Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Liberals don't support the death penalty for someone accused of three murders, they only support the death penalty for the unborn

This is a taste of the Obama Justice System. The 'alleged' murderer isn't going to receive the death penalty. He 's not even going to receive life without parole. Nope, he's actually going to get out of prison when he is 63. And, as stated in the article, the victims will still be dead.

Holder reversal halts S.F. death penalty trial
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

(03-02) 16:55 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- President Obama's Justice Department halted the death penalty trial of an alleged San Francisco gang leader Monday by accepting a 40-year prison sentence that the Bush administration had vetoed.

The plea agreement for Emile Fort remained on hold after a federal judge heard a tearful plea from a murder victim's mother for a life sentence and summoned prosecutors to a closed-door session to describe their case against Fort.

Afterward, despite apparent irritation at his lack of authority to change the terms of the plea deal, U.S. District Judge William Alsup indicated he was likely to accept the agreement at a hearing today.

Fort, 27, is accused of committing three murders and attempting two others in 2003 and 2004 as a leader of a gang that fought for control of turf and drug trafficking at the Sunnydale public housing projects in Visitacion Valley. Police said one victim, a 7-week-old infant named Glenn Molex, was killed in his Bayview home in September 2003 by a shot fired from a passing car intended for his father.

Fort was arrested in July 2004 on state charges but was transferred to U.S. custody 16 months later when federal prosecutors obtained racketeering indictments against members of the gang.

The U.S. attorney's office reached plea agreements with the defendants over the next two years. But two cases carrying potential death sentences languished until fall, when then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey accepted a 40-year sentence for Edgar Diaz - also accused of three murders - but rejected the same deal for Fort.

Fort's death penalty trial began in Alsup's court last week, while Dennis Cyrus, accused in three separate gang-related slayings, went on trial in a nearby courtroom in another death penalty prosecution approved by Mukasey. They were the first two federal death penalty trials in San Francisco since 1948.

On Friday, however, federal prosecutors told Fort's lawyers that new Attorney General Eric Holder had reconsidered and accepted the 40-year sentence. It was apparently the first time that Holder, who took office a month ago, had reversed Mukasey's decision in a capital case.

In the past, attorneys general have usually accepted local U.S. attorneys' decisions on whether to seek the death penalty. But Mukasey and his predecessors under President George W. Bush frequently overruled those decisions and insisted on reviewing all plea agreements in capital cases. The Justice Department did not respond to an inquiry Monday on whether the Fort case signaled a return to the previous deferential policy.

Fort's plea agreement requires approval from Alsup, who invited testimony from victims' relatives at a hearing Monday. The only one who appeared was Sharonda Bishop, mother of the slain infant, who said in a quavering, tearful voice that Fort should be imprisoned for life.

"Nobody's gonna bring my baby back," she said. "It hurts. It hurts."

Prosecutors told the judge that they had heard no objections to the sentence from other victims' relatives or from the San Francisco Police Department, which investigated the case.
E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.
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