Stockton Record — State prisoner John Joseph Lydon was sentenced to death Thursday for the murder of his cellmate at Tracy's Deuel Vocational Institution, the second time he had killed an inmate in prison.
Lydon, 39, is the first person condemned to death in San Joaquin County since September 2008, when serial rapist and murderer William Jennings Choyce was sentenced to death.
Lydon, who had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, was convicted of first-degree murder and found sane in the 2010 strangling of Jonathan Guy Alexander, who had been imprisoned on a child sex conviction.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau said his office sought capital punishment because Lydon murdered more than once. And to not pursue death, he said, would put correctional officers at risk.
"The jury did a really conscientious job," he said. "It's been a job for the people and a job demanded by the people."
But whether his execution will actually be carried out remains a question.
Lydon will join about 725 other death row inmates awaiting their punishment in California. His sentence was issued seven years to the day after California halted capital punishment.
A federal judge blocked the execution of Stockton rapist and murderer Michael Morales on Feb. 21, 2006. continue reading...