Executions may resume in California as Mataele waits on death row

    A federal judge was expected to make a decision on whether or not the execution procedures were constitutional in California, United States.

    Analysts believed the decision could bring back death penalty to the State.

    That was not good news for 45-year-old Tongan, Tupoutoe Mataele who was waiting for a “court action” and the date on which he is to be executed by lethal injection.

    About 750 inmates were on California’s Death Row after the U.S. western state last performed an execution in January 2006.

    The death penalty was then halted until the state fixed problems in injection procedures and staff training.

    The hold came into effect after a district judge said the procedures had “created a serious risk of a botched and agonizing execution in violation of constitutional standards.”

    The state’s highest court recently upheld a new law regarding the death penalty and ruled that the five-year requirement for resolution of post-trial appeals was a “directive” and therefore not mandatory.

    “That led some supporters of the measure to suggest that executions could resume in California with a matter of months,” the San Diego Union Tribune has reported last month.

    Mataele, who had pleaded with the judge to “have mercy on me” was on death row for murder and attempted murder 20 years ago in a case which prosecutors said stemmed from a falling out from an identity-theft conspiracy.

    Mataele was convicted for the shooting death of Danell Johnson on Nov. 12, 1997, and the attempted murder of John Matsubayashi, Johnson’s roommate.

    The court was told Mataele and co-defendant Minh Nghia Lee and the two victims were at one time connected in a conspiracy to steal identities and commit bank fraud. But, prosecutors said, the group had a falling out.

    Mataele and Lee lured Johnson outside his Anaheim apartment and shot him in the head, the court was reportedly told.

    Lee was convicted of first- degree murder and sentenced to life without parole in 2005 while a third defendant, James Chung, was serving a life term without parole.

    Mataele’s case occurred about two months after another Tongan man in Utah was convicted of murdering University of Nevada, Reno Police Officer George Sullivan in 1997.

    In that case a jury had sentenced Siaosi Vanisi to die for the crime.

    As Kaniva News reported earlier this week, Vanisi’s case was currently being reviewed by a court.


    1. Na’e fai ha tatali ki ha tu’utu’uni ‘a ha fakamaau fetalale pe ‘oku fakakonisitūtone ko ā pe ‘ikai hono ngāue’aki e founga tāmate’i fakalao ‘o ha tangata ‘i Kalefōnia ‘i ‘Amelika.

      Na’e tui e kau ‘analaisó ‘e fakafoki mai ‘e he tu’utu’uni ko iá ‘a e tautea maté ki he siteití ni.

      Na’e ‘ikai ko ha ongoongo lelei ‘eni ki he tangata Tonga ta’u 45 ko Tupoutoe Mataele na’á ne tatali ki he hoko atu ‘a ha tu’utu’uni ‘a e fakamaau’anga ki ha ‘aho ke fakahoko ai ‘a hono tamate’i ia ‘aki hano huhu fakapoongi.

      Na’e fe’unga mo ha kau pōpula ‘e mei toko 750 kuo nau ‘i he Laine Maté ‘i he siteiti ‘o ‘Amelika ko ‘eni talu mei hono fakahoko ‘o e tāmate fakalao fakamuimui ‘i Sānuali 2006.

      Na’e tu’u leva mei ai ‘a e tautea maté kae ‘oua kuo monomono ha palopalema ‘i he founga huhú mo hono ako’i ‘o e kau ngāué.

      Na’e kamata ‘a e ta’ofi ko ‘eni hili ia ha pehē ‘e ha fakamaau fakavahe ko e founga ne ngāue’akí na’e fakatupu ‘e ia ha faingata’a lahi ‘i he ‘ikai fai fakalelei e huhu pea langa lahi ‘o maumau ai e e ngaahi makatu’unga fakkonisitūtoné.

      Na’e poupou’i foki ‘e he fakamaau’anga lahi ‘o e siteiti ni e lao fo’oú mo tu’utu’uni ko e ta’u ‘e nima ko ia na’e fiema’u ki ha tu’utu’uni ki ha tangi ko e tu’utu’uni faka’ōfisi pe ia ko ia ai ne ‘ikai ke pau ia ko ha tu’utu’uni fakalao.

      Ne tui ai heni ha ni’ihi ne nau poupou ke fakafoki mai ‘a e lao tāmate ‘e lava ke toe fakafoki mai ia ki Kalefōnia ‘i ha ngaahi lau māhina pe.

      Ko Mataele, ‘a ia ne ne tautapa foki ki he fakamaau ke meesi ma’ana he taimi ne fakahoko ai hono tu’utu’uni tauteá na’e ‘i he ‘otu ki he mate koe’uhī ko ‘ene tāmate’i mo feinga tāmate he ta’u ‘e 20 kuohili ‘i ha keisi ne pehē ‘e he talatalaaki ne tupu mei ha kē fakakaungāme’a ‘i ha fa’ufa’u ke kaiha’asi ha ‘aitenititī.

      Na’e fakahalaia’i ‘a Mataele ki he’ene fana’i ‘a Danell Johnson ‘i Nōvema ‘aho 12, 1997 mo e feinga ke fakapoongi ‘a John Matsubayashi ‘a ia ko e toko taha ne loki taha mo Johnson.


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