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Sentence for 2 murders: No punishment at all

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Henry K. Lee reports in the SF Chronicle:

A state prison inmate already serving a life term for murder has been sentenced again to life after admitting he killed a man and a woman just 12 days apart in Alameda nearly 16 years ago.

Eugene Albert Protsman, 57, was sentenced Monday by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta after he pleaded no contest to the first-degree murders of Manuel Garcia, 59, and Diane Ely, 54, authorities said.

Panetta sentenced Protsman - who also admitted to the special circumstance of committing multiple murders - to life in prison without the possibility of parole, a sentence identical to one he is serving for killing a woman with a hammer in San Diego County.
The story doesn't say why the DA agreed to a sentence that is effectively no punishment at all.  Perhaps it was the excessive expense and needlessly long delays in carrying out capital punishment in California.  A 57-year-old man sentenced to death is unlikely to be executed before he dies of natural causes in California.  In Virginia, where 6 years from sentence to execution is normal, Protsman could have been punished for the additional murders.

1 Comment

I defy any abolitionist to tell us why this sentence should be regarded as anything other than a miscarriage of justice.

What society that wants to call itself civilized can embrace the concept of freebie murder?

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