[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----VIRGINIA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat May 24 21:14:36 CDT 2008
Virginia set to execute killer Tuesday
A man scheduled to be executed Tuesday for killing a Brunswick County
convenience-store owner would be the 1st person put to death in Virginia
since Gov. Timothy M. Kaine lifted a brief moratorium on executions in
Kevin Green, 31, is set to die at Greensville Correctional Center in
Jarratt for the 1998 slaying of Patricia Vaughan, who operated the store
with her husband, Lawrence. Green shot the couple and fled with about
Kaine put all Virginia executions on hold April 1 when he halted the
execution of Edward Nathaniel Bell, who killed a Winchester police officer
9 years ago, pending the outcome of a Kentucky case challenging the
constitutionality of lethal injections. Kaine lifted the moratorium April
16 after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the method of execution. Georgia
became the 1st to execute an inmate May 7.
Green declined to choose between lethal injection or electrocution, so it
automatically defaults to lethal injection.
State breakdown of No Child Left Behind goals Green's attorneys have asked
the Supreme Court to halt his execution while justices consider reviewing
his case. They contend the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it
ruled in February that he had passed the statute of limitations for
claiming ineffective counsel.
The appeals court denied Green's request for a delay Monday. Green's
attorneys also have asked Kaine to block the execution.
Green, through his attorneys, declined to be interviewed.
On Aug. 21, 1998, Green and his nephew entered Lawrence's Grocery, where
Green had gotten his paychecks cashed when he had worked at a nearby
lumber yard, and Green opened fire without saying a word.
Green shot the Vaughans twice each, then stood watch while his nephew
stole a bank bag with about $9,000 in it. Lawrence Vaughan said Green then
shot his wife twice more in the back as she lay slumped over and then
turned the gun to him, but it misfired and the men fled.
Patricia Vaughan, 53, died at the scene. Lawrence Vaughan was shot in the
neck and elbow but managed to drag himself across the floor to a telephone
and call for help.
Lawrence Vaughan missed his wife's funeral because he was in the hospital
an hour away in Richmond.
"The last time I saw my wife was when the rescue squad laid the sheet over
top of her right beside me in the store," he said in a telephone interview
from his home in South Hill.
Days after the shooting, police arrested Green and David Green. Kevin
Green confessed, telling police they took a bus to northern Virginia after
the shootings and blew all but $170 on prostitutes, marijuana and clothes.
David Green, who was 16 at the time, pleaded guilty to murder, malicious
wounding, robbery and using a firearm. He was sentenced to 23 years in
Kevin Green was found guilty of robbery and capital murder in Brunswick
County and sentenced to death on June 22, 2000. One year later, the
Virginia Supreme Court ordered a new trial because the trial judge had
refused to strike two possibly biased jurors.
In 2001, Green was convicted at a 2nd trial and again sentenced to death.
Green challenged his sentence on grounds that he was mentally retarded and
that his lawyer, through failing to appeal all of his charges, was
In February, a 3-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled that Green's attorneys failed to prove that he was mentally
retarded. The panel found that Green's intellectual capacity didn't fall
within the established guidelines of mental retardation, and that he had
passed the statute of limitations for claiming ineffective counsel.
Lawrence Vaughan, 68, has waited 10 years to see Green put to death for
killing his wife.
"I'm just disgusted they couldn't do it before now," said Vaughan, who
sold the store months after the shooting.
Vaughan will travel to nearby Jarratt with his 2 daughters, his son-in-law
and his wife of 3 years. Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts and
another local official also will join the family.
Roberts, who grew up on a tobacco farm a half-mile from the couple's
store, was deputized days before the shooting and was the 1st person to
respond to Lawrence Vaughan's call for help.
He said the execution will give closure to the family - and to the county,
which hasn't had a capital murder case since.
Marsha Brown said it also will mean justice for her mother.
"He gets to go peaceful, just like going to sleep and dying," she said.
"He's not there with somebody pointing a gun at him and shooting him in
Green would be the 99th person executed in Virginia since the U.S. Supreme
Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976 and the 1st since 2006.
Virginia ranks 2nd only to Texas, which has executed 405.
(source: Associated Press)
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