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Prosecutors to seek death penalty for alleged killer of football standout Jamiel Shaw

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office will seek the death penalty against the 20-year-old gang member charged with killing 17-year-old high school football star Jamiel Shaw II.

Shaw was several doors from his Arlington Heights home on March 2, 2008, when two men in a car pulled up next to him, asked him if he belonged to a gang and then shot him when he apparently didn't answer, authorities say.

Days later, police arrested the suspected trigger man, Pedro Espinoza, an 18th Street gang member. Espinoza is awaiting trial after being charged with murder with special circumstances in the killing.

Espinoza had been released from the Los Angeles County jail on a gun-related charge the day before Shaw was killed.

The district attorney's office said a committee made up of about a dozen prosecutors determined that the death penalty was appropriate in the case after weighing aggravating circumstances against those that might lessen the charges.

The killing has sparked calls for the community to stop gang violence as well as set off debate about Los Angeles Police Department policy that prohibits officers from from stopping or questioning people solely about their immigration status.

Shaw's parents backed a failed petition drive aimed at getting a law passed that would allow police to arrest illegal-immigrant gang members solely for being in the country illegally and hand them over to federal authorities.

--Andrew Blankstein

Related: The Homicide Report

Comments () | Archives (13)

Be sure to thank Cardinal Mahoney for this one, too.

It's so nice to see that the prosecutors will start doing these evil coward gangsters the same way they've did so many other innocent people for so long, by taking steps to have their lives taken as well, and so many of them really really need to be off our streets. Support your local Police, because their the one's making it so we don't have to be terrorized so much from these neighborhood terrorist. Step up and please anonymously start reporting these cowards so we could get more and more of them off our streets - 800-78-CRIME

Unfortunately I don't think he will get the death penalty. The reason is, is that it would only show the utter corruption and negligence under Villaraigossa, Chief Bratton, and the City council and County Supervisors, with the exception of Mr. Mike Antonovich, who is the only person that has given a damn about all of the gang violence and mayhem. Bratton, thank God, is leaving. This useless sycophant of the ex-gangbanger Mayor should retire. He said that if Californians don't like all of the corrutpion he has never spoken up against, they should leave the state. Now he's leaving the state. A--hole.

The whole sanctuary city philosophy, practiced on a de facto basis in San Francisco, and tacitly in L.A. via Special Order 40, is deadly to Americans.

The "sell" is that Special Order 40 allows the possibility for illegals to come
forward with information about a crime without fear of deportation.

But the actual effect is to allow illegal alien criminals to commit crimes
against Americans with the knowledge that they are afforded a layer of
protection against being caught.

To wit: three members of the Bologna family in San Francisco were mowed
down by an illegal who had priors. But the illegal was not deported
due to their insane policies, and that philosophy resulted in the deaths
of Americans.

Clearly, these "progressive" politicians are laying the ground work for civil

This is ridiculous. I can't believe this story is still making headlines. This is a simple case of one gangster killing another. Big Deal people, get over it.

Good decision.

People who engage in this type of behavior need to be removed from the planet.

Mike writes: "This is ridiculous. I can't believe this story is still making headlines. This is a simple case of one gangster killing another. Big Deal people, get over it."

No, Mike, that does not seem to be the case. The young man was apparently killed because he was NOT a gangbanger.

He would not get the death penalty because the death penalty is not enforced in California. The death penalty is a farce, nobody gets it.

Too little too late.

Mike, give me a break. Let's say your'e right, just for arguments sake. How many times, have these gangs wound up "accidently" killing innocent people of all kinds. Little children, old folks, teens,etc. But then, I know that people who are easy on criminals, like the Times and other liberals, USUALLY SAY THAT THESE INNOCENT PEOPLE WERE IN THE "WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME". How nice, however, explaining is not the same as explaining away--all of the neglect and derilection of duty to simply protect the citizenry. Under Villaraigosa and Bratton, ILLEGAL ALIENS AND GANGS NOW CONTROL LOS ANGELES.

This is what happens when you start ganbanging. You play the cards, you pay the price. 18th street and crips get along. 18th street and Crips made a truce to take out bloods. Unfortunately Jazz was a member on the Rolling 20's, a blood gang. Cases like these keep happening everyday, all over our city. Jamiel was doing great things for himself, he had great talent as a tailback: Until he decided he wanted more. Espinoza knew what he was doing. This is the life of a little cholo. Jazz's family at least was fortunate enough to get justice unlike the other 50% of families that loose loved ones to these stupid, senseless younger generation of gangsters. I feel for your loss. This is reality in South Central. God bless you all. Everything g will be okay.!! Peace!!

To "Mike" who stated, "This is a simple case of one gangster killing another.":
I know the Shaw family personally. Jamiel Shaw was not a gangster and I question why and how you have drawn this conclusion.

I too am concerned that the death penalty will not be applied at sentencing for similar reasons that Bobby mentioned, namely the political machinery that turns a trial at court into farcical play.

Lastly, the "illegals" situation has long been overdue for action, not more rhetoric.

Villaraigosa, Schwarzenegger, Bratton, and other elected/appointed officials should be forced to sit through the entire trial. If we demanded, as we should, that our laws be upheld by those elected/appointed to office, and these officials honor their sworn oath, all of the above would also be tried for aiding and abetting and removed from office for dereliction of duty.

To those who are shocked at the "display of disrespect" at town hall meetings towards our representatives and the escalating violence displayed by criminals on law enforcement officers, one only has to acknowledge that Villaraigosa, Schwarzenegger, and Brattton when they confirmed to law-abiding citizens that those we entrust to uphold and enforce our laws are the same who are most guilty of violating them.


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