[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----OHIO, OKLA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jul 19 11:12:33 CDT 2004
OHIO----new death sentence
Jury recommends death penalty in rape, murder of 12-year-old girl
In Akron, a jury has recommended that Donald Lavell Craig be put to death
for the 1996 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl.
Summit Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove will sentence Craig, 44, on
Wednesday for killing Roseanna Davenport. The judge can uphold the
recommendation or lower it to a life sentence.
The jury's recommendation Friday came after nearly 8 hours of
deliberations over 2 days. It was received with no outward emotion from
In contrast, tears, smiles and hugs flowed from the family of the murdered
girl. Jerry Davenport, the girl's father; her grandmother, Donna Dove; and
her cousin, Tonya Trent, all said they hoped and prayed that Craig would
be sentenced to death.
Afterward, they said they intend to witness the execution, whenever it
Craig has maintained that the DNA evidence connecting him to the rape and
murder was either intentionally or accidentally switched.
He was a suspect in the case immediately after the body was found in March
1996 in a vacant Akron house home just doors from his home. DNA tests back
then proved inconclusive.
But tests performed in 2002 linked Craig to semen taken from the girl's
body and underwear.
Prosecutors contend he abducted and raped her and then strangled her to
prevent her from reporting the crime.
In an interview from the Summit County Jail hours after the jury's death
sentence recommendation, Craig told the Akron Beacon Journal he expected
the jury's decision. He said appealing his case will be easier from death
row, where he said inmates are afforded better access to law books and are
given better attorneys.
"Everybody who knows me knows I'm not capable of such a crime," he said.
(source: Associated Press)
Clemency For Death Row Inmate In Governor's Hands
Unless Ohio Governor Bob Taft grants him last minute clemency, this
weekend will be the last for Scott Mink, of Union, Ohio.
Mink, 36-years old, is scheduled to be executed Tuesday.
Mink plead guilty in 2001 for beating his parents to death with a claw
hammer after they hid his car keys to prevent him from going out to buy
Last week, the Ohio Parole Board voted unanimously to recommend that
Governor Taft deny clemency.
(source: WCPO News)
Death Row inmate pins freedom hopes on novel brain test
A convicted murderer facing a death sentence in America hopes that a new
forensic science technique called "brain fingerprinting" which tracks
human memories will rescue him from the executioner.
Jimmy Ray Slaughter was convicted in Oklahoma of the 1991 murders of his
ex-girlfriend and their baby daughter, and sentenced to die by lethal
injection. He always said he was innocent but his appeals procedure
against the death sentence was running out when his lawyer heard about the
technique. The tests showed that Slaughter did not commit the murders and
an appeals court is expected to make a decision soon on whether to set him
Brain fingerprinting is supposed to assess the truthfulness of what a
suspected criminal is saying by monitoring electrical "flashes" in the
part of the brain associated with memory. The suspect is given or shown
words, images or objects of the crime scene or a weapon that only the
police or the person who committed the crime would know about. An
involuntary electrical signal in the brain - known as a P300 wave -
registers recognition. It happens so fast, within 300 milliseconds, that
it is deemed impossible to fake a response.
The technique has already been accepted as valid by courts in some US
states and is being considered for use by the FBI and CIA which have been
impressed by tests.
Its inventor, Dr Lawrence Farwell, a neuroscientist from Seattle,
explained: "We were able to tell with a 100 % accuracy who was an FBI
agent and who was not by flashing details on a screen that only agents
would know and measuring their brain responses to see if they recognised
those or not."
The conventional lie detector test, the Polygraph, invented in 1921, has
never been accepted by courts. It monitors signs of anxiety like sweat,
pulse rate and blood pressure but it has been shown that some people can
fake reactions to fool it.
Dr Farwell said his technique does not depend on subjective factors. "It
has nothing to do with whether a person is anxious or not and, in fact,
with whether they are lying or not. It simply detects in a scientific,
objective manner whether certain information is stored in a person's
brain." Dr Farwell said his apparatus has already been used to clear one
convicted murderer. The method has also led to the conviction of a murder
suspect, JB Grinder.
Dr Farwell said: "Brain fingerprinting showed that the record in his brain
matched the crime scene, he knew the salient details about the crime."
Grinder confessed to that murder and those of 3 other young women and is
now serving a life sentence.
(source: The Independent)
More information about the DeathPenalty