August 27, 2005
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Juan Manuel Alvarez, accused of murdering 11 people in the January Metrolink train derailment, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office announced in court Friday. A committee met Wednesday to go over the case, and the chairman of the committee, Kurt Hazell, made the final decision, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. "It's not a popular vote," she said. "But the committee discusses the case and the chairman makes the final decision."
January 6, 2007
T he Vatican and some Italian government officials have criticized the execution of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity on the grounds that the death penalty is morally wrong. Others, like President George W. Bush, say the justice dispensed to the former dictator was the result of a fair trial after years of Hussein's brutal rule. Executing Hussein is an important milestone in creating democracy in Iraq and working to defeat terrorism. What do you think? The state has not only the right but the obligation to keep the peace.
September 11, 2012
Prosecutors charged a North Hollywood man with capital murder Tuesday in connection with the slaying of his parents. Jonathan Mercado, 25, was charged by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office with two counts of murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders. Prosecutors said they would not make an immediate determination whether to seek the death penalty. Continue reading > > -- Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
May 8, 2004
He and the reviewer saw two different plays I have just finished reading your review of "The Drawer Boy" at the Colony Theater. I wonder if your reviewer, Maurice Barnfather, saw the same play that my wife and I saw. The play we saw was deeply moving, very touching, humorous, and outstandingly performed by all three cast members. Anyone who fails to see this remarkable production because of this review is going to miss an exceptional experience. ELLIOTT PORTER Burbank By-mail voting is smart and saves lots of money Having mail-in ballots for future elections is a very smart move on the city's part.
April 21, 2004
A registered sex offender was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday in connection with the 1992 disappearance and slaying of a Northridge model, according to news reports. Burbank resident David Rademaker, 40, pleaded innocent in a Los Angeles courtroom to charges that he killed Kimberly Pandelios, 20. The indictment includes the special circumstance allegations of kidnapping and sodomy, according to the district attorney's office, which could make Rademaker eligible for the death penalty, reports said.
February 26, 2003
Maurice Barnfather of Burbank is a freelance journalist. Director Alan Parker ("Midnight Express") does not shy from controversial subjects. "The Life of David Gale," and its exploration of the moral justification and effectiveness as a deterrent to murder of the death penalty, is no exception. Gale (Kevin Spacey) is a self-pitying, alcoholic philosophy professor implacably opposed to the death penalty who finds himself on Texas' death row with four days before his scheduled execution for the sadistic murder of Constance (Laura Linney)
December 31, 2005
There is a ruling that disturbs me. I think that it blurs the line between church and state. Let me begin by saying that Stevie Lamar Fields should never see the light of day again. In 1978 he was convicted of murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery. What makes matters worse is the fact that he committed these crimes shortly after he was released from prison where he had been serving time for another unrelated homicide. The good news is that Fields was convicted of these crimes. The problem is whether he should have been given life in prison or the death penalty.
July 24, 2012
David A. Garcia, the man accused of killing Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka in November 2003, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges Tuesday. Garcia, 28, was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Pavelka, 26, was killed in an exchange of gunfi re during a routine stop outside the Ramada Inn after just 10 months on the force. His partner, Officer Gregory Campbell, was wounded as they approached a parked SUV -- in which Garcia was a passenger -- on suspicion that drug activity was taking place.
April 19, 2008
LOS ANGELES ? Nine men, three women and six alternates were chosen to serve on a jury that will decide the fate of Juan Manuel Alvarez, whose capital murder trial is expected to begin April 28. Alvarez faces 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of train wrecking and arson in connection with a January 2005 collision that left 11 dead and more than 180 injured. In the early-morning hours of Jan. 26, 2005, Alvarez parked his Jeep Cherokee on Metrolink train tracks that straddle the border of Glendale and Los Angeles in what his attorneys claim was an attempt at ending his life.
January 30, 2002
Mary Mallory, Enjoy! BURBANK -- When is the death penalty justified? Is it inhumane to kill an insane and possibly evil person? These are a few questions raised in the Alliance Repertory Company's West Coast premiere of Bruce Graham's play "Coyote on a Fence." The play details the trials and tribulations of two death row inmates -- John Brennan, an intelligent, proud provocateur, fighting to end capital punishment, and Bobby Reyburn, an uneducated, possibly insane racist, happy to meet his maker.