JUNE

Douglas Feldman to become 503rd inmate put to death since reinstatement


Fri., July 26, 2013

Just two months after his 40th birthday, Dallas County resident Douglas Feldman, rode his motorcycle up next to the cab of an 18-wheeler and fired a half-dozen rounds into the passenger area, killing 36-year-old driver Robert Everett.

Reportedly, Feldman was riding his Harley-Davidson on Dallas’ Central Expressway in August 1998 when Everett sped up next to him and then abruptly changed lanes in front of Feldman, nearly clipping him. Feldman was enraged, according to court records, pulled out a pistol and fired several rounds into the back of the truck before reloading the weapon and speeding up to parallel with the cab to shoot Everett. Feldman then fled. Less than an hour later, and about 11 miles from the scene of Everett’s murder, Feldman passed an Exxon service station, where 62-year-old Nicolas Velasquez, a tanker driver, was replenishing the station’s gas supply. Feldman rode into the station and fired two rounds into Velasquez’s back, killing him; the sight of the man next to the truck sent him back into a rage, he testified at his 1999 trial. More than a week later Feldman shot Antonio Vega, as Vega stood next to an 18-wheeler outside a Jack in the Box restaurant; again, Feldman said the sight of the truck was what compelled him to shoot. Vega survived. A bystander to the Vega shooting called in Feldman’s license plate number and police were able to match Feldman’s gun to all three shootings. Feldman was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Feldman admitted to police that he was responsible for the shootings, and at trial testified in his own defense, “noting that he had not forgiven Mr. Everett for his trespasses,” reads a Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in the case. “Feldman explained that he had shot Mr. Velasquez because the man was standing beside an [18-wheeler], which caused Feldman to ‘explode again in anger.'” Feldman was convicted and sentenced to die. On July 31, he will become the 503rd inmate put to death in Texas since reinstatement, and the 11th inmate killed by the state this year.

On appeal, Feldman argued that qualified jurors had been improperly excluded from the jury pool, that his attorney failed to present evidence that he suffered from bipolar disorder as possibly mitigating evidence, and that his trial judge erred by not allowing jurors to consider a lesser charge of murder (which would spare Feldman’s life), among other arguments. According to Feldman the murders arose out of a “sudden passion” and thus mitigated his culpability. “Even though sudden passion arising from an adequate cause is not a legally valid defense to capital murder under Texas law, it is definitely a factually valid rational explanation of the causal events leading up to the offense,” Feldman argued in a subsequent, handwritten appeal he filed on his own with the Fifth Circuit. That appeal, too, has been rejected, clearing the way for Feldman’s execution at the end of the month.

Advertisements

Death Row Prisoner William Van Poyck’s Final Farewell


June 26, 2013 truthdig.com

On June 12, the state of Florida executed William Van Poyck. Van Poyck was convicted of killing a corrections officer during a failed attempt to free a prisoner in 1987. He spent 26 years on death row. From 2005 on, he recorded his observations and reflections from inside America’s system of capital punishment in a blog called Death Row Diary.

 

In a May article, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges wrote that Van Poyck “spent years exposing the cruelty of our system of mass incarceration.” He “was one of the few inside the system to doggedly bear witness to the abuse and murder of prisoners on death row.”

 

On June 25, Van Poyck’s sister published his final two letters, addressed to her. We reprint them here in full.

June 3, 2013

Dear Sis~

Ten days ‘till departure time. You already know that they killed my neighbor, Elmer, 5 days ago. Then they moved me into his cell. After they execute someone they move the rest of us down one cell, working our way to cell#1, the launching pad to the gurney next door. This is a bad luck cell; very few of us get out of here alive!  In two days I’ll go onto Phase II and they’ll move all  my property from my cell, and post a guard in front of my cell 24/7 to record everything I do. These will be hectic days, freighted with emotion, all the final letters, all the final phone calls, final visits, final goodbyes. Things have become even more regimented as “established procedures” increasingly take over. More cell front visits from high ranking administration and DOC officials asking if everything is O.K., forms to fill out (cremation or burial?). I declined the offer of a “last meal”. I’m not interested in participating in that time-worn ritual, to feed some reporter’s breathless post-execution account. Besides, material gratification will be the last thing on my mind as I prepare to cross over to the non-material planes. Watching Elmer go through his final days really drove home how ritualized this whole process has become; the ritual aspect perhaps brings some numbing comfort – or sense of purpose – to those not really comfortable with this whole killing people scheme. This is akin to participating in a play where the participants step to a rote cadence, acting out their parts in the script, with nobody pausing to question the underlying premise. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where you want to grab someone, shake them hard, and yell “Hey, wake up! Don’t you know what’s going on here?!!!”

My very accelerated appeal is before the Florida Supreme Court; my brief is due today, (Monday), the state’s brief tomorrow and oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday June 6th (D-Day Anniversary). I expect an immediate ruling, or perhaps on Friday. By the time you read this you’ll already know the result and since there’s no higher court to go to on this you’ll know if I live or die on June 12th. I am not optimistic, Sis. Although I have some substantial, compelling issues, as you know (e.g., my appointed direct appeal attorney who turned out to be a mentally ill, oft-hospitalized, crack head, convicted of cocaine possession and subsequently disbarred whose incompetence sabotaged my appeal) the law provides the courts with countless ways to deny a prisoner any appellate review of even the most meritorious claims. I won’t turn this into a discourse on legal procedures; but many years of observation has taught me that once a death warrant is signed it’s near impossible to stop the  momentum of that train. Issues that would normally offer you some relief, absent a warrant, suddenly become “meritless” under the tension of a looming execution date. Nobody wants to be the one to stop an execution, it’s almost sacrilegious.

 

So many people are praying and fighting to save my life that I am loathe to express any pessimism, as if that’s a betrayal of those supporting me. And, there is some hope, at least for a stay of execution. But honestly my worst fear is a temporary stay of 20, 30 days. Unless a stay results in my lawyers digging up some new, previously undiscovered substantial claim that will get me a new sentencing hearing, a stay simply postpones the inevitable. What I don’t want is to be back here in the same position in 30 days, forcing you and all my loved ones to endure another heart-breaking cycle of final goodbyes. I cannot ask that of them. I’d rather just go on June 12th and get this over with. This may be disappointing to those who are trying so hard to extend my life, even for a few days, but there it is.

 

Time – that surprisingly subjective, abstract concept – is becoming increasingly compressed for me. I’m staying rooted in the here and now, not dwelling on the past or anxiously peering into the future, but inhabiting each unfolding moment as it arrives in my consciousness (F.Y.I., I highly recommend The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, for anyone facing imminent execution!) I’m still able to see the beauty of this world, and value the kindness of the many beautiful souls who work tirelessly to make this a better place. I am calm and very much at peace, Sis, so don’t worry about my welfare down here on death watch. I will endure this without fear, and with as much grace as I can summon. Whatever happens, it’s all good, it’s just the way it’s supposed to be.

Much Love,
Bill

 

* * * 

June 12, 2013

 

Dear Sis,

 

If you are reading this, I have gone the way of the earth, my atonement fulfilled. When your tears have dried—as they will—and you look up at the sky, allow yourself to smile when you think of me, free at last. Though I have departed my physical vehicle, know that my soul—timeless, boundless and eternal—soars joyfully among the stars.

 

Despite my many flaws on earth, I was blessed to be loved by so many special souls who saw past my feet of clay and into my heart. Know that in my final hours, it was that love which sustained my spirit and brought me peace. Love, like our souls, is eternal and forever binds us, and in due time it will surely draw us all back together again. Until then, Godspeed to you and all who have loved me!

Light & Love,
Bill

Execution Watch: RACISM STALKS HALLS OF DEATH HOUSE AS TX PREPARES TO TAKE WOMAN’S LIFE


HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Kimberly McCarthy says jury selection in her trial was tainted by racism.

The courts have told her, in essence, “Drop dead.”

They say they won’t consider the merits of McCarthy’s appeal because her lawyers should have raised the issue sooner.

Despite the unheard claims, McCarthy remains on track to become the 500th person, and only the fourth woman, executed in Texas during the modern death-penalty era.

Execution Watch will provide live coverage and commentary of McCarthy’s execution, as well as the protests expected to take place outside the death house.

Unless a stay is issued, EXECUTION WATCH will broadcast live:
Wednesday, 26 June 2013, 6-7 PM Central Time
KPFT FM Houston 90.1 and Online…
http://executionwatch.org/ > Listen

TEXAS PLANS TO EXECUTE:
KIMBERLY McCARTHY, who has the gruesome distinction of holding ticket No. 500 in the Texas death-penalty lottery. The ex-crack addict was condemned in a 1997 robbery-slaying near Dallas. McCarthy is the former wife of New Black Panther Party founder Aaron Michaels, with whom she has a son. She is one of 10 women on Texas death row.

SHOW LINEUP
Host: RAY HILL, an ex-convict and activist who founded — and hosted for 30 years — The Prison Show on KPFT. His internet radio show airs Wednesdays at 2 PM CT.: hmsnetradio.org.

Legal Analyst: JIM SKELTON, a legal educator, retired attorney and native Texan who has seen capital trials from both the prosecution and defense tables. Joining him will be Houston criminal defense attorneys SUSAN ASHLEY, LARRY DOUGLAS, MICHAEL GILLESPIE & JACK LEE.

Reporters Outside the Death House will include GLORIA RUBAC, member, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, abolitionmovement.org, and DR. DENNIS LONGMIRE, professor of criminal justice, Sam Houston State University, shsu.edu.

Reporter, Vigil, Houston: DAVE ATWOOD, founder and former board member, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, tcadp.org.

Oklahoma – Upcoming execution – Brian Darell Davis june 25, 2013 – EXECUTED 6:25 PM


June 14, 2013

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has chosen not to follow the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.The Board recommended that death row inmate Brian Davis have his sentence commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.Governor Fallin has decided that the execution will proceed as scheduled.

June 7, 2013

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to recommend that death row inmate Brian Davis have his sentence commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.The Board’s recommendation now goes to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for approval or rejection.Governor Fallin can also grant up to two, 30-day temporary stay of executions in order to review the case before making her final decision.

May 7, 2013

Brian Darrell Davis is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on June 25, 2013, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma.Thirty-nine-year-old Brian is convicted of raping and killing 52-year-old Josephine “Jody” Sanford on November 4, 2001, at his Ponca City, Oklahoma, apartment.Brian has spent the past ten years living on Oklahoma’s death row.

Brian Davis returned home from a night out with friends at a local club in the early hours of November 4, 2001.Davis discovered that his girlfriend, Stacey Sanford, and their three-year-old daughter were missing.Davis, concerned, called Stacey’s mother, Jody Sanford, to see if she knew where they were.Jody told Davis that she did not know.Ten to fifteen minutes later, Davis called Jody again, asking if she would go find them.When Jody was unable to locate them, she went to Davis’s apartment.

The next morning, shortly after 9 am, Stacey returned to the apartment and found her mother dead.Stacey immediately called the police who began investigating.Meanwhile, Davis, while driving Jody’s van, was involved in a single car accident and seriously injured when he was ejected through the front windshield.Davis was arrested and his blood alcohol level was determined to be .09 percent.Davis was transferred to a Wichita hospital for treatment.

What happened from the time Jody arrived to the time that Stacey found her is unclear, as Davis made several conflicting statements of the events that transpired.In his initial statement, given the day of the accident, Davis remembered Jody arriving at the apartment, but nothing after that until he woke up after the accident.Two days later, Davis was again interviewed by the police.Davis initially repeated that he did not remember, however, during questioning, his memory seemed to improve.

Davis said that Jody came over and the two began to talk about religion and his relationship with Stacey.Davis, angry, informed Jody that he was not committed to Stacey.The two began to argue.According to Davis, Jody stood up and continued to “lecture” him.Davis got angrier, accused her of being “in his face” and told her to “back up,” pushing her backwards.Jody then grabbed a knife and cut Davis’s thumb.Davis hit her on chin, likely causing a fracture to her jawbone, and grabbed at the knife.During the struggle for the knife, Davis was cut.Davis eventually got possession of the knife and told Jody to get back, stabbing her in the stomach.Davis and Jody wrestled down the hallway, resulting in Jody being stabbed in the leg.

The two ended up in the bedroom, where Davis told Jody to stop and put the knife down.Jody agreed, if Davis would let her go.When Davis let her go, she ran towards the knife, but Davis grabbed it first, stabbing her in the left side.Jody then told Davis she could not breathe.Davis instructed her to lie down and wrapped her up in a blanket, saying it was to keep her from bleeding to death.Davis said he heard her stop breathing, but then fell asleep.When Davis woke up, he claims he panicked and fled in Jody’s van so he could figure out what to do.

One of the detectives interviewing Davis, showed him evidence that Jody had been chocked and/or strangled.Davis admitted it may have happened while they were wrestling.Davis adamantly denied having sex with her.

In the months that followed, Davis told three different stories to Stacey.First, he claimed he thought Jody was an intruder.Later, he told her a story similar to the one he told the detectives.After DNA testing showed that Davis had sexual intercourse with Jody, Davis told Stacey, that Jody came over and was upset about her husband’s infidelity.Davis claims he tried to comfort her and the two ended up having sexual intercourse.After the encounter, Davis claims he was struck on the back of the head by Jody and events unfolded from there.

A trial, Davis told yet another version, similar to the last story he had told Stacey, but with more details.Davis also maintained that he did not intend to kill Jody; he was just trying to defend himself.

This was not Davis’s first encounter with the police.In 1995, Davis was twice convicted of rape.Also in 1995, he was convicted of unlawful possession of cocaine.He was released after serving two years.

FLORIDA – UPCOMING EXECUTION MARSHALL GORE – JUNE 24 2013 – STAYED


Characteristics: Rape – Robberies
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: January 31/March 11, 1988
Date of arrest: March 17, 1988
Date of birth: August 17, 1963
Victim profile: Susan Roark / Robyn Novick
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife – Strangulation
Location: Columbia County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on April 3, 1990

June 24, 2013

Convicted killer Marshall Lee Gore received a stay of execution just 30 minutes for his scheduled death Thursday evening.

It would have been the state’s third execution of the month.

Gore is the former owner of a South Florida escort service who was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m.

Gore was convicted of the 1988 killing of Robyn Novick, a 30-year-old exotic dancer whose naked body was found in a rural part of Miami-Dade County. Gore also was sentenced to die for the slaying that same year of Susan Roark, whose body was found in Columbia County in northern Florida.

Besides the two death sentences, Gore was given seven life sentences and another 110 years in a case involving the attempted murder of a third woman. That attempt led to Gore’s arrest; he was convicted of stealing the woman’s red Toyota, which the FBI tracked to another state.

Gore’s execution will end a bizarre case. During his trial, Gore laughed, cursed and howled at the prosecution and even his own defense.

At one point Gore’s frustrated attorney turned to him and said, “He deserves to die.”

That led the Florida Supreme Court in 1988 to stay Gore’s execution, ruling that the attorney exceeded proper conduct and professionalism. A year later, though, Gore was retried and re-convicted and again sentenced to death.

Florida has had two other executions within the past month. On June 12, the state executed William Van Poyck for the 1987 murder of a prison guard during a botched attempt to free another inmate, and on May 29, Elmer Carroll was executed for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl.

The execution of Marshall Lee Gore is once again scheduled for 6 pm EDT, on June 24, 2013, at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida.Forty-nine-year-old Marshall is scheduled to be executed for the murder of 30-year-old Robyn Novick on March 11, 1988, in Columbia County, Florida.Marshall has spent the past 23 years on death row.

On May 23, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott granted a temporary stay of execution to Marshall after his lawyer claimed he was insane and therefore ineligible for execution.The stay was lifted after a three-doctor commission examined Marshall and found him to be mentally competent and eligible for execution.After the doctors presented their findings to Governor Scott, the stay was lifted.Marshall’s execution will be carried out as originally planned.

On March 16, 1988, police were searching Dade County, Florida area for a missing juvenile.A police officer noticed a blue tarp on the ground.Under it was the remains of a female, later identified through dental records as Robyn Novick.She was naked, with a silver belt around her neck and a lace cloth around her left ankle.An autopsy discovered that she had been strangled and stabbed through the heart and lung.All were fatal injuries.

Upon investigation, police discovered that on Friday, March 11, 1988, a girl wearing a black dress with a silver belt was seen at a local bar around 8 pm.She was driving a yellow Corvette and had a male passenger.A night manager identified Robyn as the female and Marshall Gore as the passenger.Both were identified through a photo lineup.

Between 10 and 11 pm, a yellow Corvette was seen parked on the street in front of a house where Gore was staying with friends.The house was “within a few hundred feet” of where Robyn’s body was found.Another resident of the house acknowledged seeing the yellow Corvette around 2 am.Gore then left the house and returned a short time later, saying he had been in a car accident.Keys to the yellow Corvette were later found in the house.Gore then sought shelter at a different friend’s house, saying the police were looking for him and that he had been involved in a car accident while driving a yellow Corvette.

Police were called to the scene of a car crash involving a yellow Corvette.The occupants were missing when the police arrived.The vehicle bore the vanity tag “Robyn N,” and inside the vehicle was a gold cigarette case with the initials RGN, various credit cards and a Florida’s driver license.The credit cards and the driver’s license both bore the name Robyn G. Novick.

Gore was arrested on March 17, 1988, in Paducah, Kentucky, driving the stolen vehicle of Tina Coralis, a woman who had survived an attempted murder by Gore.Tina’s case and Robyn’s case shared many similarities.Gore denied murdering Robyn, claiming he did not know her.He also claims he was not responsible for Tina’s injuries as they occurred when she jumped out of a moving car.Gore was convicted and the jury recommended the death penalty by a vote of 12 to 0.

During Gore’s trial, evidence was presented linking him to the murder of Susan Roark.He was later convicted for her murder and received a second death penalty.Susan and Robyn’s murders shared many similarities, along with his attempted murder of Tina Coralis.All three were stabbed and choked before being abandoned.Gore was also known to have been in possession of all three victims’ cars, after the victims went missing.

In addition to two death sentences, Gore has received seven life sentences for kidnappings, sexual batteries with a weapon or force, and robbery with a gun or deadly weapon.Gore has also received 110 years for various attempted murder, rape, and theft convictions.

murderpedia opinion’s source

Supreme Court of Florida

opinion 75955 opinion 86249
opinion SC96127 opinion SC01-1524
opinion 05-1848

James Lewis DeRosa – Oklahoma Execution – June 18, 2013 -EXECUTED 6:07 pm


https://i2.wp.com/i1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb388/cncp66/cncp66-1/off_lookup-16.jpgConvicted and sentenced to death in the murders of Curtis and Gloria Plummer. DeRosa and co-defendant then robbed them, stabbed them, and cut their throats, leaving them dead on the floor. DeRosa and Castleberry then stole approximately $73 and left in the Plummers’ 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck. The Plummers knew DeRosa, because he had previously worked for them on their ranch. He and Castleberry were apparently allowed into the home, which had a security system, on the pretense of looking for a further work opportunity.

DeRosa has been on death row since December 10, 2001.

Two-time killer executed at OSP

By Rachel Petersen, The McAlester News-Capital

McALESTER — A two-time convicted killer, and death row inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, was executed via lethal injection Tuesday evening in the prison’s death chamber.

James Lewis DeRosa, 36, was convicted Oct. 19, 2001, of two counts of first-degree murder and was subsequently sentenced to death.

DeRosa did not make any last requests prior to his execution, this includes a last meal request. At around noon Tuesday, he was offered a meal, one that was being served to the entire inmate population, and he denied accepting the food, according to Terry Crenshaw, OSP warden’s assistant.

DeRosa’a execution began at 6:01 p.m. When the blinds between the execution chamber and the witness room were raised, DeRosa did not turn his head. He stared up at the ceiling. OSP Warden Anita Trammell asked him if he had any last words and DeRosa said, “No Ma’am.”

Trammell then said, “Let the execution begin.”

DeRosa blinked a number of times before he began to breath heavily. He had one last long exhale and his eyelids stopped blinking. The color began to drain from his face and he was pronounced dead by an attending physician at 6:07 p.m.

Members of the victim’s family spoke after DeRosa’s execution was complete. “This is not about DeRosa,” said Janet Tolbert, whose parents were murdered by DeRosa. “This is about Curtis and Gloria Plummer.” Tolbert said her family is glad that justice has finally been served. She said her parents suffered a “horrendous” death. “Nothing compared to that light death” DeRosa just had, she said.

Tolbert and her daughter, Dana Gilliam, both wore white t-shirts with pictures of the Plummers printed on the front.

Witnessing DeRosa’s execution were five members of the media, 13 members of the victim’s family, two of DeRosa’s attorneys, three law enforcement representatives, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones and DOC Deputy Director Laura Pitman.

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 against granting DeRosa clemency earlier this month.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a request March 25 with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set DeRosa’s execution date after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the inmate’s final appeal.

In October 2000, Curtis Plummer, 73, and Gloria Plummer, 70, both of Poteau, were found dead in their home with multiple stab wounds and with their throats cut. About one year later, in October 2001, DeRosa was found guilty by a jury of his peers for the LeFlore County first-degree murders of the Plummers. He was subsequently sentenced to death.

According to Pruitt, DeRosa was briefly employed by the Plummers and told several friends on multiple occasions he thought the elderly couple would be an easy target to rob. DeRosa’s 21-year-old friend, Eric Castleberry, now 33, and also known as John E. Castleberry, agreed to help with the robbery. Castleberry’s 18-year-old friend, Scotty White, now 30, agreed to drive.

Pruitt said DeRosa and Castleberry were welcomed into the Plummer’s home, which at the time was equipped with a security system. Once in the home, Pruitt said, DeRosa and Castleberry brandished knives and, while the couple begged and struggled for their lives, DeRosa stabbed the Plummers multiple times and slit their throats, the AG’s office reported.

“DeRosa and Castleberry left the scene with $73 and the couple’s pickup truck,” Pruitt said. “The truck was ditched in a nearby lake.”

In exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole,Castleberry testified at DeRosa’s trial. Castleberry is serving his two life sentences at OSP in McAlester.

White was charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and received two 25-year sentences, to be served concurrently, and the last seven years to be served as probation. He is serving time at the Lawton Correctional Facility and has since been convicted of escaping from the Department of Corrections. He is scheduled to be released on Nov. 10, 2026, and has a parole hearing set in August of 2015.

DeRosa was received into the Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Dec. 10, 2001. He had been housed in Oklahoma’s death row at OSP in McAlester.

http://mcalesternews.com/policecourt…xecuted-at-OSP

%d bloggers like this: