[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----TEXAS, OHIO, USA, TENN., ARIZ.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Mar 29 21:05:13 EST 2006
Houstonian caught in slaying victim's car executed
A former pizza delivery man with an extensive criminal record was executed
today for the robbery and slaying of a Houston-area man 13 years ago.
In a brief statement, Kevin Kincy thanked his friends, supporters and
family and mentioned several of them by name.
"I love my children. I love my family," he said. "That's it."
In the seconds before the drugs took effect, Kincy pursed his lips into a
kiss and smiled and nodded to a Swiss woman who married him by proxy last
year. The woman and a female companion from Germany wept. Kincy had met
his wife on a death penalty Web site that seeks pen pals.
Five relatives of his murder victim watched through an adjacent window.
Kincy made only a brief glance at them before the drugs were administered.
He was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m., 8 minutes after the lethal drugs
began to flow.
Kincy, 38, was on parole for delivery of cocaine when he was arrested in
Louisiana following a police chase for the stabbing and shooting of Jerome
Harville at his home outside Jacinto City.
Kincy's lawyers, hoping to block the lethal injection, went to the U.S.
Supreme Court with an appeal challenging the drugs used in the execution
as unconstitutionally cruel. Like similar appeals in recent Texas death
penalty cases, however, the high court rejected the argument in a ruling
about 1 1/2 hours before Kincy's scheduled punishment.
"It's not very good," attorney Alex Calhoun had said of his prospects.
"The whole point of appeals is maybe there's that one case that catches
the Supreme Court's attention."
Kincy had the attention of Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials,
who scrapped media interviews with him last week after they said he
threatened prison staff at the Polunsky Unit near Livingston, which
includes death row.
Early today, Kincy spent time with his mother, Dorothy Robertson, before
his transfer to the Huntsville Unit where executions are carried out.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were added to the normal
security from the prison system to beef up the law enforcement presence
for Kincy's trip to Huntsville. There were no unusual incidents and Kincy
was reported as very quiet in a holding cell adjacent to the death chamber
in the hours before scheduled punishment.
The visit with his mother marked the 1st time he had seen her since she
was arrested last summer. Polk County authorities pulled her over after
she left the prison and found about a pound of marijuana in her van. She
contended she was duped by someone who disguised the package as a gift and
the arrest was a continuation of harassment against her and her son.
Harville, the 31-year-old slaying victim, had worked for 3 years as an
industrial hygienist at an Exxon refinery in Baytown and was the former
boyfriend of Charlotte Kincy, the prisoner's cousin.
According to a witness at Kincy's trial, the cousins hatched a plan where
Harville would be seduced and distracted by his old girlfriend, allowing
Kevin Kincy to sneak into the home and shoot him.
Evidence showed that after Harville was shot, Charlotte Kincy stabbed him
several times. The pair then ransacked his place and stole numerous items,
including furniture and his car. Colleagues at Exxon became worried when
Harville didn't show up for work and went to his house. When they saw it
had been trashed, they called police, who found his body.
About 2 weeks later, an FBI agent ran the plates on a Honda Accord
traveling about 100 mph on Interstate 10 east of Beaumont and determined
it was Harville's stolen vehicle. The ensuing chase covered some 30 miles
and ended in Westlake, La., with a flat tire after Kincy crashed through a
police roadblock as officers fired at him.
Kincy denied any knowledge of the Harville killing, but items he threw out
the window of the speeding car led police to his cousin, Charlotte. She
pleaded to a 40-year prison term.
At the time of his arrest, Kincy was free on bond on a weapons charge. He
also was on parole after a cocaine delivery conviction and had other
convictions beginning at age 18 for marijuana possession, theft and
burglary. During his time in prison, records showed he had more than 30
"They can hang him," Hosea Harville, 83, of St. Louis, the murder victim's
father, told the Houston Chronicle. "He killed a good man."
Kincy becomes the 7th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Texas and the 362nd overall since the state resumed capital punishment on
December 7, 1982. Kincy becomes the 123rd condemned inmate to be put to
death since Rick Perry became governor of Texas in 2001.
At least a dozen more inmates have execution dates in the coming months,
including 3 in April and 5 more in May.
Next on the execution schedule is Pedro Sosa, set to die April 25 for the
1983 fatal shooting of a Wilson County sheriff's deputy.
Kincy becomes the 12th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 1016th overall since the nation resumed executions on
January 17, 1977.
(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
Tilly's killer writes of suicide wish
A man who faces possible lethal injection for killing Alamo Heights
teacher Diane Tilly told a judge Tuesday he plans to sit out the rest of
his trial while jurors decide his fate.
In an angry and sometimes rambling 3-page letter to the judge, Ronnie Joe
Neal claimed he was innocent of the murder and said he plans to take his
"I'm not a killer," Neal wrote District Judge Sid Harle. "And I'm not
going to beg you or the (district attorney) for my life. You all can have
The letter came during a one-month delay between Neal's conviction and the
sentencing phase of his trial, which is set to begin next week.
It took jurors less than two hours to convict Neal for the rape, robbery
and murder of the well-known teacher in 2004.
But as jurors were deliberating, Neal's attorneys surprised prosecutors
with a last minute claim that Neal has mental retardation, and Judge Harle
gave them time to look into the question. If Neal is found to have mental
retardation, he would be ineligible for the death penalty.
Harle received the letter Tuesday during a hearing to determine whether a
psychologist who backs the defense claim will be allowed to testify next
"The evidence, to me, points to a clear diagnosis of mental retardation,"
said Richard Garnett, a clinical psychologist from Forth Worth.
In his letter, Neal wrote that, regardless of the outcome, his life no
He said he would sooner kill himself than watch his family members plead
with jurors to spare his life, and in a hint of possible violence, he
warned that his rage might boil over in the courtroom.
"I'd rather make the bailiff kill me (than) to see my family beg these
folks," he said. "I do not want to be at the sentencing phase because I
can't control my anger."
Although it would be highly unusual for Neal to not attend his sentencing
hearing, Assistant District Attorney Catherine Babbitt said it would have
little effect on how prosecutors handle the rest of the case.
"It doesn't change anything," she said. "Every defendant has the right to
be in the courtroom or not to be in the courtroom."
Neal's attorney, Joel Perez, declined to comment on the letter because he
said Neal could change his mind.
(source: San Antonio Express-News)
Jury recommends life without parole in beheading; death penalty ruled out
Jurors have recommended life in prison with no parole for Patrick Shane
The 12-member jury made the recommendation around 4:30 p.m. today during
its 2nd day of deliberation. Jurors began their deliberations Tuesday
Rafferty, 27, of Akron, was convicted by the same jury earlier this month
of aggravated murder, kidnapping and other charges for the Feb. 4, 2005,
slaying and beheading of 19-year-old Steven Spade of Mogadore.
Jurors could have recommend a death sentence, or a life sentence with no
parole eligibility, or life with parole eligibility after either 25 or 30
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer will sentence
Rafferty on Tuesday.
(source: Beacon Journal)
High court considers treaty rights of foreign defendants
Lawyers for 2 foreign nationals convicted of violent crimes in the United
States pressed the Supreme Court Wednesday to overturn their convictions.
Police violated the rights of the 2 men - 1 from Honduras, the other from
Mexico - by not telling them they could seek legal help from their
countries' governments, as required by a 1969 treaty, the lawyers
But justices appeared skeptical.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked why police - and not the men's attorneys
- should be required to inform them of their right to seek legal help from
their countries' consulates.
If the lawyer does not inform the client, that could be the basis for a
claim of ineffective counsel - not a violation of the treaty, said Justice
But Mark Stancil, a lawyer representing Mario Bustillo, a Honduran
convicted of killing a Virginia teen with a baseball bat, said a defense
lawyer may have a conflict of interest.
"The first words out of the mouth of the consulate (official) could be,
'Fire this guy and get a new lawyer,'" Stancil said.
Peter Gartlan, a lawyer representing Moises Sanchez-Llamas, a Mexican
convicted of attempted murder for wounding an Oregon police officer in a
1999 gunfight, asked the justices to place themselves in the shoes of an
American held abroad, say in Damascus, Syria.
"If you are given a dime and you can call a local attorney assigned by the
(Syrian) court, or the U.S. consulate, you are going to call the
consulate," Gartlan said. "It's more comfortable, more familiar" to deal
with a fellow American.
Similarly, he said foreigners in this country should be allowed to seek
help from their governments.
Justice Antonin Scalia challenged that, saying although talking to a
countrymen may be more comfortable, the consulate may be less helpful than
a local attorney, who should be more familiar with local law.
The court's decision, expected before July, could affect the appeals of
thousands of foreign citizens in U.S. prisons and jails.
Under the 1969 Vienna Convention, foreigners arrested in the United States
have a right to contact their consulate. U.S. citizens have the same right
if they are arrested in one of the 168 countries that signed the treaty.
Police in the United States do not routinely tell arrested foreign
nationals they can call their consulate. Some legal experts say requiring
them do so could amount to an expansion of so-called Miranda rights, which
require police to tell suspects they have the right to remain silent and
the right to an attorney.
Sanchez-Llamas was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for wounding a
Medford, Ore., police officer in December 1999.
Although police told Sanchez-Llamas in English and Spanish he had a right
to a lawyer, they did not say he had a right to contact the Mexican
consulate in Portland, about 270 miles away.
Sanchez-Llamas claims his pretrial statements to police should not have
been allowed as evidence. The Oregon Supreme Court disagreed, ruling last
year that treaty rights under the Vienna Convention can only be enforced
by signatory governments, not individual suspects.
Bustillo is serving a 30-year prison sentence in the 1997 slaying of
18-year-old James Merry outside a Popeyes Restaurant in Springfield, Va.
Bustillo's new lawyers are trying to win a new trial.
Last year, justices considered another case involving a Mexican national
on death row in Texas, but dismissed the case without a ruling after
President Bush ordered a new state court hearing for the man.
The cases are Bustillo v. Johnson, 05-51, and Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon,
On the Net: Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov)
(source: Associated Press)
TENNESSEE----new execution date
State Supreme Court sets May 17 execution for Alley
The state Supreme Court today set a May 17th execution date for convicted
killer Sedley Alley.
Alley was sentenced to die for the 1985 rape and murder of 19-year-old
Marine Lance Corporal Suzanne M. Collins at the Millington Naval Air
Station outside Memphis.
A year ago, the US Supreme Court refused to hear Alley's case, exhausting
his appeals on the 3-tiered court review process.
Collins was kidnapped while jogging, beaten, stabbed in the head with a
screwdriver and sexually assaulted with a tree limb. Alley gave police a
confession but now says his statement was coerced.
The state hasn't executed anyone since Robert Glen Coe in 2000.
(source: WBIR News)
McCormick Retrial Set To Start April 17
The retrial of a man who spent years on death row is set to begin April 17
before Criminal Court Judge Doug Meyer.
Prosecutor Mike Taylor of Dayton said he expects it will take several days
to find a jury for the retrial of Michael Lee McCormick, who is charged in
the slaying of pharmacist Jeannie Nichols.
Hamilton County jurors will be used in the capital case.
McCormick was freed in November 2003 after posting a $100,000 bond. But he
was arrested again several months later and is back behind bars. McCormick
was stopped in the 2100 block of Market Street on July 14, 2004, after
coming out of a motel with a known prostitute, police said.
They said a controlled substance, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were
found on him.
McCormick had won 2 key rulings on an appeal of his 1st-degree murder
conviction for the 1985 slaying of Ms. Nichols.
He was freed while the state appealed the ruling from Judge Meyer.
However, the state Supreme Court reversed a portion of the favorable
In the upcoming trial, the state will be able to use a portion of
testimony from Det. Charles Dudley and will be able to use a tape made by
an undercover officer.
McCormick, who is now 53, has maintained he did not kill the young
pharmacist, whose body was found near Eastgate Mall.
McCormick is represented by Karla Gothard and Mary Ann Green of the public
(source: The Chattanoogan)
Arizona Book Festival
A letter written nearly 35 years ago by an Arizona death-row inmate
forever changed the life of Richard Shelton.
In it, the prisoner asked him to read and comment on his poem, and the
Tucson resident was curious enough not only to reply, but to pay a visit.
And there began the Shelton's Creative Writer's Workshop, which Richard
and his wife, Lois, have run since 1974. Over the years, they've worked
with nearly 800 murderers, rapists and other convicts in several state
prison facilities to improve and publish some of their work. advertisement
The project is among the reasons the Sheltons will receive the inaugural
Arizona Literary Treasure Award on Saturday at the Arizona Book Festival
in downtown Phoenix. The award was created by the event's sponsors,
including the Arizona Humanities Council, the Arizona State Library and
the Maricopa County Library District, to honor individuals who have made
an outstanding contribution to the state's literary culture.
"As a couple, they've had such an impact, with his career as an
award-winning poet, author and professor, as well as his work at the
prisons, and at the Poetry Center which, under Lois' tenure, became one of
the best-known, best-respected poetry centers in the country," festival
director Jill Bernstein said.
Richard, 73, an English professor at the University of Arizona since 1960,
has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and for National Book Awards and
has won numerous accolades, including a Western States Art Award for his
book Going Back to Bisbee. Lois, 74, is the retired director of the
University of Arizona Poetry Center and the production editor of Walking
Rain Review, a magazine of poetry and prose by prisoners.
Richard's former students, including award-winning New Mexican poet Jimmy
Santiago Baca and essayist Ken Lamberton, have credited their
rehabilitation to Richard's workshops, held in prisons in Florence, Tucson
"The prisons are full of talented people, and they really are eager
students," Richard said. "Often, murderers are some of the most talented,
the most intelligent people to work with, especially people who've
committed crimes of passion."
The festival prize will be awarded by Shelley Cohn, former director of the
Arizona Commission on the Arts, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The ninth annual festival launches OneBookAZ and OneBookAZ for Kids,
projects that encourage Arizonans to read and discuss the same books
during April. Events include:
- Mark Spragg, author of this year's OneBookAZ selection, An Unfinished
Life, will talk about his book at noon on the Main Stage.
- Polly Horvath, author of the OneBookAZ for Kids, will read from her
book, Everything on a Waffle, and answer questions at 10:30 a.m. on the
- From 10 a.m. on, the Waffle House will sell waffles with toppings near
the Children's Stage.
- Childsplay will perform its adaptation of Pat Mora's Toms and the
Library Lady at 1 p.m. at the Carnegie Center on the festival grounds.
- Artists Jay Fotos and Rob Osbourne will talk about comic book production
and review portfolios of young artists at 11:30 a.m. on the Mystery &
- At 12:15 p.m. on the Children's Stage, Cynthia Kadohata will read from
her book, Weedflower, the story of a young girl living in the Japanese
internment camp in Poston, Ariz.
(source: Arizona Republic)
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