Don Heller: A California Republican against death penalty
By Don Heller, Columnist
I have been a Republican for many years. I wrote the ballot initiative that reinstated the death penalty in California in 1978. I believe those who commit willful and intentional murder should be locked up and severely punished in the interest of public safety.
I made a terrible mistake 33 years ago, but it is one that can be corrected. People are working hard to give voters the opportunity in the next election to replace the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. If given that chance, I call upon all Californians to join me in voting yes to abolish capital punishment.
I have not gone soft on crime. I believe that public safety is one of the primary purposes of a government predicated on the rule of law.
Justice should be swift and certain.
But the death penalty initiative that I drafted was drawn up without fiscal study, input from others, or committee hearings. I made sure that the legal structure that I created would meet tough constitutional standards and checked my work against relevant U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence. But there was none of the give and take envisioned by our forefathers when they created the legislative process more than 200 years ago. Essentially, I wrote alone and the fiscal impact was never considered by the sponsors or myself.
Continue reading Author of California Death Penalty Says “It is time to undo it”
Casey Anthony, who earlier this week was found not guilty of killing her daughter, was sentenced on Thursday to four years in jail, not including the nearly three years she has served for lying to investigators, though the precise time she will spend in jail has not yet been determined.
Judge Belvin Perry said that he would have to meet with lawyers for at least an hour or so to decide how much time Ms. Anthony should be credited with serving. A decision is to be reached sometime Thursday. She was also fined $1,000 for each of the four counts of lying she has been convicted of.
Continue reading Casey Anthony Sentenced to 4 Years
Just weeks after a New York based inmate allegedly confessed to robbing Tupac Shakur in 1994, a man named Clayton Hill has reportedly come forward to confess who allegedly murdered The Notorious B.I.G. and speaks on his own involvement.
On June 8, former Nation of Islam member, Hill, contacted HipHopDX and confessed to being handed a semi-automatic handgun that was allegedly used in the shooting of B.I.G. on March, 1997.
According to a reported email exchange between Hills, 41, and HipHopDX, via CorrLinks, in mid-May 1997 Western Regional Minister from the Nation of Islam, Tony Muhammad, with the approval of Supreme Captain of the Southern Region, Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, via Account Executive Brother Melvin Muhammad, ordered Hill to pick up Dawoud Muhammad from the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Atlanta. Dawoud’s name was kept from Hill till Dawoud introduced himself as such when meeting. Continue reading Man Connected to The Notorious B.I.G.’s Murder Comes Forward: Report
Like many other popular attractions in Orlando, the Casey Anthony trial requires tickets. Hundreds of people show up each day to watch the murder case unfold. But only those who arrive well before 8 a.m. and wait in June swelter can get a pass allowing them into the soaring, chilly top-floor courtroom where Anthony is trying to avoid the death penalty.
Anthony is accused of murdering her 2-year-old, Caylee, in 2008. In December of that year, investigators found parts of the girl’s duct-taped corpse near Anthony’s parents’ home. Bugs and vegetation had colonized the remains, which had been dumped roughly six months earlier. The sheer horror at the act — and the idea that a mother committed it — catapulted the case from local live-at-5 sideshow to tabloid sensation (“Monster mom partying four days after tot died,” one recent report said) to national preoccupation. The case is being followed by millions on live-stream video feeds and constant cable-news reports. In the past few days, the Washington Post and the Miami Herald have become the latest major outlets to begin offering live streams of the case. CNN and NBC air so much coverage of the trial that the networks each decided to erect a two-story, air-conditioned structure in a lot across from the courthouse. The broadcast village around the court often grows to hundreds of media vehicles. (See TIME’s photo-essay “Moms Who Kill.”)
And yet they are relative latecomers to what is the first major murder trial of the social-media age. The first public mention of the case appeared on MySpace on July 3, 2008, when Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, posted a distraught message saying her daughter had stolen “lots of money” and wasn’t allowing her to see her granddaughter. (A few days later, Cindy called 911 to report a “possible missing child.”) Continue reading How the Casey Anthony Murder Case Became the Social-Media Trial of the Century
This is an older story (March 27) I found on RollingStone.com and quite disturbing:
Early last year, after six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji.
Among the men of Bravo Company, the notion of killing an Afghan civilian had been the subject of countless conversations, during lunchtime chats and late-night bull sessions. For weeks, they had weighed the ethics of bagging “savages” and debated the probability of getting caught. Some of them agonized over the idea; others were gung-ho from the start. But not long after the New Year, as winter descended on the arid plains of Kandahar Province, they agreed to stop talking and actually pull the trigger. Continue reading The Kill Team – How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — Telma Pedro Córdoba could have left this blood- and bullet-marked city when she lost her husband to a drive-by shooting in 2009, or when an injury kept her mother from factory work, or when gunmen killed a neighbor in front of a friend’s 3-year-old son a few months ago.
Instead, she has stayed. Her tiny one-bedroom home, decorated with carefully done red and silver stenciling, is shared with her mother, grandmother, sister, younger brother and two children. In local slang, unlike their neighbors whose abandoned homes are now stripped of even windows, they have become a “familia anclada,” a family anchored to Ciudad Juárez. Continue reading A Mexican City’s Troubles Reshape Its Families