Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Reflections of Life

Personally, I'm not a fan of the death penalty under any circumstance, but I do believe that a life sentence is much worse than the death penalty could ever be for someone like Tom Capano. It was two and one-half years ago that the death sentence for Thomas Capano, the former prosecutor who was convicted of murdering Anne Marie Fahey after she tried to break off their relationship, was overturned.

Since that time, he has filed appeals of his sentence in the federal courts. See The Trials of Terrible Tom. Luckily, he is wasting his time, along with wasting his life behind bars for the murder of Anne Marie Fahey.

Even better, with the recent ruling of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Capano knows that his options are becoming more limited with each passing day. After all, he is a lawyer, so he knows better than most what this decision means for him.

As the Delaware News Journal reported, Capano nearly out of options after ruling:

Convicted killer Thomas J. Capano lost another round in federal court, and his legal options appear to be nearing the end.

Late Tuesday, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a district court ruling that denied Capano's request for a new trial on charges that he murdered Anne Marie Fahey.

The three-judge panel of Circuit Judges Marjorie Rendell, Theodore McKee and D. Brooks Smith did not issue a detailed opinion but instead handed down a four sentence order that stated Capano failed to make a "substantial showing" that his rights were violated in the state trial.

Of course, Capano will no doubt not give up yet, but his appeal will merely cost him money with no change in result:

However, Bernstein said they plan to ask the full U.S. 3rd Circuit for a rehearing.

After that, about the only option left for Capano is an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jules Epstein, an associate professor at Widener University School of Law, said with this string of legal defeats, Capano's odds of prevailing with any of his remaining options are slim.

"In light of the unanimity of this panel and the strong language in the holding, it is hard to imagine that Mr. Capano will receive relief from the [rehearing] or the U.S. Supreme Court," he said.

Another Widener Law expert, Professor Tom Reed, agreed.

He said the newest ruling was not a surprise and that it seems Capano has nowhere else to go with his claims.

Oh shucks, he gets to sit around all day for the rest of his life and reflect on life -- his and Anne Marie Fahey.

Every once in a while, justice does prevail.