In brief: Governor pardons executed man
Denver – A mentally disabled man executed more than 70 years ago has been pardoned in Colorado.
Outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter on Friday awarded a posthumous pardon to 23-year-old Joe Arridy, who was executed in 1939 by lethal gas after being convicted of killing a Pueblo girl with a hatchet.
Ritter said an overwhelming amount of evidence suggests Arridy didn’t commit the crime.
He had an IQ of 46 – too low to be considered for the death penalty today. Arridy appears to have given a coerced confession and was likely not in Pueblo when the 15-year-old girl was killed.
Ritter is a former prosecutor who leaves office Tuesday. He called the Arridy case a “tragic conviction.”
It’s the first time a Colorado governor has pardoned someone who has been executed.
Hillside homes made off-limits
San Clemente, Calif. – The land behind six hillside homes overlooking a Southern California golf course has given way and authorities on Friday red-tagged four of them, prohibiting residents from entering.
The slide was within about 10 feet of the homes in the city in southern Orange County, so “there could be some more failures out there” that could affect the structures, said City Engineer Bill Cameron, who decided to tag the homes after a geologist examined the hillside.
The slide opened a 25- to 50-foot vertical drop onto the golf course below, Cameron said.
Southern California received heavy rain in December and early this month, leaving some areas susceptible to slides. The coastal bluffs and canyons of southern Orange County are commonly threatened by moving earth.