Monday, August 23, 2010

People v. Williams (Cal. Supreme Ct. - June 28, 2010)

One way to help assure that you get the death penalty is to kidnap someone at random, tie them up in the trunk of their car, pour gasoline all over it, and then burn them alive.

Especially when, at the penalty phase, the victim who you raped in the 1980s (a crime for which you were convicted) testifies -- as does your confederate -- that she "retired to bed for the night when defendant dragged her from her bed, beat her with a 'huge stick,' and sodomized and raped her, repeatedly calling her 'bitch' during the sexual assaults. She testified that defendant then directed his crime partner to rape her. The man declined, but when defendant insisted, tried to comply but was unable to achieve an erection. Defendant's accomplice whispered to her that he had not stolen the money hidden in her Bible and apologized for what he was doing, stating, 'I really don't want to do this. He's crazy. Do whatever he says 'cause he'll kill you.' R.T. testified that defendant bound her with a telephone cord and appeared to enjoy brutalizing her. When she complained she could not breathe, he stuffed a sock down her throat. . . . In addition to injuries caused by the rape, she suffered a broken nose, black eyes, and bruises all over her body as a result of the attack."

Your penalty is pretty much preordained. As is the California Supreme Court's unanimous affirmance.