Police Chief Given Life after Victim's Family Speaks Against Death Sentence
A former Pennsylvania
police chief was sentenced to life without parole on June 20, 2008, for
the murder of his 31-year old ex-wife after the victim's family spoke
against a death sentence at the penalty hearing. The district attorney
had planned to seek the death penalty against Richard Curran,
just as he had for every murder case in the last 13 years. However,
Bonnie Smith, the victim’s mother, testified at the penalty phase that
her family wanted him to be given life in prison. “Smith made the
request to the court after reading a prepared statement on behalf of
the victim’s family and an emotional letter from Tina Curran’s
10-year-old daughter, Caitlyn.” After hearing the wishes of the
victim’s family, the Northumberland County District Attorney Tony
Rosini dropped his plan to seek the death penalty and requested that
Curran receive life in prison. Rosini stated he believes justice was
served in the case and the punishment was appropriate for the crime.
Richard Curran expressed remorse for his actions and thanked the family
for helping spare his life.
(M. Gilger, “Curran gets life; family wishes lead D.A. to abandon try for death sentence,” The News Item, June 21, 2008). See Victims and Arbitrariness.