The Final Injury

  • Share
  • Read Later
SAN JOSE, California: Richard Allen Davis, the convicted killer of 12-year old Polly Klaas, managed a final outrage against the girl's family before receiving the death sentence on Thursday. Minutes before California Superior Court Judge Thomas Hastings upheld the jury's year-old sentence, Davis said he could not have sexually assaulted the girl because she had cried out: "Just don't do me like my Dad." Upon hearing the accusation, Polly's father, Marc, came apart. He dived across the courtroom toward the defendant yelling, "Davis, burn in hell!" before bailiffs dragged him from the room. It wasn't the first such incident: at his jury sentencing a year ago, Davis blew kisses at the courtroom television cameras and made obscene gestures. Later, outside the courtroom Thursday, Marc Klaas called Davis' statement a "vile and sinister act." In letting the jury's death sentence stand, Judge Hastings cited Davis' utter lack of remorse. TIME's Alain Sanders notes that the verdict comes at a time when crime rates in general are down, but fear of crime is on the increase. "Any time a high profile crime like the Klaas case happens, it brings out more fear of violent criminals and hardens the public feelings, rhetoric and politics of crime," he says. "Public opinion, and political decisions on criminal punishment, and victim's rights are often based on high profile, outrageous cases like this one." -->