Printer Friendly

STATE HIGH COURT REJECTS APPEAL BY 'FREEWAY KILLER'.

Byline: Associated Press

The state Supreme Court refused unanimously Thursday to block the scheduled Feb. 23 execution of William Bonin, the so-called "Freeway Killer" convicted of 14 murders.

The court dismissed an appeal filed last week by Bonin's lawyers seeking a new trial on various grounds, including claims that a key prosecution witness was hypnotized and a jailhouse informant committed perjury.

The appeal is "without merit," the court said in a brief order. Five of the seven justices also said the appeal should be dismissed without consideration of the issues it raised because defense lawyers had not justified their failure to raise the issues in a previous appeal.

Bonin's request to fire the state Public Defender's Office and appoint new lawyers also was denied. The Public Defender's Office had joined in the request, saying it acted incompetently in failing to recognize the current claims at an earlier stage of the case.

Bonin can refile the appeal in the federal courts, which have rejected his previous appeals. His chief arguments will be filed in Los Angeles either today or Tuesday, and one claim, that he is entitled to a choice of execution methods, will be filed in San Francisco, said Deputy Public Defender James Ramos.

Bonin also has asked Gov. Pete Wilson for clemency.

Steve Telliano, spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren, said the court's action "shows that Mr. Bonin has had a full and fair hearing on all the merits of this case and that these last-minute filings are just an effort to try and delay the carrying out of his sentence."

Bonin, 49, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23 for the slayings of 14 young men and boys in Los Angeles and Orange counties in 1979 and 1980. Their nude bodies were dumped alongside freeways.

He would be the first person executed in California since David Mason in 1993 and the first to die by lethal injection.

The state's gas chamber was shut down in 1994 by a federal judge who said it caused prolonged and unnecessary pain, in violation of the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling, the first by any U.S. judge to forbid a method of execution, is being appealed by the state.

Bonin's earlier appeals focused on the conduct of his trial lawyer, William Charvet. Bonin's current lawyers said Charvet was a drug-addicted incompetent counsel whose trial conduct was influenced by his agreement to be paid from the rights to Bonin's life story. A federal judge found that such an agreement was discussed but never formalized.

After the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of his case last month, the state Public Defender's Office filed a new appeal with the state's high court.

It included an attack on the testimony of Gregory Miley, a co-defendant who pinned two murders on Bonin and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for his own role. Bonin's lawyers said Miley was a mentally retarded man whose testimony changed drastically after he was hypnotized by police in preparation for trial.

They said the hypnosis was concealed from the defense but discovered in a post-trial interview.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 16, 1996
Words:530
Previous Article:LOCAL NOTES\Volleyball. . .
Next Article:SCABIES SYMPTOMS SPREAD\More hospital workers show signs of ailment.


Related Articles
BRIEFLY CREST ROAD CRASH PUTS 5 IN HOSPITAL.
SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW CASE OF 'FREEWAY KILLER' FACING DEATH.
EFFORT TO STAY KILLER'S EXECUTION A 'DELAY' TACTIC, PROSECUTORS\SAY.
NEW TACTIC IN BONIN CASE\'Freeway Killer' lawyers still trying to stop execution.
WILSON SET TO REVIEW BONIN CASE.
KILLER'S LAST-DITCH APPEALS\Challenges pending as execution nears.
BONIN'S APPEALS FAIL ACROSS STATE\Execution's witness list made.
EDITORIAL\Stop the stalling\Death Row delays in Bonin case point to continued problems in\appeals process.
BONIN EXECUTED\Serial killer dies in state's 1st lethal injection.
SUPREME COURT REJECTS LAST OF BONIN'S APPEALS.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters