Friday, February 16, 2007

Death Penalty discussion

Click on Image for Color Flyer/Map

For more info contact Dave Atwood

  • Sam Milsap, fomer Bexar county Prosecutor
  • Clarence Brandley, exonerated Texas DR prisoner
  • Deloyd Parker, SHAPE Center
  • Nicole Casarez, UST Innocence Project Coordinator
  • Brandon Dudley, Chief of Staff for Sen. Ellis

Presented by

KPFT Radio, SHAPE Center, & Houston Peace & Justice Center


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


S.A. eatery killer will be executed

A Bexar County jury deliberated less than 2 hours Wednesday before
deciding convicted capital murderer Kevin Watts should die for last
year's Sam Won Garden massacre that left 2 cooks and a manager dead.

As 226th District Judge Sid Harle pronounced the death sentence, Watts,
22, showed little emotion.

His girlfriend and mother of his 2-year-old daughter wept, and a member
of Watts' family helped her out of the courtroom.

"I love my family, and I want them to know that I'll be all right to the
end," Watts said in a brief statement before being led away in cuffs. He
also apologized to the family of the victims, tempering his apology with:
"If they hate me, they hate me."

Insik Kim, the restaurant's former owner and father of one of Watts'
victims, said afterward, "His apology, right now I cannot accept it.

"I hope nothing happens again like this in San Antonio," he said.

Watts was convicted last week of capital murder, which made him eligible
for death row or a life sentence. A life sentence would have made him
eligible for parole in 40 years.

"He would have been a danger during that 40 years in prison," said
Assistant District Attorney Bill Pennington, the lead prosecutor in the
case. "This was the right punishment."

The city's tight-knit Korean community has grieved over the murders.

Throughout the trial, jurors wept openly and showed their shock over
evidence presented by the prosecution.

After the death sentence was announced, several jurors hugged members of
the victims' families and gave their condolences.

On March 1, 2002, Watts entered the Northeast Side restaurant at 4527
Goldfield Road. The restaurant wasn't yet open when Watts entered and
fired a gunshot into the ceiling as four workers prepared for business.

He rounded up the 4 workers into the kitchen and shot three of them in
the back of the head: Hak Po Kim, 30, the restaurant owner's son; and
cooks Yuan Tzu Banks, 52, and Chae Sun Shook, 59.

He allowed the fourth worker, Kim's new bride, to live but testimony
showed he abducted her and sexually assaulted her before police caught up
with him at a North Side apartment complex.

In closing arguments Wednesday, defense attorney Tina Tussay argued to
the jury that although the evidence against her client was damning,
sentencing Watts in retaliation would be wrong.

She argued that Watts had gone on a narcotic and alcohol consumption
binge prior to the homicides and that he "suffered a drug-induced
psychosis" that led to his actions.

Besides the Sam Won restaurant killings, Watts' criminal history only
includes a string of misdemeanors that wouldn't mark him as a threat to
society, Tussay said.

"2 wrongs don't make a right," Tussay told jurors. "Don't go back and
retaliate because of the anger you feel."

But prosecutors countered that Watts is a continuing threat, noting he's
a member of a street gang and has aspirations of joining a prison gang.

After the punishment was announced, Tussay said the jury's decision only
claimed another life.

"What a waste of 4 lives," she said.

Kim's wife, who testified twice during the trial that Watts was the
killer and a rapist, was allowed to address Watts before he was taken away.

However, an employee with the district attorney's office had to read her
note aloud because the young woman began sobbing uncontrollably as she
stood within 10 feet of Watts.

"My husband and I were very happy," she wrote. Watts "took everything
that I have."

(source: San Antonio Express-News)