On this date, 2 March 2008, 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw II was shot dead by a Mexican gang member, Pedro Espinoza. Prosecutors say Espinoza attacked Shaw, who was 17, because he was black. Prosecutors also said Espinoza mistook him for a gang rival based on the red Spider-Man backpack Shaw was wearing. Shaw's family wore red at the courthouse in support.
We will post several news sources with photos and endorse Jamiel’s Law, before giving our comments and condolences.
Jamiel Andre Shaw II was a kid who, by all accounts, did things the right way. (SOURCE: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/gallery/enlargePhoto?id=3289515&story=3289490)
Jury orders death penalty for killer of Jamiel Shaw II
Pedro Espinoza shot Shaw, a high school football star whom he mistook for a rival gang member, in 2008.By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
May 24, 2012
After hearing jurors decide he should be put to death, Pedro Espinoza looks at the ceiling of the courtroom as his lawyer Csaba Palfi holds his head. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / May 23, 2012)
A 23-year-old gang member who shot and killed a high school football star he mistook for a rival gangster in 2008 should be put to death, a Los Angeles jury decided Wednesday.
Jurors reached the verdict after about a week of testimony in the penalty phase of the trial for Pedro Espinoza, a member of the 18th Street gang. The panel was asked to decide what punishment Espinoza should receive for the slaying of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw II.
Prosecutors said Shaw was killed execution-style because he was a young black male carrying a red Spider-Man backpack, which led Espinoza to believe he was a Bloods gang member. The same jury earlier this month convicted Espinoza of first-degree murder in Shaw's death and found true special allegations that he acted as part of a gang and personally discharged a firearm, making him subject to the death penalty.
Espinoza, hair slicked back on his once-shaved head with the tattoo "BK" — for Blood Killer — still visible behind his left ear, looked up at the ceiling just before the verdict was read and bit his lips. He showed no reaction at the verdict.
In the gallery, a smile spread across Shaw's mother's face and his father nodded his head. Most family members wore red, which they previously said was in protest of Espinoza.
"I hope he leaves prison the same way my son came into the mortuary — in a casket," the teen's father, Jamiel Shaw Sr., said outside court.
He quietly told his deceased son during the verdict: "We did it. Your life wasn't in vain."
The younger Shaw was shot down the street from his Arlington Heights home. Espinoza jumped out of a car and asked the teen for his gang affiliation and fired a shot into his stomach. He then walked around Shaw's body and fired a second time into his head, prosecutors said.
During the penalty phase, prosecutors called to the stand jail guards to attest to Espinoza's continued violent behavior even after he was arrested on murder charges. He assaulted a fellow inmate with a razor and attacked a sheriff's deputy, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace said.
Jurors also heard testimony from probation officers from Espinoza's days at juvenile camp. One of them recalled how during an exercise in a counseling session, Espinoza was asked to choose a color. He chose his gang's color, blue, and said he would choose it even if it meant being sent to death row, according to testimony, prosecutors said.
"It shows the defendant had aspired to get where he is today," Deputy Dist. Atty. Allyson Ostrowski said after Wednesday's verdict.
Espinoza's defense attorney, Csaba Palfi, said his client was a product of a difficult, underprivileged youth. His mother came to the U.S. illegally when Espinoza was a baby to escape an abusive partner, only to end up with another who was just as abusive, Palfi said.
The attorney said that in contrast with Shaw's upbringing, it was clear what led Espinoza down the criminal path.
Shaw "had a loving family, a supportive family who made sure he made good choices, made good friends. Pedro didn't have that," Palfi said outside court.
He also painted his client as but a small piece of a larger social problem.
"Killing Mr. Espinoza in however many years ... is not going to fix anything, it's not going to stop the young men and women from joining gangs," he said.
Espinoza is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21.
Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
Judge Agrees With Jury's Death Sentence Recommendation in Jamiel Shaw Murder
Pedro Espinoza gets death in the 2008 slaying of Jamiel Shaw, a promising football player
| Friday, Nov 2, 2012 | Updated 10:50 PM PST
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge agreed with a jury's recommendation that a gang member convicted in the execution-style slaying of standout high school football player Jamiel Shaw receive the death penalty.
After emotional testimony from Shaw's family in a Los Angeles courtroom on Friday, Judge Ronald Rose issued the sentence to Pedro Espinoza, a 23-year-old gang member.
A jury in May recommended death for Espinoza, who was convicted of first-degree murder for what prosecutors said was the "cold-blooded, calculated execution" of Shaw outside the teen's Arlington Heights home on March 2, 2008.
Four days before voters are expected to decide whether to abolish the death penalty, Shaw’s family stood in solidarity at the courthouse, voicing support for the maximum penalty currently allowed by law.
"If you murdered somebody, you should be murdered too," said Jamiel Shaw Sr., who said he was voting against Prop. 34 on Nov. 6 which would abolish California’s death penalty. “My son got the death penalty, but we can't give it to them? Because it hurts? They don't think it didn't hurt my son?"
When asked if she views the sentencing as the end of the ordeal, Jamiel Shaw’s mother, Anita said, “It better be. Enough is enough."
Jamiel Shaw’s aunt, Althea, pushed for the death sentence.
"It’s not like we'll go ‘Whoo!’ if he gets he gets the death penalty,” she said. “We just feel that it's appropriate for the way Jamiel was murdered."
Prosecutors say Espinoza attacked Shaw, who was 17, because he was black. Prosecutors also said Espinoza mistook him for a gang rival based on the red Spider-Man backpack Shaw was wearing. Shaw's family wore red at the courthouse in support.
Shaw was an honor's student at Los Angeles High School. He was was not in a gang. Rutgers and Stanford were among the universities recruiting him.
During the court hearing on Friday, Judge Ronald Rose denied Espinoza's motions for a new trial and a new attorney, saying he had ineffective counsel and he didn't get a fair trial.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, an Espinoza attorney M. David Houchin, said he was “not trying in any way to excuse Pedro Espinoza” but asked jurors to recommend a life prison sentence for his client, according to City News Service.
“My plea for Mr. Espinoza's life is not a plea for leniency,” Houchin said, arguing that the death penalty “should be meted out to the worst in our society.”
Shaw's parents have campaigned for a law that would enable police to arrest undocumented immigrant gang members and them turn in to federal authorities.
Espinoza was living in the United States illegally and had been released from jail on a conviction for brandishing a weapon before the Shaw slaying.
The judge could sentence Espinoza to either death or life in prison without parole. The decision comes four days before California voters decide whether to abolish the death penalty.
Jamiel Shaw, father of murder victim Jamiel Shaw Jr., reacts to the verdict that Pedro Espinoza was found guilty for his son's death, Wednesday, May 9, 2012, in a Los Angeles courtroom. At right is Jamiel Shaw Jr.,'s mother, Anita Shaw. Prosecutors said Shaw was gunned down. (SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/pedro-espinoza-sentence_n_2066907.html#slide=1715384)
Pedro Espinoza Sentence: Judge Refuses New Trial But Considers Modifying Death Sentence Recommendation
By LINDA DEUTSCH 11/02/12 08:38 PM ET EDT
LOS ANGELES — A gang member who killed a promising Los Angeles High School football player because he believed the athlete's red Spider-Man backpack linked him to an opposing gang was sentenced to death on Friday.
Pedro Espinoza had told authorities he was willing to kill for his gang, even if it meant going to death row.
Superior Court Judge Ronald H. Rose imposed that very sentence – ordering Espinoza taken to San Quentin State Prison. The judge rejected defense arguments that the 23-year-old didn't get a fair trial.
"The evidence is clear he decided to murder the victim in cold blood and bragged about the killing after," Rose said. "The defendant executed the victim as he lay on the ground defenseless."
Jamiel Shaw II was a 17-year-old standout running back when he was gunned down in 2008. He was not a gang member.
His parents and friends appeared in court Friday wearing red. They said it wasn't to symbolize a gang – but for "the blood spilled."
"You don't have a right to execute someone and then come in and plead not to be executed," said Jamiel Shaw Sr., the father of the victim.
Shaw said he devoted his life to preparing his son for a brilliant athletic career.
"We really thought we had a chance," he said. "My son was groomed to succeed."
Anita Shaw, a U.S. Army sergeant, told of being in Iraq on her second tour of duty when she was summoned by her commander and told that her son had been murdered.
"I lost it," she said. She invoked scripture, saying she knew she was supposed to forgive – but "I'm not that strong of a person."
Espinoza didn't move and didn't look at Shaw's parents as they spoke.
The judge noted that Espinoza had been released from jail shortly before the killing on an unrelated charge and had been counseled by an officer who warned him of the consequences of further criminal behavior.
Rose urged the family to focus on raising their 13-year-old son, Thomas, who also attended the sentencing. Shaw said outside court he would do that but feels the gang situation has changed parenting.
"You're not raising them anymore," he said. "You're trying to keep them alive."
Anita Shaw, mother of murder victim Jamiel Shaw Jr., reacts to the verdict, Wednesday May 9, 2012, in a Los Angeles courtroom. LA jurors found 23-year-old Pedro Espinoza guilty of killing her son. Prosecutors said Shaw, a standout Los Angeles High School football player four years. (SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/pedro-espinoza-sentence_n_2066907.html#slide=1715386)
Gang member sentenced to death for Jamiel Shaw slaying
By Fred Shuster, City News Service
Posted: 11/02/2012 08:30:07 PM PDT
Updated: 11/02/2012 09:01:00 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES - A gang member who gunned down a Los Angeles High School football standout near his Arlington Heights home because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack was sentenced to death today.
Jurors recommended in May that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald H. Rose impose the death sentence on Pedro Espinoza, 23, who was convicted of first-degree murder for the March 2, 2008, shooting death of Jamiel Shaw Jr., 17.
Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation that the murder was carried out to further the activities of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors alleged that Espinoza shot Shaw to improve his status in the gang.
In rejecting a defense request for a reduced sentence, Superior Court Judge Ronald Rose said Espinoza murdered "a defenseless victim in cold blood" and bragged about it.
Shaw, who was unarmed and had no gang ties, was "executed" as he lay "defenseless and incapacitated on the ground ... in front of the family home," Rose said. The judge described the victim as "a good, decent teenage boy."
Shaw was shot once in the head and once in the abdomen. The teenager, who had a collection of Spider-Man items in his bedroom, had been walking home carrying a Spider-Man backpack that made Espinoza mistakenly perceive him as a gang rival, according to prosecutors.
Espinoza sat motionless, showing no apparent reaction during the hearing.
Before pronouncing sentence, Rose also rejected a defense motion for a new trial in the case.
As part of the motion, Espinoza attorney Csaba Palfi argued that one of the jurors wore red to the trial at least once, indicating prejudice against his client and sympathy with the prosecution.
"I don't think he got a fair trial," Palfi said.
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace, however, countered that Palfi was attempting to use a "fashion police defense," adding that "jurors can wear whatever they want to wear."
The judge said ordering jurors to not to wear certain colors would be akin to "turning power over to the gangs."
Family members of the victim, many wearing red, wept as Rose described the murder.
Shaw had encountered Espinoza on the sidewalk and "tried to walk around him," the judge said. At that point, "the defendant pulled a gun, shot him in the stomach, then walked around him and put a bullet in his head."
Rose said he imagined Shaw's last emotions were fear and sheer confusion as to why this was happening.
In victim impact statements prior to sentencing, Shaw's parents spoke briefly.
The boy's mother, Anita Shaw, was serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq when she was told of her eldest son's death.
"I still don't understand why it happened," she said.
Her husband, Jamiel Shaw Sr., said Espinoza thought he was "big, bad Pedro. But now that it's time for judgment day, he doesn't want to be executed."
Like all death penalty proceedings, the Espinoza case is subject to automatic appeal to the California Supreme Court.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski told jurors that Espinoza, a Latino, "chose to execute a 17-year-old for the color of his skin and the color of his backpack," calling the slaying of Shaw, who was black, a "cold-blooded, calculated execution."
Jurors also heard a Probation Department employee's account that Espinoza -- while a teenager in a juvenile camp -- said he was "down for death row." Ostrowski said the remark "definitely showed that the defendant had aspired to get to where he is today."
Another of Espinoza's attorneys, M. David Houchin, had asked jurors to recommend a life prison sentence for his client.
"My plea for Mr. Espinoza's life is not a plea for leniency," Houchin said, arguing that the death penalty "should be meted out to the worst in our society."
Jamiel Shaw Sr. had told jurors that his son's athletic prowess had attracted interest from numerous universities, including Stanford and Rutgers, and that the four years since the slaying had been "a nightmare."
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AP Photo/Damian DovarganesFriends, teammates, neighbors and members of the community rallied together after the murder of Jamiel Shaw. (SOURCE: http://espn.go.com/high-school/football/story/_/id/3533277/shaw-death-shocks-la-community/)
JAMIEL’S LAW (SOURCE: http://isupportjamielslaw.com/)
Jamiel was a happy teenager! He is loved by so many!! He had a smile that could light up your heart. Jamiel was only 17 years old when his life was suddenly taken.
The morning Jamiel was murdered, he participated in an invitational only weekend football training program. This program prepares top high school football players for college football. In addition, it helps prepare the young players for a possible career in the NFL.
Jamiel was enjoying life. He was doing things he loved to do! He played football, basketball, baseball, the piano and he ran track! He attended Church on a regular bases and he read his bible too. A matter of fact, a few days before his murder, Jamiel was asking one of his Aunt’s a bible question about Abraham’s son, Isaac.
Jamiel Andre’ Shaw, II, was brutally assassinated on March 2nd, 2008. In the early evening on March 2nd, Jamiel was returning home from the Beverly Center Mall. He was walking from the bus stop when his father (Jamiel Sr.), called him on his cell phone, "Be right home dad, I’m right around the corner”, he said. He was just three houses from his home when his life on earth tragically ended.
Jamiel was shot twice, although there were three entry wounds. The first bullet went through his hand and then entered his stomach. The second bullet landed in Jamiel’s head. Just twenty to thirty minutes after the shooting, the defendant charged with murdering Jamiel, was found making out in a Culver City Park. He was told by the Officers to leave the park because the park had closed. However, the Culver City Police Officers did write down the license plate number of the vehicle the defendant was in.
Jamiel was always very concerned about his mother, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw, returning home from the war zone!!
He was so looking forward to seeing his mother! Anita did return home early from Iraq, but only to bury her first born Son, who couldn’t even make it home from the Beverly Center Mall in California.
The defendant has a long criminal history and he is a known documented gang member. He was released from jail on the evening of Saturday, March 1, 2008, on prior gun charges. He is charged with murdering Jamiel Andre’ Shaw, II, on March 2, 2008 and he reported to his Probation Officer on March 3, 2008.
The defendant is now in custody awaiting trial for murdering Jamiel. If he is found guilty, he will receive the death penalty. However, being in jail for murder didn’t seem to bother the defendant. He has since picked up "5" additional charges! All felonies. He assaulted a Sheriff Deputy; He reached his hand through his jail cell and slashed the face of an inmate, with a razor, while the inmate was handcuffed and being escorted by a Sheriff Deputy; He incited a riot; and he had 2 fights with other inmates.
The family of Jamiel Andre’ Shaw, II, continues to miss him deeply!!!! We are Angry! Very Angry!
If you support Jamiel's Law and want to do your part to deport illegal aliens in gangs, please follow us on twitter! Following us on twitter will keep you informed on when we will begin gathering signatures again. You will also be the first to hear the status regarding the criminal and the civil cases. If you want to follow us on twitter click here
If you helped The Shaw Family in any way, shape, form or fashion, "On behalf of Jamiel's family, Thank You!! And May The Creator Of Heaven And Earth, Bless You And Bless Us!"
Jamiel Andre’ Shaw, II, (Jas), was a very talented Athlete at Los Angeles High School. He was clearly on his way to College and to the NFL!
We believe Jas was murdered because of the color of his skin. It was a hate crime! Jas did NOT have a criminal record. Jas was not in a gang database. Jas was NEVER detained by ANY Law Enforcement Officer or any School Police. Jas was innocent and he still is! He was an American citizen and he didn't deserve to be murdered!!!! Especially, by an illegal alien gangbanger who should never of been in the United States of America! The defendant was negligently released from jail 24 hours before he murdered Jas. The family of Jamiel Shaw II, will continue to stand for His Justice!!
What would you do if your love one was murdered and you later found out that the defendant who murdered your love one was in the Country illegally?
In addition, you found out that the defendant was also in custody by Law Enforcement and negligently released back into the community 24 hours before he murdered your love one!
What would you do if this happened to you? Email your response to JamielsLaw@live.com
Jamiel’s Law http://bit.ly/dqQ6c4 was written in honor of Jamiel Andre’ Shaw, II. The family affectionately called Jamiel “Jas” and many of his friends called him, “Wilshire”.
Jamiel's Law was written by lawyer and former mayoral candidate, Walter Moore. As many of you know, we did not get Jamiel's Law on the ballot in 2009. If you signed the Jamiel's Law Petition and/or helped to gather signatures, on behalf of Jamiel's family, "Thank You"! We're very sorry things didn't work out the way we planned. Nevertheless, we want to thank all of you for working so hard!!
All we can do now is move Jamiel's Law forward! Move forward in a more organized manner, documenting the process every step of the way! For those who don't know, Jamiel's Law will target illegal alien gangs! Many criminal alien gang members are living openly in our communities. Jamiel's Law will change this!
There are statistics to show that 80% or more of these illegal alien gangs, (18th street & ms13,etc.,), are living in the United States illegally. Law Enforcement is aware of this fact, as well as Local Politicians.
For more information on criminal aliens, click here:
COMMENTS AND CONDOLENCES:
We will not forget Jamiel Shaw II and we will miss his baseball skills and everything good about him. We urged everybody to remember the way he live and not how he died. Sadly, Pedro Espinoza was unrepentant and he is still a threat to society, even behind bars. We do hope that California can fix their death penalty law and not delay his execution. We encourage people to vote for Jamiel’s Law.
Abolitionists claim that the death penalty is racist, in the sense that the death sentence would not be imposed if the victim was an African-American, but other than learning about the execution of Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer, Espinoza was a Hispanic man sentenced to death for killing an African American. If the system is racist, end racism not the death penalty. If prisons are racist, we eliminate the racism, not empty the prisons. We, Victims’ Families For the Death Penalty, care for victims and their families, regardless of race and country. We are not racist.
We know that Espinoza was the last man sentenced to death before Proposition 34 was defeated. We prayed to God to defeat that abolition campaign and our prayers were answered.
We will be commending two prayers from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for Jamiel Shaw II and his family:
A Prayer for All Conditions of Men:
O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Burial of the Dead 1662:
ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity: We give thee hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world; beseeching thee that it may please thee, of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Please go here to see the funeral photos of Jamiel Shaw II.