FEATURED POST

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Image
Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

LAX gunman who targeted TSA officers is sentenced to life in prison

Paul Ciencia
Paul Ciencia
The gunman whose 2013 rampage at Los Angeles International Airport left a Transportation Security Administration officer dead and three other people injured was sentenced Monday to life in prison for the premeditated attack in which he targeted federal officers.

Paul Ciancia, 26, had pleaded guilty to murder and other charges earlier this year as part of a deal in which federal prosecutors withdrew their decision to seek the death penalty for the shootings at the airport’s bustling Terminal 3.

“He didn't win. He’s doing life in prison. ...He’s not going to be able to hurt anyone else ever again,” Tony Grigsby, one of the TSA officers shot by Ciancia, said after the hearing Monday.

Before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez handed down the life term, which was required under sentencing rules, Ciancia addressed the downtown courtroom full of law enforcement officers, victims and family members of Gerardo Hernandez, the TSA agent who was killed.

Dressed in a white jumpsuit, with his legs shackled to a chain around his waist, Ciancia gave an odd, mostly unapologetic account of the months leading up to the violence. He described wanting to commit suicide before the shooting, but said he decided first to spend the remainder of his life savings, which amounted to $26,000. During this time, he said he became interested in the debate over gun control and concluded, “I need to get a gun.”

Ciancia alluded to an incident in which he claimed he was harassed by Los Angeles police but gave no specifics, and he indicated that the harassment led him on a path toward violence.

“I knew exactly how I was going to die. I was going to take up arms against my own government,” he said.

As he planned where and whom to attack, Ciancia made reference to deciding against two other targets before settling on the TSA, but did not elaborate. He focused his anger on the TSA, he said, after coming to believe its officers were harassing people, including disabled people.

“I wanted to make a statement!” he said in court, his voice rising.

Ciancia apologized to the teacher who was among three people wounded in the rampage, expressing deep regret. But he never mentioned the effect of the shooting on the TSA officer he killed or two other officers who were wounded.

The teacher, Brian Ludmer, spoke after Ciancia and rebuked him for his “bizarre sense of remorse,” telling him he should apologize to the TSA officers he shot and their families.

“You need to apologize to them every day, and it still would not be enough,” he said.

Ciancia smirked at times as a member of the prosecution team spoke about the effect the shooting has had on the lives of the victims. Throughout the hearing, he looked around the courtroom frequently, seemingly trying to make eye contact with his victims and other law enforcement officers.

“The TSA officers were targeted because of the uniform they wore and because they were doing their job that day at Los Angeles airport keeping all of us safe,” said U.S. Atty. Eileen Decker. “The sentence today for Mr. Ciancia of life without the possibility of parole reflects the grievous nature of the crime.”

Ciancia, who grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and moved to Los Angeles about 18 months before the attack, harbored an odd, dangerous fixation on TSA officers, who screen travelers at the nation’s airports, even though they are not armed and have little authority.

After the attack, investigators found a handwritten note inside Ciancia’s luggage in which he railed against the TSA for its "Nazi checkpoints" and the presumption that "every American is a terrorist." The rampage would be a success, he wrote, if he managed to kill a TSA worker.

Click here to read the full article

Source: Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2016

⚑ | Report an error, an omission; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; send a submission; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Ohio: Alva Campbell execution delayed indefinitely

Here's as Crazy a Death Penalty Story as You'll Find

Nevada releases detailed manual on how it plans to execute death row inmate

Ohio: Alva Campbell will get wedge-shaped pillow for execution; his death could become a “spectacle”

A Travelling Executioner

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Arkansas Justice: Racism, Torture, and a Botched Execution

Nevada death row inmate placed on suicide watch

Arizona: Man sentenced to death in 2011 death of 10-year-old locked in storage box

One Dead, Three Wounded in Nusakambangan Prison Riot