The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 29, 1996 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 29, 1996
Page 10
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.AID SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29. 1996 T CRIME NATION THE SALINA JOURNAL Davis' insult was an ugly first DAVIS who is present Most defendants ask for mercy rather than spew malevolent 'acid' By The Associated Press SAN JOSE, Calif. — Other defendants have erupted in court, shouted obscenities at judges and even turned on their attorneys. But rarely, if ever, has one uttered the kind of malevolent insult , Richard Allen Davis spewed before being sentenced to die for killing Polly • Klaas. The courtroom accusation: that . the 12-year-old girl had been molested by her father, Marc Klaas. "It's extremely unusual that a defendant, a convicted defendant for sentencing, takes the opportunity to throw ... emotional acid in the face of the bereaved survivor," said Robert Pugsley of Southwest• ern University School of Law. "Most defendants don't say anything, except to plead for mercy," said former Massachusetts prose, cutor Tom Hoopes, now in private practice in Boston. "This guy is just a manipulator to the end." Emotion is no stranger to the courtroom. William Kirkpatrick Jr., one of Davis' new colleagues on San Quentin's death row, had to be shackled during sentencing in August 1984 and was threatened with a gag after he yelled an obscenity at the judge. Last year in Dayton Beach, Fla., a 35-year-old man convicted of rob- t bing and murdering his 70-year- old landlady was gagged after he interrupted the judge with declarations of innocence. Richard Ramirez, Southern California's "Night Stalker" serial killer, was hauled from a court hearing in August 1989 after he yelled that his trial was a joke and cursed the judge. What made Davis' statement on Thursday unusual was that it was aimed at someone outside the system — a bereaved parent. "It exceeds the bounds of decency that we expect even from peo- T SIMPSON CIVIL TRIAL Simpson judge has tough job Fujisaki has abandoned all hope of empaneling an opinionless jury By The Associated Press SANTA MONICA, Calif. — He's guilty. He's innocent. He's proba- ! bly guilty, probably innocent, maybe perhaps probably guilty ' but I'm not sure because I really ' didn't follow the case except when ' I did. But I do know this, your honor, I can be fair. I think. And so it went for six days of jury selection in O.J. Simpson's ; wrongful death civil trial, with jury prospect after jury prospect expressing opinions about the case, , then suggesting to one degree or -another that they could still be fair to both sides. • At the center of the process is Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki, who has to wade through the verbal morass to determine who may serve, and dismiss those who may not. , Having abandoned any hope of empaneling jurors with absolutely no opinions about the case, Fujisaki instead has had to decide 'how strong those opinions are, -whether people are telling the truth about their opinions — or lack of them — and whether he believes they can truly put their feelings aside. The process has been slow-going. , By the end of Friday's session, after two weeks of jury selection proceedings, 46 prospects had been cleared for the next phase. Of ' those, 21 are white, 20 black and five of other ethnic origin. Fujisa- ' ki is seeking a pool of about 100 before going on to the next round of questioning. <• "I think he knows that as anxious as he is to expedite the trial, he realizes that this is the absolutely pivotal phase of the trial," 1 said Southwestern University law professor Robert Pugsley. "This could be the trial, and therefore he wants to take every precaution to avoid reversal." Simpson is being sued by the estate of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and by the relatives of Ronald Goldman. The two were knifed to death in 1994. Ducks Unlimited Social Hour 5:30 pm Dinner 7 pm 825-4354 Oct. 8th Holidome Sale Streets Fair Taxes GARY SWARTZENDR1BER For State Representative District 69 Pol. Adv. Paid For By Joid Helm, Chair - Loretta Baize, TVeas. 825-9126 Effective Education Common Sense uimiijimmmiiiimi liiiiimimii i minim mm ic The Associated Press Joe (right) and B.J. Klaas, grandparents of murder victim Polly Klaas, comfort each other as Richard Allen Davis testifies in a San Jose, Calif., courtroom Thursday during Davis' sentencing. Davis was sentenced to die for the 1993 murder and kidnap of 12-year-old Polly Klaas. DINNER TRAINS October 5, October 19, Nmtflnber 2 Departs Abilene, KS1J Live October Stlt - Roast Beei Served by Genir£g O October . Kfjfturnhouse, $ 1 8 per person All Meals Served With Salad, Potato, Vegetable, Roll, Drink & Dessert Reservations Are A Mast CanNow...LimitedScatiiig! (913)263-1077 Leave your name and number or send check or money order to ASRV, P.O. Box 744, Abilene, KS 67410 Also Booking For Christmas Parties! niimmiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiimiimiiiiiimiiiimmmmimmi iiimimmr: pie convicted of the kind of vicious crime for which he was sentenced to death," Pugsley said Friday. "It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up," concurred Kelly Rudiger, executive director of the Doris Tate Crime Victim's Bureau. Davis, 42, was convicted in June of killing Polly after kidnapping her as she played with two other girls in her bedroom in Petaluma, a small city about 45 miles north of San Francisco. The jury found the "special circumstances," of robbery, kidnapping, burglary and attempting a lewd act on a child, meaning a punishment of death or life in prison without possibility of parole. On Aug. 5, jurors chose death. At Thursday's formal sentencing, defense attorneys had been expected to ask the judge for life. Instead, only Davis addressed the court, embarking on a long list of complaints. The insult came when he started talking about the one charge he had always denied — that he tried to sexually molest Polly. Davis said the reason he knew he didn't commit that crime was because Polly had told him: "Just don't do me like my dad." Klaas shouted an obscenity and lunged at Davis. Klaas was restrained and hustled out as his mother, B.J., broke into heartrending sobs. Others in the courtroom gasped and groaned. Outside the courtroom, Klaas called the allegation a "vile and sinister and evil act." Prosecutor Greg Jacobs said no such claim had been made during the case and there was no evidence to support it. Jacobs delivered a short argument in favor of death, and Superior Court Judge Thomas Hastings confirmed the sentence, telling Davis — now inmate No. D11903 — he had made the traumatic decision "very easy." Some victims' rights groups questioned whether the incident indicates a need for more strictures on defendants. Rudiger of the Tate bureau, named for the mother of Manson Family victim Sharon Tate, is considering a bid to deny defendants the right to speak at the sentencing if, like Davis, they do not testify. But Peter Keane, chief attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender's office, said it would be "completely unrealistic" to try to silence them. Throughout the trial, which began April 16, there was open animosity between Klaas, an outspoken advocate for child victims, and Davis. Still, no one had expected Davis' revenge. "The Klaas family did not deserve that extra stab in the back," Rudiger said. MYSTERY DISCOUNT SALE Visit your nearest JCPenney store and pick up your MYSTERY DISCOUNT CARD Scratch off the seal and you could save: 20% 30% or even 50 % off all regular priced purchases. Also....enter our sweepstakes and you could win a trip to jP/7f*/c f JCPenney You make promises. We'll help you keep them. - promise is a promise. And a Capitol Federal Home Equity Loan is the perfect way to deliver. Use it for almost anything. You'll get a great rate, one easy payment, and it's usually tax deductible. Promise you'll call about a Capitol Federal Home Equity Loan today. 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