The state Supreme Court today upheld the death sentences of a man convicted of raping and murdering a 20-year-old Laguna Beach woman in 1981 and of an Oakland man convicted of murdering two people and trying to murder two others.
In the Orange County case, the dissenters in the 5-2 decision said the jury should not have heard testimony from a jail house informant that defendant Thomas Martin Thompson had asked him to kill another man. In the Oakland case, the court unanimously upheld the death sentence of Alfred Dyer for the November, 1980, murders of a man and a woman. The court rejected Dyer's claim that the jury should have been told two other defendants in the case were given life sentences. The death sentences are the 13th and 14th the court has upheld out of 19 it has considered since conservatives gained a majority last year.