Death-row convict may have been coerced to murder
Double-murder death-row convict Miguel Bacigalupo, by way of his attorney, will ask The California Supreme Court for a new trial that will now consider previously excluded critical evidence. The original lead prosecutor, now Superior Court Judge Joyce Allegro, had kept this evidence from the jury. While the state’s high court rarely reverses death sentences, the evidence’s pertinence on the decision of the case will be decided by the the Supreme Court within the next 90 days.
The original judge, Richard Arnason, found the crucial testimony of late Gale Kesselman to be credible. Kesselman’s testimony had revealed to Allegro’s lead investigator that Bacigalupo had met with a cocaine trafficker briefly before his death. Bacigalupo, during his conviction trial, stated that if he would not have committed the double-murder, his family would have been killed.
However, prosecutors now find Kesselman’s testimony inconsequential to the actual guilt of Bacigalupo, because all it reveals is that the murder was organized.
If the hope is that the sentence could be lessened from capital punishment, then how could this evidence not be of importance and deserve reentering consideration? Surely, it may not have changed the jury’s mind but the circumstances of the mandated drug hit could have at least culled some pity from the jury and those deciding his sentence.
Discussion on this article seems to lead by way of the prosecutors. However, all evidence existing ought to have been presented and not purposefully kept from the decision process. The general public must consider how easy it is to fall into a drug cartel and how one would not exactly be able to simply go to the police when their family’s life is on the line. It is such circumstances that should not exactly exonerate Bacigalupo, but be considered more so by the callous justice system.
If this were a movie with Bacigalupo as the main character, if we saw it from his perspective–and if Kesselman’s testimony was true–any naysayer to this new evidence would immediately villainize the trial’s original decision.