Two murders, two prosecutors, two proposed outcomes

Earlier this year, San Joaquin County was horribly shaken when 8-year old Sandra Cantu was kidnapped and murdered.  It was even more shaken when it turned out that the murdering rapist was a woman.  The San Joaquin County prosecutor’s office today announced that it would seek the death penalty against Melissa Huckaby, the woman charged with the murder:

San Joaquin County prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for the Sunday school teacher accused of raping and murdering an 8-year-old playmate of her daughter in Tracy, authorities said Thursday.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was indicted in July on a murder charge and three special circumstances in the death of Sandra Cantu – including that she killed during the commission of a rape – that make her eligible for execution if convicted. Huckaby was also accused of sexually assaulting a child younger than 10.

The decision to seek lethal execution was made by District Attorney James Willett, who consulted with attorneys in his office as well as Sandra’s family, authorities said.

Last year, in San Francisco, a gang member allegedly shot to death a father and his two sons.  The killing was a cold-blooded hit, that was meant to target rival gang members and instead destroyed a family.  Edwin Ramos, the man charged with the killings, goes on trial soon.  The San Francisco County prosector’s office today announced that it would not seek the death penalty against Ramos:

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will not seek the death penalty for an alleged gang member accused of murdering a father and two of his sons, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The announcement in San Francisco Superior Court means that Edwin Ramos will at most serve life in prison without parole if convicted of the June 22, 2008, slayings of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16.

The decision is in keeping with Harris’ campaign promise never to seek the death penalty. There had been speculation, however, that with Harris running for state attorney general next year, she might shift direction in an especially notorious crime.

Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman put an end to that speculation in court Thursday. “We will not seek the death penalty in this case,” he told Judge Charles Haines.

I was in San Francisco yesterday.  It felt like being in a third world country.  The citizens dress in rags (although I think it’s a fashion statement), the streets are filthy and pot-holed, the lights at 30% of the intersections were broken, and the traffic was as chaotic as it is in Algiers or Tijuana.  Will the citizens ever wise up and elect conservative politicians or is it in an irremediable death spiral?

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  • George Bruce

    “Will the citizens ever wise up and elect conservative politicians or is it in an irremediable death spiral?”

    You are welcome in Texas. Don’t bring (most of) your neighbors.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I vote for death spiral. They’re too far gone and all the good people are leaving.

  • Gringo

    Death spiral it is. San Francisco went 84-14 for ∅bama versus McCain last year. In Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, Cindy Sheehan outpolled all but SanFranNan. OTOH, we might see a revival of the San Franciso Vigilante Movement from 150 years ago. But I doubt it. Unless the libs drastically ( perhaps I should not say radically) change their points of view.

    One interesting point about the degradation of San Francisco. It goes hand in hand with the black population of San Francisco being squeezed out by the housing prices- which is an consequence of the environmentalists. So here we have a city getting whiter and going downhill at the same time. The more liberal the city became, the more lily-white and the more degraded it became. I wonder how many liberals would like to write about it.

  • Ymarsakar

    I vote for death spiral. But only in the sense that you need to start from the outside of the city and work the executions in to the heart.

  • Charles Martel

    There’s a sort of yin-yang condition for blacks in San Francisco. As Gringo rightly points out, young blacks have been squeezed out of the housing market by more affluent (liberal) whites who are colonizing Bayview and Hunters Point. (I just love it when I get to use commie terms to describe terminally PC pale people!)

    On the other hand, the pale ones have been paying top dollar for housing in black neighborhoods, with the result that older blacks have been able to cash in handily and move to bigger houses with backyards in thugless neighborhoods in the East Bay suburbs. So in that respect, colonization has been good.

    As for the city as a whole, I have to agree with Danny and say that S.F. is in a death spiral. Tourists are increasingly getting hip to the city’s filth and squalor, even as they are being ripped off by the local tourist industry, which is the city’s largest. The politics are sandbox leftist, perhaps best personified by a metrosexual mayor who is a preening narcissist. (Remind you of anybody?) The infrastructure is falling down before people’s eyes despite bureacracies that are top-heavy with managers earning well in excess of $150,000 per year. (S.F.’s budget of more than $6 billion for a city of 800,000 compares miserably to San Diego’s $3 billion for a city of 1.3 million.) Yes, S.F. is a city as well as a county, but c’mon, $6 BILLION?

    The city continues to bleed businesses. Although it’s a magnet for hip small entrepreneurs (all that great polymorphously perverse sex and nightlife!), they tend to move elsewhere once they become successful enough for the government parasites to notice and then begin feeding on them. Big-ticket companies like Chevron moved out years ago, keeping skeleton staffs for show in downtown skyscrapers.

    The restaurant business has been hammered by compulsory minimum wage and health benefit regulations. The dunces at City Hall who passed these regs are clueless about their business-killing effects. In S.F. the name of the game is to look good, not actually do good.

    If you want a fresh mental image of the great city that John Galt and Dagny Taggart live in, shed that old picture of a decrepit Manhattan. Go west! Sunny San Francisco is the new Galtland. Kind of a bummer, though, that the streets are paved with feces instead of gold.

  • Ymarsakar

    SF makes our nation look bad to foreigners like the Japanese.

    SF is a disgrace to our natonal honor. If ever there is an honor killing needed to happen, it’s right there people.

    The worst thing about Democrat politics is that for those of us that have studied history, we recognize the squalor, lack of dignity, and pure mindless toil that results from being bound to the land, never able to leave, never able to earn enough to buy anything better.

    It kills people, animals, and the environment, yes. But it also kills the human spirit, which is a mindless death that never stops, unlike real death. Real death stops the pain. The perpetual death of Democrat politics will never stop, until the leaders are ended once and for all.

  • Earl

    Clearly the reporter in San Joaquin county went to government schools….

    “The decision to seek lethal execution was made by District Attorney James Willett”

    That would be in contradistinction to “non-lethal executions”? I didn’t realize that Central California was a hotbed of research on ACLU-approved capital punishment!

  • Ariel

    And you would expect something different from San Francisco? My children have gathered that I use “San Francisco” as a synonym for insane, misguided, and lost, as well as a general epithet, and have been doing so for 30 years now.

    I would much prefer an abrasive, liberal New Yorker to a compassionate liberal San Franciscan. Sane but wrong versus just insane. I was stationed at both cities and found New York much more tolerable.

    By the way, if Ramos and Huckaby did do the deeds, they both deserve the death penalty.

  • Ariel

    I missed the “lethal execution” phrase, as I only saw “execution”. I really should stop skimming.

    Journalists have done more damage to the language than any other group, and I may be channeling H.L. Mencken here. I’m still angry over decimate as a synonym for exterminate.

    I await the time of the non-lethal execution, the opposite of a lethal execution. I’d be willing to witness just for the novelty.

  • Mike Devx

    The tributes to 9-11 on and are finished now. But they were very good, yesterday.