[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----GA., CALIF., USA, N.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jul 4 16:09:34 CDT 2007
Supports of Death Row Inmate Troy Anthony Davis Use MySpace Page to Try to
Troy Davis, 39, an African American man, has been given an execution date
of July 17- July 24. He will be executed by the state of Georgia by lethal
injection. Davis has been on death row, convicted and sentenced to die for
the murder of an off duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail, 27, in
August of 1989. MacPhail was shot in the parking lot of a Burger King in
Savannah Georgia. Davis was in that parking lot with another man that day
but maintains his innocence.
Davis' supporters believe he is innocent and the human rights organization
Amnesty International believe Davis could be innocent because there was no
physical evidence in the Davis case, and no murder weapon found.
Out of the 9 prosecution witnesses who testified against Davis, 7 have now
recanted most of their testimony that was used to convict Davis for
murder. Jurors stated that they were not aware that most of the witnesses
were pressured and coerced by police into signing the affidavits that were
used against Davis. One witness reported that he had not even read what he
signed. The National Coalition to Abolish The Death Penalty is also
Amnesty International released a press release on the Davis case, and
Judge Rosemary Barkett of the 11th Circuit Federal Appeals Court said "If
these people say, 'I was coerced by the police,' how could he [Judge
Nangle] reject without a hearing?"
Supporters of clemency for David have created a MySpace page. On there,
they ask: Why then is Davis still on death row nearing his execution date?
With all of this evidence why hasn't Davis been granted a new hearing?
This is a case based solely on eyewitnesses, who later recanted their
testimony, and because of a new law, Davis will not receive another
hearing. When a good majority of the people believe this man could be
innocent, how can the state of Georgia go ahead with the execution? Was
Davis railroaded to Georgia death row? Was Davis sentenced to die, beyond
a reasonable doubt? These are questions that need to answered before the
state of Georgia executes Troy Anthony Davis.
More information about this case can be read here:
(source: Associated Content)
Revised lethal injection plan assailed
Lawyers for death row inmate Michael Morales say a revised protocol for
executing convicts is 'even more ill-conceived' than previous versions.
Attorneys for condemned inmate Michael Morales told a judge overseeing a
legal challenge to California executions that the state's new lethal
injection procedures are "even more ill-conceived and deficient than the
The comments came in an amended complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District
Court in San Jose in response to proposed revisions to the state's
procedures for executing death row inmates.
In December, Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that California's lethal injection
methods violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
California, like three dozen other states that use lethal injection,
employs a 3-drug cocktail, which has been blamed for excruciatingly
painful deaths of inmates nationwide.
The 1st drug, sodium thiopental, is a fast-acting barbiturate that is
supposed to render the inmate unconscious before the other 2 drugs -
pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the body, and potassium chloride,
which causes cardiac arrest - are administered.
In practice, inmates may not be fully anesthetized before the
heart-stopping drug kicks in, but cannot express their pain because of the
paralytic, critics say.
Fogel found that evidence of problems with the state's processes was "more
than adequate to establish a constitutional violation."
In response to the criticism, state officials submitted a new protocol May
15. The officials indicated that they would stick by the 3-drug formula
but adjust the doses and train prison staff to ensure that inmates are
thoroughly unconscious before the other 2 drugs are administered.
Lawyers for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state attorney general's
office said the revised procedure "will result in the dignified end of
life" for condemned inmates.
But Morales' defense lawyers countered that California's new procedure
"utterly fails to even examine the many 'substantial questions' .
recognized by the district court regarding the significant risk" that
their client "will suffer excruciating pain during the execution."
The protocol, known as Procedure No. 770, "lacks medically necessary
safeguards," defense lawyers Ginger Anders, John Grele, David Senior and
Richard Steinken asserted in their brief.
The lawyers said a state proposal to lower the dosage of sodium thiopental
increases the possibility that the inmate will not be fully anesthetized.
They also said there was no provision to ensure full anesthetization, "as
would be required in any medical or veterinary procedure."
State officials "deliberately increased the risk of excessive suffering in
order to ensure that executions are carried out as swiftly as possible,"
the lawyers said.
In his December ruling, Fogel said that the way the state conducted
executions was characterized by "a pervasive lack of professionalism."
Among other things, he was critical of the lack of training, supervision
and oversight of the execution team. The state said in May that it had
addressed those problems.
But the latest defense brief says the new protocol does not provide any
training for members of the execution team, nor does it set standards for
the level of experience or other qualifications for the job.
Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael J. Quinn, the state's lead lawyer, said the
defense team's points have not changed the state's view of the case.
"We are still confident that the protocol we submitted in May complies
with the 8th Amendment and addresses all the concerns that the judge put
forward in December," Quinn said.
Judge Fogel has scheduled a hearing on the new protocol in October.
Morales has been on death row for nearly a quarter-century for the 1981
murder of Lodi teenager Terri Winchell.
(source: Los Angeles Times)
Montpelier student convicted in D.C. death penalty protest
A college student from Vermont arrested earlier this year along with
several other people for holding up a banner in protest of the death
penalty outside the U.S. Supreme Court has been found guilty of violating
a law prohibiting demonstrations on the steps of the court.
Rachel Lawler, a pre-law student at Woodbury College in Montpelier, stood
trial Thursday with seven of her fellow death penalty protesters in a
Washington D.C., courtroom. They were all arrested in January on the steps
of the U.S. Supreme Court, holding a 30-foot banner reading, "Stop
"We were found guilty of 1 of the 2 statutes. There were originally two
misdemeanor charges, one was for giving an oration, and the other was for
holding a banner on the U.S. Supreme Court grounds," Lawler, 21, said
Friday in a phone call from the nation's capital. "The oration charge was
dismissed and the judge found us guilty for the banner charge."
Lawler said after the judge found the demonstrators guilty following the
one-day trial, prosecutors asked for a sentence for each of the protectors
of one year on probation, plus a stay-away order from the U.S. Supreme
Court during that period.
"The judge decided instead to sentence us to time served. We all got the
same sentence," Lawler said. "The judge didn't specifically say that he
thought what we did was wrong, or that he thought we should be punished
for it. He instead decided to cite former case law that basically put him
in the position to find us guilty."
The protesters were held in jail for about 32 hours after their arrest
earlier this year.
If convicted of the 2 charges against them, each protester faced up to 60
days in jail and a $5,000 maximum fine.
Lawler said the cases against the protesters were consolidated into one
trial, and they each played a role in presenting their defense.
"I delivered the closing argument and the sentencing statement," Lawler
The protesters are members of the nationwide group, Abolitionist Action
Committee. Other protesters came from South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas and
The protest took part in January on the 30th anniversary of the Gary
Gilmore execution in Utah. That execution generated international media
attention as the 1st execution in the United States after the
reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.
Since Gilmore's execution, there have been more than 1,000 executions in
the United States, according to the Abolitionist Action Committee.
Lawler, originally from Cheshire, Conn., is a founding member of
Vermonters Against the Death Penalty, formed more than 2 years ago at the
start of the death penalty trial of Donald Fell in federal court in
Fell's case was the first death penalty trial in nearly 50 years in
Vermont. Fell was ultimately convicted of capital crimes for abducting
Terry King, 53, of North Clarendon, as she showed up for work at a
downtown Rutland supermarket in November 2000.
After carjacking King, police said Fell and another man drove her to New
York where she was beaten to death. Fell's alleged accomplice died in
prison before standing trial. Police said the two men abducted King
because they needed a vehicle as they were fleeing Rutland after killing
Fell's mother and her friend.
Vermont does not have the death penalty, but since King's death involved
crossing state lines federal prosecutors took jurisdiction and sought
Fell is appealing his death sentence, with the first hearing in that
appeal process held earlier this week before the 2nd Circuit Court of
Appeals in New York City.
(source: Rutland Herald)
Misconduct in criminal cases
United States citizens should be concerned about our criminal justice
system. Over 2 million men are now incarcerated in our state and federal
prison system. The now infamous case involving District Attorney Mike
Nifong of Durham, N.C., is just 1 example of misconduct. Nifong put his
personal ambition above justice for the three Duke University students,
falsely accused of rape.
In recent years, 117 death row inmates have been proven innocent through
DNA and other evidence. How many of these innocent men were inadequately
represented by weak and less than ethical defense attorneys? Criminal
defense attorneys usually require their fee to be paid in full, often with
no intention of doing the hard work required to exonerate their innocent,
and often naive, client.
>From the time the accused hear the words, "You're under arrest," the
accused may wait for his trail for two years or more. Believing he will be
granted a fair trial by jury, the accused tells his paid and trusted
attorney the truth surrounding his case, partically any exculpatory
By law, the prosecuter is provided this information long before the trial.
Too often, the exculpatory evidence is never heard by duped jury members,
as the trusted defense attorney sits idly by in the court room, never
raising an objection; allowing an often overzealous prosecutor to distort
the facts, withhold evidence from the jury and impune the honesty of
witnesses for the defense. Through their actions and inactions, these
criminal attorneys pervert the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As a
result, innocent men and women lose their freedom, day after day in court
rooms across America.
Citizens should be very concerned. Why? Because we could be the next
In the criminal case involving the innocent Duke students, Nifong chose to
ignore DNA evidence which, by itself, proved the falsely accused students
innocent. The accuser had made a similar false accusation 10 years
earlier. Her accomplice at first told police she did not believe a rape
had occured. Facing unrelated legal charges herself, she was coerced by
police to change her story to, "well, maybe, something did happen." This
coersion by police is known as witness tampering, a criminal act.
The good news? Nifong now faces criminal charges himself. A prosecutor
being disbarred and criminally charged, while not a prescedent, is very
rare. After more than 26 years of prosecuting fellow citizens, he may now
be humbled by facing the loss of his freedom.
Defense attorneys, prosecutors, police and judges in our criminal system
should make a note of the Nifong case - the citizens are watching you.
Fair and just prosecution is necessary.
Persecution is evil and a crime which undermines citizen trust in our
justice system and destroys the reputation and future of those convicted.
Our honest officers of the court, are respected and law abiding
professionals with much responsibilty.
The old adage, "It is better that a hundred guilty go free than one
innocent accused lose his freedom, good name or life," applies here.
(ource : The South Missourian News ---- Donald Cheesman is retired from
the military and lives near Elizabeth, Ark.)
Student's murderer could face death penalty----Byron Waring was found
guilty of first degree murder for the 2005 killing of Lauren Redman
A Wake County jury convicted Byron Waring of first-degree murder on June
28, for the murder of former N.C. State student Lauren Redman in 2005.
Jurors have not yet given Waring a sentence, but have only 2 choices: life
in prison without parole or death. A Wake County jury has not sentenced
anyone to death since 2001.
On November 8, 2005, Raleigh police officer J.F. Taylor responded to a
reported rape and stabbing at the Dominion Walnut Creek Apartments on
Gorman Street. When he arrived, he found Redman, a lab technician and
former English major, dead in breezeway of her building.
According to search warrants, Redman gave a description of the 2 men she
said were responsible before she died. That description led law
enforcement to question Waring and Joseph Sanderlin.
Waring and Sanderlin were arrested within days for first degree murder.
George Sasser, a former roommate of Redman's, was also arrested for being
an accessory after a murder when he warned Waring and Sanderlin the police
were looking for them, according to the warrants.
In his confession, Waring said he and Sanderlin went to Redman's apartment
to rob her, but when she resisted he held her down while Sanderlin raped
her, according to the News and Observer. They each began to stab her with
a butcher knife 28 times. They then fled with her cell phone, wallet and
During their investigation, detectives located blood drops on the top of
Waring's shoes, and officers found an item belonging to Redman in the same
area that Waring was questioned.
"Waring confessed to being involved in the murder and rape of Lauren
Redman," reads the police report. "He further advised that Joseph
Sanderlin was the person who committed the rape. He confessed that both he
and Sanderlin stabbed the victim."
As the sentencing phase began last Friday, Waring's defense argued he was
"mentally slow," according to the News and Observer.
Waring has a court date scheduled for Friday. Sanderlin's trial has not
(source: North Carolina State University----Technician Online)
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