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News Scan

CA Inmate Killer May Face Death Penalty:  Jennie Rodriguez-Moore of The Record reports that convicted killer John Joseph Lydon, 39, may face the death penalty for his second in-prison murder. Lydon strangled and bludgeoned cellmate and convicted child molester John Guy Alexander to death in 2010. He was already serving consecutive sentences for a robbery turned fatal, and killing another child molester cellmate in 2004. He was convicted of first-degree murder on Jan. 29. The penalty phase of the trial started Wednesday.

FL Jury Recommends Death Penalty in Double Homicide Case: Elaine Silvestrini of The Tampa Tribune reports that on Tuesday, a jury recommended the death penalty for Khalid Ali Pasha, convicted of the 2002 murder of his wife and stepdaughter. Pasha, 69, was found guilty after a re-trial last month of bludgeoning and stabbing the pair to death. In 2010 the Florida Supreme Court overturned Ali Pasha's 2007 conviction because the trial judge did not allow him to represent himself.  In the re trial he was allowed to act as his own attorney. The prosecutor sought the death penalty for the cruel manner of the killings. At the time of the murders Pascha was on parole for armed robbery.

Changes to CA Three Strikes Law Bring Consequences:  Tracy Kaplan of the Contra Costa Times reports that due to California's Proposition 36, inmates previously sentenced to life terms are being released with little supervision or services.  Under the new law about 3,000 inmates are eligible to petition for early release. But with both Prop. 36 and the Governor's Realignment there are no provisions for monitoring these repeat offenders upon release. About 38 percent of those eligible were being treated for mental issues in prison.  Upon release they will have no mental health resources.

CA Governor Rejects Murderer's Parole Bid:  Brian Charles of the Daily Bulletin reports that California Governor Jerry Brown has overturned a state parole board decision to release Robert Butler. Butler was convicted of killing high school coach Robert Jones and student Ronald McClendon in 1985.  Jones, a known sexual predator, had been living with Butler on and off for two years when Butler shot and killed him and McClendon at their apartment. The decision is being praised by the victim's families.

NY Cop-Killer Escapes First Degree Murder Charges:  Oren Yaniv and Corky Siemaszko of the New York Daily News report that cop-killer Lamont Pride, 28, has escaped a first-degree murder conviction in the killing of NYPD officer Peter Figoski. He was convicted Monday of second-degree murder, burglary and aggravated manslaughter, which carries a 25 to life sentence. Pride will be formally sentenced on February 28.  While he could someday become eligible for parole, NYPD officers vowed to attend any parole hearing to encourage a decision keeping him behind bars.

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