[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----GA., VA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jul 19 23:47:31 CDT 2004
Execution 'worth it' for family, killer says
A Spalding County man was executed Monday for the 1983 kidnapping, sexual
assault and strangulation of his 2-year-old niece, whom he then dumped in
Eddie Albert Crawford, 57, was pronounced dead at 7:49 p.m., 12 minutes
after prison officials administered a lethal dose of drugs through his
veins and after 20 years on death row, 2 trials and a 7-month delay since
his execution was originally scheduled for December.
Crawford was convicted in 1984 for the murder of 29-month-old Leslie
After the injection, Crawford took a deep breath, gulped and yawned. His
breathing grew progressively shallow before he died.
In his final words, Crawford said, "There hasn't been a time in the last
21 years I wouldn't have laid down my life for little Leslie. I don't
remember anything. But if this will give them peace, it [the lethal
injection] was well worth it."
Another of Leslie's uncles, Sammy English, witnessed the execution on
behalf of the family.
About 25 friends and family of the girl gathered outside the prison, where
they cheered and clapped as a van brought out Crawford's body after the
"I don't think there will ever be final closure," said Peggy English
Ridgeway, a cousin of Leslie's. "I don't think there ever is when you lose
a child. But I do think it eases the pain in their hearts."
About 15 anti-death penalty demonstrators also gathered outside the
Lawyers for Crawford raised last-minute doubts about his guilt. Former
O.J. Simpson lawyer Barry Scheck, co-director of the New York-based
Innocence Project, argued unsuccessfully to have several pieces of
evidence taken from the crime scene tested for the presence of DNA.
But William T. McBroom, the top prosecutor for Spalding County, dismissed
the appeals as a "ploy" to spare a guilty man's life.
Crawford was connected to the girl's death by hair and carpet fibers found
on her body, eyewitness statements and conflicting accounts he gave to
Authorities say Crawford killed Leslie as revenge against her mother --
his sister-in-law -- who had spurned Crawford's sexual advance the night
before the murder.
The Georgia Supreme Court stopped Crawford's execution just hours before
it was to be carried out last December.
Crawford's lawyers were hoping a post-conviction DNA testing law passed by
the Georgia General Assembly in 2003 would allow them to test a baby
blanket, sheets, a pair of trousers and other items taken from the crime
But in June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Crawford case failed to meet
one of the guidelines required by the new law: the possibility that DNA
evidence could change the outcome of a guilty verdict. The court ruled
that other evidence presented at Crawford's trial was enough to secure a
McBroom, the prosecutor, said he has no doubts Crawford killed Leslie.
McBroom said he had DNA tests done recently that matched a blood stain on
a shirt worn by Crawford with DNA taken from Leslie's hair.
Scheck said he was seeking new, more sophisticated DNA tests of the hairs
that are not available in Georgia crime labs. He said not testing the
evidence further was "unconscionable."
"I don't know whether Eddie Crawford is guilty or innocent," Scheck said a
few hours before the execution. "But I do know for certain there are DNA
tests that are not being performed that might demonstrate that proposition
Crawford becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Georgia and the 36th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in
Crawford becomes the 34th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 919th overall since America resumed executions on January
(sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
Georgia man executed for 1983 rape and murder of 2-year-old niece
Eddie Albert Crawford was executed by injection Monday for kidnapping,
raping and murdering his 2-year-old niece in 1983.
Crawford, 57, was pronounced dead at 7:49 p.m. after 20 years on death
row, 2 trials and a 7-month delay since his execution was originally
scheduled for December.
Prosecutors argued at trial he sneaked into the house and kidnapped the
girl after her mother - his sister-in-law - refused to have sex with him.
Crawford claims he blacked out after heavy drinking and doesn't remember
The U.S. Supreme Court wouldn't stop the execution earlier Monday,
although 3 of the court's more liberal members supported giving Crawford a
stay to conduct DNA testing of hairs found on the girl's body.
An application for a stay of execution and petition for rehearing was
denied by the court at 6:59 p.m., just before the scheduled time of the
execution. Another request for a stay was denied on a 5-4 vote at 7:35
(source: Associated Press)
Peninsula man set to be executed in killing of wife, son----Mark W. Bailey
has filed appeal with high court and asked Warner for clemency
Mark Wesley Bailey, a Peninsula man who shot his wife to death and then
killed their 2-year-old son, is scheduled to be executed Thursday night.
Bailey, 34, has an appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and a
clemency petition before Gov. Mark R. Warner.
He was sentenced to die for the Sept. 10, 1998, slaying of his wife,
Katherine, who was shot 3 times in the head as she slept, and their son,
Nathan, who was shot twice in the head as he climbed out of bed.
The murder weapon was a .22-caliber handgun borrowed from a friend. The
slayings occurred around 4:30 a.m. in their Hampton home.
According to his lawyers, Bailey suffers from manic-depressive disorder
and was extremely depressed at the time of the slayings because his
marriage was failing. Clinical psychologist Evan Nelson testified that
Bailey, a Gulf War veteran and U.S. Navy submariner, was suffering from
borderline personality disorder. Impulsive acts are characteristic of the
disorder, he said.
Bailey told police in a videotaped confession that after killing his wife
and son, he washed blood off his face. Before leaving for work, he cut the
bathroom window screen and outside telephone line to make it look like a
break-in had occurred.
He told co-workers his wife had been threatened, and that he had received
a telephone call from someone who told him she had been abducted. The
police were called.
Bailey, a machinist's mate, failed a polygraph examination. He then wrote
on a legal pad: "I Mark Bailey do hereby without coercsion [sic] admit to
the murder of my wife and son."
A jury convicted him of capital murder in July 1999, and he was sentenced
to death on Oct. 5, 1999.
His execution by injection is set for 9 p.m. Thursday at the Greensville
Correctional Center in Southside Virginia.
Bailey declined a request to be interviewed last week, as did family
members close to Katherine Bailey.
Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource
Center, a veterans advocacy organization, has written Warner asking that
mercy be shown Bailey.
"In a perfect world, this tragedy would have been averted by proper
diagnosis and care," Robinson wrote in his July 13 letter. "However, we
don't live in a perfect world but we do believe that putting Mr. Bailey to
death will only make this sad story even worse."
Bailey's oldest sister, Patricia L. Mitrov, of Seminole, Fla., also
appealed to Warner for clemency. Bailey and his wife, Katherine, also
known as Katie, were first cousins once removed.
"This entire situation has torn our family apart," Mitrov wrote. "Katie's
grandmother is my father's sister and my aunt. Ever since the trial and
the verdict, neither side of the family has spoken to each other. We used
to be a very close-knit family."
Bailey's "twin brother Michael is also diagnosed bipolar. With medication
and therapy, he has been able to lead a very productive life as a
neo-natal pediatric ICU nurse," Mitrov wrote. "I know that if Mark had
gotten the help he needed when he asked for it, Katie and Nathan would
still be with us."
If put to death, Bailey's would be the 3rd execution in Virginia this
Virginia is 2nd only to Texas in number of executions since the U.S.
Supreme Court allowed them to resume in 1976. Virginia has executed 91
people since then; Texas, 323.
(source: Richmond Times-Dispatch)
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