Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kirk Bloodsworth, don’t waste our time!

Kirk Bloodsworth served eight years, 10 months and 19 days in prison, including two years on death row, for the 1984 murder of a 9-year-old girl in Rosedale. DNA evidence exonerated him of the crime and Bloodsworth was released from prison in 1993.

I am thankful that you are alive and was not wrongfully executed or even wrongfully died in prison (I favor executing the guilty and I am against executing the innocent). I hoped that the justice system will learn their lesson when they study your case and learn not to do it to another person. In fact, they are putting massive safeguards to ensure only the guilty go to death row.

However, you are being made use by abolitionists who want to frighten the public in order to manipulate people into believing that we can be snatched away from our daily freedom and be wrongfully sentenced to die. When I watched you in a debate with Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger, I have to mention that being a former abolitionist myself, I have to admit that Scott Shellenberger is more convincing than you. Bear in mind, you were not executed but look at the thousands of innocent people being murdered in this country every year who will never have a chance to keep their lives anymore.

Here are some of your quotes that I have alternate answers to you.

1. "Honestly, after what happened to me, no one can say it can’t happen again..." Bloodsworth said. "We need to get rid of it."

Alternate answer: You were also behind bars, why don’t we get rid of prison too. “It can’t happen again…” Trials will now be fairer to ensure that we do not put an innocent man to death row. There are people being brutally murdered by repeat offenders who will happen again and again. Without the death penalty, more innocent people will be killed, just look at what happen to Illinois when they repealed it last year.

2. Bloodsworth counters that the justice system is far from perfect. He stated that 140 death row inmates have been wrongly convicted in the United States and 280 people have been cleared of crimes through DNA, including 17 on death row.

Bloodsworth also cited the work of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment which recommended in 2008 that the state should repeal the death penalty for fear of executing an innocent person along with concerns over racial and geographic disparities.

Bloodsworth added that that requiring someone to spend the rest of their life in prison is a far worse punishment than having that person executed.

"The crime that I was accused of, and ultimately went to death row for and was later exonerated, the real perpetrator after the fact was never given the death penalty," Bloodsworth said. "I think that it's a better punishment for people because they have to sit in this place for the rest of their lives knowing what they did."

Alternate answer: Only a fraction of those 140 death row are factually innocent. If the justice system is flawed, fix it, do not use it as an excuse to end it.

"I think that it's a better punishment for people because they have to sit in this place for the rest of their lives knowing what they did." -  Some people argue that prisons should be in Spartan conditions and solitary confinements like in the olden days where they were given bread and water and never be released from prison (dying behind bars). I accept that decision but prisons are also as fallible as time passes, the law might change. 

Many abolitionists will also argue that Spartan prisons and solitary confinements are ‘cruel and unusual’, they will have it outlaw for sure. They will ensure that prisons will become a Five Star Hotel – meaning that criminals will have books, TV, play stations, internet, gyms and swimming pools. In addition, criminals will get free clothing, free food and free medical treatment for the rest of their lives. Is that justice or a miscarriage of justice? 

The most conclusive evidence that criminals fear the death penalty more than life without parole is provided by convicted capital murderers and their attorneys. 99.9% of all convicted capital murderers and their attorneys argue for life, not death, in the punishment phase of their trial. When the death penalty becomes real, murderers fear it the most.

3. Kirk Bloodsworth’s T-shirt wrote: "I was innocent and survived death row. Ask me about it."
Alternate answer: The murder victims’ family members should have worn T-shirts with words on it: “My family member was murdered. Ask me about it.”

These are more important things to care about. You are alive and released from prison but the murdered victims are dead and gone, by playing that anti-death penalty manipulation message, you are taking away justice for those victims’ families who want their loved ones’ killers to be executed. Rather than spare the lives of the guilty, ask the justice system to be more careful next time.

4. "I'm against the death penalty for obvious reasons," he said. "You could kill an innocent man or woman."

Alternate answer: I agree that an innocent person might be executed, so trials must have massive safeguards and scrutinized at every level. However, I am aware that those abolitionists do not oppose executions for fear of executing the innocent, they only oppose executing the guilty. PERIOD!

            Kirk Bloodsworth, you are a free man but my advice to you is not to call for abolishing the death penalty but call for massive safeguards to protect the defendants. Do not allow yourself to be use by the abolitionists for their anti-death penalty (criminal rights) propaganda, many murdered victims’ families want to see their loved ones’ killers put to death, they want justice and not revenge. The more you give that testimony of yours, the more you grieve the victims’ families. Stop wasting our time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


QUOTE 1: Facts of the Crime: On March 29, 2001, in San Antonio, Texas, Garcia fatally shot two victims, San Antonio Police Officer Hector Garza, 48, and Jessica Garcia, 21. The incident began as a domestic dispute between Garcia and Jessica, his wife. Officer Garza, who responded to the disturbance call, was the first victim. Garcia shot the officer three times, resulting in his death. Garcia then shot his wife six times resulting in her death. The couple's five-year-old daughter witnessed both murders. Garcia also shot and wounded the uncle of his wife during the incident. Garcia was sentenced to death in June 2002.

Garza's family, in a statement through the San Antonio Police Department, said they didn't see the punishment as a cause for celebration.

"Hector would be deeply saddened by the loss of another life," they said, calling the execution "a very necessary reminder that the citizens of this great state will not tolerate the murder of a Texas peace officer and the death penalty imposed must send a loud and clear message to those who would commit such an act."

QUOTE 2: Summary: On the morning of March 29, 2001, Frank Garcia fatally shot uniformed San Antonio Police Officer Hector Garza and Garcia's wife Jessica inside the home Garcia shared with Jessica, their children, and Garcia's parents. After subsequently firing several shots at others outside the Garcia residence, wounding one person, and causing damage to a nearby elementary school, Garcia surrendered to police and gave a formal, written statement in which he admitted to intentionally killing both officer Garza and Jessica. The guilt-innocence phase of Garcia's capital murder trial commenced on February 4, 2002. In addition to the testimony summarized above, Garcia's jury also heard testimony from forensic and firearms experts regarding (1) the MAC-10 semi-automatic weapon and the Egyptian-made AK-47 assault rifle Garcia used to shoot Officer Garza and Jessica, (2) ballistics evidence about the shell casings and bullet fragments found at the crime scene, and (3) testimony regarding the blood, blood spatter, and other trace evidence recovered from the crime scene and Garcia's clothing. The foregoing testimony corroborated those portions of Garcia's written statement in which he admitted to having emptied both the semi-automatic pistol and assault rifle following his fatal shooting of Officer Garza and Jessica. The defense presented no witnesses or other evidence during the guilt-innocence phase of Garcia's capital murder trial. On February 8, 2002, after deliberating less than three hours, Garcia's jury returned a verdict of guilty.  The autopsy of Officer Garza revealed (1) he died as a result of four gun shot wounds, each of which would have been fatal alone, (2) the four shots struck Garza, respectively, in the head, two in the back of the neck, and one in the abdomen, which penetrated the lungs and aorta, (3) the shot through Garza's chest was likely the first to strike him, (4) the shots to Garza's chest and head came from a non-high-velocity weapon, and (5) the two shots which struck Garza in the neck came from a high velocity weapon, exited through the skull, and caused massive damage to the brain and cranial vault. The autopsy performed on the body of Jessica Garcia revealed (1) she died as a result of three gunshot wounds, only one of which would have been fatal alone, (2) the fatal gunshot struck Jessica in the left forehead, fractured her orbital area, and penetrated through the midbrain, (3) the two, non-fatal shots struck her in the right cheek and her chin, (4) all the gunshots which struck Jessica came from a non-high-velocity weapon, and (5) the latter two gunshot wounds likely struck Jessica while she was down on the floor. Several witnesses testified to having personally witnessed Garcia firing two different weapons at persons located outside the Garcia residence on the morning of the fatal shootings. A friend of Jessica testified (1) an emotional Jessica called her on the morning of the fatal shootings and asked her to help Jessica move out, (2) after securing assistance from John and Rosario Luna, she rode with the Lunas to Jessica's residence, (3) Garcia's mother interfered with their efforts to help Jessica remove clothing and other personal items from the Garcia residence, (4) she overheard Jessica telling Garcia over the phone that Jessica was leaving him, (5) Garcia arrived at the Garcia home before the police and Garcia grabbed Jessica in a head lock and dragged her back inside the Garcia home, (6) moments later a police officer walked inside the Garcia home, (7) a few minutes after the officer entered the house, she heard three-to-four shots in rapid succession come from inside the house, (8) after a pause, she heard a second series of approximately three shots come from inside the house, (9) Garcia then emerged from the house, pointed a firearm, and fired several shots, at least a few of which struck their vehicle, (10) Garcia fired at her and John Luna as they attempted to flee the scene toward a nearby elementary school, (11) Garcia went back inside the house and she heard several more shots, (12) Garcia emerged from the house a second time holding a big rifle and fired that weapon, striking the truck behind which she was hiding, i.e., the same truck Garcia had driven to the scene, and (13) she saw Garcia chasing after John Luna as she fled for the safety of the school. The then-vice-principal of the nearby Emma Frey Elementary School testified (1) she noticed a police vehicle in front of the Garcia residence when she arrived at school around 7:30 that morning, (2) she later noticed the police vehicle was gone when she saw Jessica outside the Garcia residence between 8:45 and 8:50, (3) around nine a.m. she was alerted to a problem by other staff, (4) as she exited the campus building near the Garcia residence, she saw a man later identified for her as John Luna running toward her who was yelling "Get out of here. He's shooting at everyone," (5) she looked toward the Garcia residence and saw a man in the yard holding a rifle, who then pointed it at her or in her direction, (6) as she and Luna attempted to flee away from the Garcia residence, she heard four shots, (7) the school custodian let her and Luna inside the school, (8) once inside the school, she climbed to the second floor, ordered the school locked down, telephoned school district police, and looked out and saw Garcia with the rifle in the front yard of the Garcia residence walking away from the school, and (9) subsequent examination of the school's exterior disclosed several indentations in the front doors, as well as a hole in a window screen that had not been present before the shootings. The San Antonio Police Officer who arrested Garcia testified (1) he knocked repeatedly and announced himself before entering the Garcia residence, (2) he heard a box of bullets hit the floor and footsteps running his direction, (3) he heard a rifle racking and smelled gunpowder and blood, (4) Garcia came out and pointed an assault rifle at him, (5) when Garcia saw the officer's weapon, Garcia retreated, shouted "I give up," and threw down his rifle, and (6) Garcia thereafter offered no resistance. In his five-page, formal, written statement executed only hours after the fatal shootings, Garcia admits he deliberately fired at officer Garza's head multiple times and then turned his weapon on his wife.

The San Antonio Police Department said in a statement on behalf of Garza's family that the officer was a devoted husband and father committed to protecting his community.

"Though the execution does not bring complete closure to Hector's family, as we all miss him dearly, it comforts us to know that Frank Garcia will never destroy another family," the statement said.
AUTHOR: Officer Hector Garza’s family – Officer Hector Garza and Jessica Garcia was murdered by Frank Garcia in San Antonio, Texas on 29 March 2001. Frank Garcia was executed by lethal injection on Thursday 27 October 2011.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Steven Mark Pryer ~ a recidivist killer in Illinois

          Read this case and you will learn what it is like to let a guilty murderer live. All thanks to Pat Quinn for abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, this scumbag will only get a life sentence when he had already served only 20 years for a previous murder, now he has committed another murder when he was out of jail again. Mention this case to any Death Penalty Abolitionist in Illinois and you will keep them quiet.
Robert L. Clemens wrote in the State Journal Register: Capital punishment as a preventative Posted Nov 28, 2010 @ 12:03 AM: I have a thought concerning capital punishment: Let's put the horse before the cart and eliminate all murders, then we can eliminate capital punishment.  Oh, wait a minute — that's the arrangement now.
If no murder is committed then capital punishment is not accorded. Just a reminder: Diann Hoagland was murdered in August 2010, allegedly by Mark Pryer. In November 1984, Pryer was convicted of the 1982 slayings of David and Mary Davidson.
If prosecutors are correct, the second murder would not have occurred if capital punishment had been carried out the first time around.

All those Death Penalty Abolitionists should apologize and compensate the families of three lives lost from this killer.

Pryer sentenced to natural life in prison
2011-11-01 22:47:09

When Steven Mark Pryer entered the courtroom Tuesday to be sentenced for killing Diann Hoagland while burglarizing her home, he knew what the outcome would be.

With two prior murder convictions, by law he had to be sentenced to natural life in prison.

“We knew that the judge had no option but to rule the way he did on the sentence,” said Pryer’s attorney, G. Ronald Kesinger. “There was no argument.”

Pryer faced a term of natural life imprisonment because he was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of David and Mary Davidson in Sangamon County in 1982. He was released from prison Aug. 22, 2002, after serving nearly 20 of the 40 years imposed, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Morgan County authorities believe the 54-year-old rural Alexander woman was fatally shot Aug. 18, 2010, when she returned home from a walk and interrupted a burglary at her home.

State’s Attorney Chris Reif said killing Hoagland made no sense.

“This lady ... would have never hurt anybody and, in fact, would have helped anybody and given them anything,” Reif said. “She is gone now as a result of a senseless act by this defendant who has done it before,” Reif said.

Judge Richard Mitchell said people like Pryer are the reason the death penalty was created.
“I know that Diann Hoagland would not have wanted that,” he said.

Mitchell also said Pryer has showed no remorse and appeared at his trial to be cold and calculated.

Pryer could have qualified for death by lethal injection upon being convicted of murder if burglary or home invasion were proven to be aggravating factors. But in March, when Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation to abolish executions in Illinois, Reif said seeking the death penalty in Pryer’s case was a moot point.

On Reif’s recommendation, Pryer also was sentenced to the maximum of 15 years in prison for the residential burglary. He is to serve that sentence consecutively if the murder conviction and life imprisonment are overturned.

As family members read aloud in court statements about the impact of Hoagland’s death on their lives, Pryer looked straight ahead and showed no emotion.

Thirteen-year-old Sabrina Hoagland —whose father read aloud her statement for her — and Sabrina’s mother, April Hoagland, told Pryer that Diann Hoagland would have given him anything he wanted from her house.

Material things were not important to Diann Hoagland and “she was going to walk away because living life was more important to her,” said April Hoagland, who is married to Diann Hoagland’s oldest son, Dewaine. “You killed our mother because it was easy. Your decision that horrible day changed our lives forever.”

April Hoagland offered Pryer some kindness.

“Mr. Pryer, I hope you find God, because that is what Diann Hoagland would want for you,” she said. “Our faith and belief in the Lord will allow our family to mend.”

Dewaine Hoagland also read a statement written by his sister, Mary Hoagland Krispinsky, who lives in Suffolk, Va., and could not be there for the sentencing hearing.

Krispinsky was seven months pregnant when she got the call her mother had been killed.

Her mother was supposed to be there in October 2010 when Krispinsky gave birth to Hoagland’s newest grandchild, Krispinsky wrote.

“I lost my best friend and my mother,” Krispinsky stated. “I lived to make her proud of me. I would love to give her one more hug and tell her how much I love her.

None of Pryer’s relatives attended the hearing and no testimony was offered on his behalf, Kesinger said.

“He believes he is not guilty. He believes someone else caused the death of Mrs. Hoagland.
That is how he testified at trial,” Kesinger said.

Pryer wants a new trial.

“There are two grounds that are significant, in my opinion,” Kesinger said “[The judge] would not allow him to testify as to whom the person was that killed Mrs. Hoagland. The judge also would not let him testify as to the origin of the blood that was found on the furniture in the Hoagland home.”

Kesinger said he also is concerned with the judge’s rulings on other motions that were detrimental to his client and how the judge handled aspects of the selection of the jury.

Kesinger on Tuesday asked the judge for an immediate decision on his motion for a new trial, but Mitchell said he wasn’t prepared to hear arguments. Mitchell set a hearing for next Tuesday.

If Pryer is not granted a new trial, he plans to appeal his convictions. Kesinger said he will ask the court to find Pryer indigent and the appellate defender will be asked to represent him on the appeal.

Pryer sentenced to life in prison for Alexander woman's murder

The State Journal-Register
Posted Nov 01, 2011 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Nov 02, 2011 @ 06:51 AM









Steven Mark Pryer was sentenced Tuesday, for killing Diann Hoagland in the yard of her rural Alexander home in August 2010.

JACKSONVILLE — A man convicted in 1984 of killing a friend’s parents was sentenced Tuesday to spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2010 murder of an Alexander woman.

Steven Mark Pryer, 49, of Springfield shot and killed Diann Hoagland inside her home on Beilschmidt Road on Aug. 18, 2010. Authorities said they believe Hoagland interrupted Pryer burglarizing the home.

Pryer was convicted in 1984 of the November 1982 slayings of David and Mary Davidson of Springfield, the adoptive parents of his co-defendant, Ralph Lee Davidson, who also was convicted. Both men were sentenced to 40 years in prison for those crimes, but served less than 20.

Because this is the second time Pryer has been convicted of murder, Morgan County State’s Attorney Chris Reif said, a natural life sentence was the only sentencing option. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation earlier this year abolishing the death penalty.

Reif said the sentencing lasted less than 20 minutes. Family members read statements about the effect Hoagland’s death had on their lives, Reif said.
Hoagland was shot twice — once in the chest and once in the head — after she called her husband on a cell phone about 11 a.m. Aug. 18, 2010, and told him about a white truck parked in their driveway. Hoagland had been out walking that morning.
Her husband, Harold “Butch” Hoagland Jr., found his wife dead in the front yard when he came home about an hour after the phone call. Several items had been taken from the residence. http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x780400870/Pryer-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-Alexander-womans-murder

Prosecutor sought death penalty in '84 for alleged Morgan Co. killer

Posted Sep 29, 2010 @ 11:47 AM
Last update Sep 30, 2010 @ 05:48 AM











Steven Mark Pryer, left, and Ralph Davidson were convicted of the 1982 of killings of Davidson's parents. They were sentenced to 40 years in prison but served less than 20. Pryer (inset) is now charged with the murder of Diann Hoagland of rural Alexander. File/The State Journal-Register









Diann Hoagland

A former Sangamon County state’s attorney says that if he’d had his way 26 years ago, convicted murderer Steven Mark Pryer would not have been alive to do what authorities say he did Aug. 18 — fatally shoot Diann Hoagland outside her rural Alexander home when she stumbled upon him burglarizing it.
After his arrest Tuesday, Pryer, 47, of the 1200 block of North Oaklane Road, was still being held Wednesday at the Sangamon County Jail with bond set at $2 million. The Morgan and Sangamon county state’s attorney’s offices were working on a transfer arrangement.
Pryer faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of residential burglary.
In March 1984, Pryer was looking at a possible death sentence for the November 1982 slayings of David and Mary Davidson of Springfield, the adoptive parents of his cohort, Ralph Lee Davidson.
Both men were ultimately sentenced to 40 years in prison each. However, they each served fewer than 20 years because of day-for-day good time, a since-changed policy that allowed convicted murders and other offenders to have their sentences reduced by a day for each “good day” served in prison.
Death penalty sought
Bill Roberts, a former state’s attorney who prosecuted the 1982 murder case, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he asked for Pryer to be put to death following one of the most heinous cases Roberts had ever dealt with.
Circuit Judge Jerry Rhodes, who died in 2008, denied the request, saying Pryer, then 20, was too young for the death penalty.
“I would have had no problem pulling the switch on this guy,” Roberts said Wednesday.
The Davidsons’ adopted son, Ralph Lee Davidson, then 17, told police he came up with the idea of killing his parents so he and Pryer would have money, a car and a hassle-free place to live. Pryer stabbed the pair as many as 20 times, and Davidson beat them with a crowbar.
Davidson pleaded guilty in September 1983, and Pryer also pleaded guilty to the murders during his trial in January 1984.
Two months later, Roberts and Rhodes were at odds after Pryer’s sentencing, according to State Journal-Register coverage of the case.
“It’s obvious the court had its mind made up (beforehand),” Roberts was quoted as saying in response to questions about the proceeding, in which Rhodes refused to hear the state’s argument for the death penalty.
“I felt that there was only one appropriate penalty, and that was the death penalty,” Roberts said in 1984.
Rhodes cited Pryer’s age in sentencing him to 40 years, allowing credit for good conduct in prison as well as the time he already served in jail. He was paroled in 2002 and discharged from parole in 2005.
Rhodes also silenced Roberts when he tried to cite other sentences — considerably tougher — handed down by other judges in Sangamon County during the early 1980s. Rhodes said at the time that the cases were not relevant to Pryer’s.
“Throughout my career as a prosecutor, I took the position that it was my job to decide what was an appropriate punishment,” Roberts said Wednesday. “We (he and Rhodes) were just poles apart, philosophically.”
A legal quandary
There also was a legal quandary at the time of both men’s sentencing hearings, according to Roberts.
Pryer was eligible for the death penalty because the case involved multiple murders within a single incident.
Roberts said he remembers Pryer being the ringleader.
“Pryer …was the more culpable, the leader,” he said. “This particular murder was one of the most senseless and brutal I ever saw, a totally stupid situation.”
State law at the time stated: “if a defendant…is found guilty of murdering more than one victim, the court shall sentence the defendant to a term of natural life imprisonment.”
The rule left the court no alternative in determining the sentence to be imposed upon Davidson, who at 17 was too young for the death penalty.
However, in June 1983, the First District Appellate Court had negated the mandatory life sentence for multiple murder convictions.
“These guys were young, but it was a multiple homicide, and I did what I thought was right, and the court did what it thought was right,” Roberts said. “We were still fleshing out at that time sentences, what was reasonable, whether the death penalty was appropriate.”
Sangamon County’s current state’s attorney, John Milhiser, said Wednesday sentencing guidelines took a very sharp turn during the 1990s.
“As it stands today, if you’re convicted of killing more than one person, it’s natural life,” he said. “For murder cases, you’re going to serve 100 percent of the sentence.”
Interrupted burglary
Pryer’s new murder charge allegedly also stems from a desire to steal.
Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack has declined to say what evidence ties Pryer to Hoagland’s murder, but he said burglary is believed to be the motive.
“It appears she just interrupted a burglary and, unfortunately, this happened,” he said.
Hoagland spoke to her husband by cell phone about 11 a.m. Aug. 18, a Wednesday. She told him she had been walking in the area and that a white pickup truck was in their driveway as she returned home.
Duvendack has said authorities believe Pryer acted alone.
Rhys Saunders can be reached at 788-1521. Staff writer Amanda Reavy contributed to this story.
Nov. 21, 1982 killings of David and Mary Davidson
* Steven Pryer and Ralph Davidson use a key to get into Davidson’s parents’ house at 3337 S. Park St. about 2:30 a.m.
* Dave Davidson is sitting on the couch. When he sees the pair, he takes a swing at Pryer.
* Ralph Davidson holds his father while Pryer repeatedly stabs the man.
* Pryer walks into the rear bedroom and stabs Mary Davidson.
* One of the two men hits Mary Davidson in the head with a crowbar, joking about “the good distance he got on her false teeth,” according to former Sangamon County state’s attorney Bill Roberts, who prosecuted the case.
* The two men leave the home.
* The two men throw a knife and crowbar away near the railroad tracks along Wabash Avenue.


Sunday 22 April 2012 to Saturday 28 April 2012 is the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April 19, 1981, as part of Victims’ Rights Week, "For too long, the victims of crime have been the forgotten persons of our criminal justice system." In 1982, Reagan established the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, which reported, "The victims of crime have been transformed into a group oppressively burdened by a system designed to protect them."

In this post, Murdered victims’ families campaigned to keep the death penalty as those leftist Californian activists planned to abolish the death penalty. Those leftist Californian activists are also pro-choice (they support abortion and have more blood on their hands). The Californian Governor is also pro-abortion and he once admitted that nobody on Californian Death Row is innocent. Please remember to show support for murdered victims and their families and also the innocent unborn. Thanks. 

Do you want to know the truth of SAFE California? Please see here: 








Christian Guiterrez of Fairfield, California looks down at a photograph of his brother Jesus Amaya, at the 23rd Annual Victims March at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, California. Amaya was killed in February of 2012. California Gov. Jerry Brown joined advocates, law enforcement officials and legislators in Sacramento at a rally co-sponsored by Crime Victims United of California and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Sacramento, California.

Violent Crime Victims’ Families Rally At Capitol

April 24, 2012 7:23 PM
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There were hundreds of photos displayed for all to see and emotional outcries from murder victims’ families gathering from across the state at the Capitol on Tuesday to speak up for those they’ve lost.

Supporters of the 23rd annual Victims March stood side by side, many fighting to uphold the death penalty a day after it was announced that California voters will decide its fate in the November election.

Tuesday march was part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. 

“What’s wrong with the death penalty is not the budget, it’s not the cost,” said Harriet Salarno, founder of Crime Victims United of California. “That’s all they’re going to do and hammer that. It’s because we’re not implementing it.”

“To me death row is a way to make sure we stop the crime,” said Lupe Diaz, whose brother Tony Diaz, a Yolo County sheriff’s deputy, was shot to death in 2008 by Marco Topete, who was sentenced to death earlier this year. 

Sandy Friend’s son Michael Lyons was murdered in Yuba City back in 1996, and 16 years later her son’s killer is still on death row.

“I really wish there was a better system when it comes to the length of time they stay on death row,” she said. 

But others have a different message to get across.

“the amount of money that’s being spent on death penalty is staggering,” Deldelp Medina said.

She was one of a group of loved ones of murder victims fighting for alternatives to the death penalty.
“We hope that life without parole would be the best thing for us,” she said.

But so many others Tuesday disagreed with that alternative.

“Look at these people here. Look at the suffering they’ve gone through. Why are you going to do this to them?” Salarno asked.

For his part, Gov. Brown, who attended Tuesday’s rally, didn’t say which way he’d vote in November but did say he was glad to see the issue going before all California voters. 

“Just like I think it’s a good thing that people get a chance to vote on taxes,” Brown told the Sacramento Bee. “Death and taxes are things we can’t avoid, so it’s good that people get to weigh in occasionally.”

Joy Cepeda who was 22 years old when she died in 2007 under suspicious circumstances. California Gov. Jerry Brown joined advocates, law enforcement officials and legislators in Sacramento at a rally co-sponsored by Crime Victims United of California and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Sacramento, California.

Crime victims assail death penalty repeal initiative


Published Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2012

The newly minted ballot measure to repeal the death penalty came under attack at the Capitol on Tuesday, as law enforcement and crime victims groups assailed the initiative as an assault on the public.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who opposes capital punishment but has enforced it while in office, said he is happy that the repeal will be on the ballot in November.

"Just like I think it's a good thing that people get a chance to vote on taxes," Brown said earlier Tuesday in San Jose. "Death and taxes are things we can't avoid, so it's good that people get to weigh in occasionally." 

A few hours later, speakers at a Crime Victims United rally on the Capitol's west steps took turns blasting the initiative.

"Don't let people tell you life without parole is just as good as the death penalty," said Nina Salarno Ashford, who sits on the board of the nonprofit victims advocacy group.

Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, declared, "This initiative spits in the eye of justice. We must defeat it." 

It was red meat for the rally, which assembles every year to remember murdered friends and family and press for victims' rights.

The group had invited Brown to speak, even though he vetoed a bill to restore California's death penalty during his inaugural term in 1977. The Legislature overrode the veto.

As attorney general, Brown backed capital punishment cases. During his 2010 campaign, he promised to uphold the law.

That won't change, he promised the victims’ rights group.

"I will carry out the law," he said, "without fear or failure and with fidelity to the will of the people."

Crime Victims United, backed by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, also opposes a program Brown launched in October that is shrinking the state's prison population by sentencing more convicts to local jails. The group contends the policy merely shifts overcrowding and costs from the state to local governments, which are more likely to release prisoners early – and put the public at risk.

Brown wants to put a tax measure on the November ballot that would guarantee money for local jails.
The governor didn't take on the critics directly. Instead, he called for the hundreds assembled at the event to take a wider view. Administrations come and go, Brown said, leaving thousands of laws intended to curb crime on the books. Still, violent crime remains.

"It is not our lot to totally overcome evil," the governor said in one of several biblically flavored references in his five-minute speech, "but to not be overcome by it." 







Javier Gonzales holds images of his step daughter Joy Cepeda who was 22 years old when she died in 2007. California Gov. Jerry Brown joined advocates, law enforcement officials and legislators in Sacramento at a rally co-sponsored by Crime Victims United of California and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Sacramento, California.

Crime Victims Seek Justice For Loved Ones

Survivors Support Death Penalty

Mike Luery/KCRA
POSTED: 3:26 pm PDT April 24, 2012
UPDATED: 7:51 pm PDT April 24, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) -- Scores of California crime victims flocked to the Capitol on Tuesday, seeking answers and justice for their loved ones. One local mom is still seeking the ultimate penalty for her son's killer -- after nearly 16 years.

Sandy Friend lost her 8-year-old son Michael Lyons in 1996. The Yuba City child was abducted by a serial killer after walking home from school.

"He kidnapped Michael and kept him for 10 hours," Sandy Friend told KCRA 3. "He tortured him for 10 hours and he murdered him ultimately the next morning."

The convicted killer, Robert Rhoades, is now on California's death row, where Friend is hoping he will pay the ultimate price.

"If he isn't the poster child for the death penalty, I don't know who would be," Friend told KCRA 3. "I mean, he is the evilest of the evil. He is the worst of the worst."

Tuesday's rally was highlighted by the presence of Gov. Jerry Brown, who acknowledged the pain that so many families have suffered.

"Evil has affected you in so many profound ways, but justice is also affecting you," Brown told the crowd.

"I'm standing with you for victims' rights."

Brown did not tip his hand on a controversial ballot measure to repeal the death penalty, vowing only to uphold the will of the voters.

"But I will tell you this and this is my pledge," said Brown. "Whatever the voters decide you can be sure I will carry out the law, without fear or favor and with fidelity to the will of the people."

California voters approved the death penalty initiative in 1978. The author is Don Heller, a former prosecutor. But since that time, Heller said costs have skyrocketed and he told KCRA 3 he has subsequently changed his mind.
"We're spending $185 million a year on death penalty cases," Heller said. "I'm for the abolition."
The death penalty has cost California taxpayers $4 billion since 1978, or $308 million for each of the 13 executions in that time span, according to a recent study authored by Judge Arthur Alarcon, a senior judge with the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. The study found that California's more than 700 prisoners have waited 20 years or more on average for their cases to be concluded.

But death penalty supporters disagree with the costs discovered in the study. They insist that abolishing the death penalty will be even more costly.

"You know they want life without the possibility of parole," said Harriet Salarno, president of Crime Victims United. "Did they ever stop to think how much that's going to cost? With the health care they get in prison, they'll live to be 100 years old."

California voters will decide the fate of the death penalty this November.

Tracy Wild (center) of Chico carries the image of Salvador Hernandez, son of Debbie Hernandez (left) of San Diego, California who was killed on February 16, 2008 at the 23rd Annual Victims March at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown joined advocates, law enforcement officials and legislators in Sacramento at a rally co-sponsored by Crime Victims United of California and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Sacramento, California.

Flowers were taped next to photographs of loved ones at the 23rd Annual Victims March at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown joined advocates, law enforcement officials and legislators in Sacramento at a rally co-sponsored by Crime Victims United of California and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Sacramento, California.