[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----TEXAS, OHIO, S.C., MO.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Jul 10 01:16:32 CDT 2004
Released death row inmate speaks against death penalty
A death row inmate is free after serving 17 years for a crime he didn't
commit and he's sharing his experience with the country.
Thursday, Juan Melendez, 51, spoke to a group of people at the University
of the Incarnate Word.
He hopes to spread the message the death penalty is wrong.
"It's wrong to kill on both sides, the criminals, it's wrong when they
kill and it's also very wrong when the government kills because it's
sending the wrong message," Melendez said. "In the situation of mine, the
key is to never lose hope and try to learn how to forgive."
Melendez was convicted of a Florida murder in the1980s and was released
from prison in 2002.
He is the 99th person released from death row in the United States.
(source: source: News 9 San Antonio)
Scott Mink Declines Possible Delay In Death Sentence
A convicted Miami Valley murderer said he still wants to be executed for
killing his parents. Scott Mink had one last chance Friday to ask the
state parole board to delay his death sentence, but he wants to go forward
with his death sentence.
Mink admitted to killing his parents in Union nearly 4 years ago. In
Columbus Friday, Mink's attorney and prosecutors presented their case to
the state parole board.
When Mink turned himself in to police nearly four years ago, he admitted
to killing his parents, Sheila and William Mink, inside their home.
Investigators said it was one of the most brutal slayings they have ever
Before Mink can be executed, the state parole board must review the case
one last time. The prosecution described the murders in great detail,
saying Mink began beating his parents with a hammer as they laid in bed.
Assistant Montgomery County Prosecutor Dan Brandt said Mink was upset that
his parents had hidden his car keys in an effort to prevent him from
leaving to buy crack cocaine.
The parole board will make a recommendation to Gov. Bob Taft next week. If
the board and the governor allow the execution to go forward, Mink will
die on July 20 for this crime.
The execution will be the shortest amount of time in modern history for a
convicted Ohio killer to go from conviction to execution.
(source: WHIO-TV News)
Convicted Child Killer's Execution Postponed--Jamie Wilson Is On Death Row
For Killing 2 Greenwood Children
A man convicted of killing 2 Greenwood elementary students 16 years ago
has had his execution postponed.
The state Supreme Court has ordered a hearing to see if 35-year-old Jamie
Wilson is competant to be put to death for killing the 8-year-old girls.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month had refused to stop the execution. But
the state Supreme Court decided to order a competency hearing before
setting an execution date.
No date has been set for that hearing, but it's expected to be several
Wilson's mental state has been an issue ever since the 19-year-old Wilson
killed the girls and injured 7 other students and 2 teachers at Oakland
(source: Associated Press)
Appeals court rejects Larry Rice bid to videotape executions
A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the state's right to ban
videotaping inside Missouri's execution chamber, ending the Rev. Larry
Rice's effort to televise executions.
Rice, a St. Louis-based advocate for the poor and an outspoken critic of
the death penalty, and his New Life Evangelistic Center operate TV
stations in Jefferson City and St. Louis, along with 7 other low-power
stations in Missouri and Arkansas. He believes televising executions would
convince people that the death penalty is wrong.
Rice argued that the Missouri Department of Corrections' ban on cameras in
the execution chamber violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment
rights of public access.
But a three-judge panel of the 8th District U.S. Court of Appeals sided
with an earlier district court ruling allowing the Corrections Department
to keep still and video cameras, as well as audio recorders, out of the
"The ban on videotaping does not prevent New Life from disseminating to
the public any information gained from attending the execution," Judge
Pasco Bowman wrote.
Rice called the ruling disappointing, but said he will not appeal to the
He noted that one of the reasons executions were reintroduced in Missouri
in 1989 was to help deter murder and other serious crimes. Yet they take
place at the secluded Potosi Correctional Center 70 miles southwest of St.
Louis, always in the early morning hours, away from camera view.
"How is it a deterrent for further murders if it's done at 12:01 a.m. way
back in the hills of Potosi, Missouri?" Rice asked. "The people have a
right to see it.
"We don't want the circus atmospheres of the 1800s when a hanging would
take place. But you have the other extreme where it's out of sight, out of
A spokesman for the Corrections Department did not return a phone call
Attorney General Jay Nixon said, "There's no First Amendment right to
videotape anything in a prison. The security of an institution is
Rice initially sought to videotape the execution of Daniel Basile, who was
put to death in August 2002 for the contract-for-hire murder of Elizabeth
DeCaro near St. Louis. Basile pledged his innocence to the end.
Corrections Department policy allows members of the media and other
witnesses to observe the lethal injection process. Notebooks and pens are
allowed in the viewing area, but cameras and tape recorders are not.
The district court conceded the policy inhibited some right to access, but
said it was reasonable in light of concerns related to safety and
(source: Associated Press)
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