Orange County Federal Judge Aided Rapist/Killer's Death Penalty Appeal

As my colleague Matt Coker reported earlier, a Santa Ana-based federal judge this week ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in the case of convicted rapist/murderer Ernest Dewayne Jones.

Though other federal judges in more liberal settings have made similar rulings in the past, the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney won national headlines perhaps because of the conservative nature of Orange County and the Republican judge's lifetime appointment by execution-happy President George W. Bush.

What hasn't won attention is the fascinating backdrop to Carney's ruling.

In January, Jones' three-person legal team filed a 316-page petition containing 30 claims to overturn a jury's 1995 death penalty decision that put the criminal on Death Row inside San Quentin State Prison.

The claims involved allegations of ineffective defense counsel, prosecutor misconduct, the killer's mental handicaps, juror bias, insufficient evidence, botched jury instructions and introduction of unnecessarily inflammatory trial evidence (gory crime scene photos).

But Carney wasn't exactly impressed.

On April 14, he advised the defense in writing how to win the case.

"This court believes petitioner may have a viable claim for habeas relief based on the long delay in the execution of his death penalty sentence as a result of the extremely protracted nature of post-conviction proceedings in the state and federal court in his case, coupled with the grave uncertainty of not knowing whether his execution will ever, in fact, be carried out," the judge opined.

Carney ordered Jones' defense team to file a new brief based on his assistance and then--voila!--determined the new argument--his own--was valid to overturn the punishment.

Over the years, the judge--a former star UCLA football player--has developed a courthouse reputation for going easy on violent, African American pimps and ultra-wealthy, white collar crooks.

Since Jones' arrival on Death Row 19 years ago, California has executed 14 inmates, 23 committed suicide and 68 others died of natural causes or were murdered.

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Email: Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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Art Pedroza
Art Pedroza

The death penalty is stupid. Just put them in general population and let the inmates deal with them.


Then dont be surprised of "revenge killing" from someone who lost their love one. Since there are no DEATH penalty, am I right?

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

so YOU are surprised because you are a novice

plenty of "conservatives" are rinos

executions of the truly guilty means they cannot get out of jail as most libs would like

yeah, we shouldnt execute when there is a doubt

but your confusion is yours


fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


Mr. Moxley is no "novice" my enigmatic friend. And I don't appreciate you implying that liberals enjoy watching murderers and rapists walking around free. Who the hell wants that?

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @sweetliberty17761776

your "personal" knowledge of his prowess is yours unless you care to share

its called a sacrifice

that is why liberals by their philosophical nature are willing to put the criminals back out

it causes the confusion they need to manipulate

that is why they favor regulations 

regulations are to the nanny state

what the reins are to a horse

the elites look at people as peons , animals, undesirables , hence their pursuit of Eugenics

now now I know its more correct to say ,

oh, no , its all about choice

we'll have to discuss that at another time 

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


Just because I have mixed feelings about the death penalty doesn't mean I think violent criminals should just be let out to roam the streets. So what "silliness, duplicity, hypocrisy and wrongheadedness" did I display here exactly?

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@fishingblues @fishwithoutbicycle 

Personally? To a degree, perhaps. But this is also about some idiot making a ludicrous generalization about liberals: that we're so "soft on crime" that we would be glad to see a violent offender not be in jail when they absolutely deserved to be there. That's not true at all.

fishingblues topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @fishingblues

I presume you are referring to liberty.  However, I make generalizations about liberals all of the time (ludicrous is in the eye of the beholder).  That is part of the kick because nearly all liberals take themselves way too seriously.  I think it is  a riot and all part of the good clean fun.      

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@fishingblues @fishwithoutbicycle 

You're right..."ludicrous" is a matter of opinion (and a speed on fictional spaceships). But, of course, the definition of "good clean fun" is subjective too. I think you play dirty sometimes. But I suppose we all do.

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