Op-Ed: Perverse Justice System Requires Antolin Garcia Torres to Sing Like a Bird or Fry Like One

The death penalty is absurd in the 21st century.

In a country founded on “give me liberty or give me death,” the ultimate punishment is contrary to our own stated belief system. Clearly, the depravation of liberty is a far more severe penalty than a quick death—not to mention the excessive costs of maintaining Death Row.

These glaring inconsistencies aside, the state of California retains the option for capital punishment. And the recent conviction of Antolin Garcia Torres, for the horrible murder of Sierra LaMar, has all the requisites for its implementation. The evidence against Garcia Torres was overwhelming.

New technology and DNA matches has left no reasonable doubt in the minds of law enforcement, the jury and the public at large. The Sheriff’s Office collected the evidence and the District Attorney’s Office laid out the evidence for the jury. Case closed.

But there is one major factor missing. There is no corpus delicti—in fact, the search goes on for the girl’s body. In the past, this lack of evidence alone has led to acquittals. With new science, however, comes new results.

DNA matches can prove a person’s guilt without the need for a body, no matter how distressing to the victim’s loved ones. The family and friends of Sierra still grieve and she deserves to be put to rest.

In this regard, Torres can save himself, while offering some solace to Sierra’s family and the community. It is not redemption—that can never occur. But if Torres were to come clean and tell authorities where Sierra is located, it would be a sign of him taking responsibility and offering some compassion to his victim and her family.

It might even keep Garcia Torres from the death penalty, though I’m not sure a “deal” would be cut for his cooperation. At this point, his best choice is to simply do the right thing, which, given his crime, might be beyond his capacity. But self-preservation is a huge incentive. If Garcia Torres wants compassion, he may want to show some contrition and remorse.

Otherwise, a jury seems unlikely to show the same to him. And then we will all carry the stain.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.

16 Comments

    • cor·pus de·lic·ti
      dəˈlikˌtī,-tē/Submit
      nounLAW
      the facts and circumstances constituting a breach of a law.
      concrete evidence of a crime, such as a corpse.

  1. Imo, AGT knows either way, he won’t be put to death. He’ll sit in San Quinten like Scott Peterson, Davis and others feeling safe because of the laws regarding the death penalty in California. Either way, he can still have visitors, see his children, do activities. Enough of feeling sorry for him due to the kind of childhood he had. AGT is an evil person.

  2. I’m perfectly willing to carry whatever staIn the execution of poor Antolin Garcia might leave. Shockingly, I’d feel great if he paid with his life for murdering Sierra Lamar. I’d consider that justice and I wouldn’t see anything perverse about it. In my view, perverse would be allowing him to live out his natural life in a prison cell, happily masturbating to his memories of what he did to that poor girl. Depravation of liberty a far more severe penalty than a quick death? Well, it doesn’t seem to be, since nearly every death row inmate chooses to fight seemingly endless legal battles, lasting decades, to avoid execution.

    But dont worry, Rich. In California, liberal judges do everything they can to frustrate the law. You can rest easy knowing Garcia has many years ahead to relax in his cell and enjoy the fruits of his labor. I hope this knowledge eases your terrible burden.

    • That’s all true Pete Malloy. To say nothing of the fact the victims family has to bare the fact he still lives while their loved one doesn’t. The infamous Moor’s murder in the UK who murdered 5 children, all were found but 1.H just died in prison 5 days ago. Outliving the Mother of the boy they never found.Taking with him to his grave, the location of the boy’s body. Even on his deathbed, he still refused to give this poor family peace and tell where he buried him.Ian Brady should have been sentenced to death and died in the 60’s.

  3. The death penalty is absurd in the 21st century?

    At the risk of occasionally agreeing with you on something Rich, why would you lead with that statement? Followed with a simple plea to come clean in exchange for his life? Logic is that he was most likely the perpetrator, then you offer his miserable life back in exchange for a body.

    Then the question what if he really didn’t do it and can’t produce a body even if he wanted to. To save yourself would you lie and tell them you put her in coyote creek and the body must have floated away in the great flood of 2017?

    The problem with not using the death penalty then becomes Governor Moonbeam, still in office in 2037 needs to empty the prisons, and turns the guy loose, and he kills another young girl. Such a dilemma.

    The death penalty not used, becomes absurd.

  4. Operating as if a virus targeting the cognitive processors of SJI readers, Richrob inserted a duplicitous code into Patrick Henry’s stirring, patriotic sentiments so that he might spread his own destructive message. Fortunately my antivirus software sounded the alarm after detecting the following anomalies:

    — Patrick Henry spoke of death not as a punishment for a crime but as a fate preferable to a life of subjugation; Richrob fraudulently equates the execution of a brutal and beastly killer to a patriot’s willing sacrifice of his life.
    — The speech was a rallying cry to the men of Virginia, made as a call to arms; from this impassioned plea to fight, kill, and possibly die Richrob deceitfully extracts a counterfeit national conviction against the capital punishment.
    — The death penalty was sanctioned for a number of crimes in the colonies; Richrob falsely presents California’s support for the death penalty as if it were an aberration, likely the work of racist Republicans.
    — In the war to obtain the liberty of which Patrick Henry spoke, the Colonial Army killed thousands of Brits and executed, at minimum, dozens of deserters; Richrob blocks the use historical facts in the formulation of history.

    Next up, Richrob will deploy Nathan Hale’s famous last words as the Constitutional justification for nationwide abortion rights.

    • The philosophy still holds; nobody is more “subjugated” than a prisoner for life. In the 21st Century the Death Penalty is an aberration–only 58 countries have the death penalty. Executions were most prevalent in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the USA – in that order.

      Those are the countries we are associated with in this regard. It is an abomination. As for Abortion, if you ever become pregnant–finfan–then you can state, “you have only one life to give for your country”. But heath choices of women should remain between them and their doctor.

      • Finfan specifically challenged your invoking the words of Patrick Henry to support your argument against the death penalty. But you fail to respond to the specifics, instead retreating to generalities.
        Richrob, you’re much like Donald Trump.

  5. I read the guy tried to hang himself in jail with sandwich bags a month ago. I never knew that in these kinds of murder cases, defendants were given a choice to spill the beans for a lighter sentence. Reading about what that mother in NM did to her daughter, it made me wonder why she was “singing like a bird” in such disgusting, graphic detail.

    I think the world needs more religion. 40 years ago you could tell a killer, “Well, St Peter will still let you into heaven” but in this godless day and age, that’s no longer a leverage. My heart goes out to Sierra’s family.

  6. Lets face it, the reason people sit on death row so long costing taxpayers so much is because lawyers like Mr. Robinson and the judges (who were lawyers) want it that way. The longer it takes, the more money they make. It’s no different than in Family aka Divorce court where the average divorce takes way, way longer now than it did years ago. Mine’s going on 19 months with no end in sight. Both my ex and I keep trying to push our attorneys to speed it up with no success. A co-workers took 4.5 years, a friend’s 9, so it’s easy to see who wins, them. As the families that are destoyed, kids fought over and countless sums of money paid for simple letters or phone calls they say they “need to make, leave many of us broke. For death row, they just keep charging the taxpayer or a rich inmate’s family. Their word for each day they wake is “Stall”. A tactic that fattens their wallet and shrinks ours.

  7. There is certainly something to be said for the inefficient judicial system. That said, extra care is taken with death penalty cases because there is no do-over after execution. As for our “no fault” divorce system–it is a nightmare–especially when you involve lawyers. And you are right, the system is for the lawyers and the judiciary–not the people they are supposed to serve.

  8. I can’t figure out whether it’s due to a good trait I was blessed with at birth or a bad trait beat out of me as a child, but I don’t run away from my words and I always respond to the statement offered. Quite obviously that puts me at odds with Mr. Robinson, who, as demonstrated in his reply to me, has freed Patrick Henry from further historical abuse and abandoned his original intent argument in favor of the flimsy but relativistically catchy charge of guilt by association. I guess he wasn’t serious when he implied this country was founded by opponents of the death penalty; what he really meant was that America should decide what’s right and wrong based on what “good” nations do (with him supplying the list).

    As for the “health choices of women” — a most cowardly euphemism for a life-extinguishing decision typically made for purely social reasons, my sardonic comment was directed at Mr. Robinson’s absurd use of Patrick Henry’s words as well as the equally absurd recent “discovery” of abortion rights in a document that had already been exhaustively scrutinized by experts for over two-hundred years. If Mr. Robinson believes females have a right to exterminate their unborn children then he should have the moral courage to state it clearly. It takes a procedure to kill a fetus and the name of the procedure that must be “chosen” is abortion. Should the day come when liberals discover a way to terminate a pregnancy using only genteel language — the way they’re attempting to use fabrication and delirium to terminate a presidency, then Mr. Robinson will be able to defend a woman’s right to “refresh” herself and keep his manhood intact.

    4th attempt to post since 9:00AM Friday

  9. Yeah, look at lawyers Doug Chan and Rich Robinson, they fund hit piece against a woman they criticize for being married to a cop.

  10. No problem abolishing the death penalty. Just make sure the “inmate” has access to rope and sharp objects so they can do the work for us.

Leave a Reply to Carolyn Cancel reply