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Proper Punishment

May 23, 1995 | MITCHELL KEITER, Mitchell Keiter is a California deputy attorney general. This article represents his personal view only.
In 1971, Jose Morales murdered his girlfriend in Los Angeles. After trial and conviction, a court sentenced him to life imprisonment. Three months after his release in 1980, he murdered his new wife. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Morales was not entitled to a new parole hearing every year, only every third year. The real question is why people like Morales are eligible for parole at all.
February 22, 2006 | David G. Savage
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to California's system for sentencing criminals. At issue is whether the state gives judges too much power in deciding a sentence. In recent years, the high court has been closely divided on how sentences are imposed. For example, it struck down an Arizona law that gave judges the power to decide which murderers should get the death penalty. The court found that the jury should decide that question.
June 30, 1988
A San Diego man who confessed to beating to death a young mother and her 2-year-old daughter with a wrench has been sentenced to death. Richard Samoyoa, 35, was sentenced Tuesday by San Diego Superior Court Judge Douglas Woodworth, who followed the jury's recommendation that Samoyoa be put to death. Samoyoa was convicted April 21 on two first-degree murder charges stemming from the Dec. 18, 1985, deaths of his two neighbors, Nelia Silva, 33, and her daughter Katherine.
June 20, 2001
My comment about introducing an energy company executive to the ugly reality of a prison cell was repeated recently by columnist Peter King (June 10) and has become fodder for commentaries that suggest I might think that prison rape is proper punishment for criminals. My anger over the activities of energy barons doesn't come close to my lifelong outrage at the crime of rape. As attorney general I significantly reordered my department's priorities in order to complete the DNA offender database this year.
March 20, 2003 | From Associated Press
Charged with felonies that could send them to prison for life, the suspects in the Elizabeth Smart abduction stood expressionless Wednesday during their first court appearance -- by video from the Salt Lake County Jail. Brian David Mitchell, 49, and his wife, Wanda Barzee, 57, were ordered held on bail of $10 million each and were appointed public defenders in a hearing that lasted only a few minutes. Each was visible from the shoulders up as they appeared separately on television screens.
December 4, 1986 | From Times Wire Services
President Reagan got bad advice from people who told him that there was someone in Iran to deal with other than those who run the country, Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger said Wednesday. He was asked by French radio and television reporters whether the United States had strained its credibility by selling arms to Iran while urging its allies not to deal with that country. Weinberger replied: "I think it depends on, of course, the allies' understanding of the President's motives. . . .
July 24, 1987 | United Press International
A High Court justice ruled today that "staggering complacency" and top-to-bottom "disease of sloppiness" by owners of the Herald of Free Enterprise led to the ferry disaster that killed nearly 200 people in March. Justice Barry Sheen singled out three crew members--Capt. David Lewry, 1st Officer Leslie Sabel and Assistant Bosun Mark Stanley--for special blame in the tragedy of the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise, which capsized off Zeebrugge, Belgium.
Arguing that each day of delay hurts consumers, the Justice Department filed its opposition Friday to Microsoft Corp.'s request to delay the long-running antitrust battle until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to hear the case. "Granting a stay would further delay the public's remedy and contribute to uncertainty in the market," the government said.
December 8, 1993
Neo-Nazis and skinheads in Germany have been pretty much getting away with murder, thanks to remarkably tolerant judges and lenient sentences. That most of the victims of the hate crimes for which these extremists have been convicted were foreigners may have a lot to do with the mildness of the penalties imposed by the courts.
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