Wednesday, October 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

State seeks to block release of Solano death-row inmate

By
From page A3 | February 15, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — A former Vanden High School sports great who has been on death row at San Quentin prison for 25 years is still locked up four months after a federal judge in Sacramento ordered him to be released or receive a new murder trial.

The California Attorney General’s Office is appealing the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. The Attorney General’s Office on Thursday filed a brief of more than 1,000 pages detailing why the state believes the order should be overturned.

Steven E. Crittenden was sentenced to death in 1989, three years after he helped propel the Vanden Vikings boys’ basketball team to a state championship.

Crittenden, now 46, was a freshman on a football scholarship at California State University, Chico, in Butte County when he tortured and slaughtered an elderly couple in their home in early 1987.

Joseph and Katherine Chiapella had both been bound, gagged, beaten and stabbed to death in their Chico home. The day after their killings, Crittenden, who had done yard work for the couple, cashed a $3,000 check signed by Katherine Chiapella.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled in September 2013 that Crittenden deserved his freedom or a new trial because the prosecutor at his jury trial had likely been motivated by racism when he dismissed the only African-American prospective juror on the panel during a months-long jury selection process. Crittenden is also African-American.

Crittenden’s release has been blocked by a court-ordered stay of Mueller’s order. The stay is currently set to lapse Feb. 27, two weeks before Crittenden’s lawyers are expected to respond to the brief from the Attorney General’s Office.

During Crittenden’s jury trial, Vanden basketball coaches and a former teammate testified about how sportsmanlike, polite and respectful he had been when he played for the Vikings.

The California Supreme Court upheld Crittenden’s conviction and the death penalty in 1994. Crittenden’s lawyers got a federal judge to order a hearing in 2000 to review issues about the trial. It wasn’t until 2005 that the federal district court turned down all of Crittenden’s legal claims. His lawyers appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments six years ago in 2007 in Crittenden’s appeal that resulted in Mueller conducting the hearing that preceded her ruling.

“. . . (A)t the time of (the prosecutor’s) rating of jurors after voir dire and the time of his actually striking (the juror), (the prosecutor) was motivated, consciously or unconsciously, in substantial part by race,” Mueller wrote.
The Attorney General’s Office argues that Mueller has no legal authority to free Crittenden based upon the existence of unconscious bias in a prosecutor and that the prosecutor’s intent has been lost in the detailed parsing of every possible aspect of the voluminous record. Mueller focused too heavily on details instead of looking at the totality of the circumstances in dismissing the juror, the attorney general argues.
The prosecutor claimed he removed the juror from the jury panel because of her negative views on the death penalty.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • MattFebruary 15, 2014 - 6:28 am

    People are so stupid. "Let's get this guy a new trial, I'm sure his innocent we just need to bring race into it to prove it."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:35 am

    "My baby wouldn't do that! Everybody know police don't like Black people."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ArtimusFebruary 15, 2014 - 11:48 pm

    You are a narrow minded fool; I am surprised that you comment does not get sensors.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JazzAzzFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:56 am

    UnFreakinBelievable >>> Sentenced to death in 1989, 25 yrs. ago????!!!!. Now this problem would have already been solved if his sentence had been carried out in a timely fashion. Where is someone with a SHIV in that prison, when society needs him??? This is a perfect example why people need to take justice into our own hands, not being able to trust the justice system, IF HE GOES FREE or is even given another trial!!!!! Why we need, in some cases vigilante justice!!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KFebruary 15, 2014 - 8:03 am

    For sure Jazz. If you are down on your luck (Not advocating harming anyone), just commit some heinous capital offense crime, since a death sentence in Calif. will get you free room and board, medical AND dental, for the rest of your life (Not to mention stylish free clothing too), since no one ever gets put to death in Calif's death row anymore. What a deal. Now don't you dare slip up and commit such a crime in either Texas or Florida, because in those states they know how to carry out justice, hold a prep responsible.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KFebruary 15, 2014 - 8:05 am

    TYPO ALERT>>>Meant PERP. Where are my proof readers :-). Too bad we can't go in an EDIT our posts.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Middle school students put school candidates on the hot seat

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Pact with union wins Vacaville council OK

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Suisun City candidates get lively in 2nd council forum

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano focuses on rail safety

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Juveniles hit by vehicle have minor injuries

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Booz and Brewz benefit for the Blue Star Moms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Police search for missing man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Salvation Army gears up for annual Red Kettle campaign

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Blessing of the animals slated Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
DUI-drivers license checkpoint nets arrests

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

Travis airman killed in motorcycle accident

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

 
Caltrans cancels nighttime Highway 37 closures

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Theaters primed for bevy of new movies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

FBI announces reward for Vacaville bank robber

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A10

 
American Legion seeks Korean War veterans for award

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Third Annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes is Sunday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
4-H Achievement Night honors county members

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

Measure A committee plans weekend precinct walk

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

 
$26,227 payment to maintenance man challenged

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Forest areas reopen after huge fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Afghan pact signed amid questions on Iraq pullout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Mayor of suburban Los Angeles city killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Crash, suspicious device lead to 101 closure in LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Gov. Brown governor vetoes ethics bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Police on manhunt find pipe bombs in woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Bay Area looks to expand overnight transit options

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Gov. Jerry Brown signs California gun restriction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Ignored House contests may hold surprises

By Albert R. Hunt | From Page: A8

 
Stop hounding Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
A speedy, kitchen sink approach to pumpkin bread

By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

The flavor of fall – pumpkin pie in a cinnamon bun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Morgan: ‘Can’t believe’ Walmart blaming him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

 
Royals beat A’s 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local report: Rodriguez volleyball team downs Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Pirates’ Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders make Tony Sparano interim coach after firing Allen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No. 14 Stanford trying to jolt stagnant offense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NC State coach apologizes for fake injury remarks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL has laundry list of verboten celebrations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Government: NFL TV ‘blackout’ rule unsportsmanlike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Olympian Michael Phelps apologizes for DUI arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gravely injured Giants fan sues Dodgers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex 49ers RB James agrees to terms with Dolphins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FCC will consider petition to ban ‘Redskins’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Training camp essential for NBA’s new head coaches like Warriors’ Kerr

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

49ers’ Wilhoite filling the injury void at linebacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Could a merger follow the PayPal-eBay split?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

John ‘Bo’ M. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
David Earl Butenhoff-Forristall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Marte Abad Lubag

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Clara May Clift Triplett

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Breast Cancer Awareness 2014

Breast cancer in younger women

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA2

Talking with your doctor

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA3

Breast cancer myths

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA4

Diet linked to cancer

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA9

Giving emotional support

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA10

After the treatment

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA12

Join the fight: Get involved

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA15