[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----IND., NEB., US MIL.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Apr 10 02:01:27 UTC 2007
Death row inmate seeks clemency for 1984 murder
A man scheduled to be executed next month for killing a 77-year-old
neighbor during a 1984 robbery is seeking clemency.
David Leon Woods of DeKalb County says he received poor legal
representation and was abused as a child.
He's asking Governor Mitch Daniels to commute his death sentence, which is
scheduled to be carried out by lethal injection shortly after midnight on
May 3rd at the Indiana State Prison.
The Indiana Parole Board is scheduled to meet April 20th in Michigan City
to hear from Woods on why he thinks he should be granted clemency. A
public hearing is scheduled April 23rd in Indianapolis. The board is
expected to make recommendation to Daniels later that day.
Indiana governors have commuted 3 death sentences in the past 50 years.
(source: Associated Press)
State Prepares For Execution----Carey Dean Moore To Die May 8
A planned execution has the state looking at its procedures for carrying
out the death penalty.
After nearly three decades of fighting in court, Carey Dean Moore recently
gave up on efforts to contest his death sentence. The state is preparing
to end Moore's life next month.
Officials at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln said on Monday
that they have already begun initial preparations for a May 8 execution,
including initial tests on the electric chair.
"Our check has been done by an outside electrical company, and as we get
closer to the execution date, we'll do a second check," said Warden Dennis
Bakewell said 10 witnesses are being selected that will watch the
execution. They include members of the media, the state and
representatives of the victims.
David Renken said he always has been a proponent of the death penalty and
believes he still will be after witnessing Moore's execution. Renken's
wife, Lori, is daughter of Maynard D. Helgeland, who along with fellow
Omaha cab driver Reuel Eugene Van Ness was murdered by Moore during two
robberies in 1979.
Lori and her brothers, Steve and Kenny Helgeland, asked Renken to
represent them as victim witness. Department of Correctional Services
spokesman Steve King said the state gives victims' families the option of
having a representative at the execution.
Renken said he doesn't relish the thought of watching a man die, but he
feels he owes it to the Helgeland family to see that justice is served.
Prison officials said they are also beginning to select staff that will
take part in the execution.
"What we try to do is select those individuals who have experience in the
department who are very professional and mature, because it's a difficult
situation for the staff that are directly involved in," Bakewell said.
Moore is currently on death row at the Tecumseh State Correctional
Institution. He'll soon undergo an evaluation.
"Just to make sure he is mentally and physically fit for the process,"
The inmate will be transferred to Lincoln in the next 2 to 3 weeks where
he'll remain in the infirmary on death watch.
Bakewell said they prison is again planning a midmorning execution.
"I think we learned from the Otey execution, if you do it late at night,
you end up with a whole lot more people attending and some of their
behavior isn't very good," the warden said.
Moore has informed the Nebraska Supreme Court that he will not file any
Gov. Dave Heineman said he has cleared his schedule in the days preceding
the execution in the event there's a request to the pardon's board for
"After 29 years, it's time to follow the law of the land and perform the
execution," Heineman said.
Bakewell said one thing different from this scheduled execution than 10
years ago is that the staff carrying out the death procedure won't have
close ties to the inmate because death row is now in Tecumseh and the
inmate will be put to death in Omaha.
Death row inmate Michael Ryan is currently challenging Nebraska's death
The Legislature is looking at changing the death penalty, too.
(source: KETV news)
Victim's son-in-law prepares to witness execution
David Renken says he always has been a proponent of the death penalty, and
he believes he still will be after witnessing next month's scheduled
execution of Carey Dean Moore.
Renken's wife, Lori, is the daughter of Maynard D. Helgeland, who, along
with fellow Omaha cab driver Reuel Eugene Van Ness, was murdered by Moore
during 2 robberies in 1979.
Lori and her brothers, Steve and Kenny Helgeland, asked Renken to
represent them as victim witness to Moore's execution May 8.
The state gives victims' families the option of having a representative at
the execution, Department of Correctional Services spokesman Steve King
said. No one from Van Ness' family was on the witness list, King said.
David Renken, a 37-year-old UPS driver from Mount Vernon, S.D., said he
does not relish the thought of watching a man die.
"I believe I owe it to the memory of Maynard and the six grandkids he
never got to see," Renken said. "I'll witness justice being served."
Moore said in a court filing last month that he was ending all efforts to
contest his death sentence, clearing the way for Nebraska's 1st execution
since Robert Williams was electrocuted in 1997.
Since then, the closest anyone has come to the electric chair was Randolph
Reeves, whose death warrant was withdrawn by the state Supreme Court in
January 1999, just 40 hours before his scheduled execution. The judges
later ruled that their predecessors had erred in 1991 when they
resentenced him to death. Reeves is now serving a life sentence.
Preparations for Moore's execution are under way at the penitentiary in
Lincoln, King said.
"There is an inevitability there," King said. "But nobody stands by and
waits for the execution process to begin. It always catches everybody by
State corrections officials last week began assembling a list of 6
official witnesses. Renken will be joined by representatives of The
Associated Press, the Omaha World-Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha
television station KETV and Grand Island radio station KRGI.
Moore's decision to give up his decades-long fight followed a court blow
he suffered in January. The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by Moore,
who had argued that execution by the electric chair amounts to cruel and
unusual punishment. The order left Nebraska as the only state with
electrocution as its only means of execution.
A federal court in 1994 vacated Moore's death sentence, ruling that a
portion of the state death penalty law used to sentence him was
unconstitutionally vague. A 3-judge panel resentenced Moore to death in
If executed, Moore would be 1 of 4 people -- Williams, Harold Otey and
John Joubert are the others -- who have been put to death in Nebraska
since executions were resumed in 1994.
Moore's attorney, Alan Peterson of Lincoln, has said his client has the
option of asking the state Pardons Board to commute the death sentence.
Nebraska in 1913 began using electrocution for executions. The electric
chair has been used 15 times in the state.
Electrocution once was used in 26 states. Now only 4 states have electric
chairs, with lethal injection also an option in 3 states other than
Nebraska. The electric chair was used in four of 374 executions nationally
from 2001 to 2006.
David Renken is a lifelong resident of South Dakota, where the death
penalty is an option but hasn't been used since 1947.
"I'm a proponent of the death penalty and have been since I was a young
man," he said. "When it comes to watching this, it will really test me.
But I know this is the right thing."
David and Lori Renken have been married 16 years. Lori, 47, was 19 when
her father was killed.
A family meeting was called 2 weeks ago, after the state Supreme Court set
the execution date. Renken said Lori and her brothers discussed whether
one of them would witness the execution. All 3 balked, and David Renken
was asked to watch Moore die.
"My wife has said she doesn't harbor hatred for him anymore," Renken said.
"It should have happened a long time ago. What we heard from the assistant
warden is that it seems certain it's going to happen. They want closure to
Renken said he was uncertain how he will mentally prepare for what he'll
see in the death chamber. He might consult with a clergyman. He said he
would draw strength from knowing that he's witnessing the execution on
behalf of three siblings whose father was taken away from them.
"If Mr. Moore lived out his life in prison, it wouldn't be much of an
existence for him, but he would still get to be in contact with his family
through phone calls and letters," Renken said. "Maynard doesn't get to
(source: Associated Press)
Jury selection to begin in airman's murder trial
Jury selection will begin today for the capital murder trial of Airman
Calvin Hill who is accused of murdering Frederick native Airman First
Class Ashley Turner on a military base in Iceland more than a year and a
The selection, which will take place at Bolling Air Force Base, is
expected to take about three days, said Mike Campbell, media chief of the
11th Wing Public Affairs Office. The jury will be made up of military
The trial is set to begin April 16 and last about 5 weeks, he said.
The trial was originally set to get under way Nov. 28 but was delayed
because the lead defense attorney, Capt. Melanie Keiper, stepped down from
Campbell did not know why Keiper stepped down or the name of her
replacement but said the nearly 5-month break was needed to get the new
attorney up to speed on the case.
A week before her death, Turner was scheduled to testify against Hill on
charges of larceny and wrongful appropriation, false official statements
and absence without leave.
Turner had allegedly lent Airman Hill $60 in January 2005. She later
discovered from her bank statements and ATM security videos that he
allegedly had obtained her personal identification number and withdrawn,
over several weeks, more than $2,000 from her account.
Airman Turner, 20, was found with neck and head wounds Aug. 14, 2005 in
her dormitory at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland, where
she was stationed. She died later that day at the Keflavik Naval Hospital.
Both Turner and Hill were in the U.S. Air Force 56th Rescue Squadron.
Hill, of Warren, Ohio, is charged with the premeditated murder of Turner,
larceny greater than $500, being absent for duty without leave, making
false official statements and obstruction of justice.
No military personnel have been put to death since 1961, but 6 are on
death row, Campbell said. If Hill is convicted, he could face the death
(source: The Frederick News-Post)
More information about the DeathPenalty