State Supreme Court Denies Latest Appeal by Man Convicted of Murdering Three Boys

“This August 30, 2012 article described a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by a death row inmate for the murder of three young boys in the summer of 1975. The California Supreme Court unanimously denied the appeal, noting the 521 page Petition is an example of the abusive practice by prisoners and/or their lawyers consuming endless time for the Court to review otherwise frivolous and untimely appeals.

The Associate Justice wrote in the Court’s opinion there was overwhelming evidence the defendant was guilty of killing the three boys, and that ‘he forcibly sodomized one victim (possibly after he was dead) and that he represented a continuing threat to the safety of children in the neighborhood (inferable from the discovery by police that petitioner possessed hundreds of photographs of young children).’ The Defendant had admitted to the police he had gone to a park in Los Angeles County to take pictures of young boys, and confessed to slitting the boys’ throats, as well as admitting he choked the 7-year-old boy (the son of a family friend) after he asked to leave the defendant’s apartment where he planned to take nude photos of him, according to a previous 1995 ruling from the California Supreme Court.

The Court further stated: ‘Some death row inmates with meritorious legal claims may languish in prison for years waiting for this court’s review while we evaluate petitions raising dozens or even hundreds of frivolous and untimely claims.’ The task of a seasoned criminal appeal lawyer in handling such cases is extremely time-consuming. However, they usually are recognized if not commended by their genuine focus on both the facts and the law in a succinct and compelling manner, far different than many who claim or believe they know what they are doing and simply ramble, failing to present and/or articulate legally sound arguments.”

– Samuel Spital