For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: October 31, 2005

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Consider Two Idaho Death Penalty Cases

The United States Supreme Court today denied certiorari in two Idaho capital cases, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. The Court entered orders declining to hear the appeals of Gerald Ross Pizzuto and Timothy A. Dunlap.

Pizzuto was convicted of the 1985 Idaho County murders of Berta Herndon and her nephew, Delbert Herndon, and sentenced to death by the Honorable George R. Reinhardt III. Pizzuto had asked the United States Supreme Court to review his case, contending that his death sentence was not constitutional because the trial judge allegedly failed to properly consider evidence of his low intelligence and mental problems. The Idaho Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have previously affirmed Pizzuto’s convictions and death sentences. Pizzuto is now awaiting a decision from Judge Reinhardt regarding the issue of whether he is mentally retarded and cannot be executed.

Dunlap was convicted of the 1991 Caribou County murder of Tonya Crane and sentenced to death by the Honorable William H. Woodland. Dunlap sought U.S. Supreme Court review, contending that his guilty plea was unconstitutional because his plea agreement was unconscionable. The Idaho Supreme Court has previously affirmed Dunlap’s conviction. As a result of error during his initial sentencing, Dunlap is awaiting resentencing, which is scheduled for February 2006.

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