[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----ALA., TENN., MASS., MO., ILL., PENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Oct 30 00:04:12 CDT 2007
Troy King's war on something
THE ISSUE: Alabama's attorney general is again waging war on Shelby
County's district attorney on a death penalty case.
Attorney General Troy King is so determined to be tough on crime that he's
even willing to go to war with ...
Can this be right?
King is going to war with someone who's on his side?
Amazingly, King has asked a judge to bar Shelby County District Attorney
Robby Owens from testifying in a court hearing involving a death row
inmate's appeal of his death sentence - even though Owens, like the
attorney general, opposes Michael Brandon Samra's efforts to escape the
death penalty for the 1997 murder of four people, including two children.
"These motions are necessary because - though Mr. Owens in recent days has
changed his position and told the ... family that he will not side with
the barbaric child murderer Brandon Samra - this new position is a
complete change from his original position when he said Samra ... in
`fairness' should be resentenced," King said in a statement Thursday.
Owens said King is wrong and is trying to score "political points."
Troy King try to score political points? Say it isn't so.
Just recently, in an earlier battle with Owens, King showed his
determination to get publicity - um, justice - no matter how many cheap
political shots he had to take.
It seems Owens decided that one inmate on Death Row should not be there,
because the actual killer in the case had escaped the ultimate punishment
because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The triggerman, Marcus Presley,
was 16 at the time of the robbery/murder at a Shelby County pawnshop. The
Supreme Court deemed juveniles like Presley too young to face execution
for their crimes. Given that ruling, Owens said, it wasn't fair for
accomplice LaSamuel Gamble, who didn't kill either of the victims, to be
put to death either.
King trashed Owens as being in league with criminals, generating a huge
backlash from district attorneys across the state. Fellow prosecutors said
Owens, unlike King, understood his duty to ensure fairness in the death
penalty. Some prosecutors noted they were old enough to remember when the
death penalty across the country was suspended because of its arbitrary
"If I allowed the execution of a nonshooter when a shooter has been taken
off death row, the people who oppose the death penalty would make a poster
child out of him," Owens said.
As opponents of the death penalty, we wish Owens were demanding fairness
for fairness' sake, not just for the sake of preserving the death penalty.
Even so, his position was just.
Samra cited that case in seeking to get off Death Row, too. His
co-defendant, Randy Duke, also escaped a death sentence because of his age
at the time they killed Duke's father, his father's fiancee and her 2
Owens argues Samra's case is different than Gamble's. Unlike Gamble, who
participated in a robbery but took no life, Samra shot one of the victims
and cut the throat of one of the children.
Owens' position is at least defensible, and this time, it's in line with
the attorney general's viewpoint. But that isn't enough to stop King from
waging his war on ... something.
(source: The Birmingham News)
Price of death penalty unknown ---- Lack of records, missing files hinder
cost analysis of capital punishment in Tenn.
State officials studying capital punishment in Tennessee say they can't
figure out the overall cost of the death penalty because there's no
comprehensive system for tracking costs.
Furthermore, a study of capital punishment cases in Tennessee since 1977
shows that nearly a quarter have missing files. These files are used by
higher courts to judge the fairness and proportionality of how the death
penalty is applied in 1st-degree murder cases.
Elizabeth Sykes, the administrative director for the state Administrative
Office of the Courts, will appear before lawmakers and others studying the
death penalty this week to address criticism regarding the lack of records
and missing files.
"It's going to be very difficult for this committee to accurately suggest
meaningful legislation and change within the system unless we have
statistics, unless we know what is actually happening," said state Sen.
Douglas Jackson, a co-chair on the death penalty study committee that met
for the first time this month.
The only comprehensive state review of the death penalty lacks essential
information, such as the amount of time prosecutors and judges spend on
these cases. Other records are fraught with errors, said Douglas Wright,
assistant director of the Comptroller's Office of Research and Education
"One of the things we found was it was almost impossible to compile this
into a total cost," Wright said.
Wright said the study in 2004 could not determine the overall cost of a
death-penalty case, including appeals, because of inadequate information.
"We found inconsistencies in the Administrative Office of the Courts data
and Department of Corrections data and data from local clerks, including
people that were missing from our sample, inconsistent spelling of names,
inaccurate or missing dates of birth and inaccurate or missing sentence
types," he said.
Former Attorney General Paul Summers said he didn't think that knowing the
cost of executions would have much impact on public support of the death
"I think people feel the death penalty is retributive and worth whatever
it costs," Summers said. "Policy makers may feel different."
The Administrative Office of the Courts compiles the status of
death-penalty cases in a monthly report, and the chief justice can inquire
into cases that have been pending for an extended period in state trial or
One of the most comprehensive studies of the state's death-penalty system
came from the Tennessee Justice Project, an organization that advocates
for reforms to the criminal justice system but says it has no position on
Brad MacLean, assistant director of the organization and attorney for
death row inmates Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman and Paul Dennis Reid, said their
study showed that many cases are missing forms that are vital for higher
courts like the Tennessee Supreme Court to weigh the fairness of the
application of the death penalty.
Trial judges fill out forms that detail the basic facts including details
of the crime, aggravating factors and personal histories of the defendants
and victims. The forms, called Rule 12 forms, are used in all first-degree
murder cases regardless of whether the state is seeking the death penalty.
Of the 207 death-penalty cases between 1977 and 2005, 23 % had missing
forms, according to the study by the Tennessee Justice Project.
"The purpose of the Rule 12 forms is to enable the Supreme Court on direct
appeal to conduct a proportionality review, to compare the facts and
circumstances of this particular case with the facts and circumstances of
other 1st-degree murder cases," MacLean said.
After glancing through a list of missing files, Jackson asked MacLean how
the Supreme Court is reviewing for fairness without those forms.
"My opinion is they cannot do it effectively, properly, accurately or
reliably," he replied.
The comptroller's report also found missing Rule 12 forms during their
research, saying judges were not filing the reports in a consistent or
Former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Adolpho A. Birch was a consistent
critic of the court's proportionality review and often dissented in
death-penalty cases because he felt the pool of cases used for comparison
was inadequate and the review was too subjective.
"I've always felt the proportionality review was flawed," Birch said,
noting that he recalled reviewing cases that had missing forms.
Birch said the missing information was eventually provided for review but
that the forms are more reliable because they are filled out by the trial
The forms, while not mandated by state statute or constitutionally
required, are just one tool used by the Supreme Court to review
proportionality, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts.
(source: Associated Press)
Dana plant killings now a death- penalty case
The Bristol Virginia prosecutor today increased charges against Carl David
Ray in connection with the Dec. 8, 2006, shooting death of his estranged
wife and a co-worker at the Dana Corp. plant. Ray, 36, now is charged with
1 count of capital murder and 1 count of 1st-degree murder, and the use of
a firearm in the commission of capital murder and 1st-degree murder.
Ray is charged with killing his estranged wife, Tracy Ray, 36, and a
co-worker Randall OQuinn, 42, while the 1 sat in OQuinn's pickup in the
Dana parking lot. Investigators said both were shot several times with a
Carl Ray had been charged with 1st-degree murder in O'Quinn's death, but
that charge was upgraded today after Commonwealths Attorney Jerry Wolfes
motion was approved by Judge Sage Johnson. As a result of the upgraded
charge, Ray's attorney successfully argued that todays preliminary hearing
be postponed until January.
(source: Bristol Herald Courier)
Death penalty questions linger
When those with the most undeniable rationale for supporting the death
penalty decline to do so, the rest of us must take notice.
While we, too, remain divided on this issue, momentum is growing
throughout the country to re-evaluate the soundness of arguments for
responding in kind to the taking of a life. Is there really any
justification for killing in response to killing?
This unease was made manifest last week in Boston. A couple of relatives
of murder victims spoke out against a bill that would reinstate capital
punishment in Massachusetts, a bill sponsored by House Republican leader
Rep. Brad Jones of North Reading and tacitly supported by former Gov. Mitt
"I think it's an option that the state should have in certain cases," said
Jones. "I remain convinced it is the most appropriate punishment for the
most horrific crimes."
Others are not so sure, and ambivalence is unsettling legislators and
governors here and elsewhere. The questions that have always been asked,
-Are there certain crimes, such as the murder of a child or police
officer, or an act of terrorism, that should always warrant the death
-What if an innocent person dies? Should DNA tests be required before
execution can proceed? These are the usual concerns. But creeping unease
beyond this seems to be coloring discussion. The father of Jeffrey Curley,
who was raped and murdered at age 10, and relatives of two victims of the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, spoke out against the death penalty
last week, and their opinions should be accorded extra weight.
They're on the front lines.
Robert Curley said his original support has been transformed into
objection. In the end, he decided the death penalty was disproportionately
used against those without the means to hire expensive lawyers and that
"with my background I'm closer to the innocent guy who gets executed than
other way around."
The survivor wife of a 9/11 hijack victim said her husband had always been
opposed to the death penalty. She was, in essence, speaking for him.
Beyond the statistics, the scientific testing, the arguments over the
questionable humaneness of lethal injection, isn't there something about
taking a life - even a life that disgusts us - that disturbs the heart in
ways that may never provide the peace we think it should?
(source: The Sun Chronicle)
Kidnapper Lisa Montgomery Sentenced to the Death Penalty
On Friday, U.S. Attorney John F. Wood of the Western District of Missouri
announced that a federal jury, after about 4 hours of deliberation,
returned a special verdict that finds Lisa M. Montgomery, 39, of Melvern,
Kansas, should be sentenced to receive death for kidnapping a baby girl in
December of 2004. The method of kidnapping was such that it resulted in
the death of the infant's mother.
Her trial having begun on October 1st, Montgomery was found guilty on
Monday, October 22nd, of this year, of kidnapping Victoria Jo Stinnett by
cutting her from her mother's womb in order to claim her as her own child.
She then transported the baby across the state line from Skidmore,
Missouri, to Melvern. The often graphic and horrific evidence presented at
the trial demonstrated that Montgomery strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett, the
baby's mother, with a rope and then used a kitchen knife to cut her infant
daughter from Stinnet's womb. At the time of her death, Bobbie Jo Stinnett
was 8 months pregnant.
"We are confident that justice has been served in this case. I want to
thank everyone in law enforcement who has worked on this investigation. It
is hard to imagine a better example of law enforcement cooperation than
the efforts that led to the successful rescue of baby Victoria Jo from her
mother's killer. As I have said before, the only positive thing to come
out of this tragedy is that today Victoria Jo is a healthy
soon-to-be-3-year-old who has been reunited with her family. I would like
to thank the jury for their careful and thoughtful deliberations and the
sacrifices they have made to ably serve in this trial," said Wood.
Anti-death penalty advocates claim that the use of the death penalty is
not an effective deterrent to would-be violent crime committers and,
coupling that with the fact that there can be mistaken verdicts of guilt
rendered in cases where an innocent receives the death sentence, as new
DNA evidence investigations sometimes reveal, they conclude that the death
penalty itself should be outlawed.
Many of the staunchest proponents of doing away with the death penalty are
churches and church groups, who say that "an eye for an eye" is the "old
law" that no longer applies because Jesus Christ was made the greatest and
last sacrifice; and, as he died for the sins of all, even those who commit
violent crimes so hideous as to appear to deserve death must have their
lives spared no matter what else their criminal punishment is.
The United States Supreme Court, in a 1972 decision, decided the death
penalty was unconstitutional in the appealed case of Furman v. Georgia.
However, 4 years later, when deciding on the appealed Gregg v. Georgia
decision, the Court upheld the use of the death penalty.
Advocates for the death penalty maintain that it gives a sense of justice
to the families of victims killed in violent crimes, and they are not
convinced that it does not act as a deterrent.
(source: Associated Content)
2 sides to Gov. Ryan
Why is it so hard to believe he was both sincere about the death penalty
and a crook?
I asked an editor in the Sun-Times newsroom, a guy I respect: What do you
make of George Ryan's moratorium on executions?
"A cynical public relations stunt," he said.
There you go. You hear that a lot.
>From the moment former Gov. Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in
Illinois, shortly before he left office in 2002, hard-eyed realists across
the state had laughed off any possibility that his motives were pure, that
he acted sincerely out of a troubled conscience.
Ryan's conscience wasn't troubled, they said. But Ryan, himself, was in
deep trouble, soon to be indicted for a string of crooked dealings while
he was governor and secretary of state. He seized on the death penalty
issue, they said, in a shameless attempt to divert attention from his
legal problems, and, perhaps, in a bid to salvage his legacy.
To which I've always replied: How boring.
People -- even a by-the-numbers Republican like Ryan -- are so much more
complicated than that.
My own belief is that Ryan was and remains utterly sincere in his
opposition to the death penalty. But whether he knows it or not, he never
would have done the soul-searching to get to that point, or felt the
freedom to do something about it, had U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald not
been chasing him down.
Unseen forces shape us
Why do any of us believe what we believe? It's almost never just a matter
of obvious self-interest.
"There are always analysts who come up with a primitive kind of Marxism,
who say that all we do is governed by rationally calculated
self-interest," said Andreas Glaeser, an associate professor of sociology
at the University of Chicago. "But I find that too primitive. I suspect
your hunch is right about somebody like Ryan. I have met politicians, and
I was shocked to see the human being in front of me."
>From his study of the secret police in formerly communist Eastern European
countries, Glaeser said, he's found that the beliefs people claim to hold
are heavily shaped by forces they don't even see.
"You have to look at their social networks," he said. "Their social
contracts, experiences in their jobs, who talks to whom, and what can you
talk about when you talk."
And when those unseen forces shift, so do our supposedly deepest
In the case of Ryan, almost everything in his life and career would have
discouraged him from questioning the death penalty -- even to himself --
until he became governor. As a Kankakee Republican, he moved almost
exclusively in circles where a belief in the death penalty was a given,
and where expressing doubts was political suicide.
But as governor, it became Ryan's job to personally review the last-minute
appeals of prisoners about to be executed, and by all accounts the job
"It was gut-wrenching for him," recalled his former press secretary Dennis
Culloton. "He was emotionally wrought."
And then in late 1999, Culloton said, the Chicago Tribune ran a series of
articles about former Death Row inmates who had been wrongly convicted on
the basis of bad evidence, bad witnesses and prosecutorial misconduct --
and it pushed Ryan over the edge. What if one of those wrongly convicted
men, Ryan asked, had been executed on his watch?
It was during a back-office meeting with aides, Culloton recalled, that
Ryan first entertained the idea of declaring a moratorium on executions.
He began the meeting by repeatedly asking, "What do I do? What do I do?"
"Nowhere was there talk of the political calculation," Culloton said. "Not
once did he say something like, 'Will this get me off the front page of
the scandal sheets?' "
Also agonized over abortion
Do I believe Culloton's spin? Yeah. Because this isn't the first time I've
heard about Ryan struggling to reconcile his politics and his personal
When Ryan was running for governor, as Chicago-based journalist Jim
Merriner reported in the Sun-Times in April, he also agonized over his
stand on abortion. While Ryan was officially opposed to abortion except in
cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, he secretly
One day during the campaign, he met with a woman who had aborted a fetus
that had no brain. The woman then had gotten pregnant again and given
birth to a healthy boy, whom she had brought along to her meeting with
Ryan, according to Merriner, listened to the woman's story and looked at
her baby and started crying. He turned to an aide, Scott Fawell, and said,
"Scott, I'm pro choice."
"No, you're not!" Fawell said.
"Yes, I am!"
And so on.
Ryan remained opposed to abortion, but pro-life activists never fully
'I can see now'
Ryan's harshest critics say he declared the moratorium and commuted the
sentences of Death Row inmates for bald political gains. But at that time,
it's probably fairer to say, nobody really knew what the political fallout
"The rather divided reaction of Illinoisans about his commutations was a
shock to most observers who had expected a firestorm of protests," said
the novelist and lawyer Scott Turow, who served on a panel that studied
the state's death penalty procedures. "He did what he did, in my judgment,
knowing that he might leave office loathed and face a jury as a complete
pariah. His actions on the death penalty throughout were dispassionate and
Courageous, yes. Dispassionate, not completely.
Ryan's own legal problems, during which he came to see himself as a victim
of an overzealous prosecutor in a rigged system of justice, undoubtedly
caused him to feel greater compassion for wrongly accused men and women
everywhere -- even on death row.
I am told that he has said to friends: "I can see how this happens."
By now, you must be thinking I'm the world's biggest George Ryan fan, so
let me be clear:
I think Ryan is guilty. Overwhelmingly.
I think Ryan is a shabby old-school pol who sold out the whole state,
sparing only his leeching pals.
And I think Ryan should go to prison as scheduled Nov. 7 -- no more
But I also know it's possible for a man to fly high and fall low at the
That, as Shakespeare said, is the human condition.
And before going off to prison, George Ryan should have won the Nobel
(source: Column, Tom McNamee; Chicago Sun-Times)
Through a Glass Darkly----The Politics of Lethal Injection
The Supreme Court has decided to rule on the humanity of using lethal
injection in executions, in Baze v Rees, a Kentucky case in which two
inmates scheduled to be killed by the State have questioned the method of
their punishment. Death penalty opponents have seized on this ruling as a
portal to abolition of the death penalty, as was suggested by Marleen
Martin in these pages in January, in her article, "The Needle and the
Damage Done". Death penalty supporters hope for clarity from the Court on
a proper procedure to be used to kill, as with Michael Rushford of the
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, who supports capital punishment and
described lethal injection in a 2006 NPR interview as "essentially
Here in Pennsylvania, the District Attorneys have created a death row of
226, but only three have been executed in the last 30 years. These 3
voluntarily ended their appeals, and thereby committed judicial suicide.
The 226 remaining live in very tough conditions, lockdown 23 hours a day,
solitary, a living death awaiting death.
As we anticipate a surge in executions, let us envision what will happen
on a regular basis under current law. Here is the execution statute of
61 Pennsylvania Statutes 3004. Method of execution
(a) - The death penalty shall be inflicted by injecting the convict with a
continuous intravenous administration of a lethal quantity of an
ultrashort-acting barbituate in combination with chemical paralytic agents
approved by the department until death is pronounced by the coroner. The
coroner shall issue the death certificate. The execution shall be
supervised by the superintendent or his designee of the correctional
institution designated by the department for the execution.
This is the same method approved in 37 of the 38 States that maintain the
death penalty. Nebraska still mandates the electric chair. The actual
mechanics and staffing of the execution are hidden in the murk of
bureaucracy. The press office of the Department of Corrections stated
recently that "Pennsylvania has a confidential lethal injection team, and
uses people in the medical profession, like a nurse, RN, or paramedic."
I can picture the scene, as guards strap down the "convict' onto the
crucifix table, access a vein, and begin what is, finally, a medical
procedure, a "euthanasia" that will first sedate, then paralyze, and
finally stop the heart of a human being.
The current Supreme Court case will focus on the use of the paralytic
agent, which renders the executee unable to register discomfort, or even
undergo normal death throes in an unconscious state. Certainly, the lower
Courts that have registered their discomfort with this procedure and have
noted the difference with animal euthanasia, and, perhaps, have been
embarassed by the cruelty of our human executions when compared to animal
Here is the statute addressing the destruction of an animal in
3 Pennsylvania Statutes 328.2 Methods of destruction of animals
(a) Required method.--The required method of destruction shall be by the
administration of an overdose of a barbiturate, barbiturate combinations,
drug or drug combinations approved for this purpose by the Federal Drug
Administration and in accordance with guidelines established by the
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
(b) Authorized method.--Nothing in this act shall prevent a person or
humane society organization from destroying a pet animal by means of
328.3. Administration of drugs
The barbiturates, barbiturate combinations or other Federal Drug
Administration approved drugs or drug combinations shall be administered
by intravenous, intraperitoneal or intracardiac injections or orally by a
licensed veterinarian or as set forth in section 6.
The FDA approved drugs, with their chemical constituents, for destruction
of an animal are as follows: Beuthanasia-D Special, pentobarbital sodium
and phenytoin sodium; Repose Euthanasia Solution, secobarbital and
dibucaine; Tributame Euthanasia Solution, embutramide, chloroquine
phosphate, lidocaine; Euthasol, pentobarbital sodium and phenytoin sodium;
Euthanasia-III Solution, pentobarbital sodium and phenytoin sodium. There
is not a paralytic among them. Nor is a paralytic mentioned in the
American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) Guidelines on Euthanasia.
The 2007 version of these guidelines contains a highlighted note, in red,
on its title page:
Caution: The AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (formerly the 2000 Report of
the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia) have been widely misinterpreted. Please note
-The guidelines are in no way intended to be used for human lethal
-The application of a barbiturate, paralyzing agent, and potassium
chloride delivered in separate syringes or stages (the common method used
for human lethal injection) is not cited in this report.
-The report never mentions pancuronium bromide or Pavulon, the paralyzing
agent used in human lethal injection.
The authors of this caution fail to mention that the Guidelines do contain
the following pertinent note in the appendix:
Neuromuscular blocking agents (nicotine, magnesium sulfate, potassium
chloride, all curariform agents) - When used alone, these drugs all cause
respiratory distress before loss of consciousness, so the animal may
perceive pain and distress after it is immobilized.
Lethal injection may be cruel to the person being killed, but its beauty
for proponents of capital punishment is its appearance. Since the dying
human cannot move, he/she cannot cry out, moan, twitch, or otherwise
present anything but stillness to the practitioners of State murder, or to
the witnesses. Just as the United States citizenry enjoys a mass media
that carefully sanitizes the brutality of its government, so it
appreciates the aesthetic of a death without death throes, conducted with
the soothing appearance of an anesthetist delivering a painkiller. The
reality of the suffocating patient, struggling to scream, can be ignored
if the screams cannot be voiced.
I have spoken with my local State Representative, Bob Freeman, and my
State Senator, Lisa Boscola, about the cruelty and lack of reason involved
in the death penalty, and they remain resolute in supporting it, for the
victims they say, to protect society. When I suggested to another
Pennsylvania State Representative, Douglas Reichley, that lethal injection
may be cruel and unusual, he simply suggested that we could return to the
firing squad. The local District Attorneys, John Morganelli of Northampton
County, and James Martin of Lehigh County, are staunch supporters of the
death penalty, and seek it whenever they can stretch to "qualify" a
defendant. Each is willing to accept the very real possibility of an
innocent undergoing death, in order to maintain the visage of the
all-powerful State administering a final justice.
These legislators are unmoved by the fact that more people have been
exonerated from Pennsylvania's death row--6 - than have been executed in
the last 30 years. It is a political no-brainer here in Pennsylvania - to
seek death is to gain votes.
Savage images rise to the surface, as we contemplate how far we have
fallen, how depraved we have become in this rush to obtain an artificial
sense of justice. Support and tolerance for capital punishment represent
unquestioning allegiance to State power. It is a sign of trust in the
absolute power of the government. This is the antithesis of democracy and
freedom, but is crucial to acceptance of such policies as the Iraq
war/occupation, torture, rendition, wiretapping, and nuclear weapons.
Pennsylvania Death Penalty activists desperately seek traction in a
moratorium bill that would halt executions while the fairness of the death
penalty is studied, and have changed their name from Pennylvania
Abolitionists to Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Of
course, the same legislators that favor the death penalty want nothing to
do with a moratorium either, and properly conflate any moratorium with
attempts to abolish.
As Maria Weick, Pennsylvania State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for
Amnesty International, stated, on the efforts to seek a moratorium or
object to the methods of execution, "We are grasping at a moratorium
because we don't have a lick of a chance at abolition. We grasp at the
mechanics of it because we can't get a thoughtful discussion of its
reality. On a moral, philosphical or spiritual level, we do not address
the right issues. What is our definition of justice? We won't address the
deep questions, so we are left with train schedules."
(source: CounterPunch----Joe DeRaymond lives in Freemansburg, PA.)
Death-penalty phase begins in Solomon trial
Jelani Solomon had 650 days to plot the killing of Frank Helisek Jr. in
New Brighton, a federal prosecutor said Monday.
His defense attorney, however, said a lifetime of hell under the influence
of a drug-addicted mother got Solomon to that point.
Monday, federal jurors began hearing testimony in the death-penalty phase
for Solomon, 28, of Beaver Falls. The same jury convicted Solomon last
week of several offenses including use of a gun during drug trafficking
resulting in death.
According to authorities, Solomon hired Claron Hanner, 30, of Pittsburgh
to kill Helisek to silence Helisek's son, Shawn, for testifying against
him in a drug trial.
(source: Beaver County Times Allegheny Times)
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