[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----TEXAS, CONN., CALIF., PENN., USA, OKLA.
rhalperi at smu.edu
Thu Apr 5 13:11:26 CDT 2012
Gran Appeals To UK To Save Her From Execution
The British Government has said it is doing all it can the save the life of a
British grandmother who has spent 11 years on Death Row in the United States.
She would become the first British woman to be executed in 50 years.
She was convicted of killing a young mother in Texas a decade ago but has
always said she was framed.
Her lawyers believe she was failed by the American legal system and admit her
situation is "desperate".
Carty spoke to Sky News on death row in Texas and told us: "I am 110% innocent.
I know I didn't commit this crime. They took 11 years of my life for something
I know I didn't do."
She was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts before its independence from
Britain and now wants support from the UK.
"If you don't then you're telling me there's no value to my life and if you do
intercede it is saying that every British national, it doesn't matter whether
we were born in the mother country or in the colonies, we matter," Carty said.
"We are British. I can't wash off my nationality with soap and water. I am
going to always be British."
Ms Carty said she feels sympathy for the family of victim Joana Rodriguez.
"She was somebody's child too, somebody's daughter. For me it's not only a
healing process but its to show the families that the person you've been hating
all these years did not commit this crime," she said.
Ms Carty is being represented by the campaign group Reprieve.
Director Clive Stafford-Smith said her best chance of avoiding the death
penalty was clemency.
The Foreign Office said it is putting pressure on the authorities in Texas.
"The Prime Minister and British Government are deeply concerned by the position
Ms Carty is in," it said in a statement.
"We are committed to using all appropriate influence to prevent the execution
of any British national.
"We are working closely with Ms Carty's legal team to ensure their work to
secure clemency is supported by appropriate political representations."
Since her conviction, Ms Carty has been held at the Mountain View unit in
Gatesville where all of the women on death row in Texas are held.
She admitted she fears her death sentence.
"I won't get up and ask the British Government to go out in the public and
lobby for me had I known that I am guilty because then it would be an
embarrassment not only to myself and my family but also the country that I
"So for me when I say I am innocent and that I didn't commit this crime I mean
(source: Yahoo News)
Connecticut Senate votes to repeal death penalty in state
The Connecticut Senate voted on Thursday to repeal the state's death penalty,
moving it 1 step closer to becoming the 5th U.S. state in 5 years to abandon
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 20-16 to repeal the death penalty in an
early morning vote after 10 hours of debate, and the measure now moves to the
state House of Representatives, where it was seen as having strong support.
Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has promised to sign the bill into law.
The measure would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the
possibility of parole. An amendment added on Tuesday provided that future
felons, convicted of life sentences without parole, would be subject to the
same harsh conditions as those inmates currently on death row.
"Does a moral society execute people?" asked Democratic state Senator Gayle
Slossberg on the day of the vote. "Haven't we then become the evil we're trying
to eliminate? I want my public policy to be better than me."
But the bill to repeal the death penalty is "prospective," meaning that it
would only apply to future sentences. The 11 men currently on Connecticut's
death row would still face execution.
Several legal experts have said that despite the "prospective" wording, defense
attorneys for current Death Row inmates could use the repeal measure to win
life sentences for their clients.
Illinois, New Mexico and New Jersey have all voted to abolish the death penalty
in recent years, while New York's death penalty law was declared
unconstitutional in 2004. That state's legislature has repeatedly rejected
attempts to reinstate capital punishment.
Other state legislatures are considering bills to abolish the death penalty as
well, and Oregon's governor has said he would allow no more executions on his
"As significant concerns about executing the innocent, the high cost of the
death penalty and its unfair application continue to grow, more states are
turning to alternative punishments," said Richard Dieter, executive director of
the Death Penalty Information Center.
A similar bill was defeated last year in Connecticut, just as the high-profile
trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky was getting underway for his role in a 2007 home
invasion in Cheshire in which a mother and her 2 daughters were brutalized and
Komisarjevsky and another man are now on death row for the murders. The only
survivor of the Cheshire attack, Dr. William Petit Jr. - the husband of the
murdered woman and the father of the murdered girls - has spoken out against
Republican State Senator Leonard Fasano of East Haven said he opposed the bill,
saying it denies justice to the families of murder victims.
"I would rather tell those 2 guys (Komisarjevsky and his accomplice) they are
going to die rather than tell Dr. Petit they won't die," he said.
Connecticut has executed only 1 person, in 2005, since the death penalty was
reinstated in the United States in 1976, according to the Death Penalty
Information Center. The man executed, Michael Ross, had abandoned his appeals.
Connecticut Poised To Abolish Death Penalty After Senate Vote
After a marathon session of debate, the Connecticut Senate passed a bill early
on Thursday morning abolishing the death penalty, making the state all but
certain to end capital punishment within weeks.
Connecticut would be the 17th state to repeal the death penalty and the 1st
since Illinois ended the practice in August 2011.
The vote, which ended 20-16 in favor of repeal, was the largest remaining
hurdle for the new law. According to the Hartford Courant, the bill has wide
backing in the House of Representatives, while Gov. Daniel Malloy's support of
repeal has been unequivocal.
"I want to be very clear that if such a bill was to come to me, I will sign
it," Malloy said, according to The Day last month. "We do not have a workable
death penalty in the state of Connecticut today. Period."
Connecticut currently has 11 death row inmates. The bill passed by the Senate
would only apply to future convictions, a compromise that allowed several
previously opposed lawmakers to back to the repeal. But Chief Public Defender
Susan O. Storey and Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane stated in a hearing last
month that the repeal would make execution of the current inmates unlikely.
In response to that reality, the Senate passed an amendment to the bill that
will impose tougher punishments on inmates sentenced to life without the
possibility of parole. Such restrictions, including near-solitary confinement,
frequent cell moves and strict monitoring, were designed to "essentially
replicate life on death row."
The vote occurred largely along party lines, with two Democratic senators
joining all the chamber's 12 Republicans in opposing the bill. Minority Leader
John McKinney argued that life imprisonment, even with the tougher
restrictions, was not sufficient justice for some crimes. "The Democrat
amendment gives Connecticut murderers an escape hatch to avoid the harsher
conditions of incarceration that the proponents claim and that current
death-row inmates experience,'' he said during the debate.
McKinney also said there was no proven need to overturn the death penalty,
saying that "there is no evidence that anyone currently on death row is
Democratic Sen. Eric Coleman, meanwhile, disagreed that capital punishment in
Connecticut has been just. Repeal, he said, was "an opportunity to correct the
arbitrariness, the discrimination, the random haphazard approach to the
application of our death penalty in this state."
(source: Huffinton Post)
Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penalty
The Connecticut Senate on Thursday voted to repeal the death penalty, setting
the stage for Connecticut to join several states that have recently abolished
In the last 5 years, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois have
repealed the death penalty. California voters will decide the issue in
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is also expected to
pass. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has vowed to sign the measure into law
should it reach his desk, his office said.
"For everyone, it's a vote of conscience," said Senate President Donald
Williams Jr., a Democrat who says he's long supported a repeal. "We have a
majority of legislators in Connecticut in favor of this so that the energies of
our criminal justice system can be focused in a more appropriate manner."
In 2009, state lawmakers in both houses tried to pass a similar bill, but were
ultimately blocked by then-Gov. Jodi Rell, a Republican.
Capital punishment has existed in Connecticut since its colonial days. But the
state was forced to review its death penalty laws beginning in 1972 when a
Supreme Court decision required greater consistency in its application. A
moratorium was then imposed until a 1976 court decision upheld the
constitutionality of capital punishment.
Since then, Connecticut juries have handed down 15 death sentences. Of those,
only one person has actually been executed, according to the Death Penalty
Information Center, a nonpartisan group that studies death penalty laws.
Michael Ross, a convicted serial killer, was put to death by lethal injection
in 2005 after giving up his appeals.
"It's not a question of whether it's morally wrong, it's just that it isn't
working," said Richard Dieter, the group's executive director. "I think when
you hear of 15 to 20 years of uncertain appeals, that's not closure and that's
not justice. It's a slow, grinding process."
11 people are currently on death row in Connecticut, including Steven Hayes and
Joshua Komisarjevsky, who both were sentenced for their roles in the 2007
murders of the Petit family in Cheshire, Connecticut.
The high-profile case drew national attention and sparked conversations about
home security and capital punishment. In vetoing the measure to eliminate the
death penalty in 2009, Rell cited the Cheshire deaths.
Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor in that attack, has remained a staunch
critic of repeal efforts.
"We believe in the death penalty because we believe it is really the only true,
just punishment for certain heinous and depraved murders," Petit told CNN
Advocates of the existing law say capital punishment can act as a criminal
deterrent and provides justice for victims.
Opponents say capital punishment is often applied inconsistently, can be
discriminatory and has not proven to be an effective deterrent. They also point
to instances in which wrongful convictions have been overturned with new
investigative methods, including forensic testing.
"Mistakes can be made and you may not know about it until science later exposes
them," said Dieter.
But a recent Quinnipiac poll found that 62% of Connecticut residents think
abolishing the death penalty is "a bad idea."
"No doubt the gruesome Cheshire murders still affect public opinion regarding
convicts on death row," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas
That number jumps to 66% among Connecticut men, and drops to 58% among the
state's women, according to the poll.
The Senate's proposed law is prospective in nature, meaning that it would not
apply to those already sentenced to death.
Oikos University Shooter Could Face Death Penalty ---- Suspect told police he
carried out the killings; he's due in court today.
One Goh was arraigned Wednesday on seven counts of murder and other charges
that could make him eligible for the death penalty for a shooting rampage at
Oikos University in Oakland on Monday.
Goh, 43, a Korean national who lived in Oakland, has admitted to police that he
carried out a shooting at the Christian vocational school that left 7 people
dead and three people injured, according to a probable cause statement filed in
court by Oakland police Officer Robert Trevino.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said the motive for the
shooting isn't totally clear but it appears that he wanted his tuition back
after he voluntarily left the school last November and he was targeting an
However, the administrator wasn't there when Goh went to the school Monday
morning, O'Malley said. She didn't disclose the administrator's name.
Trevino said in his statement that Goh admitted that he went to Oikos, which is
located at 7850 Edgewater Drive, armed with a .45-caliber handgun and four
fully-loaded magazines of ammunition. The shooting started around 10:30 a.m. on
Monday, Trevino said.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, who joined O'Malley at a news conference at
the Wiley Manuel Courthouse after Goh was arraigned, said it appears that Goh
fired most of his ammunition but an exact count of the bullets that were fired
hasn't been completed yet.
There are at least 10 rounds in each magazine for a .45-caliber handgun, he
"We can't recall a crime scene such as this in Alameda County. The enormity and
devastation of these crimes is unprecedented," O'Malley said.
O'Malley said witnesses have told authorities that Goh was "a loner and what
some might call a loser" but hadn't exhibited any behavior that indicated that
he might go on a shooting spree.
Asked if the incident could have been prevented, O'Malley said, "Other than
stopping the proliferation of handguns and other types of firearms that allow
people acting on their own to commit mass murder, no one could have predicted
this would happen."
In addition to 7 counts of murder, Goh is charged with 3 counts of premeditated
attempted murder and 10 special circumstance allegations that could result in
the death penalty if he's convicted.
7 of those allegations are for committing multiple murders and one each are for
committing a murder during a robbery, murder during a carjacking and murder
during a kidnapping.
O'Malley said her office won't make a decision on seeking the death penalty for
Goh until after a preliminary hearing is held to determine if there's enough
evidence to have him stand trial.
(source: Milpitas Patch)
Bradlee Dean, Rock Musician Turned Preacher, Discusses Allegations He Called
For 'Execution Of Gays'
The Christian heavy metal rocker whose ministry former presidential candidate
and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann helped raise money for said that comments he
made that were reported in 2010 as appearing to support the execution of
homosexuals were taken out of context. But several times during our interview
yesterday he refused to answer a simple yes or no question as to whether he
believes some Muslims are “more moral” than Christians because they support the
death penalty for homosexuality.
Bradlee Dean, founder of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International in
Minnesota, also a musician and a radio host, filed a $50 million defamation
lawsuit against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last July regarding a clip from his radio
program which she aired in August of 2010. In the clip, Dean, after saying that
"the Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America," says
Muslims “seem to be more moral” than Christians. In the same broadcast, Maddow
read a disclaimer Dean had posted on his website stating"we have never and will
never call for the execution of homosexuals.”
Speaking on my radio program on SiriusXM OutQ, Dean, at times quite heated,
said that when he had made the statement that Muslims seem "more moral," he
only meant it as “a wake up call for the [Christian] church.”
Dean said the statements he made were truncated, reported with a middle portion
removed. The clip, as played on "The Rachel Maddow Show," is as follows:
"The Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America. They
themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of of
Judeo-Christian God. But they seem to be more moral than even the American
Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They
know homosexuality is an abomination. If Americans won’t enforce the laws, God
will raise a foreign enemy to do just that."
Dean said that the following statements was missing, and insists that they
change the context of what he said:
"And I continually reach out to the homosexual communities on this radio show,
and I warn them, with one’s love. Here you have Obama condemning it behind the
backs of the homosexuals but to their faces he’s promoting it. I say this to my
gay friends out there, the ones that are continually nitpicking everything I
say: Hollywood is promoting immorality and the God of heaven in Jesus’s name is
warning you to flee from the wrath to come. Yet you have Muslims calling for
Asked 5 times, however, if he believed some Muslims are more moral than
Christians because they support the execution of gays, Dean refused to answer
yes or no, several times repeating the same line: "I have continually reached
out to the homosexual community."
Dean also defended his band, Junkyard Prophet, part of his ministry, for a
presentation in a public high school in Dunkerton, Iowa that made headlines
across the country in recent weeks because it included condemnations against
homosexuality. School officials were shocked, thinking the lecture was going to
be about drugs and bullying in pop music lyrics. Dean, who was turned away from
the school and the local community center when he asked if his ministry could
return to Dunkerton (so he returned to a local church), said that the media had
“blown up” the controversy.
Dean has in the past also suggested that Representative Keith Ellison, a
Minnesota Democrat who is Muslim, is using support for gay marriage as way to
usher in Sharia Law in the United States. He has also linked gays to the
Michele Bachmann has helped raise money for Dean's ministry, was a guest star
in hist television series and prayed that his ministry would expand and grow.
"This ministry, 'You Can Run But You Cannot Hide,' they are not sidetracked,
they're on course," Bachmann intoned. "They're way on course. Because they get
it. They get what this is all about."
(source: Huffington Post)
Death row inmate appears in Pittsburg County Court
An Oklahoma State Penitentiary death row inmate set to be executed next week
appeared in Pittsburg County District Court Monday.
Just prior to his court appearance, inmate Garry Thomas Allen, 56, could be
seen in the courthouse’s second-floor hallway surrounded by 3 OSP correctional
officers. “We can’t comment on the case,” said OSP Warden’s Assistant Terry
Crenshaw just before the hearing was scheduled to begin, “because the case is
Allen, who is set to be executed April 12, appeared in court in reference to
his Pittsburg County civil case, a Petition for Writ of Mandamus. On March 23,
Allen’s lawyers filed the petition in an attempt to have OSP Warden Randy
Workman notify the “District Attorney of Pittsburg County if there is good
reason to believe Mr. Allen, under judgment of death, has become insane,” court
On Monday, Workman filed an objection to Allen’s application for stay of
execution. In his objection, Workman referred to the facts that Allen was
convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death, that Allen has
exhausted all of his appeals, that a Pittsburg County jury determined that
Allen is sane to be executed and that the question of Allen’s sanity has been
Following Allen’s court appearance, District 18 District Judge Thomas Bartheld
signed an order denying the inmate’s petition.
Allen was previously set for execution on Feb. 16, but Oklahoma Governor Mary
Fallin granted a 30-day stay of execution for the condemned man so her legal
team could have more time to consider a 2005 recommendation by the Oklahoma
Pardon and Parole Board to commute his sentence to life.
“Having thoroughly reviewed the arguments and evidence presented in this case,
I have determined that clemency should be denied in this case, and that the
sentence of death be carried out,” Fallin wrote in an executive order filed
The 30-day stay would have set Allen’s execution for March 17, but that date
was moved to April 12.
Allen received his death sentence for the 1986 murder of his wife, Lawanna Gail
Titsworth. The McAlester News-Capital’s James Beaty reported in May of 2008
that Allen’s conviction and death sentence came after he gunned down Titsworth
four days after she moved out of their home with their 2 sons, who were 6 and 2
at the time.
Allen was 1st scheduled to be executed May 19, 2005. A stay of execution was
granted by District 18 District Judge Thomas M. Bartheld 1 day before Allen’s
Associated Press writer Sean Murphy reported that Allen’s mental competency was
in question after a psychological examination at the Oklahoma State
Penitentiary indicated Allen had developed mental problems while confined on
death row. The doctor’s report noted Allen had dementia caused by seizures,
drug abuse and being shot in the face. The U.S. Supreme Court and state law
prohibits execution of inmates who are insane or mentally incompetent.
On May 1, 2008, a Pittsburg County jury decided, on split decision, that Allen
is “sane to be executed.” For more than three years since, numerous court
motions and legal arguments have been heard in the case.
On Dec. 28, Bartheld signed a legal order vacating Allen’s stay of execution,
stating that “the court ... having reviewed the pleadings, finds that the issue
of the sanity of Garry Thomas Allen for execution has been resolved...” and
Pruitt requested an execution date.
On Nov. 21, 1986, reports indicate that Allen went to his children’s daycare
center in Oklahoma City when his wife, Titsworth, was scheduled to pick them
up. Titsworth had gone to the parking lot when Allen confronted her, according
to court records. As Titsworth opened the door to her truck, Allen shut the
door and prevented her from entering, court documents state.
As the 2 argued, Allen reached into his sock, pulled out a revolver and shot
Titsworth twice in the chest.
“It is unclear whether Titsworth was holding her youngest son at the time of
the shooting or had picked him up immediately thereafter,” documents filed with
the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals state.
After Allen shot Titsworth, she begged him not to shoot her again and fell to
the ground. Allen then asked Titsworth if she was all right and lifted up her
blouse, apparently attempting to examine her injuries, Beaty reported.
“At the time of the shooting, some of the daycare employees were in the parking
lot and several of the children were in a van parked a few feet from
Titsworth’s truck,” court documents state.
“After the shooting, Titsworth managed to get up and start running toward the
building along with a daycare center employee.”
As they headed up the steps leading to the front door, Allen pushed the daycare
employee through the door and shoved Titsworth down on the steps, where he shot
her twice in the back at close range.
Oklahoma City Police Officer Mike Taylor responded to the 911 call within
minutes and a witness pointed to an alley where Allen was hiding.
Taylor drove into the allay, spotted Allen, pulled his revolver and ordered him
to stop and remain still.
Although Allen initially complied with the order, he turned and began walking
away. When Taylor reached out to place a hand on him, Allen quickly turned and
grabbed the policeman’s gun, Beaty reported.
During a struggle, Allen gained partial control of the gun and “attempted to
make officer Taylor shoot himself by applying pressure to Taylor’s finger which
was still on the trigger,” court documents state.
As the struggle continued, Taylor regained control of the gun and shot Allen in
the face, according to court records.
Allen remained in the hospital for approximately two months, treated for
injuries to his face, left eye and brain.
After he left the hospital, Allen entered a blind plea — meaning no plea
bargain agreement had been reached — to first-degree murder and other charges
on Nov. 10, 1987.
An Oklahoma County judge subsequently sentenced him to death. The appeals court
later ordered a second sentence hearing, which also resulted in the death
sentence, Beaty reported.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Correction’s website, at
www.doc.state.ok.us, Allen has been incarcerated at the Oklahoma State
Penitentiary since Dec. 23, 1987, and is currently housed on death row in the
The last death row inmate to be executed at OSP was Timothy Shaun Stemple, age
46. He was executed March 15 for the Oct. 24, 1996, murder of his 30-year-old
wife Trisha J. Stemple.
Also, death row inmate Michael Bascum Selsor, 57, is scheduled to be executed
May 1 at 6 p.m. Selsor received his death sentence for the 1995 murder of
55-year-old Clayton Chandler during a robbery of a Tulsa convenience store.
(source: McAlester News-Capital)
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