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Death Penalty

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NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dismissed litigation to reform the way Philadelphia reimburses lawyers appointed to defend indigent clients facing the death penalty. The four-justice majority filed an unsigned per curiam order Friday that did not explain why the jurists, including Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, decided to end the case. The majority thanked Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner for his "exemplary efforts and analysis. " Castille named Lerner in 2011 to study allegations that Philadelphia's pay scale for lawyers appointed to capital cases was so low it violated their clients' constitutional right to effective counsel.
NEWS
July 17, 2013 | By Angela K. Brown, Associated Press
FORT HOOD, Texas - Prosecutors asked Monday that three Army officers be dismissed as potential jurors in the murder trial of the Fort Hood shooting suspect because of their views on the death penalty. Six potential jurors - four colonels and two lieutenant colonels - were brought in from Army posts nationwide and overseas as questioning continued in the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. The Army psychiatrist faces execution or life in prison without parole if convicted in the 2009 rampage that left 13 dead and nearly three dozen wounded on the Texas Army post.
NEWS
January 10, 1990 | By Rose Simmons, Inquirer Staff Writer
The final chapter to a duel under a warm June sun was written in Chester County Court yesterday, as a 22-year-old man was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for killing his former girlfriend's lover. Jason Jaye Welles pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and aggravated assault for the shotgun slaying in the middle of a Phoenixville street as neighbors looked on. Witnesses told police that Welles shot Michael Brockerman four times with a 12-gauge shotgun about 4:40 p.m. on June 6, the last three blasts coming as the 24-year-old Pottstown man lay prone on the street.
SPORTS
October 22, 2004 | Daily News Wire Services
A former college football player at Lock Haven University was sentenced to life in prison because a jury could not agree on whether he deserved the death penalty for murdering the brother of an Olympic wrestler. The jury voted 7-5 in favor of the death penalty yesterday for Fabian Desmond Smart, of Clyo, Ga. Death sentences require a unanimous decision in Pennsylvania. Smart was convicted last week of the January 1999 murder of Jason McMann, the older brother of Olympic wrestler Sara McMann.
NEWS
March 2, 2005 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Justina Morley, the 15-year-old who lured a Fishtown teenager to his death in 2003, began to cry yesterday as she demonstrated how her alleged accomplices attacked Jason Sweeney with a hatchet and a hammer. Morley, now 16, testified that she feels remorse for the brutal slaying and for luring Sweeney to his death with the promise of sex. But in a jailhouse letter to Domenic Coia, one of the defendants, Morley wrote: "I am guilty. But I still don't feel guilty for anything.
NEWS
January 21, 1993 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
The West Philadelphia food store owner was not only the cousin of a jailed enemy of the Junior Black Mafia, he was also the object of affection of a female companion of JBM boss Aaron Jones. That put Bruce Kennedy, 26, in serious jeopardy, a prosecutor said. And on Aug. 18, 1990, two enforcers of the drug syndicate pumped 10 bullets into him with an Uzi as he was making a steak sandwich at Kennedy's Mommie's Food Market, 54th Street near Master. Yesterday, a jury convicted Jones, 30, and two henchmen, Sam Brown, 29, and James Anderson, 21, of first-degree murder.
NEWS
October 3, 2006
I AGREE with letter- writer Lynn Thistlewood about the death penalty. My father was killed 28 years ago at his place of business. Our family life was destroyed by this. He was only 49 years young. The killers got life in prison. Big deal. They should have died the way my father did. Nancy Branca Philadelphia
NEWS
September 25, 2012
By Jonathan Zimmerman Terrance Williams was sexually abused by the two men he killed, according to his lawyers. He was poorly represented at his trial, where jurors never heard about these circumstances. And the widow of one of his victims wants Williams' death sentence commuted. But those aren't the strongest arguments for sparing the life of Terrance Williams, who is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 3. The best reason is the simplest: Capital punishment is inherently wrong, no matter the circumstances.
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NEWS
August 22, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Convicted Valentine's Day killer Shaun Warrick was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without parole Thursday after a Philadelphia jury deadlocked on whether he should get the death penalty for killing his ex-girlfriend and her cousin. The Common Pleas Court jury of six women and six men deliberated on a death sentence for about three hours before telling Judge Glenn B. Bronson it could not decide. On Wednesday, the same jury found Warrick guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2011 shootings of his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Barnhill, 19, and her cousin Marcedes Ivery, 22. Under Pennsylvania law, a jury's inability to vote unanimously for death means a default sentence of life without parole.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a verdict that could lead to a death sentence, a Philadelphia jury found Shaun Warrick guilty Wednesday of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2011 Valentine's Day shootings of his ex-girlfriend and her cousin. The Common Pleas Court jury of six women and six men is to return to court Thursday to begin hearing testimony in the penalty phase of the trial, in which they will decide whether Warrick, 32, should be executed by lethal injection or spend life in prison without parole.
NEWS
July 31, 2015
ISSUE | MORATORIUM Death penalty hardly tough on crime Two positives arise from the death-penalty confrontation among Gov. Wolf, District Attorney Seth Williams, and Attorney General Kathleen Kane ("Wolf calls on court to uphold his moratorium on death penalty," July 22). It keeps capital punishment under the spotlight, and it also makes it clear that many Democrats differ little from Republicans in important areas. Williams, Kane, and other tough-on-crime officials of either party seem to have given no consideration to the words of George Bernard Shaw: "It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind.
NEWS
July 23, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf on Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to ignore Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's challenge to his death-penalty moratorium, arguing that the justices had already decided to consider a similar petition brought by the Philadelphia district attorney. In a court filing that responds to Kane's petition, Wolf also repeated the claim he has made since February: That he has the right under the state constitution to temporarily stay executions as he awaits a Senate report on capital punishment.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
PENNSYLVANIANS overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana - but not for recreational purposes. We still believe in the death penalty - but also support Gov. Wolf's death-penalty moratorium and prefer that convicted murderers receive life in prison instead. And most of us still don't know who Senate candidate Joe Sestak is, despite his 422-mile walking tour, a new book and a relentless publicity machine. That's according to a new Daily News /Franklin & Marshall College Poll released today.
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The two brothers charged with killing Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III during a March 5 robbery were formally arraigned Wednesday in Common Pleas Court. The arraignment, a formality for which neither defendant was present, was an acknowledgment of the charges and the official passing of discovery, or evidence, from prosecution to defense. The case against brothers Carlton Hipps, 29, and Ramone Williams, 25, now moves to what will likely be months of pretrial conferences and motions hearings before Judge Benjamin Lerner.
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
With more than 200 Philadelphia police officers packing the courtroom behind them, the two brothers charged with killing Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III during a March 5 robbery waived their preliminary hearing Wednesday. The decision by Carlton Hipps, 29, and Ramone Williams, 25, to let their cases proceed directly to trial aborted a hearing that had been expected to last most of the day. Nevertheless, Assistant District Attorneys Brian Zarallo and Brendan O'Malley spent about 15 minutes outlining for Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni the evidence they would have presented.
NEWS
May 10, 2015 | By Laura McCrystal and Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writers
Held without bail and facing the death penalty, Eric Frein has suddenly found himself in an unexpected spotlight: at the center of a political campaign. In the mountainous Pennsylvania county where he allegedly ambushed two state troopers, killing one, and sparked a 48-day manhunt last year, Frein is now a prop in an unusually heated Republican primary race for district attorney. The winner will oversee his prosecution. One candidate in Pike County is a well-connected family-law attorney with no experience as a prosecutor.
SPORTS
April 10, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE PHILLIES were playing in Cincinnati on a Monday night. Ben Revere made a highlight-reel catch, with the words "Pray for Boston" freshly etched on his glove. The Red Sox had just wrapped up their annual Patriots' Day game at Fenway Park before heading out for a short, three-game trip to Cleveland. A week before the 2-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal jury declared that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was guilty of all 30 counts he was charged with in the horrific event that left three spectators dead and wounded more than 200 people.
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