Mark Holmberg Take On Farmville Murde...

Mark Holmberg Take On Farmville Murder Suspect Plea - wtvr

There are 23 comments on the WTVR story from Sep 20, 2010, titled Mark Holmberg Take On Farmville Murder Suspect Plea - wtvr. In it, WTVR reports that:

So how did Richard Samuel "Syko Sam" McCroskey, who bludgeoned four people to death with a wood-cutting maul in Farmville last September, escape the death penalty? On Monday, the aspiring " horrorcore" rapper pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder and two counts of first-degree murder in a deal that keeps him alive, but in prison for the ...

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VA Justice

Columbus, GA

#1 Sep 20, 2010
There is no inmate currently on Virginia's death row who has been on death row for 20 years Holmberg. The average is about six years - slightly longer for some due to retrials on procedural matters and the lethal injection litigation, which added a one year delay to most cases.

McCroskey was spared primarily because Farmville is home to a lot of professors and academics with a liberal bent. The prosecutor knew it was likely one might get on the jury and refuse to deliberate on sentence during the sentencing part of the trial, thus hamstringing the jury at 11-1 (death/life), but giving the defendant a life sentence by lack of unanimity.

Also, it's likely the family of the victim(s) didn't support the death penalty in theory therefore they were willing to accept a life sentence. Your hotbeds for death sentences in Virginia are around the Danville area, Prince William County and Chesterfield County.

Since: Feb 10

Richmond, VA

#2 Sep 20, 2010
Just turn him loose in the "general population" section of the prison and watch how fast he is "terminated".

This coward wouldn't survive 1 week let alone 50 years.

Better yet, just put a bullet in the back of his head and the whole cost problem is resolved.

The Death penalty is 100% effective. There has never been a case where an executed murderer has ever committed another crime.

Sorry Mark, I have to disagree with you. The Death Penalty works when prosecutors are not afraid to earn their pay check and convict these murderers.
Abby

Richmond, VA

#3 Sep 20, 2010
Justice seems to be VERY stupid - there seems to be less and less. The judges and entire judicial system need a complete overhaul. We need a swift death sentence. These people are afforded far too many rights at the taxpayers expense. Prison seems to have become a very cozy way of life for many offenders. It's just wrong.
Michael A

Petersburg, VA

#4 Sep 20, 2010
Mr Holmberg, your argument for getting rid of the death penalty is a joke. Your statistics are skewed to promote your own opinion on the death penalty. The average time an inmate spends on death row before execution is 7 years. The cost to incarcerate each inmate is right around $25,000. ON AVERAGE, it costs around $175,000 from arrest to execution for each inmate, with some costing less and some costing more. In fact, it would cost around $3.5M, on average, to incarcerate all of death row from arrest to execution rather than the $2M you try to make the viewers and readers believe each person on death row costs the state. You should have said "that's one of the reasons some death sentences cost about $2 million, from arrest to execution." Where are you getting your 20 years on death row statistics from? The earliest I've found was mid-late 90's.

Teresa Lewis waited 45 minutes after the two men shot her husband and son before calling police. In this time, he stayed alive. He stayed alive long enough for her husband to tell authorities that his wife knew who shot him. She orchestrated the plot to kill them for their insurance money, bought the weapons, left the back door unlocked and after they were shot did nothing for 45 minutes knowing full well that he was still alive. She was rightfully convicted and deserves what she will be getting.

McCroskey is a cold blooded killer who deserves the death penalty. He brutally killed four people with a maul. The victims' families deserve more justice than what happened. You want to save money, you don't give him life in prison. You give him three years tops on death row before flipping the switch.

Back to your argument on the death penalty. You are basically saying it's stupid that Lewis is getting executed when McCroskey isn't, so we need to get rid of the death penalty. That doesn't make any sense at all. What's stupid is that both aren't getting the death penalty. Murderers the likes of Lewis and McCroskey should be given equal punishment: death. But hey, since you, Mr. Holmberg, seem to be against the death penalty and are using the cost of a death penalty conviction as an argument, let's just get rid of death row and give them life without parole. Roughly 18 people(average age of death row inmates is 36) costing the state $25k for the rest of their lives in prison. You do the math.

And that's my take on that

PS: My stats are straight from VADOC
VaGirl

United States

#5 Sep 21, 2010
What horrifies me is that even though this murderer got life imprisonment, he could still get out onto the streets within his lifespan. The parole boards say that for the first life imprisonment you become eligible for parole after 15 years. If you have 2 or more life sentences, it's 20 years. Google "Va parole life imprisonment"- it brings up one of the official documents that clearly states this.

Is he likely to get paroled in 15-20 years? Not likely, but odds are that he will in some point in time. Even if the courts were to try to put "not eligible" on him, his parents will probably just try to hire some lawyer to fight that. So guess what? We get another insane creep on the streets.

This guy deserves to be on death row so we can be sure that he never gets freedom again in his life. After all, what about the freedoms of the three people he bludgeoned to death because he got upset that his underage girlfriend wasn't communicating enough?
David

Wytheville, VA

#6 Sep 21, 2010
VaGirl wrote:
What horrifies me is that even though this murderer got life imprisonment, he could still get out onto the streets within his lifespan. The parole boards say that for the first life imprisonment you become eligible for parole after 15 years. If you have 2 or more life sentences, it's 20 years. Google "Va parole life imprisonment"- it brings up one of the official documents that clearly states this.
Is he likely to get paroled in 15-20 years? Not likely, but odds are that he will in some point in time. Even if the courts were to try to put "not eligible" on him, his parents will probably just try to hire some lawyer to fight that. So guess what? We get another insane creep on the streets.
This guy deserves to be on death row so we can be sure that he never gets freedom again in his life. After all, what about the freedoms of the three people he bludgeoned to death because he got upset that his underage girlfriend wasn't communicating enough?
This guy will not be eligible for parole in 15-20 years. The parole guidelines you looked at apply to sentences received before July 1, 1995. Sentences received after that date are eligible only for geriatric parole. Convictions for capital murder are excluded from geriatric parole. Under current law, he will die in prison.
history buff

Richmond, VA

#7 Sep 21, 2010
I don't agree that the death penalty should be abolished because of inconsistent application.Each case is different,different circumstances and locations.This one got off with life because of a plea deal,so blame the prosecutor.
I thought if ever there was a case where the death penalty was appropriate,this would be it.This guy deserves no better,no more consideration than he showed his victims.
I guess the bright spot in all of this is that we will no longer have to worry about this guy hurting or murdering anyone else.He'll rot in prison for the rest of his life and then rot in hell for all eternity.
queenbee

Orland Park, IL

#8 Sep 21, 2010
knew it had to be a white boy. Nuff said.
queenbee

Orland Park, IL

#9 Sep 21, 2010
Justice is indeed sometimes stupid--but that does not mean the death penalty should be done away with.

How about there only being one sentence for deliberately killing another person in cold blood?(like death--but if a deadlocked jury--then life w/o parole)

A different sentence could be set for those who hire others to kill for them.(like automatic life without parole)

A 3rd kind of sentence could be for those who accidentally kill while engaging in violent or illegal acts like raping, stealing, abusing

and the time and crime descriptions should be identical from state to state, jurisdiction to jurisdiction and STOP relying on the "discretion" and "wisdom" of individual judges or juries.

What is mostly wrong with the legal system is that it often IS blind--to common sense and gives too much power to often, questionable sources (judges and/or juries)

Make it an absolute and a standard and then it would make more sense as the application would be consistent.
Retired CO 34 years

Richmond, VA

#10 Sep 21, 2010
Prisons have unwritten rules that a majority of the public do not understand. In other inmates eyes this guy didn't molest kids, kill kids, rape an old lady, or do anything which could be viewed as a race crime. He will have challenges in there but I don't seem him being greenlighted because of what I mentioned. I suspect the AB or seperatists groups will draw him in for needed protection. Convicts have a code that outsiders cannot understand. If he enters some of the environments I worked in he will actually be viewed with respect. Prisons are twisted. I worked in the Death House with Ole Sparky until the closed the place. Helped escort Linwood Briley to death chamber.
Barbara Spain

Richmond, VA

#11 Sep 21, 2010
I as well as several others agree with you it is time we get rid of the death penalty it is not evenly applied. My son's murder was only one person but it should have warranted a Capital Murder charge, he was murdered in his home after he was forcibly taken from his bedroom by Brian Butts and Damien Lipscomb in his boxes shorts after they forced their way into his home to rob the home of a safe because they had been told by Timothy Hunter that my son's roommate had gotten a large tax refund check. Not only was Butts, Lipscomb and Hunter involved but there was two more arrested in the conspiracy as well. Thy have had Hunter in jail three times since my son's murder and he has been let go every time and now because of their lax policies we have a convicted rapist, child molester out here running from the law and God only know what else he will end up doing before he is caught because he has shown he does not respect the law. That is why we are having this meeting Friday because enough is enough & until citizens start raising a fuss about it nothing will change. My sons murder did not even warrant a life sentence so do you have to kill more then one person to get a life sentence in the state of Virginia? Do you have to either kill people like the Harvey family or be someone like the Beltway sniper to get the death penalty?
Barbara Spain

Richmond, VA

#12 Sep 21, 2010
queenbee wrote:
knew it had to be a white boy. Nuff said.
Why is it because he is a white boy? My son whi is white was murdered in the city of Richmond on his 30th birthday by 2 black men who forced their way into his hmoe to rob his roommate of a safe they had been told by another black man contained a large income tax refund. My son was taken by force from his bedroom in his boxer shorts by these men and even after telling them the where abouts of the safe and asking thme just don't hurt me was shot three times and killed by theses monsters, so don't hand me that bull he got off because he is white. My sons murder will only be facing 40 years next month when he is sentenced. Why do people like you always want to use race as a issue? White or Black they all should face death if you take anothers life then maybe if it was all equal things would change.
Sincerely

Richmond, VA

#13 Sep 21, 2010
what another mess!
ajcl

Chesterfield, VA

#14 Sep 21, 2010
va_tazdad wrote:
Just turn him loose in the "general population" section of the prison and watch how fast he is "terminated".
This coward wouldn't survive 1 week let alone 50 years.
Better yet, just put a bullet in the back of his head and the whole cost problem is resolved.
The Death penalty is 100% effective. There has never been a case where an executed murderer has ever committed another crime.
Sorry Mark, I have to disagree with you. The Death Penalty works when prosecutors are not afraid to earn their pay check and convict these murderers.
I agree 100%...as long as the Prosecutor has his ducks in a row; the jury is willing to issue a sentence of death...the the death penalty is 100% effective. I believe that anyone who knowing and purposely takes a life or contracts out for someone else to get their hands dirty to do the killing should automatically be a candidate for the death sentence...as far as the cost problem...I will donate the bullets!
Gina

Powhatan, VA

#15 Sep 21, 2010
Right on Mark. I enjoy every thing you say about Justice and how stupid some of the calls are made by our judicial system.
ladyj619

Richmond, VA

#16 Sep 21, 2010
I agree with Mark Holmberg, until justice can be applied equally across the board the death penalty should be abolished. Obviously the death penalty does not deter murder so abolishing it won't hurt anybody.
Marianne

Fredericksburg, VA

#18 Sep 21, 2010
I absolutely agree with Mark on this subject. When we sentence a person to death for murder, are we not in a different fashion committing the same crime? What makes it right for us to kill a person...because they did? It makes no sense to me at all. I do not believe anyone has the right to decide when a person dies. i believe instead that they should spend the rest of their lives in prison with no chance at parole.
Regula Franz

Hopewell, VA

#19 Sep 21, 2010
There is only one thing to say here: the United States of America is the only remaining country in the Western Hemisphere to have the death penalty in the first place. It shares this dubious fact with Saudi Arabia (sharia law like stoning), Malaysia, Iran, China among others. And I thought all Christians (among other religions) preach something like "Thou shall not kill." - or does it go: unless you killed as well?. Smells like the usual bigotry these days.
Arlon

Ashton, MD

#20 Sep 21, 2010
Although the argument that if you can't do something right you shouldn't try at all usually does not apply, I must agree that with something as important and especially irreversible as the the death penalty, it does apply.
Still others who say that the answer is to do it right, not stop trying, might have a good argument at some time.
Unless more people pay better attention to the legal system, that time is not likely to come soon.
Either way thanks for a good reporting job.

Since: Jun 10

Richmond, VA

#21 Sep 21, 2010
The death penalty is to good for Richard Samuel it wouldn't solve anything and would not bring back 4 lives lost to the horrible brutal crime he committed put him in population and let him fear for his life everyday because someone will get him sooner or later and hopefully it will be a horrible brutal nightmare for him.

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