[Deathpenalty] death penalty news---ALA., N.Y., IND. WYO.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Feb 5 22:49:19 CST 2008
What Riley should say----In our opinion
On Wednesday, Gov. Bob Riley delivers the annual State of the State
address. With a slowing economy and projected budget cuts looming, the
governor has his work cut out for him.
The Star's editorial board has a few ideas that Riley is free to cut and
paste into the text of his Wednesday speech. After he dispenses with the
usual formalities, Riley should look straight into the camera and say:
The state of our state is full of potential, yet dangerously close to
back-sliding into Alabama's old ways of too little opportunity.
The Legislature has just started its 2008 session, and with that is the
constant barrage of news about our state's impending financial doom.
It can become demoralizing. Nevertheless, there is some truth in that
doom: Thanks to our rainy day accounts, our Education Trust Fund and
General Fund budgets will limp by this year, but it's likely the following
fiscal year will require deep, across-the-board cuts to make ends meet.
Simply, we must find bipartisan compromises and answers to our state's
money woes. Failure to do so puts the hard work of growing our economy in
Here is priority No. 1 for the Legislature.
While the state of our state is good and better than in times past it can
improve, and it will.
Alabama has many lower-income residents living on the margins of poverty.
In the past, these needs have been mostly overlooked. That is no longer
acceptable. We cannot afford to leave these folks behind. With a hand up,
we can make a difference in the lives of the "least of these". I pledge
tonight that I will work with the Legislature to remedy this problem.
We must revamp our state's regressive sales tax, which hits our
lower-income residents the hardest and on the most basic items. Groceries
in Alabama should not be taxed. The efforts we've made in recent years by
raising the tax threshold have helped. But we must do more, and we will.
I urge the leadership of our Legislature to regain the confidence of our
citizens. The previous session was plagued by inactivity, a lack of
progress on many critical pieces of legislation, and the appearance of
selfishness and greed. To top that off, an ill-advised punch on the Senate
floor marred the entire session. Alabamians must see the Statehouse as a
place of leadership and accomplishment, not as an embarrassment to our
I also urge legislators to drive a nail through the heart of PAC-to-PAC
transfers in Alabama. Such a practice leads to nothing but mistrust and a
lack of transparency for our state lawmakers. The movement is afoot. A
majority of our legislators in the House and the Senate say publicly they
support such a ban. The time to do it is now.
The year 2007 was a good one for industrial development in Alabama. We are
not the largest or most prosperous state in the union, but we have carved
out a sizeable niche in the realm of recruitment of businesses both
international and national. I am extremely proud of the job we've done in
this area. We've seen significant additions to the workforces and
economies of Mobile, Montgomery, Lee County and the Shoals area. Other
areas have done well, too. I have no plans to scale back these efforts. We
must bring high-paying jobs to our state, and we will continue to do so in
I am concerned about the livability of our state. For too long our
leaders, including me, have failed to protect our waterways and
environment as we should. That must change. I am pledging to Alabamians
tonight that I will seek ways to improve funding for the Alabama
Department of Environmental Management, continue working with our
neighbors in the water wars, and seek a uniform and stringent anti-smoking
ordinance for the entire state. We know cigarettes kill. We can no longer
turn our back on that reality.
Nor can we ignore the serious issues involving our prison systems. It's
common knowledge that our prisons are overcrowded; to that end, we've made
strides by implementing programs that give non-violent offenders job
skills. But we must do more, and we will. I am committed to these
programs, and will work with the Department of Corrections to see if we
can expand these programs in 2008. If they work, and they do, then we must
While we are on the subject of corrections, let's discuss our state's use
of the death penalty. It is not an easy, light-hearted topic; it's also
one that I, as your governor, take extremely seriously. I am a longtime
supporter of the death penalty, and have agreed with our attorney general
that having the deterrent of the ultimate punishment available to our
judges, juries and legal systems is good for the state of Alabama. After
much soul-searching, and in light of advances in DNA testing, tonight I am
announcing a change of heart.
I now believe Alabama should enforce a moratorium on the death penalty for
existing death-row inmates. I also plan to endorse the idea that Alabama
should follow the lead of other states and abolish the death penalty
outright. It is an archaic, inhumane way of meting out punishment for
horrific crimes. It's time our state becomes a leader, and not a lock-step
follower, in such an important matter.
My fellow Alabamians, the state of our state isn't merely good; it's very
good and so are its people, but it can be great if we continue along these
paths. Our concerns are many, our needs are expansive. But we are a state
of impressive people, and we can reach our potential if we simply work
together with the needed spirit toward our common goals.
(source: Anniston Star)
NEW YORK----possible federal death penalty
Folk Nation gang member could face death penalty
A member of the notorious Folk Nation drug gang in Brooklyn faces the
possibility of the death penalty after he and two cohorts were convicted
yesterday of racketeering charges in federal court in Brooklyn.
James McTier, 25, who was convicted of 3 murder charges that make him
eligible for capital punishment, will be back in court Feb. 12 for the
beginning of the penalty phase of his case.
It is then that the jurors who convicted McTier of racketeering will begin
hearing evidence on whether he should be executed or given life in prison
without parole for his crimes.
Convicted with McTier yesterday and facing life in prison when they are
sentenced in May are Dwayne Stone, 25, and Sharief Russell, known by the
street name of "Lucky." The 3 were accused of causing murder and mayhem in
Brownsville's public houses from 1998 to 2003.
The jury convicted all 3 of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.
Stone and Russell were convicted of a cocaine conspiracy. All 3 were
convicted of at least 1 federal firearms offense.
McTier, dressed in a black and white argyle sweater, black tie and white
shirt, showed no emotion as the verdict was announced before Judge I. Leo
Among the murders for which McTier faces the death penalty is that of
Tabitha Buckman, 34, a bystander killed while on a smoke break outside a
restaurant in October 2001. McTier's other convictions involved the
murders of another bystander, Ricky Tubens, and a suspected gang associate
named Shamel Ayatollah.
The Folk Nation gang is believed by investigators to be an offshoot of the
Crips gang. The name "Folk" is believed to stand for "Forever Over Latin
Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty in Quadruple Murder Case
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a man charged with 4
counts of murder in the slayings of 2 women and their 2 young children.
That man, 30-year-old Ronald Davis, is also charged with other felony
counts in last week's shooting deaths of the two 24-year-old women and the
children they were holding in their arms.
Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says 4 other men will be charged with
robbery and other felony counts for plotting to rob the home where the
victims were slain.
Brizzi says investigators believe Davis was the gunman in the crime.
He says all 5 defendants, including Davis, were in on the plot to rob the
home and that all but one of the men were at the home the night of the
killings on Jan. 14.
All 5 men are expected in court this afternoon for their initial hearings.
(source: Associated Press)
Prosecutors consider death penalty
In Casper, prosecutors expect to decide this week whether to seek the
death penalty against a man accused of fatally beating and stabbing his
Donald Rolle, 47, is charged with 1st-degree murder.
The body of Jennifer Randel, 40, was found in a pickup truck in November.
Court records state that police dispatchers received a cell phone call
from Randel the night of Nov. 3. She told dispatchers she was being held
against her will in a pickup truck, according to court documents. Although
Randel's call was interrupted, the line remained connected and dispatchers
heard her screaming and asking for help. Police were unable to find the
truck that night.
The following day, officers from several law enforcement agencies
converged on the truck after authorities received a report that it was
stuck in a ditch.
Police say Rolle slashed his own wrists with a knife when officers arrived
at the truck. They say they found a note inside the truck that they
suspected was written by Rolle, which stated that Randel had been stabbed
during an argument and struggle over the knife.
Police say they believe Randel died sometime on Nov. 4. They say she had
suffered a wound to her neck and appeared to have been hit in the face.
Investigators say Randel and Rolle dated on and off and lived together at
times. Court documents show that violence broke out between the couple
(source: Billings Gazette)
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