NJ's Elimination of the Death Penalty May have Opened the Door to Killer
Jesse Timmendequas raped and murdered of 7-year-old Megan Kanka. Kanka's murder led to the creation of laws requiring the registration of sex offenders and the notification of residents when sex offenders move into their neighborhoods, universally known as Megan's
Twice convicted of sexual assault before this incident, Timmendequas was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault of Megan. He lured her to his house where he attacked her, sexually assaulting her and strangling her. Believing she was dead, he dumped her body in a wooded area near a park and later participated in the organized search for her.
Now that New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007, Timmendequas has renewed his request to have his conviction overturned. He argued several of the same points he used in his appeals after he was sentenced to the death penalty. But Timmendequas contends he has a right to bring those arguments again because he is not facing death but life in prison.
According to the Star-Ledger, Timmendequas attorney claimed in court papers ineffective counsel at trial because they did not offer proof of Timmendequas' mental retardation and because they did not object to alleged prosecutorial misconduct.
The trial attorneys also erred when they withdrew their request to have Megan and her parents, Richard and Maureen Kanka, identified by assumed names during the trial because of the extensive pretrial publicity, according to the Star-Ledger.
Timmendequas also argued he should have been allowed after his conviction to go for neurological testing. Timmedequas contends he is is entitled to a reversal of his life sentence or at least a new trial.
To read more: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/06/megans_law_killer_sex_offender.html