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Randy Guzek Motions Hearing Under Way In Bend


A 23-year-old local murder case is front and center once again, as the man convicted of brutally slaying a Terrebonne couple was back in a Bend courtroom Monday.

Randy Lee Guzek has been given the death penalty three times for killing Rod and Lois Houser, but each time it’s been overturned.

Now, a 3-day motions hearing is under way, prior to his fourth death penalty trial.

Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom Monday, at the order of visiting Lane County Judge Jack Billings.

Guzek was transported from the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, and was escorted in the courtroom wearing a blue jumpsuit and handcuffs.Six guards were present, and Billings allowed the handcuffs to be removed, given the length of his court appearance.

Three hours of testimony were heard Monday from Dr. Wanda Foglia, a nationally recognizedexpert in criminology whosebackground includes degrees in psychology, law and criminology.

According to research she’s involved in, the “Capital Jury Project,’ seven legal issues were found, in terms of how jurors make decisions in death penalty cases.

The primary issue: Half ofjurors nationally make premature punishment decision-making, meaning they make up their minds before they’ve heard everything, including sentencing guidelines and alternatives.

The essence of Foglia’s message:Jurors should be screened with specific (and specifically -worded)questions, in order to determine they’re equally dispositioned to give a death penalty sentence as they are life without parole.

Guzek is scheduled for his fourth death penalty trial in May, although his lawyers are asking it be moved outside Deschutes County.

As of April 2009, just Guzek’s legal fees have cost taxpayers $2.2 million.He is now Oregon’s most expensive state prisoner.

One of the Housers’daughters was present in court Monday, along with her husband.

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