PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIONS

UPCOMING EXECUTIONS 2015, UPDATE


UPTADE AUGUST 29, 2015

Month State Inmate
August
13 TX Tracy Beatty – STAYED
18 TN David Miller – STAYED
26 TX Bernardo Tercero (foreign national) STAYED
27 MS Richard Jordan (date requested by Atty. Gen.; not final) EXECUTION HALTED
27 PA Maurice Patterson – STAY LIKELY
28 PA Hector Morales- STAY LIKELY
September
1 MO Roderick Nunley EXECUTED 9:09 PM
2 TX Joe Garza STAYED
3 PA Herbert Blakeney- STAY LIKELY
16 OK Richard Glossip
17 OH Angelo Fears – STAYED*
17 OH William Montgomery – STAYED^
29 TX Perry Williams
October
6 MO Kimber Edwards
6 TN Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman – STAYED
6 TX Juan Garcia
7 OK Benjamin Cole
14 TX Licho Escamilla
28 OK John Grant
28 TX Christopher Wilkins
November
3 TX Julius Murphy
10 TX
Gilmar Guevara
17 OH Cleveland R. Jackson – STAYED*
17 OH Robert Van Hook – STAYED^
17 TN Nicholas Sutton – STAYED
18 TX Raphael Holiday

US- UPCOMING EXECUTIONS APRIL 2014



Month State Inmate
April
3 TX Tommy Sells – executed
9 TX Ramiro Hernandez (Foreign National) – EXECUTED
16 TX Jose Jr Villegas EXECUTED
16 PA Stephen Edmiston – STAYED
22 TN Nikolaus Johnson STAYED
22 OK Clayton Lockett Updatestay was lifted and rescheduled for April 29.
23 FL Robert Hendrix EXECUTED
23 MO William Rousan EXECUTED
29 OK Charles Warner Update – stay was lifted

Us – EXECUTIONS 2014 (UPDATE)


Last updated on March 20, 2014
(Dates are subject to change due to stays and appeals.)

 

 

Month

State

Inmate

March

 

 

19

OH

Gregory Lott – Stayed

20

FL

Robert Henry EXECUTED

20

OK

Clayton Lockett – EXECUTED (APRIL 29)

26

MO

Jeffrey Ferguson EXECUTED

26

MS

Charles Crawford Stayed as execution date had not been affirmed by state court.

27

OK

Charles Warner – Update – stay was lifted and rescheduled for April 29.

27

TX

Anthony Doyle EXECUTED

27

MS

Michelle Byrom STAYED

April

 

 

3

TX

Tommy Sells EXECUTED

9

TX

Ramiro Hernandez (Foreign National) EXECUTED

16

TX

Jose Villegas EXECUTED

16

PA

Stephen Edmiston – STAYED

22

TN

Nikolus Johnson STAYED

23

FL

Robert Hendrix EXECUTED

May

 

 

13

TX

Robert Campbell

21

TX

Robert Pruett

28

OH

Arthur Tyler

29

TX

Edgardo Cubas (Foreign National) – STAYED

August

 

 

6

OH

William Montgomery

October

 

 

7

TN

Billy Irick

15

OH

Raymond Tibbetts

November

 

 

26

IN

William Gibson – STAY LIKELY

December

 

 

9

TN

Ed Zagorski

PENNSYLVANIA – Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday signed a death warrant ordering the execution of a man convicted nearly 25 years ago for the grisly murder of a 2-year old girl.


february 20, 2014 (tribune-democrat)

Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday signed a death warrant ordering the execution of a man convicted nearly 25 years ago for the grisly murder of a 2-year old girl.

The execution of Stephen Rex Edmiston, now 55, has been ordered for April 16, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Edmiston was convicted in 1989 by a Cambria County jury for the 1988 murder of Bobbi Jo Matthew.

Edmiston was living in Huntingdon County when he took the girl from the home of her grandmother, Nancy Dotts, in Beccaria, Clearfield County, during the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 1988.

The child’s body was found two days later in a remote area of Reade Township in northeastern Cambria County.

Edmiston maintained his innocence at his trial. But state police testified that he drew a map with an X marking the location where, he said, “You’ll find a dead, raped little girl.”

Police found the girl’s body at the location and Edmiston allegedly admitted to raping her in his truck, then hitting her three or four times until she became quiet.

An autopsy showed Bobbi Jo was partially scalped, had blunt force injuries to her torso and a skull fracture. Her body was burned and her genital area obliterated, according to trial testimony.

Edmiston, who has been housed at SCI-Greene for several years, has been involved in the appeals process for more than two decades.

Cambria County attorneys David Kaltenbaugh and Kenneth Sottile defended Edmiston at his trial, but the appeal process was assumed several years ago by Robert Dunham of the Federal Defenders Office in Philadelphia.

Dunham could not be immediately reached for comment late Thursday.

Kaltenbaugh said he had lost track of where Edmiston was in the appeal process, but said of death row inmates: “They never really exhaust their appeals.”

Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out by lethal injection, but it is highly unlikely that the execution will be carried out this spring.

The last time anyone was executed in Pennsylvania was in 1999, when Gary Heidnik of Philadelphia was executed, said Joshua Maus, of the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.

That execution occurred only after Heidnik voluntarily give up his appeal process so he could be put to death.

The Edmiston execution warrant was the 31st signed by Corbett, Maus said.

Trial testimony and information provided by the governor’s office was that Bobbi Jo went to bed in the home she shared with her grandmother and her father, Harold Matthew, on the night she was abducted.

Around 3:30 a.m., Harold Matthew, who was sleeping on a sofa in the home, was awakened by a man with a beard, the father later told authorities.

The man was wearing a baseball cap and apologized to Harold Matthew for waking him, according to trial testimony.

At some point, Edmiston went into a bedroom shared by three children, including Bobbi Jo, and removed her from the home.

Edmiston was said to be the nephew of the boyfriend of Dotts, the child’s grandmother, who discovered her missing when she came home at 5:30 a.m.

Edmiston is the last Cambria County inmate on death row. The death sentence for Larry Christie, convicted in the murder of a night watchman at the Oriential Ball Room in Gallitzin was reduced to life in prison after it became apparent the courts would rule in his favor of his appeal.

Ernest “Ernie,” Simmons, convicted in the 1990s  murder of Anna Knaze, had his status changed when an appeals court ordered a new trial and prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to third-degree murder.

Simmons was expected to be given credit for time served, and released, but is now back in prison on a parole violation.

Late last year the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the Simmons appeal regarding the parole violation.

PENNSYLVANIA – Governor signs execution warrant for Clearfield County man. Mark Newton Spotz


November 13,2012 http://triblive.com

Gov. Tom Corbett signed an execution warrant on Tuesday for a Clearfield County man convicted of kidnapping and robbing a woman who was slain during a four-county killing spree in 1995.

Mark Newton Spotz received the death penalty for killing three women — including Penny Gunnet, 41, of York County — in Clearfield, Schuylkill, York and Dauphin counties. His execution is scheduled for Jan. 8.

The slayings began on Jan. 31 when Spotz fatally shot his brother, Dustin, during a fight at the family home.

Gunnet, the third person to die, was on her way home from work on Feb. 2 when she stopped her car at an intersection in York. Spotz, armed with a gun, forced his way into the car and drove around before shooting Gunnet twice at close range. He abandoned her and the car.

After killing another woman that day, Spotz drove around the Carlisle area, picked up friends, bought drugs and went to a motel. There, he bragged about how he killed his brother and “these other women,” a Corbett spokeswoman said.

Gov. Ed Rendell declined a Vatican request in 2003 to commute Spotz’s death sentence because he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Christian counseling while in prison and helped develop programs to guide young people in avoiding violent crime.

Death-row inmate Hubert Michael Jr. will be executed soon, DA Kearney predicts


November 11, 2012

BELLEFONTE — Condemned killer Hubert Lester Michael Jr.’s temporary stay of execution won’t save him from being put to death by lethal injection, York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said.

“I believe it will happen in a relatively short window of time,” he said. “I think we’re going to get there — for the (victim’s) family and for the community. This is a temporary speed bump.”

Michael was to die at 7 p.m. Thursday, but the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of execution that returns the case to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III. The Third Circuit wants Jones to explain why he denied Michael’s request to keep fighting his death sentence, but then issued what’s called a “certificate of appealability.”

Process

Trista Eng

at issue: Michael’s attorneys with the Federal Community Defender Office and the state attorney general’s Office then have 14 days to address their issues — all at once, Kearney said.

Kearney said language in opinions by Jones and in an unrelated case by the state Supreme Court seems to indicate federal appellate judges in Pennsylvania are frustrated by federal community defenders, who litigate death-row cases bit by bit.

“Delay is winning,” he said.

Jones addressed it directly in his order denying Michael a stay:

“Indeed, to grant the relief requested by the petitioner would make the case a monumental example of the seemingly endless and oft-criticized federal habeas practice. Over 19 years after the heinous murder the petitioner has admitted committing, it is time to draw this affair to a close.”

Hard on family: The family of 16-year-old murder victim Trista Eng wants the sentence carried out, although all have had different reactions to the decades of delays, Kearney said.

“It’s got to be terrible for them,” he said. “I have to believe that this is an emotional roller coaster no one deserves.”

He described Suzanna Eng, Trista’s mother, as a remarkable woman, “resolute in her determination tsee justice for her daughter.”

At Michael’s clemency hearing Wednesday, Trista’s siblings “spoke of their relationship with their sister, and all that she has missed,” Kearney said.

Trista’s brother and sister expressed frustration toward the system, he said, and her brother told the board he hates Michael, according to Kearney.

“The attorney general’s office and our office will do everything we can to make sure the will of the community is carried forth,” he said.

SCOTUS: Despite the stay of execution, Michael, Trista’s family, prison officials and media spent tense hours Thursday at Rockview state prison near State College, waiting to hear whether the U.S. Supreme Court would grant prosecutors’ emergency motion to halt

This is the “execution complex” at Rockview state prison, near State College, where death-row inmates are executed. Three inmates have been put to death since Pa. reinstituted the death penalty in 1972. (Courtesy of Pa. Dept. of Corrections) the Third Circuit’s stay.

But that motion was denied, according to Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

It was about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when the denial was announced, ending the wait and sending Eng’s family, the media and a handful of death-penalty protesters back home.

Waited quietly:All day Thursday and into Thursday night, Michael remained in Rockview’s execution holding cell, reading a Bible and a newspaper and listening to the radio, according to Susan McNaughton, press secretary for the state Department of Corrections.

He did not write or dictate a final statement, she said.

Although the execution was set for 7 p.m., the death warrant signed by Gov. Tom Corbett remained in effect until midnight, McNaughton said, and the execution could have begun as late as 11:59 p.m.

Had the execution happened, Michael would have been handcuffed before walking the 20 feet from the holding cell to the execution chamber under escort by six corrections officers, McNaughton said.

Police escort: Michael arrived at Rockview at 6:09 Thursday morning from Greene state prison under police escort, according to McNaughton, and he will now be returned to Greene. Rockview is the only state prison designated to handle executions.

He was visited by his spiritual adviser and one of his attorneys, she said, but no family members.

Michael’s attorneys have declined interviews, but released a statement Thursday afternoon:

“On behalf of Hubert Michael, we are extremely pleased that the federal Court of Appeals has granted (him) a stay of execution. Mr. Michael has suffered from debilitating mental conditions throughout his life. Mr. Michael has compelling legal claims in his case which have never been reviewed by any court. The Court of Appeals recognized that there are complicated issues involved in this case that should be carefully considered.”

13 years: Had the execution happened, Michael, 56, formerly of Lemoyne, would have been the first murderer put to death in Pennsylvania in 13 years, and the fourth inmate executed since 1972, when the state reinstituted the death penalty.

The three men executed since 1972 had all willingly given up appeals and weren’t fighting their death sentences.

It’s the third death warrant Pennsylvania governors have signed for Michael. The first two were in 1996 and 2004. Both times, his execution was stayed.

For years, Michael maintained he wanted to die, but he changed his mind in 2004, just days before his scheduled execution.

His attorneys argue he was not mentally competent when he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 11, 1994, and didn’t challenge his death sentence.

They’ve also said Michael suffered from mental-health issues while he was held in Graterford state prison, but that those issues improved when he was transferred to Greene state prison.

Now that his mental health has improved, Michael is fighting his death sentence.

The background: Michael told his former defense attorney, York County chief public defender Bruce Blocher, he offered Trista a ride as she was walking to her job at Hardee’s in Dillsburg on July 12, 1993.

She accepted, at which point he kidnapped her, drove to to state game lands in Warrington Township and raped and killed her, according to testimony from Blocher at an appeals hearing in 1997.

Michael fled the state 10 days later. At the time, he was free on bail for a Lancaster County rape charge.

Captured: He was captured July 27, 1993, in Utah. Police found the murder weapon in the car he was using, officials said.

He was charged with homicide in late August 1993, after Trista’s body was found by his own family members. Michael had confessed the murder to his brother.

In November 1993, Michael escaped from Lancaster County Prison but was captured in New Orleans in March 1994, according to the Department of Corrections.

He was later sentenced to 10 to 20 years for the Lancaster County rape, according to court records.

PENNSYLVANIA- EXECUTION TODAY 11/08/2012, Hubert Michael Jr. STAYED


NOVEMBER 8, 2012 http://www.yorkdispatch.com

Just hours before his scheduled execution Thursday, death-row inmate Hubert Lester Michael Jr. was granted a stay of execution.

His attorneys filed two last-minute appeals with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, one of which resulted in the stay.

York County District Attorney Tom Kearney expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying the time to execute Michael is “long overdue.”

“This case has been up and down the legal ladder for 20 years,” he said. “There needs to be some finality, in the interests of justice. It’s about time the decision of this community is carried forth.”

Michael is represented by the Federal Community Defender Office in Philadelphia. His attorneys have declined interviews, but released a statement

Trista Eng

Thursday afternoon from Helen Marino, chief of the office’s capital habeas unit:

“On behalf of Hubert Michael, we are extremely pleased that the federal Court of Appeals has granted (him) a stay of execution. Mr. Michael has suffered from debilitating mental conditions throughout his life. Mr. Michael has compelling legal claims in his case which have never been reviewed by any court. The Court of Appeals recognized that there are complicated issues involved in this case that should be carefully considered.”

Last stop: Kearney has said the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was Michael’s last chance to avoid being put to death for the 1993 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Trista Eng of the Dillsburg area.

The Third Circuit granted the stay based on Michael’s appeal of Wednesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III.

Jones declined to stay the execution, writing:

“This court is disinclined to exercise its reservoir of discretion simply because the petitioner has now changed his mind. … The case law simply doesn’t support such a result.

“Indeed, to grant the relief requested by the petitioner would make the case a monumental example of the seeminly endless and oft-criticized federal habeas practice. Over 19 years after the heinous murder the petitioner has admitted committing, it is time to draw this affair to a close.”

The Third Circuit issued the stay because it wants to know why Jones granted Michael a “certificate of appealability” when he refused to grant Michael a stay and refused to reopen Michael’s habeas corpus appeal proceedings, according to Kearney.

The Third Circuit also noted parties should be prepared to litigate all their issues at one time.

No clemency: Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, the state Board of Pardons unanimously denied Michael’s request for clemency.

Kearney said the time has come to execute Michael.

“If a sentence is to mean anything, then it must be carried out.” he said. “If it’s the will of the community, we need to follow through, or else it’s meaningless.”

13 years: Michael, 56, formerly of Lemoyne, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Thursday.

He would have been the first murderer put to death in Pennsylvania in 13 years, and the fourth inmate executed since 1972, when the state reinstituted the death penalty.

It’s the third death warrant Pennsylvania governors have signed for Michael. The first two were in 1996 and 2004. Both times, his execution was stayed pending further appeal.

For years, Michael maintained he wanted to die, but he changed his mind in 2004, just days before his scheduled execution.

Attorneys with the Federal Community Defenders Organization in Philadelphia have argued he was not mentally competent when he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 11, 1994, and didn’t challenge his death sentence.

Mental-health issues: Court filings indicate Michael suffered from mental-health issues while he was held in Graterford state prison, but that those issues improved when he was transferred to Greene state prison.

Now that his mental health has improved, Michael is fighting his death sentence.

Second denial: On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane also refused to grant Michael a stay of execution.

She is presiding over Chester v. Beard, a lawsuit filed six years ago on behalf of a number of Pennsylvania’s death-row inmates. It claims the state’s method in obtaining the drugs used for lethal injection is unconstitutional.

While Chester v. Beard remains active, Kane made a specific ruling in Michael’s case, denying his request for a stay.

Michael’s attorneys appealed both rulings to the Third Circuit, which denied a stay of execution for Michael in the Chester v. Beard class-action lawsuit.

The background: Michael told his former defense attorney, chief public defender Bruce Blocher, he went to the Franklin Township home of Eng and her mother to answer an advertisement about a chair for sale.

He told Blocher that when Eng answered the door in a Hardee’s uniform, he made the decision to force her to have sex with him. While there, he stole some electrical cords from the house, the attorney previously testified.

Michael stopped to offer Eng a ride as she was walking along Route 15 to her job at the Dillsburg Hardee’s on July 12, 1993. She accepted, and Michael kidnapped her.

At some point during the ride, Michael stopped the car and used the electrical cords to tie up Eng, then drove her to state game lands in Warrington Township, according to Blocher.

Raped: He raped her, put a bag over her head and shot her three times, Blocher has said, then hid her body in a wooded area.

Blocher revealed details of Michael’s confession to him when called to the stand during a 1997 appeals hearing in the case.

Michael fled the state 10 days after killing Eng. At the time, he was free on bail for a Lancaster County rape charge.

Captured: He was captured July 27, 1993, in Utah, at which point police found the murder weapon in the car he was using, officials said.

He was charged with Eng’s homicide in late August 1993, after her body was found by his family members after Michael confessed the murder to his brother.

In November 1993, Michael escaped from Lancaster County Prison but was captured in New Orleans in March 1994, according to the Department of Corrections.

He was later sentenced to 10 to 20 years for the Lancaster County rape, according to court records.

UPCOMING EXECUTIONS – NOVEMBER 2012


Dates are subject to change due to stays and appeals

Pennsylvania execution dates and stays are generally not listed because the state routinely sets execution dates before all appeals have been exhausted.

NOVEMBER 16 , 2012  

November    
11.06.12 Garry Allen Oklahoma  EXECUTED  6.10 p.m
11.08.12 Mario Swain Texas  EXECUTED  6.39 p.m
11/08.2012 Hubert Michael Pennsylvania STAY                                                                                                                      
11/13/2012 Brett Hartman Ohio EXECUTED  10.34 a.m 
11/14/2012 Ramon Hernandez Texas EXECUTED  6.38 p.m
11/15/2012 Preston hughes Texas  EXECUTED  7.52 p.m

PENNSYLVANIA- Inmate could still be executed even though death penalty was thrown out – Terrance Williams


october3,2012 http://www.pennlive.com

Clock is still ticking on Terrance Williams’ execution

Although convicted murderer Terrance “Terry” Williams was granted a stay of execution last week by a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge who ruled that recently unearthed evidence shows the prosecution coached its main witness and withheld relevant information at trial, the execution could still go forward if the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns the stay.

terrance williams 2012 cropTerrance Williams

Chief Justice Ronald Castille, who was Philadelphia District Attorney at the time of the trial and who personally signed the death penalty certification for Williams, refused to recuse himself from considering the request from current Philly DA Seth Williams to overturn the stay.

One of Williams’ defense attorneys is in a car heading west out of Philadelphia toward Rockview, where the execution could take place — just in case.
The Department of Corrections has put previously approved witnesses to the execution on notice to be ready if the court overturns the stay.
A DOC spokeswoman would not comment on whether or not Williams has been transported from the prison in Greene County to Rockview, where the state’s execution chamber is housed, citing security concerns.
The Supreme Court has ordered an end to a flurry of last-minute filings and responses from the prosecution and the defense.
A ruling is expected soon.
Defense attorneys are double-checking an emergency filing to the US Supreme Court they plan to file if the stay is overturned.
Members of the Board of Pardons remain in the wings, having taken an application for clemency “under advisement.” They are the penultimate bulwark to the death chamber; a unanimous vote for clemency sends the decision to the governor, who would then have the final say whether or not the execution would proceed.

October 2, 2012 

Lawyers of a Pennsylvania inmate on death row still fear he could be executed even though his death sentence has been thrown out. 

Terrance Williams could still be executed if the State Supreme Court reverses the decision before midnight tomorrow. Williams is on death row for killing two men when he was a teenager. He claimed that both men had sexually abused him.

A judge found evidence to support the claims and halted Williams’ execution.

Prosecutors have appealed the judges decision to the State Supreme Court.

Pardons Board takes death row inmate Terrance Williams’ case ‘under advisement’ STAY


September 27, 2012 http://www.pennlive.com

The state Pardons Board won’t immediately rule on a condemned Philadelphia man’s clemency bid, just six days before his scheduled execution.

The pardons board heard new arguments today but will take the case “under advisement,” after earlier rejecting the clemency bid.

The fate of 46-year-old Terrance Williams now moves back to a Philadelphia judge weighing new evidence in the 1984 murder case. Judge M. Teresa Sarmina has pledged to rule Friday on a motion to stay the execution.

Williams is on death row for killing two men as a teenager. His lawyers say both men had been sexually abusing him and that prosecutors hid that information from jurors in the second trial, who sentenced Williams to death.

Williams is scheduled to be executed Wednesday.