[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----FLORIDA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Nov 14 12:22:12 CST 2007
Convicted child killer's execution halted
In Jacksonville, a federal court granted a stay Wednesday
halting the execution of Mark Dean Schwab, who was scheduled to die
Thursday for the murder of an 11-year-old boy.
The U.S. District Court's delay of Schwab's execution was widely
expected. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the appeals of two
Kentucky inmates challenging the toxic three-drug combination
Florida uses the same drugs and Schwab's appeal claims the chemicals
violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway ordered the stay, which will
remain in effect while the high court considers the Kentucky cases.
"Not only is the Supreme Court poised to clarify the standards by
which the Eighth Amendment is to be interpreted in death cases, but
the high court also has before it the constitutionality of using the
very chemicals employed in this state as a means of carrying out the
death sentence and challenged in this instant action," Conway wrote.
Schwab's execution for the 1991 killing Junny Rios-Martinez was set
for 6 p.m. Thursday, the first in the state since the botched
execution of Angel Diaz last Dec. 13. It took 34 minutes for Diaz to
die - twice as long as normal - because the guards pushed the needles
through his veins.
The U.S. Supreme Court has delayed executions in three other states
while it considers the appeals of the Kentucky inmates. Junny's
mother, Vicki Rios-Martinez, said despite the court's decision, her
family would celebrate the boy's life Saturday at Junny Rios-Martinez
Park in Cocoa Beach.
"We no longer choose to be victims," the mother said Wednesday. "Once
the criminal victimizes you, the state victimizes you over and over
again. It seems to be endless."
In its response to Schwab's appeal, the state argued that he should
not be given a stay because he did not raise the chemical issue in
the Florida courts. It also said the state's procedure is designed to
prevent potentially painful drugs from being injected until an inmate
is "deeply unconscious."
Schwab was released from prison after serving three years of an eight-
year sexual assault sentence in March 1991. During the same month, a
newspaper published a picture of Junny for winning a kite contest.
Schwab gained the confidence of Junny's family, claiming he was with
the newspaper and was writing an article on the boy.
On April 18, Schwab called Junny's school and pretended to be Junny's
father and asked that the boy meet him after school. A friend saw
Junny get into a truck with a man. Two days later, Schwab called his
aunt in Ohio and claimed that someone named Donald had made him
kidnap and rape the boy.
He was later arrested and told police where he left Junny's body - in
a footlocker in a rural part of Brevard County.
"The state is the one who is the biggest victimizer. They let him
out. They knew who he was," Rios-Martinez said.
After the boy's murder, the Legislature passed the Junny Rios-
Martinez Act, which prohibits sex offenders from early release from
Schwab waived a jury trial and argued his case before a trial judge.
He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
During the trial, it was revealed that Schwab kidnapped the boy,
bound his hands and face with duct tape and cut off the boy's
clothes. He raped the crying boy before strangling him.
(source: Associated Press)
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