Two Monmouth Murder Convictions Upheld
The man convicted of killing an Asbury Park youngster, and the man found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Neptune, will continue their life sentences based on rulings by the United States District Court in Trenton.
Appeals by David Cooper, 42, and Robert Giordano, 47, were rejected in the past week, according to the office of Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.
Cooper is serving a life sentence for the 1993 kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of a six-year-old in Asbury. His death sentence was commuted to a life term by then-Governor Jon Corzine on December 16, 1997, the day before the New Jersey Legislature abolished capital punishment.
Cooper argued that he was denied his right to effective representation and denied the right to the representation of his choice. Lower courts rejected his appeal before his federal motion was filed.
Giordano was convicted in 2003 for the killing of Jodi Migilara in 1999. He is serving a life sentence with no parole consideration for 30 years.
Giordano sought to overturn lower-court decisions. The Sixth Amendment was his basis for claiming that he was denied effective counsel when his lawyer failed to build a diminished-capacity defense, and that he was denied an impartial jury because of errors during deliberations. He also used the Sixth Amendment to argue that he was denied the right to confrontation because of improper admission of hearsay evidence.
Giordano also claimed that his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions and his Fourteenth Amendment right to a fair trial were ignored.
District Court Judge Peter Sheridan concurred with previous decisions finding no constitutional infringements against Giordano, say Monmouth prosecutors, remarking in his brief that the conviction was reached "because the evidence...was overwhelming."
Sheridan also tossed a roadblock to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals by denying Giordano a Certificate of Appealability.