[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----TEXAS, ARK., N.Y., ALA./WIS., PENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Mar 27 17:02:27 EST 2006
Chase led to death row----Killer thought he got away with murder, but then
he was caught in the victim's car
Hours after the killing, Kevin Kincy gloated as he watched a TV report of
his crime. Buoyed by the news that police were hunting a white suspect -
Kincy is black - the young career criminal brashly ticked off a list of
what he had done right during the bloody robbery-murder of his cousin's
He failed to consider, though, what he was about to do wrong: catch the
attention of an East Texas FBI agent by speeding through Vidor at 90 mph
in the dead man's car.
The April 6, 1993, traffic offense on Interstate 10 quickly grew into a
25-mile chase with speeds reaching 130 mph. By the time it ended at a
police roadblock near Sulphur, La., Kincy irrevocably had detoured onto a
legal road that would take him to Texas' death row.
Kincy, 38, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the March 26, 1993,
murder of Jerome Harville, a 32-year-old Exxon industrial hygienist.
Kincy's attorney, Alexander Calhoun of Austin, last week filed federal
appeals seeking to save his client by arguing that chemicals used in
executions constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
His is the 2nd of 2 executions scheduled on consecutive nights this week.
Raymond DeLeon Martinez is set to die Tuesday for a 1983 murder in
"They can hang him," Harville's father, Hosea Harville, 83, of St. Louis
said of his son's killer in a telephone interview. "They need to drag him
right now. He killed a good man. I put my son through school. He went to
church. He was just starting out. That man took advantage of him."
Kincy's mother, Dorothy Robertson, 49, insists that her son is not the
"Absolutely not. My son truly would never do something like that unless he
was forced or dragged. It would take something terrible to make him do
something like that," she said. "Kevin is too compassionate."
Meant as payback
According to trial testimony, Kincy and his cousin, Charlotte Kincy, 46,
plotted the burglary and murder to "pay back" Harville, who was described
as the woman's former boyfriend. Charlotte Kincy is serving a 40-year
sentence for aggravated robbery in the case.
Testimony showed that Charlotte Kincy intended to distract Harville while
her cousin slipped into the victim's house to rob and shoot him.
When Harville failed to appear at work the next day, co-workers went to
his home to investigate. When no one responded to knocks on the door,
Harville's colleagues borrowed a ladder, peeped through a window and found
that the house had been ransacked.
Sheriff's officers called to the scene found Harville's body on the floor.
He had been shot in the head.
A witness testified that Kincy later boasted of the killing and flaunted a
9 mm pistol stolen from the victim. Charlotte Kincy bragged of stabbing
the man. Stolen from the home were stereo gear, a television, furniture, a
microwave oven and a late-model Honda sedan.
Early, unsuccessful appeals for Kincy argued that Charlotte Kincy was
prepared to testify that her cousin killed Harville in self-defense, but
she never was called to the stand. When called to testify during the
punishment phase, she sought Fifth Amendment protection against
State prison officials last week canceled a scheduled media interview with
Kincy, contending that he had threatened the safety of prison personnel.
Attorney Calhoun said Kincy is under heavy guard in solitary confinement.
"I have not had the opportunity to get to the bottom of it," Calhoun wrote
in an e-mail. "My understanding is that there have been no hearings on any
of the alleged threats, and therefore it is virtually impossible to
determine whether TDCJ's allegations - if there even are allegations -
have any actual factual basis."
Robertson said her son continually has been harassed by prison employees
while on death row.
"They call this a criminal justice system," she said. "There is no
justice. This system fails everyone so severely."
Robertson said she has not been allowed to visit her son since August,
when she was arrested on a charge that she possessed marijuana on state
prison property. Court documents in Polk County, home of the Polunsky Unit
where Kincy is incarcerated, note the woman was arrested during a U.S. 59
traffic stop after she left the prison property. A search of her van
turned up about a pound of the drug, authorities contend.
Was married by proxy
Robertson has been indicted in the felony case. If convicted, she could be
sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison and/or fined $10,000.
Robertson said her son, who at one point aspired to be a youth counselor,
has corresponded with, and mentored, hundreds of people since he was
imprisoned for Harville's murder. In a late-1990s Web posting soliciting
pen pals, Kincy offered a brief biography to potential supporters.
"I enjoy all types of music, writing and traveling," he wrote. "In fact,
my sister and I went to school in London some 14 years ago. The experience
was wonderful. Sometimes I wish that I never came back. ... I love all
Among his correspondents was Barbara Raval, now 41, a divorced mother of 3
daughters who began writing Kincy in 1997 and married him by proxy in
January 2005. "He's an adorable person," she said last week. "You just
have to love him. He's so much fun. He's just a good man."
Raval, a Swiss citizen, charged that Kinsy received inadequate counsel
and, like some other Texas inmates, is "being fast-tracked to the gurney
by having attorneys that may not be competent to handle a death penalty
Robertson argued that Kincy's contentions that he was at work when the
murder was committed and that prosecutors coerced a key witness to perjure
himself never received a hearing by jurors or appeals judges.
History of crime
Prison records indicate Kincy was imprisoned in July 1986 on a 10-year
Harris County sentence for attempted murder. He was released on shock
probation 4 months later. (Under shock probation, a defendant who is
considered unlikely to repeat the crime is released after doing a short
stint behind bars.) In February 1987, he was returned to prison on a
6-year Harris County sentence for burglary of a motor vehicle.
He was released on mandatory supervision in December 1988. In October
1989, he began serving a 15-year Harris County sentence for delivery of a
controlled substance. He was paroled in December 1991.
Kincy was convicted of murdering Harville in October 1995.
In the earlier cases, Robertson contended, Kincy had been an unwilling
participant in crimes perpetrated by a group of friends. "He got entangled
with a group of boys, and they were all charged with the crime," she
said." ... He hung with the wrong gang and he couldn't change their
The Rev. John Lasseigne, pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in
the Rio Grande Valley community of San Juan, said he paid Kincy death-row
visits 7 or 8 times between 1999 and 2002.
"He was very courteous and well-spoken, even upbeat when I visited him,"
Lasseigne said. "It was a very unexpected attitude from a death row
inmate. He recently e-mailed me and said he expected to beat this death
sentence. He showed a positive outlook. I can't say that I share his
Lasseigne said Kincy was "always a little vague" about the extent of his
involvement in Harville's murder.
"He was involved to some extent," Lasseigne said, "but he clearly does not
believe his involvement rose to the capital punishment level."
(source: Houston Chronicle)
Murder charge filed
An Ellis County grand jury has indicted a Waxahachie man on a capital
murder charge relating to the death of a 27-day-old infant.
Tony Ezzerett Mason, 20, remains in custody at Wayne McCollum Detention
Center on a $500,000 bond.
The incident came to light Feb. 1 when the infant was taken to Baylor
Medical Center at Waxahachie and then transferred to Childrens Medical
Center in Dallas with multiple injuries, including a severe head injury,
Mason was arrested Feb. 2 at a relatives home on a felony charge of injury
to a child, Waxahachie police Lt. Cyndy Wiser said in an interview at the
time, saying the police were subsequently informed by medical authorities
that the infant had died as a result of his injuries.
A twin brother to the infant was placed in state custody by Child
Protective Services, and a separate, civil proceeding is under way in
Ellis County Court at Law No. 2.
The law relating to punishment in a capital murder case was changed during
the last legislative session. If convicted, Mason faces either life in
prison without parole or a death sentence.
(source: Waxahachie Daily Light)
DNA results could vindicate man found guilty of triple homicide----Family
requested retest, serial killer may have confessed to crime
New DNA testing has been ordered in the case of death row inmate Louis
Perez, who was convicted in 1999 for the triple homicide of 2 women and a
9-year-old girl, the Travis County District Attorney's Office announced
The testing comes at the request of Perez's family, who asked the district
attorney in 2005 for post-conviction DNA testing, claiming that serial
killer Angel Maturino Resendiz - the so-called "Railroad Killer" -
committed the crime.
The Perez family could not be reached for comment.
Perez was accused of strangling and bludgeoning, and using pantyhose and
an iron-skillet on Michelle Fulwiler, her roommate Cinda Barz and Barz's
9-year-old daughter, Staci Mitchell, in 1998, according to Buddy Meyer,
one of the assistant district attorneys who tried the capital murder case.
Perez, a friend of the victims, claimed that he found the women in their
home and was scratched by one of the them when attempting to pick her up.
He claimed that he then panicked and ran. Perez did not to call the
The prosecution argued that Perez spent the night at the house, murdered
Fulwiler, then waited for Barz and her daughter to come home to murder
them so he would not be identified. DNA testing determined fingernail
scrapings found on one of the victims matched Perez. Other DNA profiles,
however, were undetermined.
"The handprint was in blood next to one of the victims, and his physical
appearance, in terms of injuries that were observed on him shortly after
the murders, were discovered to indicate that he had been in a struggle,"
Meyer said. "The chances of body fluids left at places where humans were
present at some point in time is not unusual."
But if any DNA is identified in relation to the crime scene, it certainly
links an alternate person to the crime, said Perez's attorney, Alexander
Calhoun. Calhoun said he hopes to perform DNA tests on two hairs found on
the child's body that were never tested during the original investigation.
Perez's family believes that Resendiz committed the crime, on the grounds
that he supposedly admitted to it. Resendiz's attorney denied the claim.
Resendiz is scheduled for execution in May for the killing of a
Houston-area doctor and has been linked to 14 other homicides.
The Texas Moratorium Network, a grassroots organization against the death
penalty, reported that the victims' home was near a railroad itinerant
encampment. Known as the Railroad Killer, Resendiz's usual method was to
violently bludgeon his victims to death in a manner that was generally
described as "overkill." The organization investigated the case and
assisted Perez's family in the request for new DNA testing.
Meyer said that during the trial, Perez's former attorney vaguely referred
to Resendiz as being the person who might have committed the murders in
his final arguments.
Resendiz has admitted to many crimes to different reporters, some of which
FBI investigators were not able to link to actual events or victims,
according to Roe Wilson, a Harris County district attorney assigned to
"We don't know yet if it's Resendiz or if it's another killer," said
Calhoun said Perez lacks the cruel nature to have committed such a
gruesome crime. Perez's former attorney made a similar claim.
"It requires a pretty vile character, it's really hard to kill someone by
beating them to death," Calhoun said. "Perez - that's not him. I mean, the
guy did drugs a little bit, recreational drugs and wasn't really big on
his paying child support, but the guy doesn't have a vile bone in his
He's a gentle giant who couldn't harm anybody, Calhoun said. "Hopefully,
the DNA testing will collaborate that there's something wrong."
Meyer said he worked with the victims' families, and they understood the
need for retesting.
"It's just the right thing to do, that's why we're doing it," Meyer said.
"Since Perez is facing the ultimate punishment, why not?"
(source: The Daily Texan)
ARKANSAS----female foreign national faces possible death sentence
Mexico joins accused mom's defense----Mexican citizen faces Arkansas death
penalty in slayings
The Mexican government is helping a woman defend herself against capital
murder charges that could send her to the execution chamber for killing
her 3 small children in January.
Mexico has contracted with an attorney to help defend Eleazar Paula
Mendez, a Mexican citizen. She is also represented by Arkansas public
Employees of the Mexican government may also help the defense by gathering
papers and conducting interviews in Mexico, said Eduardo Rea, a spokesman
for the Mexican consulate in Dallas, Texas.
"We hope that she doesn't get the capital punishment," Rea said. "That's
what we hope. We as a country don't believe in the death penalty."
The consulate's actions reflect a history of conflict between Mexico and
the United States over capital punishment. For decades, Mexico has
effectively had no death penalty. The country removed the last remnants of
the practice from its legal code in December.
The Mexican consulate hired Danalynn Recer of the Gulf Region Advocacy
Center, a group that defends indigent death penalty clients, to defend
Mendez, Rea said.
The group's Web site says Recer has defended more than 100 death penalty
clients. She and Mendez's court-appointed defenders did not return calls
for comment this week. Prosecutor Tom Cooper also did not return calls.
Mendez is accused of smothering her three children: Elvis, 7, and twins
Samantha and Samuel, 5. Authorities have said they may also have been
poisoned. They said Mendez was distraught over what she apparently
believed were plans for a divorce by her husband, who was working in New
York at the time of the slayings. Her husband, however, has told reporters
that their marriage was good.
Mendez is jailed awaiting a mental evaluation.
Many Mexicans are disturbed when one of their own faces the death penalty
in the United States, says David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border
Institute at the University of San Diego.
"You can imagine if we had a couple of dozen Americans in Singapore or
some other country that has very different legal standards that were going
to be publicly whipped," he said. "That would raise some eyebrows in the
The conflict between the U.S. and Mexico over the death penalty has
sometimes been bitter. In 2002, for instance, Mexican president Vicente
Fox canceled a visit to President George W. Bush's ranch after Texas
executed Javier Suarez Medina, convicted of killing a police officer in
Some international court battles over Mexicans on death row in the United
States have centered on the right of foreigners arrested to contact their
Authorities in the Mendez case say they have complied with international
treaty obligations by informing the Mexican consulate promptly and giving
consular officials access to Mendez.
There are currently 121 foreign nationals, including 52 Mexicans, on death
rows in America, said Rion Dennis, an information specialist with the
Death Penalty Information Center in Washington.
If Mendez is sentenced to die, she will be the 2nd foreign woman on a
death row in this country, Dennis said.
Linda Anita Carty, from St. Kitts of British Virgin Islands, is on death
row in Texas for killing another woman during a kidnapping.
Shirk of the Trans-Border institute says Mendez's gender could draw more
attention to the case if it goes further.
"I think the fact that a woman is being considered for a death-penalty
case, for whatever reason, will probably resonate very strongly in Mexico,
in a way that will surprise many Americans," he said.
(source: The Associated Press)
Pataki: Need death penalty for cop-killers
Gov. George Pataki, speaking at graduation ceremonies Monday for 93 new
state troopers, renewed his call for legislation providing for the death
penalty for those who kill police officers.
In the past 4 weeks, 2 police officers, including a trooper, were killed
in gun battles with suspected robbers.
"Those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice deserve the ultimate
protection," Pataki told the graduating troopers at a ceremony in Albany.
"Cop killers must be subject to the death penalty in New York state."
New York's death penalty law, enacted in 1995 under pressure from the
newly elected Pataki, was effectively overturned in subsequent rulings by
state courts. Pataki has, thus far, been unable to get the state
Assembly's Democratic majority to agree to new death penalty legislation.
The governor has stepped up pressure for a death penalty law in the wake
of the fatal shootings of New Hartford Police Officer Joseph Corr on Feb.
27 while pursuing suspected jewel thieves and of Trooper Andrew Sperr 2
days later in a shootout with suspected bank robbers.
Among those graduating Monday was Sean Kelly, whose trooper father,
Trustcott "Michael" Kelly, 49, was killed along with another trooper,
Kenneth Poormon, 23, almost 6 years ago when their troop car was
broadsided near Kingston by a tractor trailer as they attempted a U-turn
to pursue another vehicle.
Singling out Kelly among the graduates, Pataki said: "He will receive New
York State Police shield number 2588, the very one his dad carried proudly
and honorably for over 2 decades."
(source: Associated Press)
Alabama rethinking death penalty
The Birmingham (Alabama) News, like most newspapers in the Deep South, has
long been an outspoken advocate of the death penalty.
So it was a surprise recently when a package arrived from the publisher of
the News, Victor Hanson III, proudly announcing that after all these years
the paper has changed its mind and is now campaigning vigorously for the
state of Alabama to change its mind too. Included in the package was a
reprint of a gripping 6-part series the newspaper ran to explain why it is
now opposing capital punishment.
Actually, it probably shouldn't have been that surprising. The death
penalty has been falling out of favor in this country for the past several
years, and although a majority of Americans still profess they support it,
the numbers are eroding. In fact, 6 out of 10 Americans now question the
fairness of capital punishment.
People are beginning to realize that capital punishment isn't as foolproof
as its supporters make it out to be, that there have actually been
innocent people put to death and still others who have been saved from
death just in the nick of time.
Our neighbor to the south, Illinois, has been the most visible example of
how prosecutors and unscrupulous law enforcement people could build a
capital case against innocent people if for nothing else than to make
their conviction record look good.
In its series, the Birmingham News reported that 120 people nationwide
have been released from death row in the past 12 years, 5 of them in
The newspaper also took aim at the alarming disparity of race in meting
out the death penalty in Alabama. Between 1994 and 2003 more than 63 % of
the homicide victims in Alabama were black, 32 % white. Yet, if the victim
was white, 73 % of the alleged killers were given the death penalty,
compared to just 25 % for those accused of killing a black person.
"If putting killers to death is a way of expressing how strongly society
feels about the lives of victims, the only way to interpret our state's
record is that we treasure white lives much more than black lives," one of
the editorials said.
The newspaper also took a good look at the long-held myth that the death
penalty acts as a deterrent to other would-be killers. The 5 states that
have the highest murder rate Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico, Mississippi
and Nevada all have the death penalty. Meanwhile, all but 2 of the 12
states without capital punishment are all well below the national murder
rate of 5.5 murders per 100,000 population.
Wisconsin, of course, is one of them. Our murder rate is 2.8 per 100,000.
North Dakota is lowest at 1.4. Only the non-death penalty states of
Michigan, at 6.4, and Alaska, 5.6, are above the national average, but
they pale in comparison to Louisiana, for example, with a murder rate of
12.7 people per 100,000 or Maryland at 9.4.
Yet, despite this evidence, a large number of Wisconsin legislators are
determined to bring the death penalty to our state after a 153-year
Can it be that Alabama is going forward and we're going backward? That's
exactly what this Legislature has done to Wisconsin.
(source: Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times)
Activist speaker denounces death penalty -- Longtime advocate cites
practices of other nations, injustices as reasons to end practice
A 13-year veteran of the fight against the death penalty closed Human
Rights Awareness Week with a somber address condemning the practice on
Jotaka Eaddy, 27, domestic coordinator for the National Coalition to
Abolish the Death Penalty, portrayed the death penalty as unjust,
discriminatory and increasingly outdated before an audience of about a
dozen students and activists at Stiteler Hall.
According to Eaddy, a majority of Western societies have already abolished
capital punishment, and an increasing number of South American, African
and Central Asian nations are following suit.
Eaddy also brought broader social issues into her speech.
"The death penalty can not be viewed in an isolated social construct,"
Eaddy said. " It is intertwined with other gross injustices: police
brutality, racial profiling, lack of housing."
She also said the vast majority of death row inmates are poor and members
of minority groups. In Philadelphia, for instance, a black person is 38 %
more likely than average to be sentenced to death, Eaddy added.
She opened the presentation by showing several clips of documentaries
dealing with the death penalty. The clips touched on topics ranging from
individuals who have been proven innocent while on death row to the
question of why many Americans want the death penalty.
Eaddy cited a number of statistics to bolster her case, including a study
showing that it's 5 to 10 times as expensive to keep people on death row
than to incarcerate them for life.
Eaddy said she hopes that her work now will eventually put her out of a
"I don't want to be doing this work 25 years from now," Eaddy began. "It's
time to take back our streets ... control our society."
Eaddy ended her presentation with a direct appeal to the audience.
"It is important that we take a critical look at this issue," she said.
"We must personalize the abstract, put a human face and story behind every
The event was interactive, with questions tossed back and forth between
the speaker and the audience.
Some, such as College sophomore Sarah Yanes, were enthusiastic about the
overall tone and content of Eaddy's speech.
Others were more skeptical.
"I found the documentaries interesting, with pretty classic arguments,"
Wharton and College sophomore Stefan Sabo said. "But you can prove
anything with statistics. ... One has to be critical."
(source: The Daily Pennsylvanian)
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