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News Scan

Victim's Family Shocked By Overturned Death Sentenced:  Ken Kolker reports on WOODTV.com (MI) that the family of murder victim Rachel Timmerman are shocked and outraged over yesterday's decision by the Sixth Circuit to overturn the death sentence of murderer Marvin Gabrion (see yesterday's post here).  "I believe Mr. Gabrion should be put to death because of what he did to my daughter, Rachel," said Tim Timmerman.  "He put her in handcuffs and chains, he chained cement blocks to her. He wrapped her entire head in duct tape. He put her on a boat and drug her out into the middle of Oxford Lake and then he threw her in."

Pain and Suffering Awarded to Child Murderer:
  A German court last week awarded $4,290 in damages for pain and suffering to a convicted child murderer, reports the AP.  A deputy police chief interrogated Magnus Gaefgen, 36, during a frantic search for 11-year-old Jakob von Metzler.  Metzler was later found dead and Gaefgen was convicted of his murder in 2003. The Frankfurt court ruled he deserved compensation for pain and suffering caused by the officer's threat of violence during the interrogation.

Virginia County Sues DHS:  Prince William County, Virginia announced today it has filed a "long-anticipated lawsuit" against the Department of Homeland Security demanding the release of records pertaining to the criminal illegal aliens the County has detained and transferred to DHS since 2008.  The lawsuit, the second of its kind the county has filed against DHS in the past six months, comes in light of a fatal car crash caused by Carlos Martinelly Montano, a convicted illegal alien whom had been convicted of a DUI, identified as an illegal alien, and handed to DHS for deportation.  "It is frustrating that we as a local government must resort to suing the Federal Government to get information which the public has a right to know, and which is vital to our law enforcement efforts. I am disappointed in the lack of cooperation and transparency from DHS and I am frustrated with dismissive attitude of Congress, which has failed to compel DHS to turn over this information," said Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart.  Keith Walker has this report in InsideNova (VA).


The story about the German court awarding damages to a child killer because of aggressive interrogation used by the cops at a time when the victim was still thought to be alive is wonderfully instructive. In particular, it has two lessons.

First, the next time someone tries to tell you about the superiority of European law, throw this right back at them.

Second, this story, combined with the story that the killer in the Norwegian massacre can get a sentence of no more than 21 years, is all the answer needed to the charge that we are barbaric while the Europeans are civilized. The actual state of play is that we are sane and the Europeans are nuts.

The death sentence overturning was ridiculous. Merritt and Moore ought to be ashamed of themselves, but, of course, they aren't.

I cannot imagine how these poor people feel---they lost their daughter, and now a couple of activist judges decide to take justice from them.

Federalist, I couldn't agree more. And the basis upon which the sentence was overturned (i.e., that it was error not to instruct the jury that the defendant could not have been sentenced to death under state law) is beyond absurd.

Who gives a rat's behind what sentence the defendant would get in another jurisdiction? How is that even relevant, let alone mitigating?

To tie into Bill's comment, maybe they should have instructed the jury that if the defendant had committed the murder in Norway, the most he would receive is 21 years in prison. That has just as much relevance and mitigating value, IMHO. Color me completely disgusted.

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