[Deathpenalty]death penalty news------PENN. S.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Mar 11 23:14:40 CST 2005
SOUTH CAROLINA----new execution date
State Supreme Court sets Detroit man's execution date
A Detroit native is scheduled to die April 8 for the kidnapping and murder
of a Charleston woman 12 years ago, the South Carolina Supreme Court
However, Joseph Gardner has filed an appeal to the U.S. District Court
that may delay his execution.
Gardner was convicted of the Dec. 30, 1992, killing of Melissa "Missi"
McLauchlin, who was raped, tortured, shot 5 times in the face and left to
die by the side of a road in Summerville.
At the time of the shooting, police said Gardner and some other men made a
New Year's resolution to rape and kill a white woman as retribution for
400 years of oppression of black people. Gardner, who was later arrested
in Philadelphia, was the trigger man.
Gardner was sentenced to death in December 1995 by a jury of 10 whites and
In March 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court turned aside without comment an
appeal by Gardner.
Gardner said his trial should have been moved elsewhere because of
He appealed to the federal Supreme Court after his argument was turned
down by state Supreme Court justices who said there was no evidence of
(source: Associated Press)
PENNSYLVANIA----70-year-old female may face death penalty
Death penalty sought for elderly woman accused of killing neighbor
In Easton, prosecutors filed court papers Friday indicating that they will
seek the death penalty against a 70-year-old woman accused of killing her
84-year-old neighbor with a hammer.
Prosecutors allege that Kathy MacClellan killed Marguerite "Tutti" Eyer by
means of torture, an aggravating factor that allows them to pursue a death
"The defendant didn't just strike the victim once, causing her immediate
death," Northampton County First Deputy District Attorney Paula A.
Roscioli said. "She struck her at least 37 times with the claw end of the
hammer, and this victim lived for a significant period of time in
Eyer was found Feb. 7 covered in blood in her home in the Hickory Hills
development in Moore Township. She died about an hour and a half later
after being airlifted to a hospital. She allegedly told a police officer,
"Kathy did it with a hammer."
Police said they found a bloody hammer and Eyer's wallet, driver's license
and checkbook in MacClellan's home the following day.
Defense lawyer Anthony Martino, who represents MacClellan along with
attorney Mark Minotti, declined comment Friday afternoon.
A database kept by the Death Penalty Information Center of all executions
in the United States since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976 shows
only one person executed above the age of 70. James Barney Hubbard was 74
when he was executed Aug. 5 of last year for the 1977 murder of
62-year-old Lillian Montgomery of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; he was in his 40s when
he killed her.
According to the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Hubbard was the
oldest person executed in the United States since 1941, when James
Stephens of Colorado was executed at age 76.
(source: Associated Press)
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