A Fate Better Than Death

What's the best way to escape capital punishment? Maybe fleeing the country and fighting extradition proceedings abroad.

There are few more likely candidates for capital punishment than Charles Ng, 30. The former U.S. Marine was charged in 1985 in California with a string of 13 murders involving torture and sexual abuse. But for the past six years, state officials have been frustrated in their desire to try Ng -- and possibly send him to the gas chamber on conviction. Reason: he fled to Canada in 1985, where he was apprehended but has managed to avoid extradition. His last line of defense is based on the harsh punishment he might face in California for his alleged crimes.

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