News Update 03.25.08
Yesterday in Catawba County, Robert Lane Windsor was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Windsor faced the death penalty for suffocating his former girlfriend, putting her body in the trunk of her car, and abandoning it along the interstate. He then went on a crack binge. Windsor was not arrested until a week later, when he was found sleeping in a college library. Jurors deliberated for three and a half hours before finding that although Windsor killed Stephany Jo White, he did not do so because he intended to rob her.
“Thank you, come again.” It could be Apu, or it could be the California Supreme Court. This time, it’s the latter. It’s very interesting that the guy who did the killing says you didn’t hire him, and that the possible murder weapon was found right where he said it would be. Please file a new petition and tell us all that stuff again. Dennis Lawley remains on death row.
CDW and StandDown point us to Nebraska, where in the wake of a state supreme court ruling that the electric chair is unconstitutional, the state legislature is considering abolishing the death penalty altogether. Death penalty reform bills were narrowly defeated there twice in 2007. Unfortunately, the governor has promised to veto the bill should it be successful this time. Three people have been executed in Nebraska in the modern era.
Meanwhile the Maryland legislature voted by a 2-to-1 margin to establish a death penalty study commission. The group will study “racial, jurisdictional and economic disparities in how the death penalty has been administered,” as well as the risk of executing innocent people and the comparative cost of the death penalty versus life without parole. The results of an earlier study by U-Maryland professor Robert Paternoster, et. al., are here.