[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----NORTH CAROLINA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Aug 18 06:59:55 UTC 2006
N.C. executes Flippen for 2-year-old's slaying
North Carolina executed death row inmate Samuel Flippen early Friday for
the beating death of his 2-year-old stepdaughter 12 years ago. Flippen was
pronounced dead at 2:11 a.m., state Corrections Department spokesman Keith
Flippen was convicted of 1st-degree murder in the 1994 beating death of
Britnie Nichol Hutton. Prosecutors said the toddler had extensive bruising
and died after Flippen hit her in the abdomen. Flippen said the child fell
from a chair.
Gov. Mike Easley denied a clemency request from Flippen's attorneys after
state judges and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments to stop the
In its final refusal early Friday, the Supreme Court turned away a
petition by Flippen's attorneys raising what they said was new evidence in
Defense lawyers wanted courts to review whether it was possible the
child's mother, Tina Gibson, abused her children. They based their claims
on an affidavit from a woman who baby-sat Gibson's son in 1999 and said
the boy was severely bruised from a beating he blamed on his mother.
Gibson said the allegations were false and aimed at shifting attention
away from Flippen's actions.
The high court also declined to stay the execution until courts could hear
a separate lawsuit challenging lethal injection as cruel and unusual
The execution brought out Flippen's family and friends, who stood on one
side of the street outside Central Prison with death penalty opponents,
and relatives of the victim, Britnie Nichol Hutton, who stood on the other
side. The 2 groups did not exchange words.
"We came tonight to make sure that everyone knows Britnie is the victim
here. Sammy chose to do what he did," said Ben Streett, the girl's uncle.
"He took from our family a precious, precious child."
Flippen's family and friends were among a group of about 60 people who
took turns at a microphone, leading the crowd in prayer or song.
"We're just trying to be here for our family members who aren't doing as
well as others, just letting them know it's in God's hands now," Robin
Dunlap, 39, a cousin, said before the legal appeals ended.
4 death penalty opponents were arrested for crossing a police line onto
prison property. They were handcuffed without struggle and placed in a
police van. Flippen becomes the 4th condemned inmate to be put to death
this year in North Carolina and the 43rd overall since the state resumed
capital punishment in 1982.
Flippen becomes the 37th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 1041st overall since the nation resumed executions on
January 17, 1977.
(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
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