A jury this afternoon recommended the death penalty for Rodney James Alcala, the Death Row inmate the same jury on Feb, 25 found guilty today of five counts of first-degree murder, including the kidnap-slaying of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe of Huntington Beach.
This is now the third time a jury has recommended death for Alcala.
"Yes!" yelled Robert Samsoe, the brother of Robin, as the decision was revealed. Other courtroom spectators broke into applause.
Alcala's formal sentencing will be determined Wednesday.
Veteran Orange County Register court reporter Larry Welborn has the scoop.
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Alcala, 66, who has twice escaped execution on appeal, acted as his own lawyer in the Santa Ana courtroom where he was being tried for the killing of Samsoe, a ballet student who disappeared on June 20, 1979, and four Los Angeles County murder victims between 1977-79.
Welborn reports that Alcala's seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated for about an hour before recommending the ultimate penalty.
The same jury had deliberated seven hours before finding him guilty of murder and several special circumstances, including multiple murders, murders during sexual assault and kidnapping and murders-by-torture.
In "Rodney Alcala's Final Revenge" by Christine Pelisek in our sister paper LA Weekly, the award-winning crime writer explores how the serial killer has been using the courts to exert power and control over families of the victims he is accused of slaying.