[Deathpenalty] [POSSIBLE SPAM] death penalty news-----KY., N.C.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Oct 28 23:01:32 CDT 2008
Attorneys urge court to halt Nov. 21 execution
A confessed child killer who asked to be put to death should not be
executed because he may be incompetent, defense attorneys argued yesterday
in a motion before the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Marco Allen Chapman's execution was scheduled for Nov. 21 after the
Supreme Court upheld his sentence last week. Chapman, 36, would be the
first inmate put to death in the state in nearly 10 years.
The defense attorneys filed 2 motions with the Supreme Court yesterday
asking for a stay of execution, even though Chapman dismissed them in 2004
before pleading guilty and asking to be put to death.
The public defenders' motions questioned Chapman's competency and argued
that Chapman should not be executed until appeals are exhausted in a
separate case that questions the validity of Kentucky's execution
protocol. That case is pending before the state Supreme Court.
Public defenders Donna Boyce, Randall Wheeler and Emily Rhorer wrote in
one of the motions that Chapman "will suffer the most irreparable injury
known to law" if the stay is not granted. "He will be executed before it
is determined whether his execution would be legal."
Chapman filed an affidavit last year asking that public defenders not be
allowed to file additional appeals because he wants to be executed for the
murders of 6-year-old Cody Sharon and 7-year-old Chelbi Sharon in the
Northern Kentucky town of Warsaw in August 2002.
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human
history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to
improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends
forth a tiny ripple of hope, and ...those ripples build a current which
can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." Robert
F. Kennedy, June 6, 1967, Cape Town, SA
(source: Associated Press)
Cooper to get court-appointed lawyer
After a night in the Wake County jail, Bradley Cooper appeared today
before a District Court judge who said he was entitled to a state-paid
lawyer on a charge that he murdered his wife, Nancy.
Judge Jane Gray said Cooper cannot afford to pay for his own legal defense
on the murder charge. She also said he was not entitled to bond, meaning
he must remain in jail.
Cooper, 35, said nothing during the brief hearing. He wore an
orange-and-white jail jumpsuit and no wedding ring.
Among those watching the proceedings today were Cooper's mother and Nancy
Cooper's friends Hannah Prichard and Jessica Adam.
Also present were the lawyers who represented Cooper in a dispute with his
in-laws over custody of his two children. One of the lawyers, Howard
Kurtz, will be named to handle the murder case for the state's standard
rate of $95 an hour, said Bob Hurley, North Carolina's capital defender.
Kurtz is on a list of lawyers qualified to handle murder cases.
Because Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby has not decided whether to
seek the death penalty, Hurley said he would appoint only one attorney.
Hurley said he would name a second lawyer if Willoughby pursues a death
sentence. Defendants facing capital trials are entitled to two lawyers at
Cooper's previous legal fees will not be paid by the state, he said.
Cooper was arrested Monday after a grand jury indicted him on a 1st-degree
murder charge in his wife's strangulation.
His appearance today marked the start of a what is likely to be a series
of hearings leading to a trial. No date was set for his next appearance,
known as a Rule 24 hearing, in which prosecutors will announce whether
they will seek the death penalty. In those hearings, a judge has to decide
if the nature of the slaying warrants seeking the state's harshest
punishment, usually sought in killings deemed to be particularly heinous,
atrocious, cruel or committed in the course of another felony crime,
according to North Carolina's statutes. Only juries can decide if a person
can be sentenced to death.
Cary police have said little publicly about what led up to Monday's
indictment, though public records show that Cooper was the focus of their
investigation from the time his wife's decomposed body was discovered in
an unfinished subdivision in July.
In the months since then, details about the couple's deeply troubled
marriage have tumbled out.
Nancy's family and friends said she was planning to divorce Bradley, whom
they described as unfaithful, controlling and cruel. Bradley admitted the
couple had argued about what he called Nancy's out-of-control spending.
But he has said that he was not ready to give up the marriage and that he
was devastated by losing his wife.
The couple moved to North Carolina in 2000 after Bradley's job with Cisco
Systems was transferred from Calgary, Alberta, to Research Triangle Park.
Cooper, who earned more than $100,000 last year, went on paid leave
shortly after his wife died. In a deposition earlier this month, he said
he was planning to start working part time from home this month.
Nancy Cooper's family members have said they are convinced her husband
A psychologist hired by Nancy Cooper's family testified during the custody
hearing that Bradley Cooper was "very complex."
Forensic psychologist James Hilkey also said that Cooper seems detached
but has a residual anger that can bubble to the surface.
"He can usually keep that under check, but sometimes it comes up," Hilkey
explained at the Oct. 16 custody hearing. "That anger is most often
directed at the family."
Seth Blum, who is still acting as part of Cooper's defense team, said
again Tuesday that Bradley Cooper is innocent of the charges against him.
He said that Monday's indictment allows Cooper's defense team to begin
studying police's evidence against Cooper as they prepare for his day in
"We look forward to shining the light on what has been a secret process,"
Blum said Cooper's night in jail has, understandably, taken a toll.
"He's worried. He is afraid," Blum said. "Most of all, though, he's
concerned about being apart from his daughters."
Last week, a judge awarded Nancy Cooper's family temporary custody of the
couple's two young daughters. The custody order, not yet finalized,
included visitation between the girls and Cooper.
Alice Stubbs, attorney for Nancy Cooper's family, said they will ask a
judge to strike any face to face visits since Cooper is in jail. Blum said
he hopes the sides can resolve this new challenge in the previous
arrangement in the coming days.
(source: News & Observer)
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