[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- ALA., ILL.
j_sommer at gmx.net
Fri Jul 23 10:29:54 CDT 2004
death penalty news
July 23, 2004
UA #: UA-225/2004
AI Index: AMR 51/116/2004
Date: July 16, 2004
James Barney Hubbard (m), white, aged 74
James Hubbard is scheduled to be executed in Alabama on 5 August 2004. He
was sentenced to death in 1977 for the murder of Lillian Montgomery.
According to the court record, Lillian Montgomery was killed at her home in
Tuscaloosa on the morning of 10 January 1977, dying as a result of three
gunshot wounds to the head, face and shoulder. James Hubbard, who had moved
in with Lillian Montgomery following his release from prison after serving
20 years on a second-degree murder conviction, rang the police after the
shooting. When they arrived he told them that the victim had shot herself.
At the police station, after the police gave him some whisky when he asked
for a drink to steady his nerves (he had already been drinking), James
Hubbard signed a statement, repeating his earlier claim that Lillian
Montgomery had committed suicide.
James Hubbard was tried in September 1977 and sentenced to death. After
Alabamas death penalty statute was found unconstitutional by the US
Supreme Court in 1980, Hubbard was granted a new trial. He was again
sentenced to death in April 1982.
His appeals have been unsuccessful, including on the claim that his
statement to the police had been involuntary on account of his alcoholism
and low intelligence. His IQ has been assessed at 80, in the borderline
mental retardation range. On 2 July 2004, Indiana Governor Joseph Kernan
commuted Darnell Williams's death sentence shortly before he was due to be
executed. Governor Kernan noted the 2002 US Supreme Court decision, Atkins
v Virginia, outlawing the use of the death penalty for those who have
mental retardation. The Governor wrote: Williamss IQ has been measured at
78 and 81, and he attended special education classes throughout his
schooling. The usual cut-off for mental retardation is IQ of 70-75, and
Williams falls above that level
The courts have set a clear legal
standard, but it remains problematic to confidently place the solemn
decision of life or death on a few percentage points on either side of a
line. Williamss mental status weighs as a factor in the clemency process.
James Hubbard is reported to have prostate and colon cancer. He has been on
death row for a quarter of a century and is now 74 years old. If executed,
he would be the oldest person to be put to death in the USA since it
resumed executions in 1977.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, regardless of
the gravity of the crime, the guilt or innocence of the condemned, or the
method used to kill the prisoner. The death penalty is an affront to human
dignity and a symptom of a culture of violence, and consumes resources that
could otherwise be used towards constructive strategies to combat violent
crime and to offer assistance to its victims and their families. In
addition, the US capital justice system is marked by arbitrariness,
discrimination and error.
Today 117 countries are abolitionist in law or practice. In contrast, there
have been 918 executions in the USA since it resumed executions in 1977,
more than 750 of them since 1990. Alabama accounts for 28 of these
executions. There have been 33 executions in the USA this year.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible,
in English or your own language, in your own words:
expressing sympathy for the family and friends of Lillian Montgomery and
for the suffering that her death will have caused;
opposing the execution of James Hubbard;
noting his low IQ level, his ill-health and the fact that he is an elderly
urging the Governor to grant clemency.
Governor Bob Riley
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130, USA
Fax: 001 334 353 0004
Salutation: Dear Governor
(source: Amnesty International)
State's Attorney says she's seeking death penalty
The Kane County State's Attorney says she intends to seek the death penalty
against a man accused of murdering his girlfriend's mother after he
allegedly fractured the younger woman's skull in a fight.
State's Attorney Meg Gorecki says Joseph Foreman Junior was indicted on
charges of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnaping, attempted first
degree murder and aggravated domestic battery.
Police found 49-year-old Linda Duchaine dead in April in a farmhouse in
Authorities said she had been missing since witnessing Foreman fracture her
daughter's skull in a fight a few days earlier.
Duchaine lived in Niagara, Wisconsin, but was visiting her daughter in the
Gorecki says Foreman entered a plea of not guilty today and is being held
at the Kane County Jail on five (M) million dollars bond.
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