Skip to comments.Killer endured harshest penalty — dying a forgotten man behind bars (this guy is off his rocker)
Posted on 03/03/2006 3:18:29 PM PST by Former Military Chick
Time illustrates how New Jersey has a virtual death penalty that ends in the death of the accused, although it happens without midnight vigils and satellite trucks, under the media radar.
Four days before Christmas in 1981, Richard Williams participated in the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Philip Lamonaco. Because the murder took place prior to 1983 when New Jersey reinstituted the death penalty, Williams was sentenced to 30 years in state prison.
He also had been sentenced to 45 years in federal custody for his participation in an unrelated series of bombings as a member of the United Freedom Front. Among his targets were symbols of "oppression," including Union Carbide, General Motors, IBM and Army and Navy facilities.
Williams died Dec. 7. But who knew? The Easton (Pa.) Express-Times reported his death Sunday, nearly two months later. The Associated Press picked up the Easton story and put it on the wires the next day.
State Police Capt. Al Della Fave said the report of Williams' death was on the State Police Web site in December, but no one in the print media picked it up, he said.
If Williams had been sentenced to death, his story would have been retold often, through a seemingly endless series of appeals in state and federal courts. The convoluted legal process would have cost countless tax dollars.
Instead, Richard Williams just faded away, although not without sympathy. His death was lamented on the online edition of The Nation a publication of the hard left.
According to author Dan Berger, Williams had been put into isolation in the Lompoc prison in California within hours of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Williams' health deteriorated; he suffered from a heart attack, cancer and hepatitis C, which caused liver failure and led to his death.
After Williams had returned to the prison's general population 10 months later he responded to questions submitted by the Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press.
"I do not support the actions of Sept. 11th. It is not something I would do, nor would I advocate it," he wrote.
Williams took credit for the bombings he participated in, telling the newspaper: "I took up revolution in this country because it is my country. I want to see change here. I do not hate the people of the U.S. I do hate the policies the government pursues. I feel it is criminal. And to not try to change it makes me, as a U.S. citizen, complicit in my government's crimes."
"Neither his post-9/11 isolation nor his death captured headlines," reported Berger, who contrasted his death to the death of another Williams Stanley "Tookie" Williams whose execution in California on Dec. 12 drew legions of protesters, including Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Joan Baez.
Berger continued: "In less than one week, two prisoners have died flawed men, each of whom had tried in some fashion to promote social justice. One was executed openly and deliberately . . . The other was killed slowly and quietly, because he fought quite literally against the pernicious acts of his own government on behalf of the oppressed people of South Africa and Central America."
Berger made only a passing reference to the murder of Philip Lamonaco.
When Williams was sentenced in 1992, Donna Lamonaco, the officer's widow, told the court: "He fought against the system, but the system fought back. Life in prison is the only life he is suited for, until death."
Williams would spend 13 years on his personal death row.
You could make an argument in fact, I will make the argument that Richard Williams suffered the worst fate, dying a forgotten, broken man, while Tookie Williams died a public death, a celebrated martyr to some.
When life in prison means life in prison, allowing nature to take its course, that is a far harsher penalty than death by lethal injection.
I do not get it. I give him credit he at least mentioned the victim of his crime.
Punishment is given at time of sentencing. When someone is given a life sentence, than unless something changes that is the end of the story. Sad, but true, there is really nothing more, unless events change the sentence of the convicted.
Why should he be remembered. I frankly do not want to remember Tookie. But he is remembered because his punishment was deferred for years. Punishment that should have been followed through long ago. The news coverage was about his punishment. Or lack there of. People using his for their OWN cause. If those sentenced to death had their punishments carried out in a timely manner I doubt the news would be so over the top and frankly overwhelming for certain people. People this author neglects to point out.
Tookie had coverage because folks took on his cause, deciding his life was worthy of saving and yet in the death sentences that have been carried out to date you have not seen the likes of Jesse Jackson, Alan Alda or Mike Farrell. They took his cause because they thought they could win.
Since then they have ignored other's who have had their sentences carried out essentially injecting the drugs themselves because their apathy is in fact supporting the very thing they despise someone deciding death for another.
He wasn't forgotten, he was where they are suppose to die. His jury had spoken and decided that this is where he should live his remaining life. If there should be a remembrance than it should be of the victim's unless the family decides to put an obituary in the paper at their own cost.
Shame on Rick Malwitz.
Better suggestion--execute him without giving him the publicity. Best of both worlds!
I think he is trying to make the point, one that I have made many times, that life in prison is a far worse punishment than execution.
Yes, but enquiring minds want to know where he is buried...so I can poop on it!
Boo freaking hoo. World's smallest violin playing Paganini here.
I'd say that neither scumbag got what he deserved: a slow painful execution, maybe drawn and quartered.
As for being on a "personal death row" for 10 or 12, or 20 or 50 years, TOUGH. Don't do the crime and you won't do the time.
Who is this imbecile writer who wants to work up tears over a depraved terrorist murderer? Let the guy rot.... oh, wait, he already did, my bad!
Now if only we could have the Mumia-pig put out of HIS misery, too! That guy has been kept alive for 20+ years of undeserved life by the lefties who love murderers so much more than anyone else.
There was a TV movie, one of those "Line of Duty" flicks about this case, years ago.Miguel Ferrer was one of the bad guys, and the guy who played the Dad on "The Wonder Years" [Dan___ -can't remember his last name], played the officer who was murdered.
We all would be better off if this sordid little tale were always the outcome of convicted vicious murderers. Dying a forgotten death in prison is OK by me. Letting them out or celebrated Tookie Williams deaths do not provide society with the freedom from these cancers we might otherwise enjoy. My 2¢ worth.
Oh, please. This writer penned an editorial that is supposed to invoke that the pathetic apathy of the public to a lifer is worse than the 'martyrdom' of death row. And he's right IMHO.
If you'd read the last three paragraphs that should clear things up.
You misunderstood Rick completely !
He happens to be a very OK guy, by the way.
Malwitz' point was the way executions are handled by the media; how they turn the condemned into some sort of wonderful celebrity who should be freed and invited to dinner without delay.
It's actually better, Rick said, when they are sentenced to life, and they die in obscurity and dishonor behind prison walls.
He has a point !
Less than normal.
Who cares, that is the way it should be. FWIW, I might have been drinking a martini that night.....
I wonder how many times Dan Berger wrote so uncritically about abortion clinic bombers.
Wrong. The will to live is the strongest instinct in all living beings, plant or animal. Getting life in prison is literally getting away with murder.
Some further info on Williams and his crew of terrorists:
UFF was anti-government group from 1970s and '80s
Sunday, February 26, 206
By TOM QUIGLEY
Richard Williams and Thomas Manning belonged to close-knit terrorist organization called the United Freedom Front, a cadre committed to the overthrow of the U.S. government by any means necessary.
The two became the subject of a massive manhunt after the 1981 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Philip Lamonaco.
Williams was captured in Ohio in 1984 and Manning was arrested in Virginia the following year.
The small group was responsible for a string of terrorist attacks and other criminal activity during the late 1970s and 1980s, according to a profile by a terrorist watchdog group called the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT).
The group was founded under a different name in 1974 by Manning and Raymond Luc Levasseur. Its members eventually became known as the "Ohio Seven."
"The UFF was a left-wing organization that strongly opposed US foreign policy in Central America, as well as South African apartheid," according to the terrorism institute. "Self-defined as a 'revolutionary group,' members of the UFF saw themselves as fighting back against perceived American imperialism."
MIPT reports that from 1975 to 1984 the group committed several bank robberies and bombing attacks in the northeastern United States, including a November 1983 bombing of the United States Capitol building, and a September 1984 bombing at the South African Consulate in New York.
In all of the bombing attacks, callers from the UFF gave warning, and casualties were avoided. However, Manning and Williams inflicted the group's only casualty: Lamonaco, MIPT reports.
In March 1986, seven members of the UFF, including Williams, Manning and Levasseur, were convicted on conspiracy charges related to the bombings, and sentenced to lengthy jail terms. Levasseur was released from prison in November 2004.
"I'm very disappointed in the parole system," said New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey President David Jones.
Jones linked Levasseur with Lamonaco's murder since he was part of the same terrorist group as Williams and Manning.
"Quite often financial obligations outweigh potential victimizations," Jones said.
He explained that by financial obligations he meant the cost of keeping Levasseur behind bars.
Reporter Tom Quigley can be reached at 908-475-8184 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is memorial plaque on the side of the road where the Trooper was killed. Perhaps you remember the name Joanne Chesimard, a black killer who escaped to Cuba. If there was truly justice this scum-sucking vermin would be killed in an agonizingly slow fashion in which she would be able to feel every painful moment until she expired.
But who cares?
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