death penalty news---TEX., USA., KAN., ILL., OHIO, MD., WASH.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Nov 27 18:16:07 CST 2004
Mother's execution nears in 1987 killing of family--She's to be 1st black
woman in Texas to get capital punishment
Alton was 7. Farrah was almost 2.
The attorneys of Texas death row inmate Frances Newton, 39, have filed
petitions raising questions about the investigation. The first letters of
their names were meant to reflect the initials of their father and mother
- A and F, Adrian and Frances.
The last time Frances Newton saw her husband and children was more than 17
years ago, the evening of April 7, 1987, when she returned home from an
errand with a cousin.
Adrian, Alton and Farrah were dead of gunshot wounds. 2 weeks later, Ms.
Newton was arrested and charged with murdering her family.
Convicted and condemned, she's scheduled Wednesday to become the 1st black
woman executed in Texas. She will become the fourth woman executed in
Texas since executions resumed in 1976, the 11th nationally.
Ms. Newton, 39, says she didn't murder her family. She said she believes
the real killer is a drug dealer named Charlie who was upset with her
husband for not repaying a $500 debt.
With no eyewitnesses and no confession, prosecutors built a circumstantial
The murder weapon, a .25-caliber automatic pistol, was found in a blue bag
in an abandoned house that belonged to Ms. Newton's parents. The blue
dress Ms. Newton wore that night was found to have possible gunpowder
residue on it.
3 weeks before the deaths, she took out $50,000 life insurance policies on
herself, her husband and her daughter, with herself as beneficiary. A day
before her arrest, she applied for the death benefits.
The insurance money was the motive, prosecutors said. The jury convicted
her in 1988.
"This is wrong, so wrong," Ms. Newton said she thought.
She said the gun belonged to her husband, who had dealt drugs in the past,
and she hid it at the abandoned house to keep him from getting into
trouble. The possible gunpowder residue, she said, really was fertilizer
rubbed on her dress by her daughter, who stayed with relatives while she
worked at a tax accounting office.
The insurance policies, she said, were a long-standing goal she was able
to achieve by saving money unknown to her husband.
Ms. Newton's court-appointed lead trial attorney was Ronald Mock, who has
been suspended or placed on probation by the State Bar of Texas at least 3
times since he first was licensed in 1978.
Mr. Mock, whose office telephone number is disconnected, couldn't be
reached for comment.
"I had nothing, really, to work with other than Frances saying that she
didn't do it," he told the Houston Chronicle in July.
John LaGrappe, a Houston lawyer trying to get Ms. Newton's case
investigated, said "Charlie" is a Colombian drug dealer he's trying to
The courts in previous appeals rejected arguments that Ms. Newton's early
legal help was poor, said Roe Wilson, an assistant district attorney in
"All of the claims, all the allegations and all the evidence that's
referred to is not newly discovered," Ms. Wilson said.
"These were facts that were available and known at the time of trial and
the jury obviously rejected."
David Dow, a University of Houston law professor working on Ms. Newton's
case, appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for permission to
conduct additional ballistics tests and a nitrate analysis on the gun and
dress. Improved technology, not available at the time of her trial, should
aid her, Mr. LaGrappe said.
On Nov. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review her case.
(source: Associated Press)
Baird and Sessions: It's past time for Texas to postpone
executions----CONSTITUTION PROJECT'S DEATH PENALTY INITIATIVE
Since November 2002, when its police department's crime lab problems first
surfaced, Houston citizens have reacted with dismay to each new
The problems initially seemed limited to fairly minor physical breakdowns
at the lab building. At every turn, however, these problems have
multiplied. Most recently, authorities discovered about 280 boxes filled
with crime evidence involving as many as 8,000 cases. What is most
worrisome is that these cases were considered closed, many with a
perpetrator behind bars and the victims seemingly assured that justice had
been done. But because these boxes remain uninventoried, we cannot be sure
that the right person is in prison, or if the true perpetrator is still on
the streets, endangering us all.
We are Texans and members of a bipartisan committee sponsored by the
Constitution Project's Death Penalty Initiative. We joined the committee
in 1999 because we believe the risk of convicting and executing the wrong
people is unacceptably high. Since the initiative's creation, the number
of individuals who have been exonerated and released from death row has
reached 117 nationwide, including eight from Texas. The discovery of the
boxes from the Houston crime lab raises the potential that many more
wrongfully convicted people are being housed in our Texas prisons.
While our committee includes members who support the death penalty, and
others who oppose it, we all agree that the risk of wrongful convictions
is too high and that systemic reforms are urgently needed to try to make
the system fairer and more accurate.
One of our recommendations is that states allow DNA and other biological
evidence to be properly tested in any case and any time if the evidence
might shed light on the guilt or innocence of the inmate, so that we can
be as sure as possible that we are prosecuting the right person.
Our committee has not taken a position on a moratorium, but the Houston
travesty requires us to join with the many prominent Texans who are now
calling for a moratorium until the evidence in the Houston crime lab boxes
is inventoried and, if appropriate, tested.
We are in good company. Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt has noted, "I
think it would be very prudent for us as a criminal justice system to
delay further executions until we have had time to review the evidence."
The dean of the Texas Senate, John Whitmire, who represents part of
Houston and also chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, joined in
the chief's call for a moratorium. In a letter to Gov. Rick Perry,
Whitmire stated, "It's just nuts, to sum it up, that we would not hold off
on executions until we go through each and every piece of evidence."
Former Gov. Mark White and Charles Terrell, a former chairman of the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice, have also called on the governor to act,
as have major Texas newspapers. Judge Tom Price of the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals has also recently joined the call for a moratorium.
Yet, within the last few weeks, five executions have gone forward
involving death row inmates from Houston, with another scheduled for early
December. District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal has resisted an independent
review of the crime lab and has joined the trial judges in opposing a
postponement of the executions, even just until a proper inventory and any
appropriate testing of the evidence is done.
We cannot understand this position. If the evidence confirms the guilt of
the person scheduled to be executed, the execution should go forward. But
if the evidence exonerates the inmate, no Texan would want to see an
Texans know that the crime lab problems are not just theoretical and are
not limited to death row inmates. In 2003, Josiah Sutton was exonerated of
a crime he did not commit after spending four years in prison. Earlier
this month, George Rodriguez was released after spending more than 17
years in prison. He was convicted on the basis of faulty DNA analysis.
Since reintroduction of the death penalty, Texas has executed 336 men and
women. Our state has been responsible for more than 35 % of all the
executions in America. Too many of these executions occurred despite of
profound questions about the facts of these cases, including in some
instances questions about whether the defendant was actually innocent.
The 2 safety valves that supposedly prevent our state from executing an
innocent person have not worked as they should, and in some cases have
failed entirely. The Court of Criminal Appeals, an elected and partisan
body, has been criticized by the U.S. Supreme Court for not properly
reviewing cases. A just released Texas Monthly article about the court is
called "And Justice for Some." And -- borrowing a phrase from the Texas
oil fields -- clemency in Texas is simply a dry hole, with critical facts
either not presented to the governor or not meaningfully considered.
Many experts believe that the death penalty does not deter crime. Some of
us are not sure one way or the other. But, we should not be deterred from
exercising common sense. We have a runaway train with no one at the
controls, and that is no way to run a railroad. We support a moratorium.
(source: Commentary; Charles F. Baird served on the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals from 1990 to 1998. William S. Sessions served as director
of the FBI from 1987 to 1993 and, earlier, as chief judge of the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Texas; Austin
What's behind decline in death sentences
Andrea Yates, the Green River Killer, Washington-area sniper Lee Boyd
Malvo, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols.
Some call these recent killers the worst of the worst - the reason capital
punishment exists. But while they all sit in prison, none will be put to
Some took plea deals to avoid the possibility; others were spared the
ultimate punishment by juries who didn't think it made sense in their
cases. But they all reflect the current downward trend in death sentences
When the United States Justice Department recently released statistics
showing that the number of death sentences imposed in 2003 had hit a
30-year low, it deepened a debate over society's ultimate punishment,
fueling a controversy that has simmered from statehouses to courtrooms for
Opponents read the decline as part of growing public uneasiness, as
exonerations based on DNA evidence continue. Supporters say the drop
simply reflects a decline in murder rates and changes in sentencing laws.
What no one seems to dispute is that the numbers are dropping: Only 144
new inmates were sent to death row last year, down from a high of 320 in
In addition, the number of executions actually carried out is falling, as
well as the number of murder cases submitted for capital-punishment
consideration. The explanations are varied and conflicting.
As the debate goes on, all eyes are on the US Supreme Court and its
pending decision on whether juvenile offenders should be eligible for the
death penalty - a case that will test the court's barometer of public
sentiment, not only on juvenile executions, but on capital punishment more
generally in the United States, one of the only countries that still
"Much depends on this juvenile case," says Michael Radelet, a sociologist
at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and an expert on Florida's death
row. "But the downward trend has been happening for [several] years."
In Florida, for instance, almost 40 people were sent to death row annually
in the 1990s. By 2001, that number was 16, and today it is only 8. Dr.
Radelet attributes the decline to a combination of factors: the media's
attention to wrongful convictions, the high cost of prosecuting capital
cases, and the passage of life-without-parole laws, which many states
enacted in the mid-1990s and which give jurors an option short of death
but severe enough to ensure that a criminal will never rejoin society.
In Ohio, for instance, death sentences have been cut by almost 1/3 since
the state enacted its life-without-parole law in 1996, and the numbers are
even higher in Florida. Only 2 of the 38 death-penalty states lack that
option: Texas and New Mexico - and New Mexico has only 2 inmates on its
death row. Texas, with 446 inmates on its death row, is the exception -
and a big one - to the national trend. The state continues to put an
average of 34 people on death row each year, and many experts point to the
fact that Texas juries do not have the range of options that exist other
states. Here, the choice is between life with parole and death.
"When juries in Texas consider what is an appropriate sentence, life with
parole has got risks associated with it," says Richard Dieter of the Death
Penalty Information Center, which opposes the punishment. "But polls show
that the public wants alternatives to the death penalty."
A recent state poll, for instance, shows that 78 % of respondents are in
favor of changing the law to allow life in prison without parole. It has
failed in past legislative sessions, but will be offered again in the
upcoming session. Yet 3 in 4 Texans also still support the death penalty -
even though 70 % believe that the state has executed an innocent person.
Such poll numbers are lower nationally, but the inconsistencies between
these two ideas remain, says Franklin Zimring, a law professor and
director of the criminal-justice research program at University of
California at Berkeley. "The United States is the world capital of
ambivalence on this issue. We don't want to see innocent people executed,
but we don't like murderers."
Still, some insist the two seemingly incompatible ideas can be reconciled,
and that the societal benefits of capital punishment outweigh its risks.
"If you have the same system for the next 100 years, the odds are that an
innocent person will be executed," says Joshua Marquis, the district
attorney in Astoria, Ore., and a death-penalty supporter. "But is that
going to change my opinion that the death penalty is necessary? No."
Mr. Marquis says part of the decline in death sentences has to do with
medical advances in the past 30 years. Victims of gunshot wounds, for
instance, are being saved at higher rates - making irrelevant the need for
Also, he says, crime rates have decreased while pressure to not seek the
death penalty has risen because of the high costs associated with it.
But perhaps most important, he says, prosecutors have become more
discriminating in the kinds of capital cases they present to juries. A
murder case may be eligible for the death penalty, for instance, but that
doesn't mean it should be charged that way: Mitigating factors, such as
the defendant's history and mental health, should be taken into account
along with the circumstances of the crime.
"I don't think [the decline in death sentences] signals a massive sea
change in the public's perception of the death penalty," says Marquis, a
board member of the National District Attorneys Association, "but rather a
recognition by prosecutors and ultimately by juries that the punishment
should be reserved for the worst of the worst."
(source: Christian Science Monitor)
Appleby faces capital murder charges
Less than 24 hours after he arrived in Johnson County, Benjamin Appleby
made his first court appearance Nov. 18 via closed circuit television from
the Johnson County jail.
Appleby stared toward the floor and attempted to shield his face with his
copy of the charges as District Judge Thomas Bornholdt read the amended
complaint filed by Johnson County prosecutors earlier that day.
Prosecution upgraded the charge against Appleby to capital murder and
attempted rape of Alexandra Kemp on June 18, 2002, in Leawood. This was
the first official accusation of rape by authorities in the Kemp case.
Under these charges, the prosecution alleges Appleby strangled Kemp while
or after he attempted to rape her. Under Kansas Statute No. 21-3439,
attempted rape is one of seven constituents defining capital murder.
Appleby was not required to enter a plea, and he told the judge he was
exploring the possibility of hiring a private attorney.
After the court appearance, a distraught father spoke about his child.
While Gary Appleby maintains his son's innocence, he said, "I just want
justice and the truth just like Ali's folks."
He reiterated that Kemp's death is a tragedy, but he said he thinks the
allegations against his son are the result of a witch hunt.
"Unfortunately in this country, you only get as much justice as you can
afford," he said. "And I am just a construction worker."
On June 18, 2002, Roger Kemp found his daughter strangled in the pump room
of a neighborhood swimming pool where she worked.
After a more than 2-year investigation, 2 tips pointed Leawood police to
Connecticut State Police arrested Appleby on an unrelated warrant, and
Leawood Police charged him on Nov. 8 with the premeditated, first-degree
murder of Alexandra Kemp.
At a press conference that day, Johnson County District Attorney Paul
Morrison mentioned the possibility of a capital case, and he hinted the
aggravator defining it would be attempted rape.
As of July 1, 2004, capital murder is punishable by death or life in
prison without the chance for parole, but the law that will apply in
Appleby's case is the capital murder law of 2002, which allowed for
punishment by death or life in prison without the chance of parole for 50
Since the death penalty was reinstated in Kansas in 1994, 7 death penalty
sentences have been given, but only one has been in Johnson County. In
2002, John Robinson was sentenced to death in Johnson County court for the
murders of Izabela Lewicka and Suzette Trouten.
In order for Appleby to be convicted of capital murder, the prosecution
must show that the murder was intentional and premeditated and that 1 of
the 7 constituents defining capital murder was involved.
Previously, Morrison said premeditation can be avowed in cases of murder
by strangulation due to the length of time it takes to kill someone by
Appleby is being held at the Johnson County jail on $1 million bond. His
next court appearance is the afternoon of Dec. 3 before District Judge
(source: Johnson County Sun)
Turow accepts Terkel Award
In the words of Village President Anthony Ruzicka, Glencoe attorney and
author Scott Turow is the village's "champion of the humanities."
Ruzicka's remarks were delivered during last week's ceremony to honor
Turow, who was named a recipient of the 2004 Studs Terkel Humanities
The honor was bestowed upon the best-selling author by the Illinois
Humanities Council, a not-for-profit agency that's committed to
championing the humanities throughout the state. The awards are handed out
every 2 years.
Turow, a Glencoe resident, was among 72 winners statewide.
Kristina Valaitis, the council's executive director, said Turow was
recognized for his work to reform capital punishment in Illinois and
enhancing literacy by giving "people a voice in public life."
In accepting the engraved medal, Turow's remarks were brief though he
thanked Village Board members for the nomination.
Turow was born in Chicago in 1949 and later graduated from New Trier High
School. Beginning in 1978, he worked eight years as an assistant U.S.
district attorney. Today, he's employed at Sonnenschein, Nath and
Rosenthal where he specializes in white collar litigation.
Turow is the author of several popular books, including "The Burden of
Proof" and "Presumed Innocent," which was made into a 1990 film starring
Harrison Ford and Raul Julia.
Turow's wife Annette is a painter and serves on the caucus' Village
The award is named after Terkel, the prize-winning oral historian and
author who has been an actor, playwright, jazz columnist, film narrator
and disc jockey. He is most admired for documenting 20th century American
life through the words and voices of ordinary people.
(source: Pioneer Press)
We're Number Two, So We Fry Harder : This year, Ohio will become the
nation's second-most prolific state in executions
"Do we want to teach our kids that violence is a solution?"
Ohio is on track to take 2nd place this year in an ominous category - most
prisoners executed. 7 men were put to death in 2004. That's just one less
than were executed in the previous 5 years combined.
Of course, Ohio will never reach No. 1 Texas, which has executed 19
inmates this year and has held its spot at the top of the death penalty
states four out of the last 5 years. Texas has often put to death 1 to 2
dozen more inmates per year than any of the other 36 states that have the
But in Ohio, seven is rare. This state hasn't killed so many people in one
year since 1949, when 15 men were executed. However, hundreds of sentences
were commuted to life in prison in 1972 when the U.S. Supreme Court
declared the death penalty unconstitutional. Ohio reinstated the death
penalty and created strict guidelines for capital punishment in 1981. But
after eight sentence commutations by then-Governor Richard Celeste, there
were no executions in Ohio until 1999, when Wilford Barry waived all
appeals and "volunteered" to be killed.
Bob Beasley, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's office, attributed
the increase in executions to the nature of the appeals process. 5 of the
men had exhausted all of their appeals, and 2 were "volunteers" similar to
Ohio's expected execution status this year has outraged and saddened
"It's obscene, in my opinion. It is wrong in the eyes of the coalition,"
says Kathy Soltis, chairwoman of the Cleveland Coalition Against the Death
Soltis says the numbers are even more disturbing when one considers that
executions nationwide and in many states have decreased in the last couple
years. Similarly, Amy Borror, public information officer for the Ohio
Public Defender's office, says all around the country there are growing
discussions and reservations about the constitutionality of the death
penalty. Juries even seem more reluctant to sentence people to death, she
"When you look at it nationally, it seems like maybe Ohio's heading in the
opposite direction," she says.
In 2000, there were 85 executions in the U.S., largely attributable to
Texas' astounding record of 40. The number of executions in the country so
far this year is 49.
Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina, which surround Ohio as the top 4
executing states this year, have all decreased their number of executions
from 2003 levels, while Ohio has rocketed out of obscurity.
Meanwhile, California has the largest death row in the country, with 635
inmates as of July 2004. It's 3 times the size of Ohio's. Yet that state
killed only 2 prisoners in 2000, one in 2001, one in 2002 and none in 2003
Soltis, a 54-year-old dictionary editor from Cleveland Heights who has
been with the coalition more than 20 years, says the crimes of those
executed and those set to be executed are horrifying and disgusting, but,
"We believe among other things that [the death penalty] says more about us
as a society than it does about the person who committed the crime.
"There has to come a point where we have to say, 'The cycle of violence
has to stop somewhere.' The government has to be the one place where
everyone hears, 'The violence stops here; the violence stops now.'
"Do we want to teach our kids that violence is a solution to our
problems?" Soltis asks.
It may, however, be difficult to argue clemency for a convicted killer
such as Adremy Dennis, who was executed October 13 for a murder he
committed in 1994. Dennis, 28 - the youngest person to be executed in Ohio
in 42 years - told Plain Dealer reporter Ted Wendling in his last days
that he didn't mean to kill the random man he was trying to rob - after
all, he told the man to be still: "I ain't saying it's all his fault, but
damn, man, why did he move? Every day I think about that. It ain't, 'Why
did you kill that man?' It's 'Why did you move?'"
Many people pointed to Dennis' perceived lack of remorse as the reason he
shouldn't be saved, but Soltis says someone like Dennis is precisely why
Ohio should not be executing prisoners.
"If someone does not understand the nature of what he or she has done,
doesn't that say that there is something really lacking there?" she asks.
Soltis also claims the way the death penalty operates in Ohio is patently
unfair. Borror and Soltis both affirm that the state's death row inmates
are largely poor, largely minorities, often under-educated, and many were
abused or had otherwise disturbing childhoods.
"A person's income and economic status absolutely affects how they are
charged with a crime and, in my opinion, how they are viewed by juries,"
Borror says, adding that even the decision to seek the death penalty in
Ohio is extremely arbitrary. The decision is left up to 1 person, the
prosecutor, which can lead to vastly different sentences for 2 people who
committed the same crime in different counties.
There are 203 men and 1 woman on death row: 103 are black, 95 are white, 3
are Hispanic, 2 are Arab American and 1 is American Indian, according to
the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
For the future, however, Borror says Ohioans will probably see slightly
higher numbers of executions because many of the inmates sentenced in the
early- to mid-'80s are running out of appeals.
In the meantime, Soltis and others are gathering support for a measure
that would enact a 3-year moratorium on executions and order a study of
the effectiveness and fairness of the death penalty. While Soltis is
hopeful that legislators will pass the moratorium, last week death penalty
opponents were given a taste of the political climate ahead when Ohio
Senate President Doug White ensured that a provision to conduct a basic
study of Ohio's capital punishment system would not move any further in
the legislature this year. White said he didn't want a bill that
controversial debated in the last month of a lame-duck session.
White, a Republican from southern Ohio, supports the death penalty.
(source: Cleveland Free Times)
Death row inmate's lawyers allege bias----Court papers note study of
application of penalty
Lawyers seeking to have death row inmate Heath William Burch's sentence
thrown out have filed court papers pointing to the University of Maryland
death penalty study that suggested race plays a role in the state's
application of the death penalty.
Burch, 35, is the first black man to be scheduled for execution since the
Maryland study was released in January last year. The execution is set for
the week of Dec. 6, but a judge has granted a stay of execution while his
attorneys attempt their new legal challenges.
In the motion filed Monday in Prince George's County Circuit Court
challenging his sentence as illegal, Burch's lawyers argue that the study
shows that Burch's situation - a black defendant and white victims - is
"the one that is most subject to discrimination throughout the process,
from the decision to seek the death penalty, to the decision to maintain
the prosecution as a death penalty case."
"If you look at the study, the way at which the prosecutors seek death
sentences in Maryland is skewed in white-victim cases, and it's skewed
even worse with white victim cases and black defendants," Michael E.
Lawlor, one of Burch's attorneys, said yesterday.
Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, who did not oppose
the stay of execution, said his office had not thoroughly read the motion
and could not comment on it.
Burch's lawyers pointed out that professor Raymond Paternoster's study
concluded that the state is more likely to seek the death penalty when a
black defendant is accused of killing a white person. Blacks who kill
whites are 2 1/2 times as likely to be sentenced to death as whites who
kill whites, the study found.
Burch's attorneys also referred to the study's finding that in Prince
George's County - which, along with Baltimore City has the highest rate of
withdrawing death notices in the state - 31 of the 36 cases where the
notice was not withdrawn involved black defendants and that 20 cases had
In 1996 Burch was convicted of stabbing his elderly Capitol Heights
neighbors Robert and Cleo Davis with a pair of scissors during a
drug-fueled burglary. Burch has exhausted his mandated appeals, and his
lawyers do not plan to contest his guilt.
Burch's lawyers say they will prove that "race systematically operates as
a factor in Maryland's capital sentencing process and that a substantial
risk exists that [Burch's] sentence was a product of or was influenced by
Burch's lawyers say Paternoster was denied access to the files of the
Prince George's state's attorney's office, and in a separate motion the
lawyers asked the court to require the state to provide all the
information Paternoster requested for his study.
While the Maryland study was being conducted, then-Gov. Parris N.
Glendening imposed a moratorium on executions. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
lifted the moratorium when he took office last year.
2 other defendants on Maryland's death row - both black men who killed
white people - have also filed legal papers raising claims of racial bias
regarding the death penalty.
John Booth-El - the only man on death row convicted in Baltimore, for the
1983 slaying of an elderly couple - is scheduled for a hearing in the
summer in Baltimore Circuit Court.
Wesley Eugene Baker, who was sentenced to death in Harford County in 1992
after being convicted of fatally shooting a woman in front of her
grandchildren during a robbery in Catonsville, is awaiting the state's
response to his filing.
(source: Baltimore Sun)
Former Sequim man on death row must stay, Supreme Court rules
The state Supreme Court has denied another appeal for a former Sequim
resident now on death row.
Darold Ray "DJ" Stenson still faces execution for the March 25, 1993,
shooting deaths of his wife, Denise Stenson, and their friend Frank
Hoerner at the Stensons' Sequim-area exotic bird ranch.
In a 7-2 decision issued Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court rejected
Stenson's latest appeal on the grounds that it didn't present new evidence
and it raised issues that the court thought should have been brought up in
Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly said prosecutors are pleased
with the court's decision.
"I hope that matters proceed in such a way as to bring closure to the
victims' families sooner rather than later," she said.
"We're disappointed," said Seattle attorney Sheryl Gordon McCloud, who is
The case is not over yet. A petition challenging the constitutionality of
Stenson's conviction and death sentence is still pending before U.S.
District Court Judge Marsha Peckman, said McCloud.
Stenson, who turned 52 on Wednesday, was convicted and sentenced to death
in Clallam County Superior Court in 1994 for 2 counts of premeditated
1st-degree murder with aggravating circumstances for the deaths at his
home south of Sequim.
(source: Peninsula Daily News)
More information about the DeathPenalty