Judge Agrees With Jury's Death Sentence Recommendation in Jamiel Shaw Murder

Pedro Espinoza gets death in the 2008 slaying of Jamiel Shaw, a promising football player

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gang member Pedro Espinoza, 23, was sentenced to death Friday for killing local high school football star Jamiel Shaw. Espinoza shot Shaw in 2008, thinking he was a member of the Blood Street gang because he was carrying a Spiderman backpack. Outside the court room, the Shaw family shared their struggle to forgive the man who killed their son and brother. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2012.

    A Los Angeles Superior Court judge agreed with a jury's recommendation that a gang member convicted in the execution-style slaying of standout high school football player Jamiel Shaw receive the death penalty.

    After emotional testimony from Shaw's family in a Los Angeles courtroom on Friday, Judge Ronald Rose issued the sentence to Pedro Espinoza, a 23-year-old gang member.

    Death Penalty Weighed in Jamiel Shaw Murder

    [LA] Death Penalty Weighed in Jamiel Shaw Murder
    A Los Angeles Superior Court judge weighed whether to issue the death penalty to 23-year-old Pedro Espinoza who was convicted of the execution-style killing of Jamiel Shaw II in 2008. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Nov. 2, 2012.

    A jury in May recommended death for Espinoza, who was convicted of first-degree murder for what prosecutors said was the "cold-blooded, calculated execution" of Shaw outside the teen's Arlington Heights home on March 2, 2008.

    Four days before voters are expected to decide whether to abolish the death penalty, Shaw’s family stood in solidarity at the courthouse, voicing support for the maximum penalty currently allowed by law.

    Testimony: Shaw Murder Scene "Most Sorrow, Despair I’ve Ever Seen"

    [LA] Testimony: Shaw Murder Scene "Most Sorrow, Despair I’ve Ever Seen"
    A veteran LAPD sergeant, the first on the scene of Jamiel Shaw’s March 2008 murder, testified Monday, April 30, 2012, that it was the “most sorrow and despair” he’s ever seen. The trial is underway in the 17-year-old’s shooting death. The prosecution argued Monday that suspect Pedro Espinoza, a gang member and undocumented immigrant, opened fire on Shaw because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 30, 2012.

    "If you murdered somebody, you should be murdered too," said Jamiel Shaw Sr., who said he was voting against Prop. 34 on Nov. 6 which would abolish California’s death penalty. “My son got the death penalty, but we can't give it to them? Because it hurts? They don't think it didn't hurt my son?"

    When asked if she views the sentencing as the end of the ordeal, Jamiel Shaw’s mother, Anita said, “It better be. Enough is enough."

    Testimony: Shaw Murder Scene "Most Sorrow, Despair I’ve Ever Seen"

    [LA] Testimony: Shaw Murder Scene "Most Sorrow, Despair I’ve Ever Seen"
    A veteran LAPD sergeant, the first on the scene of Jamiel Shaw’s March 2008 murder, testified Monday, April 30, 2012, that it was the “most sorrow and despair” he’s ever seen. The trial is underway in the 17-year-old’s shooting

    Jamiel Shaw’s aunt, Althea, pushed for the death sentence.

    "It’s not like we'll go ‘Whoo!’ if he gets he gets the death penalty,” she said. “We just feel that it's appropriate for the way Jamiel was murdered."

    Prosecutors Deliver Opening Statements in Jamiel Shaw Murder Trial

    [LA] Prosecutors Deliver Opening Statements in Jamiel Shaw Murder Trial
    Trial got underway Monday in the case against the man accused of killing a high school football player. NBC4's Gordon Tokumatsu reports.

    Prosecutors say Espinoza attacked Shaw, who was 17, because he was black. Prosecutors also said Espinoza mistook him for a gang rival based on the red Spider-Man backpack Shaw was wearing. Shaw's family wore red at the courthouse in support.

    Shaw was an honor's student at Los Angeles High School. He was was not in a gang. Rutgers and Stanford were among the universities recruiting him.

    Jamiel Shaw's Killer Sentenced to Death in 2008 Slaying

    [LA] Jamiel Shaw's Killer Sentenced to Death in 2008 Slaying
    A jury has recommended the death penalty for Pedro Espinoza, the gang member found guilty of killing Los Angeles High School football star Jamiel Shaw. The victim's father, Jamiel Shaw Sr., says he hopes Pedro Espinoza "leaves the prison the same way my son was brought into the mortuary -- in a casket." Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 23, 2012.

    During the court hearing on Friday, Judge Ronald Rose denied Espinoza's motions for a new trial and a new attorney, saying he had ineffective counsel and he didn't get a fair trial.

    During the sentencing phase of the trial, an Espinoza attorney M. David Houchin, said he was “not trying in any way to excuse Pedro Espinoza” but asked jurors to recommend a life prison sentence for his client, according to City News Service.

    “My plea for Mr. Espinoza's life is not a plea for leniency,” Houchin said, arguing that the death penalty “should be meted out to the worst in our society.”

    Shaw's parents have campaigned for a law that would enable police to arrest undocumented immigrant gang members and them turn in to federal authorities.

    Espinoza was living in the United States illegally and had been released from jail on a conviction for brandishing a weapon before the Shaw slaying.

    The judge could sentence Espinoza to either death or life in prison without parole. The decision comes four days before California voters decide whether to abolish the death penalty.

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