Skip to comments.California girl killer's death sentence overturned (9th Circus)
Posted on 08/11/2006 1:34:41 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the conviction, but set aside the death sentence of a man condemned for kidnapping and murdering an 8-year-old Hayward girl in 1978.
The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means Richard Hovey's sentence is changed to life without parole. If the decision withstands appeal, Hovey, who tossed a bound Tina Salazar of Hayward from a car after beating her, would be removed from death row at San Quentin State Prison.
The San Francisco-based appeals court reversed the sentence after concluding Hovey received ineffective assistance of counsel during the part of the trial where jurors were deciding punishment of life or death.
Appeals for California death row inmates linger for years and bounce around the court system. Had the San Francisco-based appeals court upheld his sentence, Hovey would not likely be executed any time soon.
California's executions were put on hold in February amid legal challenges that the state's lethal injection method is unconstitutionally cruel. Federal court hearings are set to begin next month on the question of whether injected inmates succumb to levels of pain that violate the Eighth Amendment.
The San Francisco-based appeals court said Hovey's lawyers did not adequately prepare a psychiatrist who testified that Hovey was schizophrenic and did not intend or premeditate the killing, but did so out of panic brought on by mental disease. The psychiatrist's testimony was central in an unsuccessful bid to persuade the jury not to send Hovey, now 54, to death row.
Among other things, the jury was never told that a year before the murder, Hovey was arrested after breaking into a car at San Francisco International Airport and was taken to the hospital in a "catatonic" state.
Alameda County prosecutors discounted the doctor's testimony before the jury, and left no room for the defense to contradict prosecutors' contention that Hovey never before had a schizophrenic episode.
The prosecution convinced jurors that Hovey "fabricated a mental illness to obtain mercy at sentencing," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the three-judge circuit panel.
The case is United States v. Hovey, 03-99001.
(Go Israel, Go! Slap 'Em Down Hezbullies.)
Hopefully some of the other inmates will take care of this dirtbag.
If they hadn't kept him on death row for 28 years, this wouldn't have happened. Maybe next time they'll speed up the process a bit.
You can always count on the 9th to do the wrong thing.
What is he doing still breathing? That is almost 30 years since the murder.
Welcome to Liberal Land, where every craven, degenerate murderer just has to be a victim.
Nitrogen Asphyxiation - cheaper, nontoxic, nonflammable, no mess, no body fluids to clean up, no pain alternative to lethal injection. Strap to the gurney, strap on a mask, turn on the 100% nitrogen, wait 5 min an check for brain waves. If there are brain waves, wait 5 more min. repeat till no brain waves. Then unstrap, bag, tag and ship.
They're some how going to equate it to R v W.
Obscenity perpetuated symbioses.
What demented judges!
This has been a murder defense strategy for years, if not decades. This is not a precedent setting case. If the perp is absolutely guilty, the court appointed counsel simply waves at the case. It's the only chance his client has to avoid the big one.
No surprise there, and their reasoning, "The San Francisco-based appeals court reversed the sentence after concluding Hovey received ineffective assistance of counsel during the part of the trial where jurors were deciding punishment of life or death," is such that it can be used pretty much anywhere on any case.
It could be argued that any death sentence is the result of ineffective assistance of counsel during the sentencing phase. It doesn't seem to require that the defense actually make mistakes during the sentencing phase in order for this example in superb (sarcasm) judicial reasoning to be applied.
For just a moment, try to imagine the fear and terror of that poor eight year old. How dare that court stand up for that lousy bastard who tore her life away! ...Sorry, I just couldn't stop myself. :(
Tina Salazar, the 8 year old that this monster, was my best friends sister. What is even more terrible than letting this murderer off death row is the surviving family members found out by reading the newspaper. Since the family was not notifed they were not able to participate in the appeal process. My best friend is simply devistated. Since we only found out last night, from a friend still in Hayward that found a newspaper in a park, we are just starting to try and fight this tooth and nail. Anyone with any advise, your input is VERY IMPORTANT to Tina's sister. Please forward any information to my e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who knows a lawyer who would be interested in helping out, please tell them to contact me. Unfortunately, Tina's parents have also passed away and her sister and disabled half-brother are on limited incomes. Free legal assistance is all we could afford.
Thank you all so much for any help or advise you can provide. We are not very well versed in the legal system and can use all the information anyone can provide.
I just found out about this myself and Tina is my first cousin. I'll NEVER forget the day I answered that call from the police to receive the bad news. Hovey took away an innocent child that was part of our family. It devastated our family!! Why must he remain alive after all these years while tax payers pay to keep him alive and all for all of those appeals? This is the most ridiculous due process I have ever seen!
The guillotine is the most painless instrument of execution ever devised. The head is severed before the brain can receive a signal of pain.
OTOH, it is messy.