[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MO., IND., OHIO, COLO., ALA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Nov 2 20:53:18 CST 2005
Carl Kabat, omi, did a Nonviolent Public Resistance to Evil action at the
state sanctioned murder on October 25, 2005 in Bonne Terre, MO.
He was arrested by the Bonne Terre Police Department and charged with
trespassing, as he attempted to walk to the front door of the institution
carrying a lighted candle and two signs around his neck. In front was a
sign pleading "Stop the Murder" and on his back hung from his neck was
another sign saying:
"Thou shall NOT KILL
- IN PRISON
- IN WAR
- IN CRIME
He is to appear in St. Francis County Municipal Circuit Court at 118 E.
School St. Bonne Terre, MO on December 14th at 1:30pm
(This message typed by a friend of Carl's, Christen Parker)
Appeals court upholds decision to overturn death row inmate's conviction
Citing "unmistakable" judicial bias, a federal appeals court has upheld a
lower court's decision to overturn the 1991 conviction of Indiana death
row inmate James Patrick Harrison.
Late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Harrison was deprived of a
fair trial by Posey County, Ind., Judge James Redwine, who refused to
remove himself from the case after defense attorneys raised allegations
about his relationship with one of Harrison's victims. According to the
appeals court opinion, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker was
"eminently correct" when she ruled Redwine had demonstrated an
"unmistakable bias infecting James Harrison's (murder) trial." Barker
overturned Harrison's conviction last year and the Indiana Attorney
General appealed her ruling.
Harrison was convicted in the 1989 slayings of 20-year-old Stacy Forsee
and her 2 small children. He was sentenced to death by a Posey County jury
In her order, Barker said Redwine demonstrated "actual bias" before and
during the trial, after Harrison's attorneys made public an allegation
that Forsee saw Redwine and other influential politicians at a drug party
shortly before her death.
The allegations were never substantiated but Barker ruled Redwine should
have have removed himself from the case after the allegation was brought
to his attention.
(source: Evansville Courier & Press)
Inmate pleads for help from death row
A death row inmate who claims he's innocent of murder said Wednesday he
hopes someone in authority steps in to help spare his life, which is to
end by lethal injection Nov. 15.
As John Spirko was repeating his claim of innocence, his lawyers were
trying to compel state and local officials to reopen the case and conduct
DNA testing of evidence in an effort to clear Spirko or link the crimes to
Also on Wednesday, the Ohio Parole Board refused to reconsider its second
recommendation that Gov. Bob Taft deny clemency to Spirko in the stabbing
death of a northwest Ohio postal worker.
Spirko, 59, said he's having trouble accepting the realization he could
die within 2 weeks. He spoke at death row at the Mansfield Correctional
Institution with a pool reporter who forwarded the interview to other Ohio
"It's down to the wire and you know the end is here soon. You still can't
believe it. You still have that hope that somebody is going to step up and
do the right thing," Spirko said.
"When you are in position of power, you should assert that power in the
right way. Where there are questions like this, I don't think the governor
ever had case like this before with mountain of evidence. I'm asking the
governor to give me a chance. How many more years do I have left anyway?"
Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said the governor is reviewing Spirko's case
and will make a timely decision on clemency.
Spirko has said he is innocent of the killing. Authorities say he
described details only someone at the scene of the crime could know.
Spirko says he got the details from media reports and used the information
to make a deal with authorities to gain the release of a girlfriend, who
was held on an unrelated crime.
Spirko's lawyers filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Toledo asking
for an order that Attorney General Jim Petro and Van Wert County
Prosecutor Charles Kennedy conduct DNA testing. One key piece of evidence,
Spirko's lawyers say, is a painter's tarp that was used to wrap the body
of Betty Jane Mottinger, 48, after she was abducted from the post office
she ran in Elgin and stabbed. Her body was found dumped in a field three
weeks later. Petro spokeswoman Kim Norris said no decision had been made
on a response to the complaint.
"We're looking at what they filed and what's available in terms of
evidence that would be available for DNA testing, how well it was
preserved, if it was preserved, if it was evidence that was entered in to
trial," Norris said.
A house painter, John Willier, last week repeated his 1997 statement
accusing his former boss on a painting crew as the real killer and passed
a lie-detector test paid for by Northwestern University law professors who
investigate claims of wrongful capital convictions, defense attorney
Thomas Hill said.
Hill said the former boss, Dale Dingus, had threatened to kill Willier if
he ever told authorities about the crime, which Willier described as a
botched drug pickup at the post office.
Dingus is imprisoned at the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport,
La. Prison officials there said Wednesday they could not give information
on his crime, but published reports have said it is rape. He must serve at
least until 2019.
The (Cleveland) Dealer reported that Dingus said he had no involvement in
the crime or any knowledge of what happened to Mottinger. The Associated
Press on Wednesday left a message seeking comment from Dingus through the
Edwin Colfax, director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at
Northwestern University Law School, said he has little hope that the case
will be reopened without Taft's help.
"It's really up to the governor at this point," Colfax said. "We're
calling on the governor directly to pursue this testing as well. We're
basically going to recruit the governor to get the facts."
Death penalty opponents are urging people to write to Taft to grant
clemency, said Alice Gerdeman, chairwoman of Ohioans to Stop Executions.
Rickel said Taft has received correspondence from the law school
professors and Spirko's lawyers but none since the complaint was filed. He
also said the governor has received 1,592 letters, e-mails and faxes
urging clemency for Spirko. Taft received 6,721 pleas for clemency before
the 2002 execution of John Byrd, Rickel said.
"The governor should find it very difficult to accept an execution under
his watch when there is doubt about the guilt," Gerdeman said.
The parole board recommended Oct. 19 that Taft deny clemency after a rare
nd hearing on Spirko's case. The vote in both recommendations was 6-3.
On the Net: John Spirko: http://www.johnspirko.com)
(source: Associated Press)
Death penalty a possibility in Madrid slaying
In Eagle, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is considering the death penalty
in the 1st-degree murder case against Charles Anthony Gross, accused of
killing Gypsum resident Maria Madrid on Oct. 7.
"The death penalty is open, but I won't be able to make a decision until I
go through the statutes and talk to the family, Hurlbert said. Although
Hurlbert is eyeing the death penalty, he is not leaning for or against the
measure, he said. First Hurlbert must consider several other factors about
defendant's background that could lead him to seek the death penalty.
Hurlbert said he hopes to make a decision shortly after the preliminary
hearing scheduled for Dec. 14. The decision must come within 90 days after
Gross enters a plea, which should be early next year, Hurlbert said.
Death penalty cases are often longer because there is more legal wrangling
over what evidence will be allowed in a trial, Hurlbert said.
Hurlbert, who has never tried a death penalty case, said he will seek
outside counsel from the state attorney generals office if capitol
punishment is sought.
The last person executed by the state was Gary Davis in 1997, by lethal
injection, according to the Colorado Public Defender's Web site. Since the
death penalty was instated in 1859, 103 people have been executed. The
penalty has been nixed and reinstated twice since its inception.
According to the Web site, the state defender's office has a "strong and
unswerving commitment to opposing capitol punishment." Gross' public
defender, Ken Barker, did not immediately return phones messages left for
Gross is charged with 1st-degree murder in the shooting death of Madrid.
If convicted, he also faces life in prison without parole.
Gross is accused of murdering Madrid and shooting her husband Eliseo
Madrid as the family drove away from a campsite picnic on Coffee Pot Road
north of Dotsero.
Maria died at a nearby home of a gunshot wound to the head, while Eliseo
was hit in the arm. Their son Joel also was in the car at the time.
(source: Vail Daily News)
Officials: Murderer nonchalantly admits to killing 12 more
In Mobile, aman convicted of raping and murdering an Alabama woman has
confessed to at least 12 more slayings in four other states and could be
linked to four more killings, authorities said Wednesday.
Alabama Attorney General Troy King branded Jeremy Bryan Jones "a monster
who would kill without remorse."
Jones, 32, of Miami, Oklahoma, faces a possible death sentence December 1
for the killing of Lisa Marie Nichols, 44, in Alabama.
During his trial last month, Jones maintained his innocence in the
presence of his mother and girlfriend. But privately Jones gave detectives
details of the crimes, including victims' names and the locations of the
killings, said sheriff's Detective Paul Burch.
Jones was "very nonchalant and matter-of-fact" in recounting the rapes and
killings, Burch said.
Of the 13 victims Jones is suspected of killing, 10 were women.
He is charged with killing a Georgia teen and a Louisiana woman. He also
is a suspect in 10 other deaths -- 7 in Oklahoma, 2 in Georgia and 1 in
Kansas. State and local law enforcement also suspect he is linked to the
slayings of 4 Atlanta-area prostitutes.
(source: Associated Press)
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