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Hirschfield Sentenced To Death Twice For Davis “Sweetheart Murders”

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A jury recommended the death penalty for Richard Hirschfield Dec. 6.


When voters went into the booths to reaffirm California as a death penalty state this November, at least two of them were thinking specifically of Richard Hirschfield- the parents of his victims.

“Because I did feel it was appropriate for this very evil man,” said Kate Riggins, whose son John was killed by Hirschfield in 1980.

Today, Hirschfield was condemned to die twice over for brutal slayings of 18-year-old Riggins and his sweetheart Sabrina Gonsalves.

The sentence brings to an end a 32-year old case that saw false leads, failed trials, and a once cold case come hot again with DNA evidence.

Is death a penalty Riggins’ parents wanted?

“Well, he will be much more restricted than it would be if it was life without parole,” said Richard Riggins, John’s father.

At 63, Hirschfield will die of natural causes before ever getting a lethal injection. An execution order in California takes decades to carry-out, and Hirschfield’s defense attorney is already planning her next move.

“Well, we have serious questions about the verdict in light of the fact that the jury was not able to hear a lot of the evidence,” said Linda Parisi.

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