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More CA Fugitive Sex Offenders Under Realignment:  Don Thompson of the Associated Press reports that, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the number of fugitive paroled sex offenders in the state has risen by 15 percent under AB109. More paroled sex offenders are not reporting to their parole officers and disabling or removing their GPS monitoring devices. More on GPS removal in this News Scan. When caught, most offenders are set free again within a matter of days due to jail overcrowding. In an effort to combat these numbers, Sen. Ted Lieu has introduced SB57, which would make disabling the GPS device a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison. Further discussed in this blog entry.

CO Anti-Death Penalty Bill to be Introduced:  Eli Stokols of Fox News reports that a bill seeking to abolish the death penalty will be introduced in the Colorado House on March 15. The bill has four sponsors, two in the House: Reps. Claire Levy, and Jovan Melton; and two in the Senate: Sens. Morgan Carroll, and Lucia Guzman. The bill coincides with an upcoming execution of Nathan Dunlap, covered in this News Scan. Should the bill pass, CO Gov. Hickenlooper will have to choose whether to sign the repeal or Dunlap's execution order.

KS Bill Introduced to Abolish Death Penalty:  Scott Rothschild of Lawrence Journal-World reports that Kansas state Rep. Steven Becker introduced a bill Thursday that would replace the death penalty with life without parole. KS last considered abolishing the death penalty in 2010. The Senate's vote ended deadlocked, 20-20. It was one vote shy of the number needed for the measure to advance. 

DNA Ties Dead Sex Offender to CA Murder:  Larry Altman of the Daily Breeze reports that DNA from a 23-year-old blood sample has helped solve a cold case in California. The sample was taken from sex offender Kevin T. Kemp after he was fatally shot in September 1990 by his victim during an attempted sexual assault. The sample was discovered last April in a refrigerator at a coroner's office. Upon examination, police found that Kemp's DNA matched forensic evidence on the body of murder victim killed three weeks before Kemp died.

DNA Links Freed TX Inmate to Slaying:  The Associated Press reports that Alvin Wiltz has been rearrested and charged with capital murder in Texas, just a day after being released from prison on a drug conviction. DNA evidence linked Wiltz to the 2006 fatal shooting of his alleged accomplice, Jermaine Clemons, in a robbery and utility scam. A homeowner, Oscar Richmond, was also wounded in the attack.


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Dishonest and cynical

The prior attempt at Colorado death penalty repeal.

May, 2009

Cost, Deception & the Death Penalty: The Colorado Experience
Dudley Sharp

Death penalty opponents fashioned this argument:

End the death penalty, they said, and we can use the $380,000/year (1), the alleged net cost excess of the death penalty, to fund cold case investigations, for over 1400 Colorado unsolved murders.

From the beginning, this was, only, another anti death penalty effort/deception.

Plea bargains to a life sentence, only possible because of the presence of the death penalty, likely, save more money (1), thus, ending the death penalty in Colorado may end up costing Coloradans even more.

By the end of the Colorado Legislative session, even for the most naive, all doubt was removed.

Some Senators had re written bill 1274, taken out the death penalty repeal and introduced constant funding for cold case investigations.

This revived bill came "up with as much money for cold-case investigations as the bill originally would have" by establishing "a $2.50 surcharge on all traffic tickets and criminal convictions in the state." (2)

Anti death penalty legislators said no.

They re instated the death penalty repeal, in conference committee, even though they already had the cold case funds.

The last day of the session, the reconstituted anti death penalty bill failed, just as death penalty opponents knew that it could, thus gutting the additional cold case funding, also part of bill 1274.

This was never about cold case funds.

Had it been, death penalty opponents would have secured the funding, in conference committee, then voted for that funding, alone and jubilantly.

This was, only, about repealing the death penalty, whose adherents knowingly sacrificed cold case funding, which, certainly, would have passed, absent the death penalty repeal re introduction.

How cynical did anti death penalty legislators get?

Death penalty opponent and Senate President Peter Groff stated:

"We've put some nice garnish (cold case funding) around it, but really what this is about is whether government should kill or not kill." (3)

"nice garnish." That is all cold case funding meant to the anti death penalty crowd.

Nationwide strategy

Every few years, death penalty opponents create a new crisis, because their previous one failed. Thus, the cost issue and, in Colorado, its coupling with cold case funding.

This year, there were, at least, 10 states, wherein death penalty opponents were using cost as their main repeal issue.

New Mexico will, likely, be the only state to repeal this year (2009) and started out, strong, with the cost mantra. Cost soon died, as an issue, because it was, blatantly, false.

The NM repeal succeeded only because more anti death penalty democrats were elected.

The ". . . Senate vote to repeal the death penalty in New Mexico was a direct result of November's election of several new lawmakers." The repeal bill's sponsor, Rep. Gail Chase said she was able to get the bill through because the 2008 election added three more senators to the Democratic majority. District Attorney Lem Martinez, who had spoken against the repeal bill, said "the Senate vote was the result of Obama's coattails." ("Senate backs death-penalty repeal", Steve Terrell, The (Santa Fe) New Mexican, 3/13/09). (4)

So goes death penalty opponents machinery of deception, until the next session.

==

Update:

Just as we have seen, for the past 3 years, since 2009.

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