|Birth: ||Jan. 16, 1930|
|Death: ||Jan. 17, 2006|
Condemned Criminal. He became the second-oldest inmate put to death nationally since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. Blind and mostly deaf, he suffered from diabetes and had a nearly fatal heart attack in September only to be revived and returned to death row. He was assisted into the death chamber by four large correctional officers and lifted out of his wheelchair. His lawyers had raised two claims never before endorsed by the high court: that executing a frail old man would violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and that the 23 years he spent on death row were unconstitutionally cruel as well. The high court rejected his requests for a stay of execution about 10 hours before he was to be put to death, and the California Governor denied him clemency. He went to prison for having his teenage son's 17-year-old girlfriend murdered for fear she would tell police about a grocery-store burglary. Then, while behind bars, he tried to have witnesses in the case wiped out. He was sentenced to death in 1982 for hiring a hit man who killed a witness and two bystanders. He expressed his love for family, friends and the other death-row inmates in a final statement, ending it by saying, "It's a good day to die. Thank you very much. I love you all. Goodbye." The family of one of his victims, Josephine Rocha, issued a statement saying that "justice has prevailed today. He abused the justice system with endless appeals until he lived longer in prison than the short 17 years of Josephine's life."
Specifically: San Quentin, California
Created by: Always with Love
Record added: Jan 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13043928
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