[Deathpenalty] [POSSIBLE SPAM] death penalty news----ORE., MD., PENN., FLA., ARIZ.
rhalperi at smu.edu
Tue Sep 27 22:46:23 CDT 2011
Death row inmate Gary Haugen step closer to execution
In his 30 years in prison, Gary Haugen has had bouts of drug-induced psychosis
that brought on visions, voices and paranoia.
His drug use, at one point, led him to cut his own neck with a razor blade in
But the 49-year-old death row inmate, who wants to waive his legal challenges
and be executed, has shown no signs of psychosis since quitting illegal drugs
several years ago, said Richard Hulteng, a Portland psychologist who examined
Haugen and reviewed his medical records.
Ultimately, Hulteng said, the 2-time killer knows exactly what he's saying in
telling the state to put him to death. The inmate has repeatedly declared his
desire to waive appeals and die by lethal injection.
"He said he was ready," Hulteng said.
After hearing Hulteng's testimony and evaluation, Marion County Circuit Judge
Joseph Guimond found that Haugen is competent to engage in choices about his
legal strategies and that he has a rational understanding of the reasons for
The finding, while crucial, doesn't clear the way for an execution. The judge
canceled an Aug. 16 execution date after the Oregon Supreme Court intervened,
ordering him to first hold a full competency hearing with an evaluation by an
Oregon Health Authority representative.
Guimond still must ask Haugen a series of questions before deciding to issue a
death warrant. That won't take place until after an Oct. 7 hearing when the
judge will meet with lawyers to work out the next steps in the process.
Guimond acknowledged Haugen's disappointment over the delay.
The drawn-out process also is difficult for family members of the people Haugen
killed, said Ard Pratt, the ex-husband of Mary Archer. Haugen raped and beat
Archer in her Northeast Portland home in 1981. Archer was the mother of
Haugen's former girlfriend. Haugen also killed David Polin, an inmate at the
Oregon State Penitentiary, in 2003, the conviction that sent him and his
accomplice to death row.
"I just wish they would get it over with," Pratt said, describing the painful
disruption as the families have prepared for an execution only to have the
process stopped and restarted.
The new psychological findings contradict the affidavit of Portland
neuropsychologist Muriel Lezak, who met with Haugen in May. It was Lezak's
affidavit, provided by Haugen's former attorneys, that prompted the state
Supreme Court to step in.
Hulteng concluded that Haugen doesn't suffer from major cognitive problems and
hasn't shown psychotic behavior, though the inmate does appear to have a
personality disorder and exhibits anti-social behavior.
He also may have "grandiose" notions that his execution could cause change in
the legal system, Hulteng said. But he's not delusional, Hulteng said.
Portland psychologist Richard Hulteng testified in Marion County Circuit Court
that convicted murderer Gary Haugen is able to mentally competent. Marion
County Circuit Judge Joseph Guimond. Guimond ruled that Haugen, who is on death
row, is competent to engage in reasoned choices regarding his legal strategies.
The psychologist said Haugen told him that Lezak may have made her
determination in part after she asked Haugen to draw a bike. Haugen "had a
brain lock," he told Hulteng, and drew a bike that "you couldn't even ride."
Lezak also noted Haugen's slowness to respond to her questions, but he was
trying to be deliberate and speak slowly enough for her to take notes, Haugen
said in his conversations with Hulteng.
Hulteng also outlined Haugen's childhood, noting that he started stealing at
age 12, was regularly drinking alcohol by age 13 or 14 and picked up a drug
habit by 6th-grade. Born to an abusive father and a mother with drug and
alcohol addictions, Haugen was in and out of foster homes and schools
throughout his childhood.
Haugen told Hulteng that the physical abuse and problems in his family took a
Quoting Haugen, the psychologist read from his report: "There became an age
where all I wanted to do was fight, steal, have sex and get loaded. I stole
cars, I stole guns, I stole numerous things and that was my life. I was
surviving on the street in any way I could."
It was his way of forgetting or dealing with his childhood, Haugen said. He
smoked marijuana, but also took part in sports, playing on baseball and
Haugen would gets Bs and Cs in school if he applied himself, but finally
dropped out of school in 11th-grade, Hulteng said. He later earned his GED in
prison and earned credits toward an associate's degree in metallurgy.
His drug use continued in prison, Hulteng said. Haugen told him that inmates
were allowed to smoke marijuana in his early years at the penitentiary,
although that "tightened up later on." He also got over his fear of needles
while in prison, where he started using drugs intravenously, Hulteng said.
But the drug use caused mental health problems, Hulteng noted. In 1988, due to
"too much drugs" Haugen told Hulteng, he cut his own neck with a razor blade
and spent the next 24 hours in the mental health unit. In 2001 and 2002, Haugen
said, he was hearing voices and seeing visions out of the corner of his eye.
The paranoia and visions faded after Haugen said he stopped using
methamphetamine sometime in 2001 or 2002. He told Hulteng that he last used
marijuana in 2003.
Hulteng met with Haugen for more than 10 hours over 2 days and reviewed medical
records, previous psychological evaluations and other documents in conducting
Guimond ordered that the evaluation remain confidential, despite the public
testimony. In addition, several people attended all or part of the evaluation,
Hulteng said, including state Department of Corrections and Marion County
Sheriff's Office personnel and a professor from George Fox University. The
Oregonian, along with the Statesman Journal and The Associated Press, have
filed a request to unseal the evaluation.
Hulteng also in 1997 conducted the evaluation of Harry Charles Moore -- the
last person to be executed in Oregon.
There are 36 men and 1 woman on Oregon's death row.
(source: The Oregonian)
Death Row in the Free State----In the aftermath of the controversial execution
of convicted murderer Troy Davis by the state of Georgia, City Paper wondered
about the fate of Maryland’s own death row inmates.
Today, there are f5 men on death row, incarcerated in the North Branch
Correctional Institution in Cumberland: Heath Burch (Prince George’s County,
convicted in 1996), Jody Miles (Wicomico County, convicted in 1998), and 3 men
convicted in 1984: Anthony Grandison, Vernon Evans Jr, (both Baltimore County),
and John Booth (Baltimore City). Yet their executions may not be carried out
for years to come, due to a combination of moratoriums and legal proceedings.
In 2002, then Gov. Parris Glendening (D) placed a moratorium on executions in
Maryland until a state-mandated study of capital punishment could be completed.
The study found that the death penalty unfairly targeted specific groups,
dependent upon race and geographic location.
Nonetheless, the moratorium was lifted in 2003, and Wesley Baker died by lethal
injection in December 2005, the last Marylander executed by the state to date.
(Then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Glendening’s Republican successor, denied Baker
clemency.) In 2006, a death warrant was signed for Vernon Evans, who had been
sentenced to die in 1984. Evans’ attorneys appealed his sentence, arguing that
the jury did not hear about the possible extenuating circumstance of his
troubled childhood, and also contested the method of lethal injection,
contending that the protocol did not meet the state’s Administrative Procedure
Act. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in Evans’ favor, instigating a de
facto moratorium until the execution guidelines could be rewritten. According
to Danielle Lueking, a spokesperson for the state attorney general’s office,
those guidelines are still being rewritten today.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s death row inmates remain on death row. “Just because
there is a de facto moratorium does not mean their sentences are changed,”
Lueking notes. The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, convened in 2008,
opposed the repeal of the death penalty, citing it as a deterrent for crime.
The moratorium still stands thanks to the Evans appeal, but executions could
begin again when the state approves new lethal-injection protocols.
(source: Baltimore City Paper)
Take Our Poll on the Death Penalty ---- Has the Alburtis double-homicide case
changed your view of capital punishment?
The gruesome killings of an elderly Alburtis woman and her disabled daughter
have led the Lehigh County district attorney to make an unusual move.
DA Jim Martin said Monday he will seek the death penalty for accused Brandin
Lee Kasick even though the judicial process in the case had barely begun.
Kasick was arrested Sunday in Florida.
3 people have been executed since Pennsylvania reinstituted capital punishment
in 1978 - 2 in 1995, the last in 1999 (Gary Heidnik, killed by lethal
injection). All 3 convicts ended appeals and asked for death, according to this
Philadelphia Inquirer report.
More than 200 inmates sit on our state's death row. New Jersey abolished
capital punishment in 2007.
for poll, see:
(source: Lower Macungie Patch)
Florida execution: drug firm protests to governor over lethal
injection----Doctors warn Rick Scott that use of experimental barbiturate to
kill Manuel Valle, 61, could lead to extreme suffering
The head of a Danish drug company has written to Rick Scott, the governor of
Florida, to protest about the use of one of its anaesthetics in the execution
of a Cuban national scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Staffan Schuberg, president of Lundbeck, the manufacturers of pentobarbital
under the trademark Nembutal, has sent 2 letters to the governor expressing his
"adamant" opposition to what would be Florida's 1st use of the drug as part of
a lethal injection. Barring an eleventh-hour stay, the 3-drug cocktail will be
administered to Manuel Valle, 61, at 3pm for the 1989 murder of a police
Pentobarbital is increasingly being used by some of the 35 states that still
practise executions as an alternative to the anaesthetic sodium thiopental,
whose only producer in the US, Hospira, has suspended supply in protest at its
use to kill people. The new barbiturate has been used in states such as
Oklahoma and Texas, and in Georgia where it was used last week as part of the
lethal injection that killed Troy Davis.
But doctors and legal experts warn that pentobarbital is untested and could
inflict extreme suffering on prisoners as they die. In his letter to Scott,
Schuberg wrote that the use of his company's drugs in executions in Florida
"contradicts everything Lundbeck is in business to do – provide therapies that
improve people's lives."
In a later letter, he added: "The use of pentobarbital outside of the approved
labelling has not been established. As such Lundbeck cannot assure the safety
and efficacy profiles in such instances."
Lundbeck first began its campaign to stop the drug being used in executions
earlier in the summer. It began putting in place distribution restrictions that
prevent Nembutal being sold to any prison or corrections department in the US.
But Florida and other states already have stockpiles which will allow them to
continue its use unless ordered by the US courts to desist.
The company also enlisted the support of the Danish government, which has
written to the governors of the states using the drug through its embassy in
Deborah Denno, an expert in the death penalty at Fordham university law school,
said the intervention by the manufacturer itself of Nembutal in writing to the
Florida governor took opposition to use of the drug to a whole new level. "I
don't know how you could cast more doubt on the use of a drug than when you
have the condemnation of it by its own maker," she said.
Valle's scheduled execution has also been condemned by campaigners on a number
of other grounds. The prisoner has been on death row for 33 years, a length of
time which the UK-based group Reprieve says is tantamount to cruel, inhuman or
degrading punishment and a violation of international law.
The prisoner, who has close ties to Spain which has taken up his cause, was
convicted and sentenced to death for killing Louis Pena on 2 April 1978. The
police officer had stopped Valle for a traffic infringement in Coral Gables.
Florida courts have rejected Valle's lawyers' appeals for stays of execution
based on the unreliability of the new drug. Earlier this week a British
neurologist who has campaigned globally against the use of pentobarbital in
executions petitioned the Florida state supreme court calling for Valle's
execution to be stayed because of the uncertainties surrounding its use. Dr
David Nicholl pointed out that the use of Nembutal in lethal injections had
never been clinically tested or approved and could inflict unnecessary pain.
The petition was denied.
Opponents of the use of Nembutal in death penalties point to the June execution
of Roy Blankenship, the first to take place in Georgia using the drug. The
death was witnessed by an Associated Press reporter, Greg Bluestein. He
observed that the condemned man "jerked his head several times, mumbled
inaudibly and appeared to gasp for breath for several minutes after he was
pumped with pentobarbital on Thursday in Georgia's death chamber".
After his death, Blankenship's lawyers asked a reputed anaesthetist to give an
opinion on his execution based on Bluestien's reporting. David Waisel, a
professor of anaesthesia at Harvard medical school, concluded that the use of
pentobarbital ran a "substantial risk of serious harm such that condemned
inmates are significantly likely to face extreme, torturous and needless pain
(source: The Guardian)
Doc wants Fla. justices to stop Valle execution
A British doctor wants the Florida Supreme Court to stop a lethal injection
execution scheduled for Wednesday.
Lawyers for Dr. David Nicholl filed an emergency petition Monday.
It argues that using a Danish-made drug in the execution of Manuel Valle would
violate the federal Controlled Substance Act.
The 61-year-old Valle was convicted of killing a Coral Gables police officer 33
The federal law prohibits using sodium pentobarbital, one of three drugs
injected during executions, for non-medical purposes.
The Food and Drug Administration has declined to enforce the ban against states
Nicholl, though, argued Florida, as a sovereign state, should not sacrifice the
rule of law.
Valle also has an appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Nicholl is a neurologist in Birmingham, England.
(source: Washington Examiner)
Florida gears up for execution
Florida will execute a prisoner on Wednesday, it's 70th execution since the
death penalty was reinstated in the state nearly 40 years ago.
One state legislator has filed a new motion to put an end to capital punishment
saying there are too many wrongful convictions.
This comes on the heels of the execution of Troy Davis, a Georgia man who
killed a police officer.
Some protested his death saying he was an innocent man.
Now, Democratic Representative Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda filed a bill to
abolish executions in Florida.
She says many times, despite new DNA technology, it is still impossible to
prove guilt beyond a doubt.
She also cites studies which show a death row inmate can cost millions of
taxpayer dollars in court fees as the appeals process continues.
"I'm thinking that a better way to spend our money, instead of $51 million a
year on death penalty appeals and all that sort of thing, is to put that money
to better use in law enforcement, investigation and equipment," she said.
This is the 2nd time Rep. Rehwinkel-Vasilinda has introduced a measure to stop
Her 1st attempt came during last spring's Legislative session. It failed in the
(source: Bay News)
Death sentence upheld in Elfrida murders
A federal appeals court on Monday upheld the death sentences of a man who was
convicted in Cochise County Superior Court for his role in the 1991 murders of
two 13-year-old Elfrida girls.
Richard Dale Stokley, now 59, was sentenced to death on July 14, 1992,
following his conviction of 1st-degree murder of Mandy Meyers and Mary Snyder.
Monday's unanimous ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a
lower court's decision that he should be put to death for the murders,
according to a statement issued by the Office of Arizona Attorney General Tom
Stokley was eligible for the death penalty because the victims were minors, he
committed multiple murders, and he committed the crimes in an especially
heinous, cruel or depraved manner. The panel rejected his appeal claim that his
sentencing counsel had been ineffective.
"The date for Stokley's sentence to be carried out has not been set, but I am
hopeful that this killer will be brought to justice without excessive delay
from the federal system. The families of the victims deserve to see justice in
a timely manner," Horne stated in the statement on Monday.
Meyers and Snyder were abducted from an Elfrida campout July 8, 1991. They had
been raped, stomped on and strangled before their nude bodies were dumped in a
flooded mine shaft in Courtland near Gleeson.
Co-defendant Randy Ellis Brazeal, now 39, was sentenced to serve 20 years in
prison in November of 1991, after pleading guilty in a plea deal to 2nd-degree
murder in the deaths of the girls. He was released from prison earlier this
(source: Benson News Sun)
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