Prosecutors now say they won't seek a death sentence for Lacey Mark Sivak, who was one of the longest occupants of Idaho's Death Row after being sentenced to death in 1981 for the murder of Dixie Wilson; his sentence was reversed on appeal in 2011, and he's up for re-sentencing this fall. The Associated Press reports that Ada County prosecutors have decided to ask for a fixed life term in prison, after consulting with relatives of the victim, then-30-year-old Dixie Wilson.
“They've waited 30 years for this to end, and now they have the prospect of having to wait another 20 years, because you know how long it takes to get an execution in the 9th Circuit,” Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Bourne told the AP. “They didn't want to wait. They decided they needed closure. So, we are asking the judge for a fixed life sentence.” Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone; Idaho currently has 12 people on Death Row, 11 men and one woman.
Idaho prosecutor won't seek death again for Sivak
By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho prosecutor said Wednesday he won't seek the death penalty when Lacey Mark Sivak is resentenced this fall.
Sivak was sentenced to death for the murder of 30-year-old Dixie Wilson at a gas station in 1981, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his sentence in 2011 after finding the state allowed a jailhouse informant to lie on the witness stand.
Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Bourne said he decided against seeking another death sentence after talking to Wilson's three children and former husband. The kids, who were all between the ages of 9 and 14 when Wilson died, are now in their 40s, Bourne said. Wilson's husband at the time of her death is now in his mid-70s.
“They've waited 30 years for this to end, and now they have the prospect of having to wait another 20 years, because you know how long it takes to get an execution in the 9th Circuit,” Bourne said. “They didn't want to wait. They decided they needed closure. So, we are asking the judge for a fixed life sentence.”
Though the family is still heartbroken over Wilson's murder, they “recognize the reality of this … and that's what's driving the decision,” Bourne said.
At Sivak's original trial, prosecutors said Sivak and fellow defendant Randall Bainbridge both killed Wilson — Sivak, because he believed Wilson had gotten him fired from the Baird Oil gas station in Garden City, and Bainbridge because he was sexually motivated.
The two men were tried separately and both were convicted, but only Sivak was sentenced to death. Bainbridge was given life in prison. In Sivak's trial, the only direct evidence establishing that he — and not Bainbridge — committed the murder came from Bainbridge's unsworn statement during a police interrogation and from two jailhouse informants, according to the appellate court's ruling.
But one of the jailhouse informants acknowledged on the stand that he was a habitual liar, and the other lied about his motives for testifying, saying he didn't expect to get preferential treatment from the state on his own criminal cases.
Sivak's attorney, Rob Chastain, didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.