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Whittier Family Fights For 3rd Time To Get A Rapist-Killer The Death Penalty

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WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) —  Thirty years ago, Kimberly Gonzales was raped and murdered — beaten with a beer bottle and stabbed to death.

Don’t tell her family time heals all wounds.

They want Richard Raymond Ramirez, now 53, to get the death penalty. He’s been in prison since 1983.

KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez spoke to family members who said justice will not be served unless Ramirez is put to death for the rape and murder.

Ramirez was tried three times. All three juries found him guilty. But none of the juries has been able to agree on a sentence. The first time the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and couldn’t reach a unanimous decision.

A second jury convicted him, but he asked for an appeal and his conviction was overturned on a technicality.

The last jury, just this past year, couldn’t agree whether Ramirez should get the death penalty or life behind bars.

The family visited Gonzales’ grave site Thursday.

“I want to yell out, I want to scream,” said the victim’s sister Yvette Mejia. “I want to tell all these jurors how foolish they were. How very foolish.”

“We are still pushing for the death penalty,” said Alicia Valdez, another one of Gonzales’ sisters. “So is the district attorney. We’re all in agreement that that is what he should get. He deserves that.”

The family must wait for another jury to be impaneled for another penalty phase.

The victim’s mom, Helen Hernandez, says all of these trials weigh on the family, and it gets no easier to relieve the horrific way in which Kimberly died.

“It’s horrible to see your child that way,” said Hernandez. “Very, very, very horrible.”

Fernandez reports that the judge handling the case has a very busy docket and that the earliest this case’s penalty phase can be heard is early in 2014.

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