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May 22, 2010

"After 18 years, a serial killer's day in court arrives"

The title of this post is the headline of this sad and telling story from the Oakland Tribune, which highlights some of the dysfunction aspects of California's death penalty system.  Here is how the piece begins:

The "Day Stalker" serial killer who preyed on elderly women and terrorized the East Bay in the summer of 1987 will appear before the California Supreme Court this week to plead for his life — 18 years after his death sentence.

As long a time as that may seem, it's neither an extreme in California's logjammed capital punishment system, nor much more than a first step.

But it has been a long time to wait for the families of the three women — Pearl Larson, 76; Adeline Figuerido, 89; and Anna Constantine, 73 — since Franklin Lynch was convicted of murdering while robbing their San Leandro homes in the summer of 1987.  Lynch also was convicted of robbing two other Hayward-area women.

Though Lynch was sent to San Quentin State Prison's death row in April 1992, the opening brief in his automatic, direct appeal — bypassing the Court of Appeal, straight to the state's highest court — wasn't filed until 2004, with the state's response a year later and his reply in 2007.

Lynch, already suspected in a string of robberies and homicides, was the subject of a manhunt a month before the first of the three slayings for which he would eventually be convicted. FBI agents arrested him in Los Angeles in October 1987.

Pam Figuerido, of Fremont, wife of Adeline Figuerido's grandson, Gary, said the family had been told when Lynch was sentenced that it would probably be about 14 years until his execution.

"We thought, 'Fourteen years, what a waste of the taxpayers' money,'" she said. "And we're still paying for him to sit here after he has murdered? It was vicious, what he did to this woman, and we're letting him live his life?" "It angers us that justice hasn't been served — what is taking so long?"

Even Michael Ciraolo, one of Lynch's trial attorneys, thought it unusual: "Eighteen years, is that some kind of record?" It's not, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts; other cases have waited longer.

May 22, 2010 at 09:24 PM | Permalink


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He should have been interrogated with enhanced methods for all his other crimes, once he received the death penalty. That may have solved a lot of open cases, and brought some rest to the victim families.

When the public has had enough of the lawyer, they should not be subjected to enhanced interrogation methods. They should be physically tortured preferably for several weeks before being executed. They must suffer as they have made these families suffer. To deter.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 22, 2010 10:56:52 PM

It is very shocking to hear that after such a long time the court is doing their duty. It has been a long time to wait for the families of both the culprit and the one who want the justice. The System should have to take proper actions so that the people will get justice on time.

Posted by: Killers ( 2010 ) | Jun 21, 2010 7:10:12 AM

This jerk murdered my grandmother Agnes George. Thank you for all of your input on this case. It amazes me how someone on death row can make an online post asj=king for friends with empathy for his situation....un believable!!!

Posted by: Marianne | May 25, 2011 10:07:06 PM

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