Actor Kelsey Grammer has broken his silence after refusing to endorse a killer's bid for freedom from prison, after revealing the man would probably be dead now if it wasn't for a hiccup in Colorado's death penalty laws. The Frasier star testified against proposals to release Freddie Glenn via video conference at his parole hearing on 29 July (14), telling prison officials at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility in Colorado that he has forgiven the convict for abducting, abusing and killing his younger sister Karen in Colorado Springs back in 1975, but could not support his bid for freedom.
Appearing on U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live on Monday (11Aug14), Grammer said, "After he said he was sorry, I said, 'Well, you say you're sorry so I have to accept that, but it's very hard for me to imagine you as a free man.'
"These guys were originally sentenced to death... They were just making really horrible choices and taking a lot of people's lives. My sister was six of seven (victims), that's what the cops told me at the time. They showed her no mercy, they tore her apart and then they stabbed her 42 times, and I don't see a lot of room for mercy in that. I see room for forgiveness and leniency, but leniency within the context of 'You stay in jail, please'."
Glenn was one of three men who tortured and killed Grammer's sister - and they were all initially sentenced to death.
The actor adds, "Jimmy Carter was elected president just after Karen was killed and about a year later, the Supreme Court kicked out all death penalties in the country and asked all states to review their own laws... Two years later, Colorado reinstated the death penalty for extraordinarily vicious crimes...
"My sister begged for her life to these guys... and they still tore her apart."
Parole boardmembers reviewed the case after hearing Grammer's testimony and announced Glenn's request to walk free from his life sentence had been denied on 30 July (14).
Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway is thrilled by the election of Joko Widodo as Indonesia's new leader after learning he's a huge fan of his band. Unlike many global presidents, who enjoy more mainstream music, Widodo has been open about his love for thrash metal acts like Napalm Death, Lamb of God and Slayer.
And Greenway admits he's thrilled to learn that such a powerful force is a fan.
He tells Billboard.com, "I heard about it (election) a few months ago and kind of laughed it off. If you know anything about Napalm Death, you know we are very critical about the mechanisms (of politics)... It was really a long shot that he was going to get anywhere near (the election), so I don't think anybody really took it too seriously. He was very much an outsider and then, all of a sudden, he was getting close and they were saying he was going to win. It's quite curious."
Greenway is hoping Indonesia's new President becomes a man of his promises, and cleans up corruption and human rights issues in his country.
The rocker adds, "It seems as if, with all due respect, there's a lot to deal with in Indonesia. The human rights issues are quite a big one there... Also, of course, (there are) big ecological issues with the deforestation... You do not have to scratch the surface to see that there was some fairly sort of sinister things going on. One thing he's got to tackle, in my personal opinion, is striking the death penalty. I would direct that at any country aspiring to make a more humane place for everybody.
"If he can really get to grips with that, and push aside some of the more dictatorial elements of politics over there, I think he'll be one of the first politicians that I've really felt quite warm to, so we'll see."
The Napalm Death frontman is looking forward to returning to Indonesia after discovering his band is one of the most popular acts there: "Napalm Death has been to Indonesia a few times. We were actually the first of this kind of genre of music (to go there), and the people were fantastic, they were brilliant.
"It was really strange because, at the time, there were people like Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan who played right before us, and we actually drew twice as many people as them, which goes to show people's music agendas (there) are a little bit different. It was fantastic, the people who were there went out on a limb to make us feel welcome. We don't ask for much, but they really tried their best and it was a really good gig. It was the first time I left a gig in a speedboat."
Sharon Osbourne has urged her fans to boycott the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles to protest ownership by the Sultan of Brunei and his homosexual death-penalty policy. A small group of gay rights activists staged a demonstration outside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday (26Apr14) and now the group has landed a big celebrity backer in Ozzy Osbourne's wife.
In a tweet on Monday (28Apr14), Osbourne wrote, "Please join me in BOYCOTTING @BevHillsHotel, @HotelBelAir and all @DC_LuxuryHotels."
The protest comes after a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political advocacy group changed plans to hold a conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel due to the Sultan of Brunei affiliation, and on 22 April (14), designers Brian Atwood and Peter Som also encouraged their Instagram followers not to stay at Dorchester hotels.
Actress Beth Grant, who was among the protesters outside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday, told The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood spends a lot of money at the Beverly Hills Hotel and I don't want it to end up in the hands of that person."
Last year (13), Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the leader of the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei, upset gay groups around the world by unveiling anti-gay legislation, which included the stoning to death of Muslims caught in the act of homosexuality. The new law has been postponed.
Accused gunman James Holmes will stand trial for the 2012 Colorado movie theatre massacre on 14 October (14). The 26-year-old suspect was slapped with a total of 166 crimes, including 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 of attempted murder, after allegedly opening fire in an Aurora cinema shortly before a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in July, 2012.
He is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in the incident.
Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and on Thursday (27Feb14), Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour set a date for the trial proceedings to begin.
More than 6,000 prospective jurors will be called for duty, one of the largest jury calls in U.S. history, but the screening process could take months, meaning the case may not actually begin until 2015, according to the Denver Post.
Holmes could face the death penalty if convicted.
Rocker/filmmaker Rob Zombie has teamed up with screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis to develop a TV show about cult leader Charles Manson. The American Psycho writer will pen the script for the mini-series, which Zombie will direct.
The show is in the early stages of development, but it will reportedly chronicle the events leading up to the night of the infamous murders in 1969, when seven people, including actress Sharon Tate, were brutally murdered by Manson's followers.
Zombie tells Variety.com, "I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realised that we shared the same vision for this epic madness."
In 1971, Manson was sentenced to death for his role in masterminding the murders, but his sentence was changed to life behind bars when California state legislators outlawed the death penalty. He is currently serving out his term at the Corcoran State Prison.
This isn't the first Manson project to be developed - TV movie Helter Skelter, based on the book by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry, hit the small screen in 1976, and the documentary film The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter, which explored the murders and the cult leader's life, was released in 2009.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, will face a possible death penalty if he is convicted. Announcing his decision on Thursday (30Jan14), U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says, "The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this." His statement.comes more than nine months after the twin bombings were allegedly carried out by the 20-year-old defendant and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a police shoot-out days after the shocking incident.
The Hives frontman Pelle Almqvist has issued a public apology to fans in Boston, Massachusetts after "unintentionally" dedicating a song about "stuff blowing up" to the city, eight months after the Boston Marathon bombings. The Swedish rockers hit the stage at the local TD Garden as the supporting act for pop star Pink on Thursday night (05Dec13), but singer Almqvist left concert-goers stunned when he declared he was performing the track Tick Tick Boom in their honour.
He announced, "This song's for everyone in Boston. It's about stuff blowing up."
Shocked fans immediately took to social networking websites like Twitter.com to voice their disgust, and now Almqvist has issued a statement, insisting he didn't mean to cause offence.
In a message posted on the band's Facebook.com page on Friday (06Dec13), he writes, "About last night: I wanted to dedicate a song to the Boston crowd because they had been so great throughout the show, and unfortunately Tick Tick Boom was the next song in the set.
"The tragic Boston Marathon bombing never once crossed my mind while on stage, and of course it should have. My most sincere apologies to the people of Boston for this unintentional but serious mistake."
Three people were killed and over 250 were injured when brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev allegedly planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the annual race in Massachusetts on 15 April (13).
Tamerlan was shot dead during a stand-off with police following a massive three-day manhunt, while 20-year-old Dzhokhar is currently in custody. He faces a total of 30 counts, including bombing a place of public use and malicious destruction of property resulting in death and conspiracy. A number of the charges carry punishments of life imprisonment or the death penalty.
He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Officials at a federal appeals court have upheld a ruling to forcibly medicate the incarcerated ex-boyfriend of rapper Lil' Kim so he can competently stand trial for the murders of six people. Damion Hardy, who suffers from schizophrenia, was arrested in 2004 on suspicion of leading a violent drug gang which was allegedly responsible for a series of slayings in Brooklyn, New York.
Earlier this year (13), a Brooklyn judge gave permission for authorities to administer anti-psychotic drugs to Hardy so his case could proceed to trial.
His lawyer appealed the decision, but a three-judge panel dismissed the challenge in court this week (begs11Nov13), and agreed medication was necessary as Hardy had also been attacking guards and inmates in prison, reports the New York Daily News.
The 39 year old, who previously shared a home with Lil' Kim in New Jersey, faces the death penalty if convicted of the murder charges.
Cirque Du Soleil theatre producers have temporarily removed a daring stunt from their Zarkana show in Las Vegas after an acrobat was injured during a weekend (01-03Nov13) performance. A male artist has hospitalised on Friday (01Nov13) after slipping and falling from the Wheel of Death, which features two people performing inside a pair of spinning wheels which rotate high above the stage at the Aria Resort and Casino.
He is in a stable condition and is expected to be discharged this week (begs04Nov13), but the accident has prompted Zarkana officials to take the Wheel of Death out of the show.
The acrobat's fall was the latest headline-grabbing incident to involve the famed Cirque du Soleil circus troupe - performer Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died from multiple blunt force trauma after falling 90 feet (27.4 metres) during a Ka performance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July (13). Coroners ruled her death an accident, but last week (31Oct13), Nevada's health and safety chiefs fined company bosses, proposing they pay more than $25,000 (£15,600), while suggesting a $7,000 (£4,670) penalty for executives at the MGM Grand hotel.
Cirque du Soleil producers have vowed to fight the fines.
Health and safety officials in Nevada have fined world famous circus troupe Cirque Du Soleil over the death of an acrobat earlier this year (13). Performer Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died from multiple blunt force trauma after falling 90 feet (27.4 metres) during a Ka performance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July (13).
The death was ruled an accident by the coroner's office, but Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration experts cited Cirque du Soleil on six counts.
They have accused bosses of the company of failing to provide adequate training for the acrobat and of not having a fall protection plan.
Officials have proposed a fine of more than $25,000 (£15,600), while suggesting a $7,000 (£4,666) penalty for the MGM Grand hotel.
Cirque du Soleil bosses have now vowed to fight the fines. Spokesperson Renee-Claude Menard says, "Cirque du Soleil completed an exhaustive review of its safety policies and procedures in the wake of the tragic accident involving Sarah.
"We have redoubled our efforts to ensure the overall diligence and safety of our performers and crew."
Strong-willed psychologist Colleen Dewhurst tries to rehabilitate a member of a street gang (David Labiosa, in his TV debut) who has been found guilty of the murder of two other teenagers in a playground rumble.