[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MO., NEV., N.C., N.Y., CALIF.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Oct 25 23:58:38 CDT 2005
Appeals Denied; Marlin Gray Execution Scheduled for 12:01am Wednesday
The U.S. Supreme Court and Missouri Governor Blunt have denied appeals
from death row inmate Marlin Gray, clearing the way for his execution at
Gray, now 38, was given the death penalty for the 1991 killings of Julie
and Robin Kerry, who were pushed off the abandoned Chain of Rocks bridge.
The women were also sexually assaulted.
Governor Blunt refused to grant clemency, saying he believed justice had
been served. The state Board of Probation and Parole had recommended
against granting clemency.
Gray now claims he wasn't on the bridge at the time of the killings. He
says he confessed only after police beat him. Gray says he believes his
execution is certain but wrongful.
Prosecutor Nels Moss says it was Gray's arrogant testimony that convicted
him. He said Gray manipulated the younger and weaker co-defendants.
Congressman Lacy Clay urged Missouri Governor Matt Blunt to stay the
execution. Gray's attorney agreed, citing serious constitutional
violations at Gray's police interrogation.
(source: KSDK News)
NEVADA----inmate seeks to drop appeals
Death-row inmate to waive appeals
Nevada death-row inmate Daryl Mack told a judge today that he is ready to
waive all of his appeals and be executed.
After 2 of 3 psychiatrists evaluated Mack and found him to be competent to
waive his appeals, Mack told Washoe District Judge Robert Perry that he no
longer wishes to challenge his death sentence.
Perry asked Mack whether he understood what will happen by dropping his
petition to the court.
"I will be put to death," Mack responded.
No date was set, but Washoe Deputy District Attorney Gary Hatlestad said
the execution by injection at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City could
occur as soon as 14 days or up to 90 days.
Mack was in prison for the 1994 murder of Kim Parks in a Reno motel when
investigators linked him through DNA evidence to the 1988 murder of Betty
Jane May. She was sexually assaulted and strangled in her southwest Reno
home. Her murder remained unsolved for more than a decade.
(source: Reno Gazette-Journal)
Death row inmate's children to speak
The 4 adult children of death row inmate Elias Syriani will speak on faith
and forgiveness at two forums in Triangle area churches today and
Elias Syriani is scheduled to be executed at 2 a.m. Nov. 18 for the 1990
murder of his wife, Teresa -- mother to Rose, Sarah, John and Janet
Syriani -- in Mecklenburg County.
The Syriani children saw their father for the first time in a decade in
the visitor's room of Raleigh's Central Prison. They have forgiven their
father for his crime and have asked the state to spare his life.
They will speak at 7:30 p.m. today at University United Methodist Church,
150 E. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill, and again at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St.
Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh.
The events are sponsored by People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, a
Carrboro-based organization which works to abolish the death penalty in
the United States.
(source: News Observer)
First LI man on death row taken off
The 1st person on Long Island to be sentenced to capital punishment since
New York adopted it 10 years ago is now officially off death row, after
the state's highest court yesterday upheld the conviction of serial killer
Robert Shulman, but vacated his death sentence.
Shulman was convicted in 1999 of bludgeoning 3 women to death inside his
Hicksville apartment. The bodies of the victims -- Kelly Sue Bunting, 28;
Lisa Ann Warner, 18; and a woman who was never identified -- were found
dismembered in Melville, Brooklyn and Medford.
"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of the condition that
guy left my poor daughter's body," said Bunting's father, John Bunting Jr.
of suburban Los Angeles. He said he was "happy" the conviction was upheld,
and unfazed by the vacating of Shulman's sentence.
"On death row, he's living a peaceful life," he said. "I really hope
somebody in prison will kill him."
In May 1999, a Suffolk jury sentenced Shulman to death, but his sentence
was invalidated last year when the Court of Appeals nullified the state's
capital punishment law because of a provision that gave jurors flawed
Shulman was the last remaining of Long Island's 3 death row inmates.
Stephen LaValle, who raped and killed a Medford jogger, and Nicholson
McCoy, who sodomized and killed a female co-worker in a supermarket
bathroom, have both been re-sentenced to life in prison without parole.
"We're pleased the court upheld the prosecutors' case against the
defendant," District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement. "This
sordid chapter of Suffolk history will conclude when Shulman is
That is expected to happen in about 2 months. Prosecutors will recommend
life without parole.
In their appeal, the Legal Aid attorneys representing Shulman argued that
several errors were made by the court that justified a new trial. Among
them, they argued that police did not have probable cause to arrest
Shulman; that the trial judge, State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Pitts,
abused his discretion in denying defense attorneys' challenges to three
jurors; and that the jury was incorrectly instructed that the murders were
committed in a "similar fashion," when there were significant differences
The Court of Appeals rejected the arguments, and noted that in all 3 cases
Shulman brought the women home, beat them to death with "a heavy, blunt
object" and "used such force that he split the victims' skulls open."
Bunting spoke at Shulman's original sentencing six years ago, calling the
killer's lack of remorse "despicable." When Shulman returns to a Riverhead
courtroom to receive his new punishment, Bunting said he will speak again,
"even if I have to drive there."
"I want to face him and tell him what I think of him, one more time," he
Golf-Course Ambush Killer Avoids Death Penalty
In San Diego, the 3rd defendant accused of killing a Tecolote golf course
manager in cold blood managed to avoid a trial -- and the death penalty --
on Tuesday when he pleaded guilty in court.
The 3 killers ambushed and robbed William Overson, 70. Overson died in a
hail of bullets while he drove away from the golf course on the morning of
April 12, 2004.
On Tuesday, Motgomery Fritz Bruce pleaded guilty to murder and robbery
charges in exchange for life in prison.
The other 2 suspects had already pleaded guilty for their roles in the
(source: NBC News San Diego)
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