CA: California sex offender gets life for killing 4 women

Source: apnews.com 12/16/22

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California sex offender who with his best friend kidnapped, raped and killed four women, some of them while wearing a GPS tracker, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole.

Franc Cano, 36, entered murder pleas in Orange County and was immediately sentenced.

Cano, who has been in custody since 2014, entered the pleas after county District Attorney Todd Spitzer took a potential death penalty off the table, the DA’s office said in a statement.

“Pursuing the death penalty was not an appropriate punishment based on the entire reassessment of the case,” said Spitzer, who called Cano a monster. “I am thankful I met with each victim and they concur with my decision.”

He didn’t explain further.

Cano’s attorney, Chuck Hasse, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Cano and another convicted sex offender, Steven Gordon, were indicted in 2014 after data from GPS monitors they wore because of previous separate sex crimes tied them to 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, whose naked body was discovered on the conveyor belt at an Anaheim recycling facility that same year.

Gordon, 53, acted as his own attorney at trial and said he deserved the death penalty, although he contended that Cano strangled the women. He was convicted by a jury in 2016 and sentenced to death.

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When registrants like these guys commit additional offenses it makes it harder to achieve justice for registrants, and we hear the old “if this new law saves just one person it is worth it” argument more.

Speaking as a registrant to fellow registrants, if you are thinking of doing anything at all illegal and think you won’t get caught, remember it’s not just about you. What we do affects a million other registrants across the US. This article has spread like wildfire across the nation and even overseas.

What I’m getting from this story is that neither the registry nor the tracker did anything to prevent something this guy wanted to do.

This is tragic. 4 women, robbed of their chance at life and happiness. Taken at such young ages, and in such a barbarous way. This is tragic, and my heart breaks for these women, their families and friends. I lost a dear friend to murder, and even decades later, it still hurts. A daughter, a sister…too horrible to contemplate.

Sometimes I can understand America’s desire for revenge. Sometimes I can understand the support for the registry. Sometimes, after stories like these, it all makes sense. That is, until I set my emotions aside and think about it rationally. When I think like that, all I can think is how badly we failed these women. How badly we have failed so many others before them. How many more we will fail in the future in the pursuit of revenge for those that we have already failed.

The registry, even with their beloved GPS devices, did nothing to protect these women. The people of this State, their LEOs, their website, all of their petty vindictiveness did nothing to keep these poor women from their tragic ends. Making the million other PFRs, their families and loved ones suffer for what these men did, will not keep anyone safe. The registry experiment is a failure, and now only exists to exact vengeance for the failures it allows.

With men such as these I don’t know what could be done. Who knew that these men would switch from assaulting child family members, presumably in a nonviolent fashion, to this? How could anyone predict that? Who knew one of these men would switch from assaulting a boy, to raping and murdering adult women? Impossible to see that. Also, who could imagine these two finding each other, and partnering up? How do you go from friend to…murder partner?

This tragedy will be used as an excuse for more revenge. That pursuit will lead to even more failures. America will invariably choose to fail in ways they like, rather than succeed in ways they don’t. The means will, as always, justify the ends. The costs of these failures seems to do nothing but to encourage Americans to embrace the policies and practices that do nothing but produce more failure.

Failing in ways we like, so we don’t have to succeed in ways we hate… regardless of the cost. That is also tragic.

Once again the registry predicts nothing and protects no one

I’m not even going to say it…….
But what I will say is this will bring more heat and more retroactive laws on those of us who are trying to live a productive life.
Count on it.

I feel like I’m at a pro-registry website when I see these articles.

How nuts is it both the database driven registry & ankle monitor did little [nothing] to prevent attacks in these cases. The people themselves generally believe otherwise. Whatever sells.

I remember when the news originally broke, these guys were on the run. At that time, considering their RC status, the argument was how registries and trackers do nothing to protect the public. But the RC status wasn’t what caused the outrage. They were on parole with a GPS. The main issues were the failure for parole officers to adequately supervise them and how useless GPS trackers were. Cano and Gordon simply cut them off and went on their crime spree. The authorities then admitted that the GPS units do not track in real time, thus angering the public.

How can we forget these 2 guys the DA brought them up in every 290 FTR case that hit the courts for years

This is why we need to comment where we can on media channels that proliferate these stories and say ‘Wow! The registry is a failure! It did NOT protect those women and prevent those crimes! The registry is useless and an utter failure!!’

All good comments here, I agree that the registry and monitors don’t stop future crimes from happening. If anything, the desperation that these leashes place on people may actually drive some less emotionally balanced people deeper into the abyss of evil behavior.

Think of it: a man on the sex offender registry. It will drive most potential love interests away. The remaining few who might otherwise give a man a chance might likely be deterred by the GPS bracelet. It’s just too much to ask, some would rationalize. Now live in that state long enough, with countless rejections and no other emotional support like a church or family and you could actually be removing barriers to reoffense.

As advocates have been saying all along, reinforcing the human dignity of all people does wonders to moving people away from that cliff. Give them chances to have healthy and safe adult relationships goes even further. Giving them a seat in the community and a voice if they continue to invest in their character and rehabilitation are also essential. The more layers of support, and POSITIVE reinforcing accountability, the better an individual will do, if they are committed to living a healthy, productive and changed life.

“Despite being legally prohibited from being associated with each other due to their registered sex offender status, Cano and Gordon were transients who camped in the back of a paint and body shop in Anaheim,” Spitzer’s office said.

These men only met and forged a bond because of the specific restrictions parolees and probationers convicted of sex crimes face. Forcing people into living in Skid Row only produces more vicious criminals. I believe departments of corrections know this, but legislators don’t care.

As others have commented, we all know that the registry would not have and did not prevent these two pieces of scum in carrying out their offenses. There are people out there that will harm others as long as they are allowed to participate in society.
The Courts gave these two an opportunity to change their lives by allowing them to be out of prison, but instead they took this to mean they can continue their harmful ways. I hope the families harmed will be able to move past this, knowing those that harmed them will never be allowed to do this to others.

What’s often notable about this kind of coverage is the framing: “Sex offender gets life for killing 4 women.”

If it were virtually any other kind of crime, including almost any other crime of violence, the framing would be more likely to be something like “California man sentenced to life in prison for murder of 4 women” and then explained in the article how he had a previous criminal record, in this case sexual offenses, just as one might mention that another such multiple murderer had a previous conviction for armed robbery. It could of course also be mentioned that victims were raped before they were killed, and even to explore the possible relevance of his background to his motivations etc.

But instead, this framing treats “sex offenders” as an entirely separate category of person (or un-person) and insinuates, intentionally or not, that being in this category is somehow especially pertinent. “Ah, well it makes more sense that a sex offender did such a thing.”

Of course, in any particular case, the profile – including offense history – of the convicted is indeed pertinent to that particular case, as is surely true here. But framings like this story cast things not merely as the specific details of a horrible murder case, of an acute case of the terrible things humans are capable of doing to one another, but as indicating something more general about an entire other category of being, the “sex offender.”

Really terrible

The part I don’t understand is where the article says “they were legally prohibited from being associated with each other due to their registered sex offender status.” Is it because those two were probationers? Or is there something else I don’t know about California law? Are we prohibited from associating with one another on this forum?

Again the registry kept zero safe , and the fact is that the registry may have driven these guys into madness , with the reality of no hope but to be marked as a PFR for life , it is horrible what they did , but the registry may have been part of the problem this time . the people that push for the registry are criminals too and they should wear it just like the guys that did the crime , those that don’t think so should be on the registry and thrown in the slums , and just see what they think of it when they have thugs threaten them or jumped and no one to help them , many PFR’s and family are murdered , or their children bullied in school , screw registry pushers I think its funny when they are shocked by their own cruelty and lack of responsibility , but they never look at their possible unintended result, and openly admit intended cruelty for their pleasure and entertainment , I don’t see how these registry nuts are any different than Nero