[Deathpenalty]death penalty news------NEVADA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jul 20 18:22:50 CDT 2004
NEVADA----new execution date
New order signed for Nevada execution
A new warrant was signed Tuesday for the execution of Terry Jess Dennis,
convicted of strangling a woman in Reno.
Dennis, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday, had his
date with death delayed when Washoe District Judge Janet Berry last week
ruled the initial execution warrant was flawed.
Berry signed a new order setting the execution at the Nevada State Prison
in Carson City for the week of Aug. 9. Dennis was not present in the
courtroom at his own request, lawyers said.
Dennis was convicted of killing Ilona Strumanis, 51, an Eastern bloc
immigrant who he had recently met. The 2 spent several days in a motel
room on a beer-and-vodka binge.
He told police he strangled Strumanis with a belt in March 1999 after she
made fun of him when he was unable to perform sexually and questioned his
claim that he killed enemy soldiers while serving as an Air Force clerk in
Dennis, who has a history of alcoholism, mental illness and failed suicide
attempts, has withdrawn all his appeals and said he'd rather die then
spend the rest of his life behind bars.
A psychiatrist's report said depression and self-hatred prompted Dennis to
refuse any more appeals.
Michael Pescetta, assistant federal public defender, has appealed the case
to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In a brief
filed with court, Pescetta argued the execution would amount to state
assisted suicide, given Dennis' previous failed efforts on his own
But the attorney general's office countered that Dennis has been found
mentally competent by the courts, and his past mental illness is
That appeal is pending.
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty