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78-year-old defendant to face death penalty.

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78-year-old defendant to face death penalty.
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Joined: 15 Nov 2007
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To me this is the clearest case of misuse if not abuse of the death penalty. He has only been arraigned this week and it might well be some time before his trial starts, by which time he will be eighty. I would not argue that his crimes meet the requirements to seek the death penalty: However who does it benefit because he is found guilty and sentenced to death he will be eighty-five years old before he even gets a defence attorney allocated for his appeals. Being realistic those appeals will take anothe fifteen years and what state is ever going to execute a man of one hundred?

78-year-old defendant to face death penalty

Prosecutors to seek death penalty for accused "Alphabet murders"

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against "Alphabet Murders" suspect Joseph Naso, a judge revealed on Wednesday, but the accused serial killer, who pleaded not guilty, insisted on continuing to act as his own attorney.

Naso, 78, a former photographer, is charged with 1st-degree murder in the slayings of four northern California prostitutes, 2 in the 1970s and 2 more in the 1990s.

The killings were dubbed the "Alphabet Murders" because each victim had first and last names beginning with the same letters.

Naso was also named last year as a suspect in the killings of 3 girls in Rochester, New York, during the 1970s, and homicide detectives around the nation are said to be reviewing their cold-case files for possible links to Naso.

Representing himself during an appearance in Marin County Superior Court, Naso entered not-guilty pleas to the charges and also mentioned a 1961 case in which he was accused of raping a woman in Berkeley, California.

He said he could not find the police report on the case, though the prosecutor said she gave him a copy.

During the 35-minute proceeding, Judge Andrew Sweet said prosecutors had notified him by letter that they intended to seek the death penalty against Naso. He is due in court again March 28 for another hearing.

Nevada probation officers arrested Naso in 2010 after finding ammunition, photographs of naked women and journals detailing violent sex acts in his Reno home during a routine visit. The officers went to Naso's house because he was on probation for shoplifting from a South Lake Tahoe store where he worked.

Naso has been held without bail in the Marin County Jail since April. 2 of the women he is charged with killing were strangled. The bodies of the other 2 were too badly decomposed to determine the cause of their deaths.

The strongest evidence against Naso relates to the murder of Roxene Roggasch. Her body, dressed only in a pair of pantyhose worn inside out, was found near Lagunitas, in rural Marin County, in 1977. Semen taken from the pantyhose matched Naso's DNA, court documents say.

Roggasch, who was 18, worked as a prostitute out of Oakland. She was found with a pair of nylon stockings wrapped around her neck, another pair wrapped around her mouth and a third stuffed into her mouth, the documents say.

The naked, decomposed body of Carmen Colon, 22, was discovered in rural Contra Costa County in 1978. The nude body of Pamela Parsons, 38, was found in a rural area of Yuba County, near where Naso lived, in 1993. Investigators found photographs of Parsons and newspaper articles about her death in one of Naso's safe-deposit boxes, officials said.

The nude body of Tracy Tafoya, 31, was found beside a highway next to a cemetery in 1994. Investigators said they found a journal in Naso's home with an entry dated August 6, 1994, the day Tafoya went missing, that says, "Met Tracy -- put it to her."

(source: Reuters)


Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Naso serial murder case

The Marin County District Attorney's Office said this morning it will seek the death penalty against accused serial killer Joseph Naso.

Deputy District Attorney Dori Ahana made the announcement at Naso's arraignment in Marin County Superior Court.

Naso, 78, of Reno, re-entered not-guilty pleas to charges that he murdered 4 Northern California women, 2 from the Bay Area, between 1977 and 1994.

Naso waived his right to have a trial within 60 days. He said he needs four weeks to prepare a motion to dismiss the charges against him.

Judge Andrew Sweet set March 28 for a status report on that motion and to set a trial date.

Ahana told the judge prosecutors expect the trial to last 4 months.

Naso is charged with the murders of Roxene Roggasch, 18, of Oakland, in Marin County in 1977; Carmen Colon, 22, in Port Costa in Contra Costa County in 1978; and Pamela Parsons, 38, and Tracy Tafoya, 31, in Yuba County in 1993 and 1994, respectively.

In addition to the 4 murder charges, he faces a special-circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders, which makes him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors had not said publicly until today whether they would pursue the death penalty.

He was ordered to stand trial for the killings in January at the conclusion of a nine-day preliminary hearing that included testimony by his ex-wife Judith and investigators, who said semen found on pantyhose Roggasch was wearing contained DNA that was likely Naso's.

Naso has been acting as his own attorney, and at a hearing earlier this month, Sweet found Naso to be capable of continuing to represent himself as the case proceeds to trial.

(source: Bay City News)

Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:34 am View user's profile Send private message
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