Column | Jun 3, 2012
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Column | Jul 16, 2011'Remanded" -- taken into custody. In his career as a New York prosecutor and a federal prosecutor in California, Donald Heller has asked the court to remand guilty defendants countless times. He helped put away Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford, and a big-time heroin dealer, a man Heller believed destroyed many lives. At the dealer's sentencing hearing, the prosecutor remarked that were the death penalty an option, he would volunteer to "throw the switch." After that, a law clerk called him "Mad Dog," and the nickname stuck. Heller left the U.S. attorney's office in 1977 -- the "remanded'' sign was a farewell gift -- but he didn't give up his law-and-order cred. He's the author of the Briggs initiative, a 1978 ballot measure (named for its sponsor, state Sen. John Briggs) that broadly expanded the kinds of murders eligible for capital punishment. It helped make California's the most populous and expensive death row in the nation. But for more than a decade, Heller has been saying it's time to stop. Now a defense attorney with a mostly white-collar clientele, he testified recently at the state Capitol about the need to undo his legal handiwork, which has changed so many lives -- and ended some.
Column | Jun 17, 2012
Story | Nov 2, 2010 | 9:34 PM
The Early Show (N) 7 a.m. KCBS Today Ricky Martin; James Franco. (N) 7 a.m. KNBC KTLA Morning News (N) 7 a.m. KTLA Good Morning America Portia de Rossi. (N) 7 a.m. KABC Good Day L.A. (N) 7 a.m. KTTV...
Story | Oct 27, 2010 | 4:32 PM
Oct. 27, 1960: Paul Coates digs into his mailbox and finds âJohnny Grant was once a stunt car driver ... and Dick Whittinghill sang with the Pied Pipers.â Notice: Art Pepper is arrested for possession of heroin.