Judge sets time table for death penalty appeal

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Judge sets time table for death penalty appeal

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:25 pm

Rogers LaCaze was convicted of killing a New Orleans police officer and 2 others inside a New Orleans East restaurant in 1995, murders that brought the crime problem to a boiling point more than 15 years ago.

Monday, an Orleans Parish judge gave LaCaze's attorneys 139 days to exhaust all legal maneuvers to stop the convicted killerís execution, a similar move to what happened with Lacaze's co-defendant, former police officer Antoinette Frank.

Judge Frank Marullo said he's trying to get the case wrapped up speedily as possible, as he said he is required to do by law.

Frank and LaCaze were both convicted of the 1995 triple murder at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Both have exhausted their appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now Marullo is putting a time limit on how long they have to file what's called post-conviction relief.

It's one last legal maneuver to avoid the death sentences that juries have handed down.

"It's absolutely ridiculous that it should take 15 or more years to get through the process," said Ron Williams, the murder victim's father. "Post-conviction review seems ridiculous. He's had 15 years of appeals already and we certainly don't need another one."

LaCaze's mother, however, feels differently.

"Rogers hasn't had counsel for the past 6 years and that isn't fair," Alice Chaney said. "Rogers is an innocent man and I say that because I'm his mother. I know he is innocent. We have enough evidence to blow this court apart."

Marullo also was scheduled to sign the death warrant for a man convicted of capital murder I another case. Legal questions involving Juan Smith's case caused Marullo to schedule two more hearings on it this week before setting a similar deadline for defense attorneys in that double murder case.

(source: WWL News)
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