Thursday, June 15, 2006


Yolo DA Jeff Reisig seeks death penalty in halloween homicide case
After a five-month trial and nearly four weeks of deliberations, a Yolo County jury Thursday convicted three suspected Woodland gang members of first-degree murder in the Halloween night shooting deaths of two men in 2002.

Defendants Ernesto Duran Arellano, 34, Oscar Hurtado Cervantes, 32, and James Joseph Olague, 29, were convicted of first-degree murder in the killings of Woodlanders Eric Eugene Folsom, 17, and Robert Michael Stepper, 20.

The three also were convicted of attempted murder in the shooting that night of two 14-year-old girls who survived.

Arellano and Cervantes each face the death penalty.

Race doesn't seem to play in any of the discussion. What is the racial makeup of the jury... well, let's just say, white! Surprised?

Would an all Black or Latino jury been much better for these guys? I mean jeez, they killed 2 people and attempted to kill another 2! How about their victims; what about their rights?!


JingleHeimer said...

Come on, don't tell me you don't see the potential problems with picking an all-white jury to determine the life or death of non-white defendants in a rural area like Yolo County. It's a valid point to raise. It doesn't mean that race was necessarily the determining factor in this particular case; what the OP is trying to say is that the courts should do a better job of choosing jurors that represent the community at large. Yolo County, having I believe a pretty decent amount of agriculture, must have a pretty sizeable Hispanic population. Shouldn't some of the jurors been Hispanic?

Roland Dodds said...

I agree that there are problems with having an “all white jury”, but like most things at Indybay, it is stated in such a way that it becomes a defense of these men’s actions in and of itself. What is far more important than the ethnic make-up of the jury is whether their case was presented fairly. Not once in the Indybay piece to they present some kind of evidence that would free these men; they don’t even make a defense. So for them to then claim that this is all the wrong-doing of some white people on the jury is not only insulting but crazy.

And frankly, going through countless Indymedia sites everyday, I have come to take everything that is published there with a grain of salt. Facts are disregarded and distorted so often, that I am unsure the jury was completely ‘white’.

schmidt said...

Aaah, it wasn't clear from your comment that you take issue more with Indybay's adherence to the facts, rather than somebody protesting the imperfections of the jury selection process in this particular case.

charismatic megafauna said...

Yolo isn't very rural, after all, it is home to Davis, as in UC Davis...Yolo's pretty suburban for the Central Valley, or so I hear.

The murders were absolutely disgusting. All because of drugs, because of money. True, the jury SHOULD have been picked better, but this is clearly just a disgusting act from human beings.

Brown guy said...

All White Jury. Doesn't that just sound scary? If you're a non-white it does!

Roland Dodds said...

There is no report that says the jury was all white, just something Indybay came up with.

And my point all along was that no matter what the jury was made up of, so little respect was shown for the people these men killed by sources like Indybay that it made me downright sick.

Anonymous said...

you guys say they were all white people but where any of you there?

Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I am the cousin of James Olague, one of the wrongfully convicted and also that I'm gratefull of my choice NOT to live in a County that is/was run by immoral, unethical, etc justice officials, that fail to bring peace to the community!
BUT, regardless of race, color, background, etc, bottom line, all along there was no evidence to subsantiate the approval of the Jury's verdict. Were you part of the Jury and reviewed any evidence? I don't recall so, either...BUT your comment about the accused seem to prove that had your own reasons for concluding that the 3 innocent men HAD killed the 2 victims. You should have been part of the Jury!