Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
June 3, 2004     Bath County News - Outlook
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June 3, 2004

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"AS l i The Bath County] 2. 7t /* , Jailhouse conversions Should a jury consider a criminal defendant's conversion to Christianity in determining Whether he should be sentenced to death for murder? This question is presented in a case the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear recently out of California. The defendant, William Payton, was found guilty in the rape and murder of a woman in her bedroom. Payton had admitted to another inmate that he raped and stabbed the woman because he "had this urge to kill". The jury found Payton guilty in the trial, which took place a year and nine months from the date of the crime. Under the law in a capital murder case, once a defendant is found guilty of the crime itself, the prosecution must submit evidence of aggravating circumstances, to justify imposition of the death penalty. The defense is entitled to put on evidence of mitigating circumstances to justify a lesser penalty. Ultimately, the jury determines the appropriate sentence. In Payton's case, the defense put on eight witnesses, including Payton's pastor, a deputy sheriff, four inmates, his mother, and the director of a religious organization ministering to prisoners. Their testimony, taken as a whole, tended to show that Payton had been "born again", made a sincere commitment to God, and was per- forming good works in jail. Payton's pastor testified that in his opinion, Payton's conversion was credible and that he was "sincere in his statement and com- mitment to the Lord". The religious director testified to her numerous conversations with Payton about his spiritual commit- merit and its manifestation in the Bible study groups he estab- fished with other inmates. She described his conversion of other inmates, his admission to a correspondence Bible college and his writings. The deputy sheriff supervised Payton's floor at the jail and relat- ed that Payton led prayer meetings and had a positive influefice on other inmates. The inmates testified Payton's religious conversion was sincere and that he had a calming influence on other inmates, including the prevention of one inmate committing suicide. Nevertheless, during closing arguments, the prosecutor argued over the defendant's objections that the jury could not consider any of this in mitigation of Payton's crimes. He asserted that mit- igating circumstances only included factors present at the time of the offense to show somehow that its gravity should be reduced. The judge told the jury it was up to them whether they wanted to consider Payton's conversion or not in determining his sentence. The jury recommended.,Payton ,be,,semenced to death. He :male6, bu, t, thealifotiiia Supreme Court-affirmedhis' eonvic- tI-I. en applig4, tg,!lae fedet f;ggrtQli, O_qeas copus relief. A federal judge ruled the prosecutor had improperly misrepre- sented the law to the jury, and that the judge failed to accurately correct the impression that was left. The judge stated the prosecu- tor was guilty of prosecutorial misconduct, by making an improp- er argument and, therefore, the verdict must be set aside. The United States Court of Appeals agreed, stating that it should have been made clear to the jury that it was proper for them to consider Payton's conversion as a factor in determining his sen- tence. The Court stated that normally a defendant's character and background, including good behavior in prison, are factors that should be considered in a death penalty case. California appealed and the Supreme Court has now agreed to consider the case. A decision should be made sometime next year. Computer viruses can wreak havoc with your valuable files and send you into Computer viruses: The Al Gore Virus--Causes your computer to just keep counting and re-counting. The Clinton Virus--Gives you a 7-inch Hard Drive with NO memory The Bob Dole (aka Viagra) Virus--Makes a new hard drive out of an old floppy. The Ronald Reagan Virus-- Saves your data, but forgets where it is stored. The Mike Tyson Virus-- Quits after two bytes. The Oprah Winfrey .Virus-- Your 300 Mb hard drive .hri.nks .  to 100 Mb, then slowly xpa, nds to re-stabihze around ) 'b. The Jack Kevorkian Virus-- Deletes all old files. The Ellen Degeneres Virus--Disks can no longer be inserted. The Prozac Virus--Totally screws up your RAM, but your processor doesn't care. The Joey Buttafuoco Virus--Only attacks minor files. The Arnold Schwarzenegger Virus--Terminates some files, leaves, but will be back. ..... KM ..... This is a true Memorial Day Tribute which demonstrates how servicemen are moved and we too should be rooved, when it comes to honoring fOlen sol- diers who gave their lives for our precious freedoms. This is a true account written by Army Captain John Rasmussen and published by ARMY LINK NEWS on May 22, 2002. It was raining "cats and dogs" and I was late for physical training. Traffic was backed up at Fort Campbell,. Kentucky, and was moving way too slowly. I was probably going to,be late and I was growing more and more impatient. The pace slowed almost to a standstill as I passed Memorial Grove, the site built to honor the soldiers who died in the Gander airplane crash, the worst rede- ployment accident in the history of the 101st Airborne Assault Division. Because it was close to Memorial Day, a small American flag had been placed in the ground next to each sol- dier's memorial plaque. My concern at the time, how- ever, was getting past the bottle- neck, getting out of the rain and getting to physical training on time ......... : ....... All of a sudd .emzinfuriatingly, .... just as te traffic was getting started' again, the car in front oI me stopped. A soldier, a private of course, jumped out in the pouting rain and ran over toward the grove. I couldn't believe it! This knucklehead was holding up everyone for who knows what kind of prank. Horus were honking. I waited to see the butt-chewing that I wanted him to get for making me late. He was getting soaked to the skin. His Battle Dress Uniform was plastered to his frame. I watched as he ran up to one of the memorial the small fallen to the ground.- and the rain, and again. Then, slowly, attention saluted, his car, forget that dier, whose name know, taught me duty, honor, and hundred books or lectures. That simple gle act of brother and his lated all t gesture for me. It "I will never keep the faith. mission. I am dier." I thank that. And on this will remember all paid the ultimate freedom, and soaked to the skin, them. Remember this Day honor those who From the files of "RUSS METZ", 191 Want to put pinch on peddlers? Tell you what I'm gonna Every summer along with another crop of crabgrass, cockleburs and sassafras bushes comes a new crop of door-to-door peddlers, who lean on your doorbell just about the time you sit down to your first mess of polk greens. You'd think as smart as Americans have become, they would have invented something to cope with those pesky door-knockers. It seems to be a simple problem. Simple enough for any genius such as myself to come up with a solution in five minutes. First, I like the door meter idea. To ring the doorbell, a caller would have to insert coins in a slot. Ten cents would get him one long healthy ring; a nickel would bring forth a couple of sickly tinkles and a penny or slug slipped into the slot would open the doghouse, letting a mean bulldog at the cheapskate's shinbones. If the bell ringer happens to be a friend, you could return his money - hold it in escrow, in case he drops a cigarette on your rug. Under this plan, there is a good chance a salesman will invest at least three dimes in your door meter before giv- ing up. If he is really shot with the old foot-in-door perse- verance, you cold net a cool half-dollar on him. A variation of the door meter scheme is the one-finger- bandit doorbell. Beside the ringer button, install three windows with rotating wheels - readily available from your friendly used slot machine. Every sidewalk peddler is a sporting man. Pitting his personality and pitch against the resistance of a home- owner is a game of chance, so why not put a little more fun in his game? A coin in the slot sets the machine into motion. Three bells brings jackpot - a long blast on the door chimes; three lemons, a fast exit with the dog at his heels. But before you begin chopping a hole in the front of your house, there is something you ought to know. You can bet the tax people are going to look at this idea with great relish. Likely they would install their own meter on your doorbell and tax it for 90% of its take, which is about par for the course these days. That is exactly the way the parking meter got started in Oklahoma City and you can see all the revenue that Carl McGee unwittingly is giving our cities. The primary pur- pose of parking meters was to "regulate traffic" and it has worked out that way. Cops are so busy counting the swag, traffic must automatically control itself. My handy-dandy doorbell meters would have their toughest going in the country districts where I grew up. At that time, anybody who visited a farm, even a pack ped- dler, who was looked upon as a godsend to be retained as long as possible. Many a Rawleigh and Watkins man quit the circuit out" there. When they called on a farmhouse, they were ceremoniously ushered in and entertained all afternoon by the family and hired hands. If it was in the afternoon when he came, his team was fed and bedded down for the night and the salesman was given a good supper and a shucktick bed to sleep in. Usually, the sale for the afiemoon and night amounted to a 10-cent can of black pepper and maybe a can of salve. And that only after he had passed out free chewing gum to the kiddies and samples to the older folks. The beauty of my inventions is it might put free enter- prise back into the hands of consumers. Every housewife can use a few extra bucks and it could take larceny out of her normal habits. Instead of pilfering dough out of hubby's pockets at night, she might be inclined to spruce up the old house and front yard to place a look of pros- perity and lure in more salesmen. Unless there are some restrictions, strong possibility it could lead to a national of vice among the patrons of house-to-house and Congressmen may accuse your wife ber of the Mafia. The law frowns on the et, you know. If you decide to develop one my usual royalty. Naw, I don't need one of door. I shoot every fifth salesman. And make four carry him off. "The beings of the angehclln--gdom are text us, but to make sure humanity does not planet. For that would disrupt the solar system ardize their home planet." This little-noticed news item was the Los Angeles school teacher, speaking on physic ena to the Portland Flying Saucers Club. NoW who s minding the steering wheels of those crafts sailing around the country scaring everyone. I, for one, am relieved to learn this. p until the opinion they were federal toward Florida vacations. Unidentified Flying Objects seem to be tain areas. There have been of contacts made with them and even them in the air over Louisville just prior to and recently on a Brazil mountain. Flying saucers are not new. I had an uncle ing them 40 years ago. His sightings came after was sharpened by a little ruckus juice. of his time. Nobody then believed Auburn Cord could make a flying turn rd like to start a Flying Saucers Club Maybe then some of those strange feel obligated to show up. Nearest thing to a parts is the day the welfare checks arrive at the Up, up and away.