August 27, 2005
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Juan Manuel Alvarez, accused of murdering 11 people in the January Metrolink train derailment, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office announced in court Friday. A committee met Wednesday to go over the case, and the chairman of the committee, Kurt Hazell, made the final decision, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. "It's not a popular vote," she said. "But the committee discusses the case and the chairman makes the final decision."
March 30, 2002
The death penalty will be explored in various mediums today at UC Irvine. "Performance, Policy and Culture: 'Dead Man Walking' and the Death Penalty in America" is an all-day symposium addressing the societal implications and issues surrounding the death penalty in America. The event will combine live performance scenes from Opera Pacific's production of "Dead Man Walking" with a scholarly forum with speakers who include a U.S. Circuit Court judge and an L.A. County chief deputy district attorney.
June 16, 2007
Many academics in recent years have been arguing that their studies prove the death penalty deters murder. The various studies show that between three and 18 lives could be saved by executing a convicted killer. Critics question the data, saying that the experts made mistakes in their methodology. What do you think of this recent data? Has it affected your position on the issue? Judaism has always believed in capital punishment based upon Biblical Law. A man must stand trial according to due process of law. You shall not murder is the sixth of the Ten Commandments.
September 22, 2007
Family members of slain Newport Beach liquor store clerk Hao “Tony” Quang Huynh filled the front row of the courtroom during Weston Scott Kruger’s arraignment Friday. “I want to know why he killed my brother and how,” said a tearful Jenni Huynh outside the courtroom. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Kruger is accused of killing Huynh July 28 in a scuffle after the clerk accused him of shoplifting and chased him outside of Sportsman’s Liquor Store in Newport Beach.
March 9, 2009
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a Michigan convict who they say has been linked to the rape and murder of a pregnant Costa Mesa woman in 1988 through DNA evidence. Jason Balcom, 38, was serving a 30- to 50-year prison sentence in Michigan for rape and kidnapping when in 2004 DNA evidence linked him to a cold murder case in Costa Mesa, officials said. Prosecutors said on July 18, 1988, Balcom attacked a pregnant Malinda Gibbons in her home as she unpacked (she and her husband had moved to Costa Mesa from Utah two days earlier)
March 30, 2008
Columnist Judge James Gray has, for two weeks, used his allotment of ink on these pages — more than 2,900 words — to tell us why the death penalty should be abandoned. In his first installment, (“Facing facts on the death penalty,” March 15), he lists for us what he perceives to be five justifications for the implementation of the death penalty. They are: appropriate punishment for the offender of such a serious crime; rightful societal vengeance; reducing to zero the chances that the offender will return to society; deterrence against future violations by other offenders and closure for the families of the victims.
April 28, 2000
COSTA MESA -- Prosecutors will not pursue the death penalty in the trial of the man accused in the shooting death of a 15-year-old Costa Mesa girl and her unborn baby. Paul Odwald, a senior deputy district attorney, said there has been a slew of additional charges filed against Guerrero, including committing murder for the benefit of a street gang. Balbuena died at Hoag Hospital a few hours after Guerrero allegedly shot into a converted garage apartment as the young mother-to-be ate dinner with her family.
April 15, 2010
Serial killer Rodney James Alcala was sentenced to death two weeks ago. This is the third time in 30 years an Orange County jury has sentenced him to die for the murder and rape of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe. He has been in prison since 1979 and, if California death row statistics hold, he’ll be waiting at least another 18 years before running through his latest set of appeals. The staggering delays in California’s capital punishment system would be comical if not so tragic.