SF Dog Mauling defendant Marjorie Knoller's conviction for second degree murder was reinstated today. A SF Chronicle story by Bob Egelko reports that Knoller had been charged with second-degree murder after her two 100lb+ attack dogs mauled 33-year-old Dianne Whipple to death while she watched. Knoller did not bother to call anyone after the mauling, but first responders summoned by a neighbor found the victim stripped of her clothes with 75 major wounds on her body. After the trial court and court of appeals disagreed on the standard for implied malice murder, the state Supreme Court announced the correct standard, held that "the trial court abused its discretion in granting defendant Knoller a new trial on the second degree murder charge," and sent the case back for reconsideration. Today's order is the formal reinstatement of the conviction. She is being held without bail awaiting the possibility of receiving a 15 to life sentence at a hearing next month.
Kentucky murderer Marco Allen Chapman, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to murdering two children and attacking their mother and sister, has been fighting for three years to get the state public defender to stop appealing his case so that he can be executed. An AP story by writer Brett Barrouquere quotes Chapman saying "The only thing I can do is . . . tell the judges to do their job and end this now. Quit dragging this on for everybody." After a two-day crack cocaine binge in 2002, Chapman broke into Carolyn Marksberry's home, raped her and stabbed her, then stabbed her three young children. Carolyn and one of her daughters survived the attack. The Kentucky Supreme Court declined to rehear the public defender's appeal of his case yesterday. The Court's 2005 decision to uphold his conviction and sentence is here.
Prison is not fun for disgraced Illinois Governor George Ryan according to this Chicago Sun Times story by Rummana Hussain. Ryan, who is doing 6-1/2 years for taking bribes, became the darling of the anti-death penalty crowd when he emptied out Illinois' death row on his last day in office.