[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----DEL., ARK., MD.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Apr 1 14:45:32 CST 2005
DELAWARE---new execution date (not serious)
Date set for Capano's execution----Appeals make it unlikely he'll die that
A Superior Court judge Thursday set June 7 as the date convicted killer
Thomas J. Capano will be executed for the 1996 murder of Anne Marie Fahey.
The previous execution date was stayed because of Capano's appeal, and it
is unlikely the former prosecutor will be executed on the new date.
"He has 30 days to file an appeal with the Delaware Supreme Court, and
that's what's going to happen," said Capano's attorney, Joseph M.
Bernstein. "Just about any day he set within reason is academic."
Earlier this month, Sussex County Resident Judge T. Henley Graves denied
Capano's motions for post-conviction relief, rejecting arguments that
Capano had ineffective legal counsel at trial and that his death sentence
should be set aside because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Capano had argued that the Supreme Court's ruling in Ring v. Arizona in
2002 required juries to unanimously recommend the death sentence. The jury
in Capano's case did not.
"It is the sentence of this court that you shall be kept in the custody of
the Department of Correction until ... Tuesday, June 7, 2005, and on that
day, between the hours of 12 a.m. and 3 a.m., you shall be ... injected
intravenously with a substance or substances in a lethal quantity
sufficient to cause death until you are dead," Graves said Thursday.
As Graves passed the sentence, Bernstein stood next to Capano, who has
gained weight in prison. Capano's feet were shackled and he wore an orange
jumpsuit and had a white beard.
For the most part, he only whispered to Bernstein. But when Graves denied
Capano's request to hear any future sentencings over Videophone, Capano
blurted: "We did before."
Graves explained that because of the magnitude of the death penalty, he
felt it was important that he be present.
"If this occurs again, I will expect sentencing to take place in open
court, with the defendant present and counsel present," Graves said.
Capano, who suffers from the stomach disorder colitis, has been requesting
not to be present at his sentencings. "He has some fairly well-documented
health problems," Bernstein said. "When you come up here ... they get you
up at 4 in the morning and you don't eat. For somebody with health
problems that's difficult."
Capano was convicted of the 1996 murder of Fahey, 30, who was the
scheduling secretary for then-Gov. Tom Carper, now a U.S. senator.
(source: The News Journal)
Attorneys Still Work For Killer
Federal public defenders continue to pursue appeals on behalf of Rickey
Dale Newman, even after the death-row inmate fired the attorneys in open
The public defenders said they would appeal two rulings made by Crawford
County Circuit Judge Gary Cottrell in court documents filed Tuesday.
Cottrell, at Newmans request, dismissed the public defenders motions for
additional DNA testing and for a hearing to determine whether Newman had
effective counsel at trial.
Newman got permission from Cottrell to fire the attorneys on Feb. 3. He
said the lawyers were acting against his wishes to be executed for the
February 2001 slaying of Marie Cholette.
Newman has asked the state Supreme Court to dissolve a temporary stay of
execution in place since September.
The newest court filings state the public defenders office is acting on
Newmans behalf in appealing Cottrells decision to the state Supreme Court.
Also pending in Cottrells court is a motion for the judge to reconsider
his dismissal of the claims last month.
The public defenders office claims Newman is motivated by an "incompetent,
illness-driven desire to die." Attorneys seek to determine whether he is
mentally fit for execution.
They also asked to intervene in the case on behalf of Newmans aunt, Betty
However, Moore said in a letter to Crawford County Public Defender Bob
Marquette she would not continue her effort to stop her nephews execution.
She stated in the letter: "I thought I was trying to help him, but he
don't want or need my help anymore."
Marquette was present at Newman's June 2002 trial to advise Newman, who
acted as his own attorney.
(source: Fort Smith Times Record)
State's top court grants inmate stay of execution----Evans was scheduled
to die by lethal injection this month; Attorneys point to study citing
racial, geographic disparities Md.'s application of death penalty
The state's highest court has granted a stay to a death row inmate who had
been scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection sometime during the
week of April 18.
Vernon Evans Jr. had asked the Court of Appeals for more time to argue
that his sentence should be overturned based on a study citing racial and
geographical disparities in Maryland's application of the death penalty.
The court scheduled oral arguments on the matter for June 7.
Evans was sentenced to death for the April 1983 killing of David Scott
Piechowicz and Susan Kennedy at the Warren House Motor Hotel in
In seeking a stay, Evans' attorneys noted the court has agreed to hear an
appeal from death row inmate Wesley E. Baker in June.
Both Evans and Baker, as well as two other death row inmates, have asked
the courts to overturn their sentences based on a January 2003 study by
University of Maryland professor Raymond Paternoster that had been
commissioned by the legislature.
Paternoster found that black defendants who killed whites statistically
were most likely to be charged with capital murder and sentenced to death
in Maryland. He also found that the likelihood of prosecutors seeking
capital murder charges in Baltimore County is 13 times greater than in
Evans and Baker are black. The victims in their cases, all of whom were
white, were killed in Baltimore County. Baker was convicted in 1992 of
fatally shooting a teacher's aide in front of her grandchildren in the
parking lot of a Catonsville shopping center.
(source: Associated Press)
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