[Deathpenalty] [POSSIBLE SPAM] death penalty news----NEV., GA., US MIL., PENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Oct 23 16:34:23 CDT 2008
Killer facing possible death penalty has extensive criminal history
A man who authorities say is a serial killer and rapist has a criminal
history dating back to when he was 18 years old.
Prosecutors today said Norman Flowers, 34, was responsible for a series of
burglaries, robberies and an arson in Las Vegas in 1992. He was released
on parole just 20 days before he murdered and sexually assaulted an
18-year-old woman in 2005.
A jury on Wednesday convicted Flowers of 1st-degree murder, sexual assault
and burglary for the slaying of Sheila Quarles.
Flowers is also accused of killing and sexually assaulting two other women
in Las Vegas.
A jury this week will decide whether to sentence Flowers to death.
(source: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Troy Davis' lawyers pursue new legal appeal
Lawyers for Troy Anthony Davis, scheduled to be executed Monday, are
seeking permission to file a new federal lawsuit based on innocence
Davis' attorneys on Wednesday asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
to stay his execution by lethal injection and allow them to file a new
round of appeals.
Parole board says it won't reconsider execution"Mr. Davis' execution in
light of new evidence concerning his innocence is constitutionally
intolerable," the motion said. "Society recoils at state execution of an
Davis, 40, has already pursued and lost appeals through the state and
federal courts. The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear Davis'
latest appeal, setting the course for his execution.
Davis is on death row for the Aug. 19, 1989, murder of 27-year-old
Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Since Davis' trial, 7 of 9
key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.
The defendant's claims of innocence have drawn opposition to his execution
from leaders across the globe, including former President Jimmy Carter and
Pope Benedict XVI.
On Wednesday, the European Union issued a statement, saying doubts about
Davis' guilt call for his death sentence to be commuted. "In these
circumstances, there is great risk of miscarriage of justice with
irreparable consequences," the statement said.
Chatham County prosecutors expressed confidence in Davis' guilt.
"The post-conviction stridency weve seen has been much about the death
penalty and little about Davis," District Attorney Spencer Lawton wrote in
a recent op-ed piece in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"The jury found that Davis, after shooting another man earlier in the
evening, murdered a police officer who came to the rescue of a homeless
man Davis had beaten. Officer MacPhail had never even drawn his weapon,"
Davis' court filing said the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
of 1996 allows a condemned inmate to seek a second round of federal
appeals if a federal appeals court approves it. Davis lawyers told the
11th Circuit they have made the requisite showing of actual innocence to
allow a new round of appeals to begin.
Amnesty International Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In Final Days Before Troy Davis Execution Date, Concerned Public Worldwide
More than 25 Solidarity Rallies Take Place in United States and Abroad
As the scheduled execution date for Troy Anthony Davis fast approaches,
national and international support for Davis is on the rise, with the
public demonstrating its outrage over the refusal to hear evidence in
Davis' favor, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) reported today.
Amnesty International has mobilized its worldwide membership during its
'Global Days of Action for Troy Davis' from now through Oct. 27. To date,
rallies are scheduled to be held in 15 cities across the United States,
including Atlanta; Tempe, AZ; Palm Springs, CA; Colorado Springs, CO as
well as in Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland and Italy
(for the complete list, please visit www.amnestyusa.org/troy.)
"This upsurge of support is proof-positive that conscientious citizens
will not back down in the face of adversity when a gross injustice is
about to be committed," said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA, as he
prepared to address hundreds at a rally in Atlanta Thursday evening. "They
can see through the detractors who are attempting to muddy the waters in
Davis' final days, and refuse to accept the notion that, in the United
States of America, evidence indicating a man's innocence does not matter."
The rallies, which have been planned throughout the week, come as the Troy
Davis legal team has requested to file a second habeas petition in the
11th Circuit, and clergy from Georgia and beyond are signing an appeal to
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, urging him to exert his influence with the
Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles and ask them to grant clemency in
Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008 at 7:00
p.m. Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing Savannah police officer Mark
Allen MacPhail. Authorities failed to produce a murder weapon or any
physical evidence tying Davis to the crime. In addition, 7 of the 9
original state witnesses have since recanted or changed their initial
testimonies in sworn affidavits. In March 2008, the Georgia Supreme Court
decided against a new evidentiary hearing for Davis in a narrow 4-3
ruling, and earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied his petition
for a writ of certiorari.
"There are obvious questions of potential innocence that demand
attention," said Jared Feuer, Southern regional director of AIUSA. "The
state of Georgia must understand the seriousness of this case and prevent
the execution of Mr. Davis if it is to preserve the public's faith in our
Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me?
The Case of Troy Davis, Facing Execution in Georgia, Amnesty International
has campaigned intensively for clemency for Davis, collecting well over
300,000 petition signatures and letters from across the United States and
around the world. To date, internationally known figures such as the Pope,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter have all joined the call for
clemency, as well as lawmakers from within and outside of Georgia.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist
organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and
volunteers in over 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide.
The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes
the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth
and dignity are denied.
For more information on the death penalty, please visit
(source: Amnesty International USA)
Psychologist: Troubled childhood led to Nichols' delusion
Brian Nichols had a troubled childhood. His father and mother worked hard
and were often absent. His father drank and smoked marijuana. A cousin and
his older brother sexually abused him up until the time he was about 9
years old. And he was bullied.
That difficult early life described by a defense psychologist in court
Wednesday set the stage for events that would take place decades later
when, on March 11, 2005, Nichols escaped from custody at the Fulton County
Courthouse and went on a rampage killing 4 people. "The stresses of his
childhood is what carries forward into adulthood," Mark Cunningham told
lead defense attorney Henderson Hill as he took the witness stand for the
On Tuesday Cunningham read excerpts from a college paper written by
Nichols as an example of what Cunningham said were extreme beliefs that
over time developed into delusional behavior. That behavior led Nichols to
the rape of a former long-time girlfriend in August 2004, then to the
courthouse escape and attacks while he was facing trial for that rape.
Nichols has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for the deaths of
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, and court reporter
Julie Ann Brandau, in Barnes' courtroom; deputy Hoyt Teasley, outside the
courthouse; and, while on the run, U.S. Customs Agent David Wilhelm.
Cunningham described Brian Nichols as the "good son" in his family. "He
was the achieving one," who unlike his older brother who later had drug
and legal problems had "white-collar employment" and earned $80,000 a
Yet as evidence of the emotional distance his parents kept from him when
Nichols was charged with the girlfriend's rape in August 2004, and
Nichols' attorney needed his parents to return to the country and testify
at his trial, the parents didn't come back to testify and "didn't even
visit him" in jail.
Nichols' sense of isolation and persecution grew worse as his mind
deteriorated while he awaited trial for 8 months in the over-crowded
Fulton County jail. Cunningham testified Nichols became so delusional that
he did not know right from wrong even as he pulled the trigger.
The psychologist drew his analysis from interviews with Nichols and
others, Nichols' own tape-recorded 3-hour confession, batteries of
psychological tests taken by Nichols, and reading Nichols' writings.
He told jurors he didnt believe Nichols is faking his delusional disorder,
even though they have heard prosecution witnesses testify he was
methodical and manipulative. They have heard a taped telephone
conversation between Nichols and his father from the Fulton County jail,
in which Nichols told his father: "I think they think a black man must be
crazy to stand up for himself. I could have saved them some time and money
and told them there was nothing wrong with me."
Cunningham said Wednesday that Nichols' escape plans after his arrest for
the killings, as he described in letters and phone calls to a Connecticut
woman who wrote to him in jail, indicated how crazy and delusional he was
Nichols planned to get his brother Mark to help with the escape. "The
plans he is coming up with are simply fantastical," said Cunningham. "Such
as his overweight, older brother making Ninja moves."
(source for both: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Widows to testify in Iraq fragging case
The widows of 2 officers killed in Iraq are expected to testify for the
prosecution in the murder trial of the 1st soldier accused of slaying a
direct superior in Iraq.
Barbara Allen and Siobhan Esposito are expected Thursday in the Fort Bragg
trial of New York National Guard Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez.
The 41-year-old Martinez is charged with 2 counts of premeditated murder.
He could be sentenced to death if convicted of a crime known as "fragging"
during the Vietnam war.
Defense attorneys say Army investigators have no evidence and targeted
Martinez because he was feuding with Capt. Philip Esposito.
Esposito and 1st Lt. Louis Allen were killed by a mine blast in a window
of their room in June 2005.
(source: Boston Globe)
Jury Says No Death Penalty For Women's Killer----Wife, Mother Shot In
Mobile Home In 1984
A Waynesburg man will remain in prison for life instead of being executed
for killing his common-law wife and her mother in 1984.
The same Fayette County jury that convicted 57-year-old George Nara of
1st-degree murder decided he doesn't deserve the death penalty for
shooting 23-year-old DeLorean Churby and her mother, 61-year-old Virginia
Nara was on trial because his attorneys appealed, saying the auto body
worker with a 7th-grade education wasn't competent when he pleaded guilty
more than 20 years ago.
A federal appeals court agreed that Nara deserved a trial, so prosecutors
decided to seek the death penalty, but the jury decided against it.
Police said Nara went to Virginia Churby's mobile home in Georges Township
on Jan. 28, 1984, and shot the door lock off, then shot both women with a
(source: The PittsburghChannel)
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