[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----MARYLAND
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Dec 5 19:35:25 CST 2005
Baker execution appears set for tonight----Supreme Court, state's top
court reject latest appeals from convicted killer
The U.S. Supreme Court this afternoon turned down all requests for a stay
of execution from convicted killer Wesley Eugene Baker, clearing the way
for an execution that appears to be only hours away.
Baker's attorney, Gary W. Christopher, said he has been told the execution
will happen tonight.
State law prohibits the state from disclosing the time and day of an
execution in advance, but the Department of Public Safety and Correctional
Services has scheduled a news conference for 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
In the past, such notices were sent prior to executions.
Christopher, who is scheduled to witness the execution, said he visited
with Baker earlier this evening.
"He's made his peace...We just talked quietly. There was some joking,
laughing, trying to inject a little bit of levity into the situation. But
it didn't last long. We talked about how much he appreciates our effort."
Lori James-Monroe, a social worker who participated in Baker's legal
defense, said she was with Baker this evening at the Metropolitan
Transition Center, near Madison Street and Greenmount Avenue, which houses
the state's death chamber. She said the condemned man appeared resigned to
"He still was hopeful. He was worn down and is tired of wondering,"
James-Monroe said. He and his visitors were required to stand behind a red
line painted on the floor, three feet from the door of his cell. But at
the end of the visit the guards permitted his mother, Delores Williams, to
approach the cell. She tearfully hugged her son through the bars.
James-Monroe said Baker seemed resigned to his fate and was worried about
his family. He discussed his memorial service, expressing an interest in
something that would not be a burden to his family.
At 6:45 p.m., a group of fewer than 20 stood outside the Metropolitan
Transition Center, which houses the state's death chamber. Most were
remnants of a protest that's taken place on Mondays for the past 5 years.
"Ehrlich is bloodthirsty, but I can't think he'd do it with legal
challenges still pending," said Max Obuszewski, holding a sign as cars
splashed through a puddle near the street corner, some honking their horns
"Is he going to make a statement, or let it happen and let that be his
statement? We're standing by him and his mother. Even if nothing else came
from it, we want to let her know we support her through the cold-blooded
killing of her third son," said Terry Fitzgerald of Physicians for Social
Responsibility, bundled up tightly in a knit hat and scarf.
Denise Smith was unaffiliated with any of the activists groups. "I just
knew I was coming out. I always knew it was wrong," said the Northeast
Baltimore resident, who held a sign that read, "Not in my name." "Don't
say you did it to protect the citizens of Maryland," she explained. "I
didn't ask you to do it."
Earlier today, the nation's highest court declined to review three appeals
from Baker. Also this afternoon, Maryland's highest court rejected a
request for an emergency stay of execution.
(source: Baltimore Sun)
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