was a "very disturbing mistake" by Veterans Affairs: burying the killer of a mother of two at a national cemetery, and with military honors.
As deputies led Mikail Markhasev out of the courtroom to spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering Bill Cosby's son, court papers released Tuesday show how the 1997 roadside homicide left the nationally known entertainer and members of his family intensely bitter toward his killer and unanimously in favor of the maximum possible sentence.
May 31, 1985 | From Times Wire Services
A military appellate court on Thursday upheld the life imprisonment sentence of Wang Hsi-ling, Taiwan's former chief of intelligence, for his role in the California murder of American-Chinese journalist Henry Liu. Wang, 58, former director of the Defense Ministry Military Intelligence Bureau, will be eligible for parole after 10 years. He was convicted by a military court last month in the Oct.
July 29, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
A German law student who kidnapped and murdered the 11-year-old heir to a private banking dynasty was sentenced to life imprisonment. Magnus Gaefgen, 28, confessed to abducting Jakob von Metzler in September 2002 and killing him. He was arrested one day after collecting a ransom of about $1 million.
October 22, 1989 | Associated Press
Two Sichuan farmers were sentenced to death and two others were given life imprisonment for selling panda skins, the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday. Only about 1,000 giant pandas survive in the wilds of Sichuan and neighboring Tibet.
May 12, 1987 | Associated Press
Denis Lortie, 27, a former army corporal who sprayed machine gun fire into the Quebec provincial legislature in 1984, killing three people and wounding 13, was sentenced Monday to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to reduced charges of second-degree murder. Lortie will be eligible for parole in 10 years.
January 16, 1985 | Associated Press
Austrian Chancellor Fred Sinowatz is seeking the early release from an Italian prison of a former SS colonel sentenced to life imprisonment for ordering a massacre in an Italian village in 1944. The diplomatic step to free Walter Reder, a 69-year-old Austrian, came two weeks after relatives of victims and survivors of the attack voted 237 to 1 against his early release.
February 19, 2013 | By Rushdi Abu Alouf
GAZA CITY -- A Hamas military court Tuesday reduced the sentences for two militants convicted in the 2011 killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni from life imprisonment to 15 years. The Supreme Military Court accepted an appeal from Mahmoud Salfiti and Tamer Husasna, former police officers who were convicted in September in the kidnapping and murder of Arrigoni. Arrigoni, 36, a longtime member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, was kidnapped on April 14, 2011, by a previously unknown group of Islamist extremists.
November 30, 2012
Re "Gay rights? Not in Uganda," Editorial, Nov. 27 Of course you are spot-on when you write that "Americans should perhaps not be too smug in opposing the Ugandan law" proposing life imprisonment for being gay and imposing a duty to report homosexuality on the community at large. But the rationale for the admonishment goes much deeper than our own history. It has been widely reported that much of Uganda's recent fervor for passing such harsh laws has been instigated and encouraged primarily by religious zealots from the U.S. See, for instance, the much-honored documentary, "Call Me Kuchu.
November 2, 2012
Re "Debating Proposition 34," opinion, Oct. 28 Jimmy Carter has the chutzpah to write "The process for administering the death penalty in the United States is broken beyond repair. " The biggest problem with California's capital punishment law from 1987 to the present has been the judges appointed to the federal district courts and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by none other than Carter. Once again, we are told the system is broken - by one of the key people who broke it. Fortunately, the "beyond repair" part is wrong.
March 23, 2012
Seven years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that offenders younger than 18 couldn't be sentenced to death, arguing that juveniles are generally less culpable than adults because they are less mature, more impulsive and more susceptible to peer pressure. By the same unassailable logic, the court should hold that sentencing young murderers to life without parole is cruel and unusual punishment. Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson were both 14 when they committed their crimes. Miller and a 16-year-old friend beat a neighbor and set fire to his house in Alabama, leading to the neighbor's death by smoke inhalation.
January 9, 2012
Balancing the budget Re "Schools face huge cuts in Brown plan," Jan. 6 I'm a conservative, but at this moment in California's history, I stand in awe of the brilliance of the state's liberal politicians. By primarily targeting education for cuts if higher taxes aren't approved by voters, they've ensured this never-ending goal is a fait accompli . After all, who is against having more of their money confiscated by government if it helps our kids? Wouldn't it have been refreshing if Gov. Jerry Brown had instead called for a reduction in California's myriad free money programs, referred to euphemistically by The Times as "social service programs," in an amount equal to the deficit?
October 27, 2010 | By Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the 20th century's most influential philosophers, famously remarked: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. " Pirke Avot, the only Talmudic tractate to deal exclusively with ethical and moral questions, records this saying of Simeon, son of Rabbi Gamaliel: "I was raised among the sages and from them learned that nothing is to be preferred to silence. " Had Mark Jacobson taken counsel from such wisdom ancient and modern, readers might have been spared his repellant new book, "The Lampshade: A Holocaust Detective Story From Buchenwald to New Orleans.
December 23, 1986 | From Reuters
Three West Bank Palestinians were sentenced today to life imprisonment for knifing a Jewish religious seminary student whose killing sparked a wave of anti-Arab violence. Samer Makhrum and two brothers, Omar and Hamza Zaid, all in their early 20s, told the court they had no regrets for killing Eliahu Amedi, 22, in Jerusalem's Old City on Nov. 15. Amedi's killing sparked several days of attacks by enraged Jews against Arabs and Arab property.
July 12, 1988 | From Reuters
An East German court sentenced a former Nazi police officer to life imprisonment Monday for his role in the massacre of thousands of Jews in the Soviet Union during World War II. The official East German news agency ADN said Manfred Poehlig, a former deputy platoon commander in the 304 Police Battalion, had "taken part in the shooting of victims with his own hands."
April 21, 2009 | Scott Glover
George Torres, a feisty entrepreneur who built a multimillion-dollar grocery store chain by catering to some of Los Angeles' poorest communities, was convicted of racketeering, solicitation of murder, bribery and other crimes Monday by a federal court jury. Torres, who faces potential life imprisonment as a result of the verdict, showed no emotion when it was read. Friends and family, however, burst into tears and embraced one another outside the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Stephen V.
October 20, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A former Beijing vice mayor in charge of overseeing Olympic construction projects has been given a suspended death sentence for corruption, a court clerk said. The Intermediate People's Court in Hengshui, Hebei province, ordered the death sentence Saturday after finding Liu Zhihua guilty of taking bribes, said the clerk, who would give only his surname, Ma. But if Liu shows good behavior for the next two years, his sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment. Officials said Liu's misdeeds had nothing to do with the Olympic projects.
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