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CT High Court Upholds Death Penalty Repeal:  The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, upheld its previous ruling Thursday that found the death penalty unconstitutional and abolished it.  Daniel Tepfer of the CT Post reports that the ruling was made in the appeal of convicted murderer Russell Peeler Jr., whose sentence was changed from death to life without the possibility of release.  In 2012, the General Assembly repealed capital punishment in the state, which was intended to be applied only to people convicted of a capital felony after April 25, 2012 and not the state's already-sentenced death row inmates; however, the state Supreme Court's ruling last year extended it to the 10 inmates on the Connecticut's death row, including Peeler.  In January 1999, Peeler, a drug kingpin, was sentenced to death for ordering the murders of an eight-year-old boy and his mother because the boy was scheduled to testify against him in another murder case.

Report Highlights Unintended Consequences of CA Policies:  Los Angeles County is experiencing an overwhelmingly large caseload in their mental health courts due to strained court resources, and AB 109 and Proposition 47 are believed to be contributing factors. Abbey Sewell of the LA Times reports that the mental health courts have seen an increase in their case referrals jumping from 944 in 2010 to 3,528 in 2015. Likewise, the number of misdemeanors also spiked from 225 to 2,178 in the respective years. In a preliminary report, the county's Office of Diversion and Reentry believes that the implementation of AB 109 and Prop. 47, the growing homeless population and the lack of beds for acute psychiatric care are responsible for the staggering statistics.

Death Penalty Sought Against GA Man who Killed Priest:  A man accused of murdering a priest last month has been indicted and will face the death penalty in a Georgia court.  Sandy Hodson of the Augusta Chronicle reports that Steven James Murray, 28, fatally shot Rev. Rene Robert, a Florida resident who was trying to counsel him, on April 18.  It is believed that Murray tricked Robert into accompanying him to visit his children and later forced Robert into the trunk of his own car before committing several burglaries and an arson.  At some point, Murray pulled the car over, took Robert out of the trunk and shot him to death.  Prosecutors cite four statutory aggravating circumstances in the notice of intention to seek the death penalty:   

1 Comment

This crime was worthy of death among all types of people in all
remotely Godly places at all times, until recently.
"U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller said he handed down 26 years because
the crime was so horrific"

SAN DIEGO -- A California man was sentenced to 26 years in prison
Wednesday for killing his girlfriend in Panama, dismembering her body
with a machete and disposing of her remains in the jungle.

... Just hours after killing Baldelli, the ex-Marine, [Brian Bimager] ... sent
an email to a friend, joking: " I got stories for days.” He later joked on a
social media post that he had a machete for sale that had only been
used once
to dismember someone and was almost like new,
according to the prosecution.

--> ... Brimager withdrew money from Baldelli's account after her death and sent emails on her laptop to make friends and family members think [she was alive] ...
--> ... He also admitted to killing her two dogs and disposing of a blood-stained mattress, clothing and jewelry.
--> ... He [put] her remains in a military-style duffel bag and garbage bags, hiked more than a mile ... and threw them down an embankment,

... Prosecutors told the court that witnesses in Panama saw Brimager
beating, punching, choking and threatening to kill Baldelli numerous
times. The evidence showed that he broke her teeth and nose and
stabbed her multiple times before dragging her to the shower, where
he dismembered her body, according to court documents.
So much for cultural evolution.

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