[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----OKLA., ID., ILL., FLA. CALIF.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jan 9 22:42:38 UTC 2007
Tulsa killer set to die for quadruple slaying
A 36-year-old man is scheduled to die Tuesday for killing 4 people during
the robbery of a fast-food restaurant in Tulsa.
Corey Duane Hamilton is set to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m.
Tuesday inside the death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in
McAlester for the execution-style slaying of 4 employees at Lee's Famous
Recipe Chicken Restaurant in Tulsa on Aug. 17, 1992.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Hamilton's final appeals on Monday. In a
3-sentence order, the court said Justices David Souter and John Paul
Stevens voted to grant a stay of execution.
Hamilton, of Tulsa, received four death sentences after he and three
others were convicted of killing Joseph Gooch, 17; Theodore Kindley, 19;
Senaida Lara, 27; and Steven Williams, 24. The robbers took $2,200 and
then forced the victims into the restaurant's walk-in refrigerator, where
they all were found shot once in the back of the head.
3 other men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the case,
but Hamilton received the death penalty in part because one of the
co-defendants testified Hamilton was the shooter.
That co-defendant, Donnie Daniels, later recanted a significant portion of
his trial testimony but refused to cooperate during a court hearing.
William Hamilton, Corey Hamilton's brother, and Tyrone Johnson also were
sentenced to life in prison for their part in the crime.
Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Dickson, who has represented the state
during Corey Hamilton's appeals, said she's confident Hamilton shot the 4
"I don't have any doubts. I think it was very well investigated," Dickson
said. "I don't feel there is any problem with the guilt phase of this case
Hamilton's attorney, Robert Nigh Jr., had argued the state's method of
lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because it
creates "a severe and unnecessary risk of failure and conscious physical
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver denied Hamilton's appeal on
Thursday, ruling that he did not file his argument in a timely manner and
that he was unlikely to win on the merits of his argument, Nigh said.
Dickson says Oklahoma's method of lethal injection recently was modified
to give the condemned double the amount of the anesthetic sodium
thiopental to ensure they are unconscious when the fatal drugs are
"It's to a level where you would feel absolutely no pain," Dickson said.
"The Department of Corrections has bent over backward to make sure this is
not cruel and unusual. We want them to have a peaceful execution."
Several family members of the victims are expected to witness Tuesday's
Last month, several of them wrote to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board,
urging them to deny clemency for Hamilton.
"Anyone who can walk in and systematically shoot 4 people in the back of
the head without any remorse or second thought does not deserve to live
their life," wrote Vici McKee, Joey Gooch's aunt.
Gilbert Lara, Senaida Lara's husband, remembered his wife as a loving
mother whose death left a void in the life of him and his 3 children.
"That night all of our dreams that we had made and were working for were
over," Lara wrote. "That night my kids stop having that special love. A
love of a mother. Corey Hamilton took that away from my kids. And the love
of a wife away from me. He left us in this world to live without her."
(source: Associated Press)
Program puts death penalty on trial ---- Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan
spoke to a crowd of about 550 DePaul faculty and students in late November
during a keynote discussion on the state of the death penalty and
discussed why, as governor, he decided to impose a moratorium.
Elliot Slosar, a senior majoring in political science and president of the
DePaul chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, organized the
event-the first for the chapter, which Slosar founded in May 2006.
"I didn't think that we'd be able to get Gov. Ryan," he admits. But Slosar
ended up working closely with the former governor. "It was really surreal
to build a relationship with somebody like that. Without Gov. Ryan, the
death penalty would still be a pretty stagnant issue."
Ryan was joined by Madison Hobley and Andrea Lyon. Hobley spoke about
spending 16 years on Illinois' death row after being wrongly accused of
setting a 1987 fire that killed 7 people, including his wife and son.
Lyon, who helped organize the event, is a professor in the College of Law
and director of DePaul's Center for Justice in Capital Cases, which
represented Hobley in his bid to gain clemency.
"I hope this helped put a human face on this issue and that there's some
sense that the police aren't always right and mistakes do get made," says
Lyon. "This could happen to you, and you should worry about criminal
Ryan, Hobley and Lyon also addressed the politics of capital punishment
and the impact on states determining which guilty defendants deserve to
live and which deserve to die.
"If we're serious about trying to do something to reform our criminal
justice system, we have to continue to have real conversations," Lyon
says. "It's important that the conversation not end with the moratorium.
We still have a death penalty, and we still have abuses in the criminal
A screening of the documentary film "Race to Execution" followed the
discussion. The film, which is scheduled to air on public television March
27, examines America's Program puts death penalty on trial criminal
justice system by probing how race plays a role in death sentencing. Also
highlighted are the stories of 2 men sentenced to die-one of them Hobley.
The evening concluded with a candlelight vigil at which parents of 2
former death row inmates spoke. Those inmates' lives were spared when Ryan
imposed the death penalty moratorium in January of 2003.
The program was co-sponsored by the Political Science Department and the
DePaul chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Amnesty
Duncan death-penalty trial to be held in Boise
Convicted triple murderer Joseph Edward Duncan's federal death penalty
trial will be held in Boise.
That decision announced yesterday by the U.S. Marshals Service and the
U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise.
Duncan currently is isolated at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution,
south of Boise.
The U.S. Marshals Service says transportation costs played a key role in
the decision to hold the trial in Boise.
It could cost the government $30,000 to transport Duncan to and from Coeur
d'Alene for each court hearing.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise says a grand jury will convene soon
and the trial is expected to start in Boise sometime in summer or early
This fall, Duncan pleaded guilty to killing 3 members of the Groene family
and kidnapping two children for sex in Coeur d'Alene.
He is serving 3 consecutive life sentences for those crimes.
Duncan also faces the death penalty for allegedly killing 9-year-old Dylan
Groene while he was staked out in the Montana wilderness with Dylan and
his little sister, Shasta.
As part of Duncan's plea bargain, if federal prosecutors fail to win a
death sentence, the state case can reopen for a capital punishment phase.
(source: (source: KTVB News)
No one has a pain-free guarante
Some people are making an issue of the botched execution of Angel Nieves
Diaz. It wasn't totally botched. I mean, the man is dead.
The issue is that he might have felt pain. The drugs injected at Florida
State Prison killed him more slowly than expected. A second dose was
given. An autopsy shows that the first dose missed the vein.
And so, despite our societal quest to make condemned murderers the only
people on Earth to get a guarantee of a totally painless death, we haven't
quite succeeded. And in response to this alleged crisis, one of Gov. Jeb's
last acts in office was to suspend all executions. A commission will
investigate, in hopes we can get it just right next time.
Jeb had no choice. The courts buy the notion that death is acceptable
punishment for certain horrific crimes, but only if the execution doesn't
hurt at all, even for a moment. Otherwise, it is too uncivilized, you see.
But if you've passed a kidney stone, that pain was probably worse. And if
you've suffered the death of a loved one at the hands of a murderer, your
pain is incomparable.
I'm not opposed to the death penalty, and I have yet to shed a tear for an
executed murderer. But even for those who do, surely the significant thing
ought to be that the murderer was killed, not that it might have hurt
some, as death usually does. I thought about this while reading about a
hanging several days ago of a better-known killer.
The rope didn't break. The knot didn't slip. A quick fall, a snapped neck,
and that was that for Saddam Hussein.
But I was struck by the comment afterward from Britain's prime minister,
Tony Blair, an icon of civilized speech.
"We are against the death penalty," Blair said. "However, what I think is
important about this is to recognize that this trial of Saddam has been
handled by the Iraqis themselves."
Whew, good thing. We unleashed chaos in Iraq, with Blair's help, in order
to get that mass murderer and torture-monger. Tens, if not hundreds, of
thousands have died, including more than 3,000 Americans. We even kicked
off that whole anti-Saddam war by bombing a building and obliterating all
who were there, in hopes he might be among them. And yet when the man is
put to death, Blair feels the need to mention he doesn't approve of
execution That's so civilized.
What could be more absurd? Maybe an investigation to make sure the rope
didn't cause a moment of pain.
(source: Herald Tribune ---- Tom Lyons)
PRESS RELEASE ---- Campaign to End the Death Penalty ---- FOR IMMEDIATE
DEATH ROW INMATE KEVIN COOPER ARGUES CASE BEFORE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty and other supporters of Ca. death
row prisoner Kevin Cooper will provide an update on Cooper's case on
Tuesday, January 9 th after the 1:30 p.m. hearing of U.S. Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals meeting at 95 Seventh Street in San Francisco. The
hearing is scheduled to start at 1:30 and is expected to be one hour. The
press conference will start directly after the hearing ends at around 2:30
and will be held on the courthouse steps.
Oral arguments from the prosecution and defense will focus on 10 key
issues in Cooper's case, including actual innocence, prosecutorial
misconduct and constitutional violations. Further information about
Cooper's appeal is available at http://www.savekevincooper .org
Speaking will be: Elizabeth Terzakis, member of Campaign to End the Death
Penalty and advocate/friend of Kevin Cooper; Barbara Becnel, advocate of
executed death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams; Natasha Minsker,
Death Penalty Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California; Veronica Luna,
family member of a California death row prisoner
Kevin Cooper, who came within hours of execution in 2004, has been granted
a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on January 9th, 2007, in San
Francisco. He needs your support! This hearing ( Oral Arguements) allows
him to appeal 10 key issues including actual innocence, prosecutorial
misconduct and constitutional violations. Kevin Cooper has not received
justice since winning a stay of execution in 2004.
This very important hearing is a great place for you to show your support
for Kevin Cooper and opposition to the death penalty:
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Hearing @ 1:30 p.m. (meet outside the court building at 1:00)
Press Conference/Rally immediately following 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
(outside of the court building)
9th Circuit Court of Appeals ---- 95 Seventh Street San Francisco, CA
Press Conference to be held by Stop Executions California, a coalition of
anti-death penalty groups in the Bay Area. For more information about the
press conference e-mail stopexecutionscalif ornia at yahoo. com
For more information on Kevin Cooper's case, contact the Campaign to End
the Death Penalty at 510-333-7966.
by Kevin Cooper
It is my understanding that on [January 9th, 2007], a 3-Judge panel of the
9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have Oral Arguments in my case, and do
so "on the Merits!"
If this is truly the case, then it will be the very first time in over 20
years, or since I was first arrested in 1983, that this will happen.
All I have ever asked, and all that I have a right to ask, is that the
whole truth be told about this case. So far, despite what the state
claims, this has never happened. I am not asking for just my side to be
told in this, and I most definitely don't want just the state's one-sided
side to be told as it has been with the help of the mainstream news media.
I want both sides to be told, I want the truth to be told! I want this
case to truly be heard "on the Merits" this around! So far the state has
lied about evidence, destroyed evidence, withheld evidence, ignored
evidence, tampered with evidence, contaminated evidence, used a lying
jailhouse snitch/informant and even allowed the D.A. who helped convict me
to lie in Federal District Court when he was under oath!
Yet despite all of this, the attorneys who are representing me are, for
the very first time, about to be heard "on the Merits!" Maybe there is
justice after all.
In Struggle From Death Row
At San Quentin Prison,
No death penalty sought in slaying of woman, unborn child
Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a
former Vacaville woman and her unborn child, representatives of the San
Joaquin County Superior Court said Monday.
According to court spokeswoman Sharon Morris, prosecutors did not state a
reason for this decision in the case of Timon Joel Pool who is charged
with two counts of 1st-degree murder in the strangulation death of
20-year-old Lillian Brenna Best and the resulting death of her unborn
A pretrial conference for Pool, 28, of Acampo, has been continued to March
26 with a trial scheduled to follow on Aug. 13.
In September, Pool pleaded not guilty to all charges. He awaits trial in
the San Joaquin County Jail.
The District Attorney's Office has referred to Pool's prior record as
"insignificant." With the death penalty ruled out, Poole's conviction
could lead to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
The District Attorney's Office could have asked for the death penalty
based on a provision in California law, which qualifies multiple murder as
a special circumstance. Forensic pathologist Dr. Robert Lawrence has
testified that based on autopsy reports, Best was about 14 weeks pregnant
at the time of her death.
The 1-year relationship between the pizza deliveryman and the victim was
souring when Best was killed, according to prosecutors. In July 2006,
authorities found Best with a sheet wrapped around her throat in the
Acampo residence she shared with the defendant, which was on his
With her relationship reportedly on the decline, family members have said
Best was considering moving back to Vacaville. She met Pool at a
Renaissance Faire near Gilroy, where she was performing with the Northern
California Danse Macabre Troupe.
(source: The Reporter)
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