Oklahoma – Garry Thomas Allen – Execution – April 12, 2012 STAYED


Summary of Offense:

Allen pleaded guilty in the 1986 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend Gail Titsworth in Oklahoma County. He was convicted in 1987. Titsworth had broken off the relationship with Allen three days before the killing and had sought a protective order. She was picking up her two sons at a child-care center when Allen shot her four times. He then struggled with a police officer and was shot in the head. Allen spent months in mental hospitals after his arrest to be treated for depression and his head injury. He was deemed competent at a 1987 hearing but won a new competency hearing in 1997 after the Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma’s competency standards were too high. In the subsequent hearing, Allen was again ruled competent.

april 11, 2012 BREAKING NEWS 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A federal judge in Oklahoma City has stayed the execution of an inmate who was diagnosed with schizophrenia but found sane by a jury that considered whether he was eligible for the death penalty.

Fifty-six-year-old Garry Allen is scheduled to die by injection on Thursday. Allen pleaded guilty to capital murder after being shot in the head during his November 1986 arrest. He killed 24-year-old Gail Titsworth, with whom he had children, outside a daycare where she had picked up her sons days after she moved away from Allen. An officer shot Allen after he tried to shoot the officer.

In 2005, the state Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to commute Allen’s sentence to life in prison, but Gov. Mary Fallin had decided to allow the execution to proceed.

april 10, 2012 source http://muskogeephoenix.com

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Members of an anti-death penalty group said Monday they have little hope that Gov. Mary Fallin will commute the death sentence of an Oklahoma inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday.

Three members of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty met with Fallin’s general counsel, Steve Mullins, to urge the governor to reverse her decision to deny clemency for Garry Thomas Allen, 56.

Allen’s attorneys contend he was mentally impaired when he killed 24-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth, the mother of his two children, on Nov. 21, 1986, in Oklahoma City. They say he had been self-medicating for an underlying mental illness, and that his mental condition had worsened.

Coalition board member James T. Rowan said the group does not expect Fallin to change her mind about clemency. He said Mullins indicated during the meeting that Allen’s clemency request “was a close case.”

“I’m satisfied that the governor has gone through an exhausting process,” Rowan said.

A spokesman for Fallin, Alex Weintz, confirmed the group met with Mullins and discussed Allen’s case. Weintz said Fallin appreciated their input but that there was no change in the status of the case.

“The execution is still scheduled for Thursday,” Weintz said.

Fallin denied clemency for Allen on March 13, but the coalition asked her to reconsider based on the state Pardon and Parole Board’s 4-1 recommendation in 2005 that Allen’s death penalty on a first-degree murder conviction be commuted to like in prison.

“That is a very exceptional factor,” said Rex Friend, another coalition board member.

Allen was shot in the face during a struggle with police after Titsworth’s shooting death and his attorneys said he was not competent to enter a blind plea of guilty to the murder charge.

Former Gov. Brad Henry never acted on the board’s 2005 clemency recommendation for Allen because a Pittsburg County judge issued a stay of execution after a prison psychological exam determined Allen had developed mental problems on death row. The doctor’s report noted Allen had dementia caused by seizures, drug abuse and the gunshot wound.

A 12-member jury was impaneled in 2008 to determine Allen’s sanity. Jurors rejected Allen’s argument that he should not be put to death and decided he was sane enough to be executed.

Friend said Fallin went through a long and detailed process that included meetings with prosecution and defense attorneys in the case before she made her decision to deny the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation. Rowan said Allen’s execution could still be blocked if prison officials believe he is not mentally competent.

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April 6, 2012 source :http://www.therepublic.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — As activists prepare to argue for clemency for a man scheduled to die next week, a death penalty expert said a blind guilty plea such as Garry Allen’s is unusual in Oklahomacapital murder cases.

Allen’s attorneys have argued that he was mentally impaired when he entered a blind guilty plea to a capital murder charge. Allen was shot in the head during his 1986 arrest, and he had a history of mental illness and alcohol abuse prior to the killing.

Activists on Monday plan to ask legal counsel for Gov. Mary Fallin to consider clemency for the 56-year-old man, who is scheduled to be executed Thursday.

Considering Allen’s apparent combination of mental illness and alcohol abuse, he shouldn’t have entered a blind guilty plea — a plea done in front of a judge without a deal — especially in a state where the death penalty is popular, said defense attorney James Rowan, a death penalty expert who does not represent Allen.

Allen has testified that he pleaded guilty to spare his family and his victim’s family from the ordeal of a trial.

His lawyers had argued he was not sane and therefore shouldn’t be executed, but in 2008, a jury said he was sane enough for the death penalty.

A personality test in Allen’s court file shows his “probable diagnosis is Schizophrenic Disorder, or Anxiety Disorder in a Paranoid Personality.” Allen, who had a history of substance abuse, had also testified that before the day of the killing, he got drunk whenever he could. Two hours after the killing, Allen’s blood-alcohol level was .27— more than three times the legal limit.

Considering Allen’s apparent combination of mental illness and alcohol abuse, he shouldn’t have entered a blind guilty plea — a plea done in front of a judge without a deal — especially in a state where the death penalty is popular, said defense attorney James Rowan, a death penalty expert who does not represent Allen.

Attorney Charles Hoffman, another expert on death penalty cases, said a blind guilty plea could be the result of the defendant’s insistence, “bad or lazy lawyering” or a strategy to argue the defendant acknowledged guilt when a conviction is sure to happen.

“Although entering a blind guilty plea in a death penalty case may sound like a very dumb thing to do, it really all depends on the facts of the case,” Hoffman said.

In the 42 capital murder cases that Rowan has tried, only two defendants entered blind guilty pleas — once because Rowan was “young and didn’t know any better.” In the other case, in 1989, a man killed five people in a multi-state spree, including a woman in an Ardmore, Okla., flower shop.

Rowan knew the case would be hard to win and decided to plead to the judge.

“It would almost be malpractice now to do it,” Rowan said. “Even if the defendant wanted to enter a guilty plea, I think you’d be almost incompetent to do that.”

In 2005, the Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to recommend life without parole instead of execution for Allen, but Fallin has decided to proceed with the execution.

Fallin has said she and her legal team gave Allen’s case a thorough review, and she has no plans to change her decision.

Allen shot 42-year-old Lawanna Titsworth four days after she moved out of the home where she lived with Allen and their two sons, according to court documents. Titsworth and Allen had fought in the week before the shooting and he had tried to convince her to live with him again.

An officer in the area responded to a 911 call. Allen grabbed his gun and struggled with the officer, according to court documents. Allen tried to make the officer shoot himself by squeezing the officer’s finger on the trigger, but the officer got control of the gun and shot Allen in the face.

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March 14,2012

OKLAHOMA CITY

Governor Mary Fallin has denied clemency for Garry Thomas Allen, an Oklahoma death row inmate who killed the mother of his two children in 1986.

On February 9, 2012, Governor Fallin granted a stay of execution of thirty days from February 16, 2012, the date of the scheduled execution of Allen, in order for this office to thoroughly evaluate the recommendation of clemency by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

The Governor met with the Federal Public Defender’s office, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office and the victim’s family about this case.

The Executive Order, Fallin states, “Having thoroughly reviewed the arguments and evidence presented in this case, I have determined that clemency should be denied, and that the sentence of death shall be carried out.”

The Governor has granted an additional twenty-six day stay thereby scheduling the execution on Thursday, April 12, 2012.

Allen was convicted for killing 42-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth on November 21, 1986, in Oklahoma City.

Read the full Executive Order HERE.

Article 5/4/08

Death row inmate deemed sane

A Pittsburg County jury has determined that a death row inmate is sane enough to be executed, but it’s uncertain when the punishment will be carried out.

On a 9 to 3 vote, a panel of 11 men and one woman rejected Garry Thomas Allen‘s argument that he shouldn’t be put to death for the fatal shooting of Lawanna Titsworth because he had become insane while in prison.

An Oklahoma County jury convicted the 52-year-old Allen of first-degree murder for gunning down in November 1986 outside an Oklahoma City daycare center. Titsworth had moved out of the home she shared with Allen and their 2 sons 4 days before her death.

According to court documents, the 2 were arguing when Allen reached into his sock, pulled out a revolver and shot her twice in the chest.

Titsworth got to her feet and ran toward the center, but Allen shoved her down some steps and shot her in the back twice.

An Oklahoma City police officer responding to the call tussled with Allen before shooting him in the face.

Prosecutors are now considering what to do next.

Okla. court dismisses death row inmate’s appeal

A condemned Oklahoma inmate who insists he is insane lost a legal challenge Thursday when an appeals court determined there is no procedure under state law to contest a jury’s finding that he is sane enough to be executed.

The Court of Criminal Appeals handed down the decision against Garry Thomas Allen, 55, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the Nov. 21, 1986, shooting death of 42-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth, the mother of Allen’s two children.

A district judge in Pittsburg County issued a stay one day before Allen scheduled execution in 2005 after a psychological examination at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary indicated Allen had developed mental problems while confined on death row. The U.S. Constitution forbids the execution of inmates who are insane or mentally incompetent.

According to state legal guidelines, a 12-member jury was impaneled in 2008 to determine Allen’s sanity. Jurors rejected Allen’s argument that he should not be put to death and decided he was sane enough to be executed.

Allen appealed, but in a six-page decision the appeals court concluded the appeal was not authorized by law and that there is no procedure to appeal a finding that a person facing execution is sane.

The decision, written by Vice Presiding Judge David Lewis of Lawton, says there is no federally mandated right to an appeal in Allen’s case and that the state Constitution does not mandate an appeal. In addition, the Legislature has not created a statutory appeal process for sanity proceedings, the appellate court said.

“It is, however, clear what the procedure should be when a person facing execution is found either insane or sane after a jury trial, and that procedure does not include an appeal to this court,” the ruling states.

Despite the decision, it remains unclear when Allen’s execution will be carried out. Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Dianne Clay said attorneys plan to evaluate the decision before asking the appeals court to schedule a new execution date for Allen.

Allen’s attorney, Kristi Christopher of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

An Oklahoma County jury sentenced Allen to death for shooting Titsworth in the parking lot of the Oklahoma City daycare center. She had moved out of the home she shared with Allen and their two sons four days earlier.

Court documents indicated the two were arguing when Allen reached into his sock, pulled out a revolver and shot Titsworth twice in the chest. Titsworth ran with a center employee toward the building, but Allen pushed the worker away, shoved Titsworth down some steps and shot her twice in the back at close range, records show.

A police officer responding to a 911 call tussled with Allen before shooting him in the face, according to court documents. Allen was hospitalized for about two months for treatment of injuries to his face, left eye and brain.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2…#ixzz1fzv2kDVK

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The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has set a Feb. 16 execution date for a death row inmate who claims he is insane.

The court set the date Thursday for 55-year-old Garry Thomas Allen. Attorney General Scott Pruitt requested the date on Dec. 28 after a stay of execution for Allen was lifted by a Pittsburg County judge.

Allen was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the Nov. 21, 1986, shooting death of 42-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth. But Allen’s 2005 execution was stayed when prison officials reported he had developed mental problems on death row.

A 12-member jury was impaneled in 2008 to determine Allen’s sanity. Jurors rejected Allen’s argument that he should not be put to death and decided he was sane enough to be executed.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor…oma-Execution/

Garry Allen has epilepsy, which has apparently worsened during his time on death row. He has frequent seizures and doctors have said that he is so confused for periods after these seizures that he would not understand thereality of or reason for his impending execution. In 1993, Garry Allen’s IQ was measured at 111, above average. By 1999, it had dropped to 75.Doctors have reportedly put this down to his ongoing epileptic seizures combined with head injuries.

After having been presented with such evidence at a clemency hearing on 20 April 2005, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended by four votes to one that Governor Brad Henry commute Garry Allen’s death sentence to life imprisonment. An Assistant Attorney General, pursuing the executionfor the state, was quoted as saying that he believed that Garry Allen was faking his mental impairments: ”It is easier to act stupider than you are. It’s impossible to act smarter than you are. This guy now knows, play up my seizures, play down my IQ.”

http://www.mail-archive.com/deathpen…/msg02623.html

Governor considering death-row inmate’s case

A death-row inmate originally scheduled to be executed Thursday night will instead be put to death March 17 if the governor’s legal team decides against commuting the man’s sentence to life in prison.

Gov. Mary Fallin issued a 30-day stay last week to give her legal team more time to consider a 2005 clemency recommendation from the state Pardon and Parole Board for 55-year-old Garry Thomas Allen.

Allen had been scheduled to die for the 1986 murder of the mother of his two children. His attorneys have argued that he was mentally impaired when he killed 42-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth.

Allen’s current lawyer, Randy Bauman, declined to comment on the stay Thursday. Currie Ballard, a member of the pardon and parole board, said he could not comment on death-row cases.

http://www.kswo.com/story/16952220/g…w-inmates-case

Convicted killer Garry Thomas Allen will be executed April 12 after Gov. Mary Fallin issued an additional 26-day stay on Tuesday

Allen was set to be executed Saturday after the first 30-day stay expired for his case.

On Feb. 9, Gov. Fallin granted a 30-day stay of execution from the originally scheduled date of Feb. 16, in order to evaluate the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation of clemency.

The governor met with the Federal Public Defender’s office, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office and the victim’s family to review Allen’s case, and after examining the arguments and evidence presented, determined that clemency should be denied, and that the sentence of death shall be carried out, according to spokesman Alex Weintz.

Allen was sentenced to death for the 1986 murder of the mother of his two children, 42-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth.

Allen’s attorneys have argued that he was mentally impaired when he killed Titsworth in Oklahoma City. They said he had been self-medicating for an underlying mental illness, which had gotten worse. A police officer shot Allen in the face during a struggle after Allen shot his wife.

The pardon and parole board voted 4-1 in 2005 to recommend commuting Allen’s sentence to life in prison. But before then-Gov. Brad Henry had a chance to act on the recommendation, a Pittsburg County judge issued a stay after a prison psychological exam determined Allen had developed mental problems on death row. The doctor’s report noted Allen had dementia caused by seizures, drug abuse and his gunshot wound.

A 12-member jury was impaneled in 2008 to determine Allen’s sanity. Jurors rejected Allen’s argument that he should not be put to death and decided he was sane enough to be executed.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/artic…_0_Convic58229

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