[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----PENN., N.C., FLA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jan 30 23:18:35 CST 2008
Defendant starts picking jury in own death penalty trial
A former Washington County landscaper acting as his own attorney has begun
picking jurors for his death penalty trial in Pittsburgh.
29-year-old Jason Patrick Stollar is accused of robbing and killing
78-year-old Jean Heck of Upper St. Clair in 2003.
Stollar told potential jurors on Wednesday he plans to argue he was
mentally impaired when Heck was killed.
Stollar has no legal training. The American Bar Association recommends
only a licensed attorney with an extensive background be hired for death
penalty cases. Stollar has a constitutional right to represent himself.
If he's convicted of 1st-degree murder, a judge has ordered attorney James
DePasquale to represent Stollar in the penalty phase.
(source: Associated Press)
Greene's neighbors: She deserves death penalty
Several neighbors, acquaintances and strangers who followed Lisa Greenes
murder and arson trial say Greene deserves the death penalty.
A jury convicted her Wednesday of 2 counts of 1st degree murder, 1 count
of 1st degree arson and 2 counts of drug possession.
The issue now is whether Greene faces life in prison or the death penalty
for the murders.
Greene murdered her own children, Daniel Macemore, 10, and Addison
Macemore, 8. They're buried side by side in a country cemetery. The
headstone reads "together forever in heaven."
The guilty verdict is what Angie Desarro wanted. She lives down the street
from where Daniel and Addison died in a house fire.
"If all the hundreds of pieces of evidence finally added up yes, yes this
is what happened, DeSarro said.
She is a mother of 2 and followed the trial from the beginning.
"It just blows my mind," she said.
That is her reaction to how a parent could start the family home on fire
and leave her kids inside.
Daniel Macemore tried to kick his way out of the bedroom where he and
Casey Johnson remembers seeing Daniel and Addison play. On Wednesday, he
talks about simple truths: Parents want their children to outlive them.
Parents would die for their children as well.
"If I was on fire, I wouldn't care, I'd be trying to save my kids, period.
I think any parent, or father or mother would burn up themselves than let
their kids die," Johnson said.
Prosecutors say Lisa Greene wanted a new life of her own. Now, neighbors
say Greene's punishment should fit her crime.
"The death penalty I think would be the best choice," DeSarro said.
"I think death," said Johnson.
The sentencing phase of the trial starts Friday morning at the Cabarrus
(source: WCNC News)
Verdict: Inmate guilty of murder
12 jurors took 38 minutes to convict Washington Correctional Institution
inmate Johnny Reed of 1st-degree murder for killing another convict in a
racially motivated attack.
Reed and the jurors will return to court today for a short penalty phase
proceeding that will end with the jury recommending either life in prison
or death for Reed.
Reed, 34, accepted the verdict without expression and laughed with his
attorneys after the jury had been excused for the day.
Jurors convicted him of smothering Donald R. Williams, 46, in November
2006 while the two shared a cell at the Washington County prison.
Reed's lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Walter Smith, told jurors in his
closing that the prison shared some of the blame. He said Reed, a white
man, had made no secret of his allegiance to the "Aryan Brotherhood" or
his view that prisoners should be segregated by race.
Williams was black.
Smith said the 2 never should have been put in a cell together.
Reed did not deny killing Williams. He gave investigators a detailed
confession and participated in a videotaped re-enactment of the murder.
Smith simply asked jurors to convict Reed of something other than
1st-degree murder so they would not have to return to court for the
Prosecutor Larry Basford indicated he would be seeking the death penalty
on at least 4 legal aggravators: the murder was heinous, atrocious or
cruel; it was cold, calculated and premeditated; the defendant has a prior
violent felony conviction; and he was in custody at the time of the crime.
Legal aggravators have to be proven to jurors, but they assign the weight
each aggravator carries in determining a recommendation. It would be
almost unheard of for Circuit Judge Allen Register to sentence Reed to
anything other than what the jury recommends.
Basford said he will call 1 witness today in the penalty phase. Smith said
he had two witnesses and said the hearing might be concluded by 10:30 a.m.
Register, who has worked in Washington County for 25 years as a prosecutor
and judge, said there have been several local 1st-degree murder cases that
have gone to a penalty phase hearing in that time, but no one had been
sentenced to death.
(source: The News Herald)
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