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  • Adult Time for Adult Crime: Eduardo Lopez

    On November 9th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences. In preparation for oral arguments, JLWOP: Faces & Cases will be an on-going series on The Foundry that will tell real stories about juvenile offenders who are currently serving LWOP sentences.

    Defendant: Eduardo Lopez (17)
    Victims: Roscoe Powers, Robbie Goyette and Officer Tom MacLeod
    Crimes: Two counts, First degree murder & other charges
    Crime date: March 23, 1991 in Nashua, New Hampshire

    In just two hours, Eduardo Lopez shot a man who refused to give him money, tried to rob and then shot and killed another man, and assaulted a police officer with a broom handle when the officer attempted to question him.

    At about 9 p.m. on March 23, 1991, Eduardo Lopez approached Roscoe Powers on Main Street in Nashua, New Hampshire. Lopez aimed his gun at Powers and demanded money. Powers turned and ran, and Lopez gave chase. When Powers slipped on ice, Lopez was able to catch up with him. Lopez then shot Powers in the chest, but Powers managed to stand up and run. Lopez resumed his chase.

    Powers pulled out a knife and turned to confront Lopez, and this time Lopez fled. Though seriously injured, Powers would survive.

    Less than an hour later, Lopez approached Robbie Goyette and a friend as they sat in a car. Lopez stuck his gun inside the car and demanded money. Goyette refused and attempted to drive away. Lopez ran along side the car and shot Goyette in the neck, killing him.

    Later that night, Nashua police officer Tom MacLeod was searching for the shooter. He came upon Lopez, who was walking out of his house bearing a three-foot-long broom handle. Officer MacLeod attempted to stop and question Lopez, who struck him repeatedly with the handle. Ultimately, the officer was able to subdue Lopez and arrest him.

    Eduardo Lopez was convicted after a jury trial and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of Robert Goyette. When he heard the verdict, Lopez overturned the defense table and swore and made obscene gestures at the judge, jury, and media. Bailiffs had to forcibly remove him from the courtroom.

    Lopez also received an additional 4 to 8 years for attacking Officer MacLeod, 7 to 15 ½ years for robbery, and 10 to 20 years for first-degree assault.

    Charles D. Stimson is Senior Legal Fellow and Andrew M. Grossman is Senior Legal Policy Analyst in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Adult Time for Adult Crime: Eduardo Lopez

    1. John from Bushkill, says:

      MR. Lopez should stay in jail for 40 years!

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      It's interesting that such an artificial standard as age is used to defend juvenile offenders, especially those convicted of cold blooded murder. Being able to judge one's own actions is not driven by a person's chronological age. I'm sure there are 15 year olds who demonstrate more wisdom than many adults. Most adolescents instinctively know malicious behavior when they see or act upon it. The one thought young folks typically don't grasp is empathy for victims, especially those victims who are older. Why the Supreme Court is hearing this baffles me. Such hands down malicious and willful criminal acts should adhere to blind justice by rendering judgment on an offenders ability rather than their age.

    3. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      For the naive, this is just another "misunderstood youth" whose background, environmental upbringing, and lack of education contributed to his vicious acts of crime.

      While all this may be true, I say to those who want to rehabilitate this troubled youngster –

      Do you want him living next door to you?

    4. Astonished, NH says:

      "background, environmental upbringing, and lack of education contributed to his vicious acts of crime"… Do you think his parents raised him to commit acts of crime? Do you think that his background made him do it? You have got to be kidding me. A little background information for you Freedom of Speech in Texas, he comes from a wonderful family, all of who are very educated! Some members have their Bachelor degrees while others such as his youngest brother has his Masters degree. All of the children were raised the same way, taught the same values and all brought up in the same environment. You cannot honestly believe that garbage you wrote.

    5. Ellen Goyette says:

      I don't care how well educated lopez's family is, there is no rehabilitating someone who is evil incarnate. what lopez did was deny robert goyette a chance to watch his son grow and live a long life. and unless such a crime has been committed against you you truly have no right to voice any opinions. i am robert goyette;s wife, his son's mother.

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