good times local news media events catalyst santa cruz california metro silicon valley news local events san jose weekly pajaronian watsonville local newspaper, news events pajaro valley california gilroy dispatch local news events garlic festival santa cruz media events local california weekly king city rustler newspaper media local events car sales buy new car media
68.5 F
Hollister
English English Spanish Spanish
May 25, 2022

Child murder cases absent from capital offense list

Cheryl L. Busch has pleaded not guilty of homicide for the
suspected killing of her daughter Wednesday in the 2300 block of
Shore Road. As it stands if she’s convicted of all charges,
including a proposed enhancement from prosecutors, Busch could face
a sentence of 50 years to life in prison.
HOLLISTER

The killing of 19-month-old Donna Busch is not being tried as a capital offense case because it doesn’t qualify under a list of “special circumstances” as defined by law, District Attorney Candice Hooper told the Free Lance.

Cheryl L. Busch has pleaded not guilty of homicide for the suspected killing of her daughter Wednesday in the 2300 block of Shore Road. As it stands if she’s convicted of all charges, including a proposed enhancement from prosecutors, Busch could face a sentence of 50 years to life in prison. A capital offense conviction, meanwhile, qualifies for the death penalty.

“Only certain kinds (of murder cases) qualify for special circumstances,” Hooper said.

The fact that this is not a capital case also means Busch will not be eligible to receive the sentence of life without the possibility of parole. But Assistant District Attorney Patrick Palacios explained to the Free Lance that Hooper has asked for an enhancement in this case due to the use of a firearm. If successful, it would increase her exposure “from 25 to life to 50 years to life,” he said, while she is 39 years old.

“Special circumstances can be lying in wait, torture, cop killing and so on,” said Hooper, who is heading the prosecution’s case.

Hooper added that there are periodic attempts by state legislators to expand the special circumstances list.

A recent California bill, SB 817, actually sought three years ago to “make the first-degree murder of a child under the age of 14 a special circumstance which if charged and found to be true would be punishable by death or life without the possibility of parole.” Sen. Roy Ashburn of Senate District 18, which includes Kern and Tulare counties, introduced the bill in February 2005. It failed to pass the Senate floor.

The list of special circumstances that qualify a case for capital status include:

1. Murder for financial gain

2. The defendant was previously convicted of murder

3. The defendant has been convicted of more than one murder in the current proceeding

4. Murder committed by means of a destructive device concealed in a building

5. Murder committed to avoid a lawful arrest

6. The victim was a peace officer, federal law enforcement officer, firefighter, witness to a crime, prosecutor, judge, elected official in retaliation for or to prevent the victim from carrying out his/her duties

7. The murder was unnecessarily torturous to the victim

8. The victim was killed because of their color, race, nationality, religion or country of origin

9. The felony was committed during the commission or attempted commission of specified felonies

10. The victim was poisoned.

Source: Legislative Counsel of California

The following crimes in California are subject to life in prison without parole:

1. Wrecking a train or firing a bridge

2. 2nd degree murder w/prior murder conviction

3. 1st degree murder if defendant is age 16 to 18

4. 1st degree murder of transit employee

5. Kidnapping for ransom, reward or extortion w/injury

6. Derailing or wrecking a train

7. 2nd degree murder of a peace officer on duty

Source: Legislative Counsel of California

Please leave a comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SOCIAL MEDIA

4,205FansLike
150FollowersFollow
1,121FollowersFollow