STAYS OF EXECUTIONS 2012

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.

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FLORIDA – mentally ill death row inmate gets stay of execution – FERGUSON


october 21,2012 http://www.globalpost.com

John Errol Ferguson will add another week to the 34 years he has been on death row in Florida. The convicted mass killer was granted a stay of execution by a federal judge on Saturday. 

Defense attorneys have argued for decades that Ferguson is mentally ill and that putting him to death would be “cruel and unusual punishment”.

He execution was originally scheduled for Tuesday

“The issues raised merit full, reflective consideration,” the court said when US. District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley granted the motion for a stay.

Ferguson’s attorneys told AP that the court will hear three hours of arguments on his habeas corpus petition on Friday. His lawyers are arguing that Ferguson is unfairly on death row because the court used an old and outdated definition of competency.

They contend that Ferguson is insane and that a 2007 US Supreme Court ruling prohibits the state from executing him, reports AP. 

“In order for the state to execute him, Mr. Ferguson must have a rational understanding of the reason for, and effect of, his execution,” Chris Handman, an attorney for Ferguson, told AP in an emailed statement.

“A man who thinks he is the immortal Prince of God and who believes he is incarcerated because of a Communist plot quite clearly has no rational understanding of the effect of his looming execution and the reason for it.”

Ferguson was convicted of the July 1977 murders of six people during a home-invasion robbery, reports the Miami Herald.  He was convicted separately of posing as a police officer and murdering two teenagers in January 1978.

Ferguson has had a long history with mental illness and crime. In 1971, he was declared psychotic and incompetent by a court-appointed doctor years before his first murder, reports the Tampa Bay Tribune.

“He is completely paranoid. A schizophrenic,” Handman, whose law firm, Hogan Lovells, has represented Ferguson pro bono for more than 30 years, told the Miami Herald.

“When you meet him, he is deeply suspicious of your motives. He has a very tenuous grasp on reality.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEXAS – High court stops execution of Houston cop killer Anthony Haynes


OCTOBER 18, 2012 http://abclocal.go.com

HUNTSVILLE, TX — The U.S. Supreme Court stopped the execution Thursday of a 33-year-old Texas prisoner for gunning down an off-duty Houston police sergeant 14 years ago.

Anthony Haynes had been set to die for the shooting death of Sgt. Kent Kincaid, 40, while the officer was with his wife driving in their own vehicle not far from home. Their SUV had been struck by an object from a pickup truck, cracking its windshield. When Kincaid got out to talk to the people in the truck and told them he was a police officer, he was shot in the head.

The high court ruling came about three hours before Haynes could have been taken to the death chamber.

Haynes confessed to the May 1998 slaying, was tried for capital murder the following year and sentenced to death.

His lethal injection would have been the 11th this year in Texas, the nation’s most-active death penalty state. Another is set for next week.

Evidence showed the object that hit the Kincaids’ SUV was a .25-caliber bullet from the same gun used to shoot him. Testimony at Haynes’ 1999 trial in Houston showed that same evening Haynes had committed a series of armed robberies.

Haynes’ trial lawyers showed “virtual abdication of their duty” by failing to more fully investigate and present evidence of Haynes’ good character to jurors who were deciding his punishment, his appeals attorney, A. Richard Ellis, told the high court in his appeal.

He also contended prosecutors unfairly painted Haynes, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, “as an out-of-control, violent and unpredictable individual who was subject to intermittent fits of rage.”

“This picture was totally at variance with his actual character,” Ellis said.

The appeal also faulted attorneys at earlier stages of Haynes’ appeals for not addressing the trial defense issues and contended lower court rulings and Texas appeals procedures unfairly kept Haynes from raising the claims now. Similar appeals in recent Texas death penalty cases have failed to win reprieves from the high court although at least one other did. That case, involving prisoner John Balentine, is set for conference before the justices for later this month.

The arguments center on a Supreme Court ruling favorable to an Arizona prisoner who couldn’t find a way to make an appeal under procedures in that state. Texas attorneys argued the statutes in Texas were different, did allow for appeals like the one Haynes wanted considered and that courts had determined the Arizona ruling had no effect in Texas.

State attorneys contesting Hayne’s appeal argued his previous attorneys didn’t abandon him and shouldn’t be considered ineffective because they chose issues different from those now being pursued by Ellis.

“Haynes does not now present any compelling reasons for this court to review his claims,” Jeremy Greenwell, an assistant Texas attorney general, told the justices.

Greenwell pointed out evidence of Haynes’ history of explosive temper outbursts, of police being summoned to deal with his threats against a school nurse and an ROTC instructor, that he assaulted his 3-year-old sister and tried to kill the family dog.

“He was no angel,” Mark Vinson, the Harris County district attorney who prosecuted Haynes, recalled last week.

Kincaid’s wife couldn’t describe the shooter and provided only a cursory description of the truck but said she was certain her husband identified himself as a police officer, a distinction important in that it allowed prosecutors to try Haynes for capital murder and make him death-penalty eligible. Haynes’ trial lawyers said he didn’t know the man who approached was an officer and feared for his own safety.

One of the robbery victims earlier the evening of the shooting identified a companion of Haynes as participating in the holdup, and that led detectives to Haynes. He took police to separate sites miles apart where he left the gun and ammunition clip.

Florida – Upcoming execution John Errol Ferguson, October 16, 2012 stay until 10/18


UPDATE OCTOBER 15, 2012

related article

UPDATE OCTOBER 11, 2012

The Florida Supreme Court has issued a stay of execution for John Errol Ferguson, who was scheduled to be executed next Tuesday in Starke, Florida. According to a USA Today report, the stay was issued to “allow for review of testimony in an evidentiary hearing into Ferguson’s competence, based on documents shared by the court.”

Ferguson’s attorneys are arguing that he should not be executed because he is mentally disabled. They maintain that their client has been examined by several court-appointed doctors and specialists and has been diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses, including hallucinations.

The evidentiary hearing into Ferguson’s competence is being held by the Circuit Court for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, and the court’s order is due by Friday at 4 p.m.

john_errol_ferguson

BACKGROUND

Ferguson received the death penalty in two Florida state cases in which he was convicted of a total of eight counts of first-degree murder. Six of those counts stemmed from his first trial, which dealt with events that took place in Carol City, Florida in July 1977. The second trial, which involved the other two murder counts, addressed crimes occurring in Hialeah, Florida in January 1978.
1. The Carol City Murders

On the evening of 27 July 1977, Ferguson, posing as a Florida Power and Light employee, received permission from Margaret Wooden to enter her home. After checking several rooms, he drew a gun, tied and blindfolded her, and let into the house two men who joined him in looking for drugs and money. About two hours later, six of Wooden’s friends, including the homeowner, Livingston Stocker, came to the house and were searched, tied, and blindfolded by Ferguson and his accomplices. Shortly thereafter, Wooden’s boyfriend, Michael Miller,entered the house and also was bound and searched. Miller and Wooden eventually were placed in the bedroom, and the six other bound friends were in the living room. At some point, a mask on one of Ferguson’s friends fell and revealed his face. At the time, Wooden and Miller were kneeling on the floor with their upper bodies sprawled across the bed. Wooden heard shots from the living room, saw a pillow coming toward her head, and then was shot. She witnessed Miller being fatally shot as well. Wooden did not see the shooter, though she did hear Ferguson run out of the room. She managed to escape and ran to a neighbor’s house to call the police. When the police arrived, they found six dead bodies, all of whom had their hands tied behind their backs and had been shot in the back ofthe head. Only two of the victims, Wooden and Johnnie Hall, survived. Hall testified at Ferguson’s trial about the methodical execution of the other victims.

2. The Hialeah Murders

On the evening of 8 January 1978, Brian Glenfeld and Belinda Worley, both seventeen, left a Youth-for-Christ meeting in Hialeah, Florida. They were supposed to meet friends at an ice cream parlor, but never arrived. The next morning, two passersby discovered their bodies in a nearby wooded area. Glenfeld had been killed by a bullet to the head and also had been shot in the chest and arm. Worley was found several hundred yards away under a dense growth.  All of her clothes, except for her jeans, were next to her body, and she had beenshot in the back of the head. An autopsy revealed that she had been raped. At trial, there was testimony that she had been wearing jewelry, but none was found with the bodies. The cash from Glenfeld’s wallet, which was found in Worley’s purse near her body, also had been removed.
On 5 April 1978, police arrested Ferguson at his apartment pursuant to a warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in connection with the Carol City murders. At the time of his arrest, police found in his possession a .357 magnum, which was capable of firing .38 caliber bullets, the same kind used to kill Glenfeld and Worley. The gun was registered to Stocker, one of the victims in the Carol City murders. At some point after Ferguson’s arrest, he confessed to killing “the two kids,” i.e., Glenfeld and Worley

TEXAS – UPCOMING EXECUTION, Jonathan Marcus Green, 10/10/2012 – EXECUTED 10.45 P.M


Picture of Offender

Name Green, Jonathan Marcus
TDCJ Number 999421
Date of Birth 12/23/1967

 

Jonathan Marcus Green, is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on October 10, 2012. Green was sentenced to death for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Montgomery County.
On the evening of June 21, 2000, 12-year-old Christina Neal disappeared after leaving a friend’s home in the small community of Dobbin, TX.
The girl’s family began looking for her the next day, after determining that she had not stayed overnight at a friend’s house. Christina’s glasses were found along a road near the Neal home. The glasses were “smashed and broken.”

On June 23, the girl’s father, Victor Neal, asked his sister to look for Christina while he was at work. Christina had run away before, so Victor told his sister to report her as a runaway if she could not find her. Later that day, having failed to locate Christina, the sister reported her missing to a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy. Officers then joined the family in searching for Christina.

On June 26, the FBI joined in the search. Christina’s panties were found at the edge of the woods across from the Neal home, and Christina’s bracelet and necklace were found along a pathway in the woods.

On June 28, investigators spoke with Jonathan Green, who also lived in Dobbin, because his wallet was discovered in the vicinity of Christina’s disappearance. Green said he had no information concerning Christina’s disappearance, and that he was either at home or at his neighbor’s house on the night she disappeared. He gave investigators permission to search his home and property, with the condition that he be present. Investigators performed a cursory search of the house and property, but they noticed nothing significant.

On July 19, a man who lived on the property behind Green’s, told investigators that Green had an unusually large fire in his burn pile the day after Christina disappeared. A few days later, investigators went to Green’s home and asked if they could search his property again, including his burn pile. Green again consented, but insisted that he be present during the search. An FBI agent smelled a distinct odor emanating from a disturbed section of ground which he identified as “some sort of decaying body.” The investigation team then began to dig up the disturbed area. Green, who had been cooperative up to that point, became angry and told the officers to get off his property.
The investigative team returned to Green’s property later that night with a search warrant. They discovered that part of the burn pile had been excavated, leaving what appeared to be a shallow grave. They also smelled the “extremely foul, fetid odor” of a “dead body in a decaying state.”
An officer then arrived with a “cadaver dog,” trained to detect human remains. The dog repeatedly went to the side of a recliner in the house. An FBI agent looked behind the recliner and found human remains in a bag that were identified as Christina’s. An autopsy concluded that Christina was sexually assaulted and then strangled.
During the course of the autopsy, various materials were recovered from Christina’s body.
DNA testing on black hairs found on Christina’s body indicated a higher probability the hairs came from Green.
A Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab criminalist testified that many of the fibers recovered from Christina’s body matched fiber samples seized from Green’s property and residence. On the panties that were recovered near the Neal home five days after Christina had disappeared and nearly a month before her body was found, investigators found a fiber that had characteristics identical to carpet in Green’s residence.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Green’s conviction on Dec. 17, 2004.
On March 6, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review.
On March 23, 2005, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the findings and conclusions of the trial court and denied Green’s application for state habeas relief.
On Feb, 15, 2008, a U.S. district court denied Green’s federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
On February 27, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability.
On October 5, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review of this decision.
No litigation is currently pending.
Green had a misdemeanor conviction for unlawfully carrying a weapon.
The State also presented evidence of Green’s history of violent behavior:
A woman testified that Green raped her about four years before he was tried for the capital murder of the 12-year-old girl.
Another woman testified that in July 1999, Green entered her home without permission, jumped on top of her, and demanded that she have sex with him. The woman said she tried to defend herself, but Green forced himself on her. The woman also testified about another time when Green tried to rape her. However, on that occasion, she was armed with a pocket knife and was able to fend him off.
Green was linked to the stabbing death of a pony that was stolen in January 2000 from a pasture in Dobbin. The pony was tied to a tree and stabbed to death. A bloody pair of shears and a bloody broken butcher knife were laying near the pony’s carcass. Green admitted that the shears were his but claimed that they had been stolen a few weeks earlier. However, the only print recovered from the shears matched Green’s left middle finger.
Green also displayed increasingly violent behavior while he was incarcerated in the Montgomery County Jail:
On the morning of September 9, 2000, Green threatened to assault an officer for taking a toothbrush and a bowl of food from him.
On February 5, 2001, Green threatened a fellow inmate asserting that he “would make his heart stop.”
On another occasion, Green threatened a deputy because he would not give him a second glass of juice.
On July 26, 2001, Green assaulted and robbed another inmate.
On March 13, 2002, Green assaulted an officer in the jail.

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.

PENNSYLVANIA-Terry Williams Sentenced to Execution for Killing Two Men Who Sexually Abused Him as a Child – STAYED


Update 09/18/2012 http://articles.philly.com

Lawyers for condemned Philadelphia killer Terrance “Terry” Williams Tuesday afternoon asked the state Board of Pardons to reconsider Williams’ petition for clemency, citing purportedly inaccurate information a prosecutor provided the board at the hearing on Monday.

Though the board voted 3 to 2 for clemency for Williams, 46, who is scheduled for execution on Oct. 3, a unanimous vote was needed for the nonbinding recommendation to be sent to Gov. Corbett.

In a letter to the board, Williams’ lawyers asked for reconsideration because of the way Assistant District Attorney Thomas Dolgenos answered a question from pardons board member Harris Gubernick.

Update 09/18/2012  Board of Pardons rejects killer’s clemency appeal

HARRISBURG — The state Board of Pardons on Monday rejected a bid for clemency from a convicted murderer who is scheduled to become the first person executed by Pennsylvania since 1999.

The case of Terrance Williams has mobilized supporters, who say a history of sexual abuse by several men — including the man whose murder resulted in the death sentence — is reason to stop the execution scheduled for Oct. 3. Separately, a Philadelphia judge has agreed to hear evidence on Thursday about the claims of sexual abuse.

Pennsylvania has not executed someone who contested a death sentence since 1962. After two hours of testimony Monday, three of the five members of the Board of Pardons, including Attorney General Linda Kelly, voted to recommend that Gov. Tom Corbett grant clemency. But a unanimous decision is needed in cases with a sentence of death or life imprisonment, so the two opposing votes, including that of Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, meant the application was denied.

Williams, now 46, was convicted in 1986 of first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy in the death of Amos Norwood in Philadelphia. At the hearing on Monday, Shawn Nolan, a federal public defender, said clemency is warranted because Williams had been sexually abused from a young age by several men, including for years by Norwood. Williams also was beaten by his mother and stepfather, Mr. Nolan said.

“Who is Terry Williams?” he said. “He is a man shaped by the horror of his childhood.”

Williams is now is remorseful for his crimes, Mr. Nolan said.

Mr. Nolan also asked the board to heed a statement by Norwood’s widow that she did not want Williams put to death. And he cited statements by several jurors saying they would not have chosen the death penalty had they known of the claims of sexual abuse. Some also said they chose the death penalty because they thought a person sentenced to life could be paroled.

Tom Dolgenos, chief of the federal litigation unit at the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, countered that the Norwood murder was the culmination of an escalating series of crimes by Williams. He said the board should consider that decades of litigation had failed to reverse the sentence. And he asserted that Williams has a record of lying to escape consequences, while also noting that claims of abuse were not raised until years after trial. That delay, he said, was reason to be skeptical.

“The only way to grant clemency here is to accept the truth of these allegations,” he said.

David Lisak, a clinical psychologist who spoke in support of clemency, told the board that it is typical for victims, especially men, to recount past sexual abuse in a piecemeal fashion over a period of time. Several supporters of clemency urged board members to consider the promises made to victims when former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged and then convicted of child sexual abuse.

“Is it only some kids who get to be believed?” Mr. Lisak said.

But Mr. Dolgenos asserted that those cases were different, in part because Williams has something to gain by making claims of abuse.

“He has every incentive now to allege them — and to make them up if they didn’t actually happen,” Mr. Dolgenos said.

Proponents of clemency for Williams point to support from former judges and prosecutors as well as child advocates and others to argue the case is unique. An online petition seeking to stop the execution has more than 350,000 signatures, and the state’s Catholic bishops had written in support of commuting the sentence to life in prison.

At the hearing Thursday in Philadelphia, attorneys for Williams will request a stay of execution based on the allegations of sexual abuse. Mr. Nolan said they will argue prosecutors had evidence of sexual abuse that they did not disclose to the defense. The judge’s decision in the request can be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Two hundred people are on death row in Pennsylvania.

 

September 14, 2012  http://www.opposingviews.com

article image

Terrance Williams of Pennsylvania has been sentenced to death after killing two men when he was 17- and 18-years old. What the jury did not know, however, was that Williams had been brutally raped as a child by the two men he killed.  

Williams and another teen killed one man just a few months after Williams had turned 18, according to Change.org. He also admitted that he killed another man five months earlier. One man was a church leader and another was a sports booster. The men used their positions to get access to young boys.

Williams was allegedly sexually abused for years by these men, but he was also abused by other older individuals throughout his life. His mother had abused him frequently and his father was absent from the home. His first experience with sexual assault was when he was just six years old, and the abuse continued steadily for the next 12 years of his life.  

He did not receive treatment or help from anyone for the duration of his suffering. 

How do we know these abuse accusations are true — and not just Williams making a calculated attempt at saving his life?

According to The Nation, “It was not until this past winter that another witness would come forward, a former pastor named Charles Pointdexter, who knew Norwood for thirty years. He admitted having known that he had sexually abused teen boys.

“Amos seemed to have lots of close relationships with young men…” he stated in an affidavit signed February 9, 2012, saying that he began to suspect that they were “inappropriate” in nature. A few years before Amos’s death, one of the parishioners, the mother of a 15-year-old boy, told him that he had “touched her son’s genitals” during a car ride and that “Amos had inappropriately touched a number of boys at the church.” Pointdexter kept the knowledge to himself.

Because Williams was embarrassed and ashamed by the abuse, he says he did not present his experiences as evidence for trial. His lawyer also failed to conduct a thorough investigation of Williams’ motivations for killing the men, and ignored obvious signs of sexual abuse.

Many notable people have come forward to state that they would like his sentence to be reduced to life without parole. Among those objecting to his sentencing include the wife of one victim, five jurors from the trial, judges, child advocates, former prosecutors, faith leaders, mental health professionals, and law professors.

Jurors from the trial now say they would not have voted for execution had they known about his experiences with sexual abuse as a child.

A widow of one victim said that she has forgiven Williams and does not want any more deaths to come of the incident. She expressed hope that Governor Tom Corbett, the Board of Pardons, and District Attorney Williams will reduce his sentence to life without parole.

Courts have agreed that Williams’ lawyer failed to give him a fair trial, but they also have stated that evidence of sexual abuse would not have made a difference in the sentencing.

Jurors, however, have signed sworn affidavits saying they would not have voted for death if they had known about his past.

Several jurors have also said that they voted for him to be executed because they believed that, if they had not, Williams would be eligible for release on parole.

However, a life sentence in Pennsylvania means the convicted will never be eligible for parole. Pennsylvania is the only state in the U.S. that does not require judges to explain to the jury that a life sentence means there is no possibility of parole.

No explanation of life sentencing was given at Williams’ trial.

Terry Williams’ death warrant for October 3 was signed by Gov. Corbett last week. Corbett is a Catholic Republican.

UPCOMING – Executions – OCTOBER 2012


UPDATE OCTOBER 31

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.

OCTOBER 2012    
3 Terrance Williams Pennsylvania Stayed  
9 Terry Chamberlain Pennsylvania Stayed                                  
10 Andre Slaton Pennsylvania Stayed  
10 Jonathan Green Texas Executed 10.45 P .M                                                                                                   
11 David Ramtahal Pennsylvania Stayed
18 Anthony Haynes Texas Stayed  
19 Eric Robert South Dakota Executed 10:43 P.M
23 John ferguson Florida STAYED  
24 Bobby Hines Texas STAYED
10/28-11/3 Donald Moeller South Dakota  Executed 10/30/2012  10:24 P.M
31 Donnie Roberts Texas  Executed  6.39 p.m

GEORGIA – WARREN HILL awaits appeals decisions to stave off scheduled today at 7:00 p.m STAYED – New update july 4


Update : july 4. 2012

Georgia has set an execution date of July 15 for Warren Hill, despite his pending petition before the U.S. Supreme Court demonstrating that all of the physicians who have examined Hill agree he is intellectually disabled. People suffering from intellectual disability (mental retardation) are constitutionally barred from execution. (Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 3, 2013). This is the exceptional and rare case where there is clear proof an inmate is ineligible for the death penalty and the U.S. Supreme Court is the only avenue for relief.

 

Murderer Warren Hill will die Monday evening unless his attorneys can find a court that believes his mental capacity is diminished enough that it would be unconstitutional to execute him, or if a judge finds fault with the state’s new method of execution.

If he is executed as planned, Hill will be the first in Georgia to be put to death using only one drug — the powerful barbiturate pentobarbital — instead the three that the state has been using in combination since 2008.

Hill still has appeals based on the mental retardation issue pending in the Georgia and U.S. Supreme Courts. And on Monday a Fulton County Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear the issue of the Department of Corrections’ sudden change in its lethal injection protocol from three drugs to one drug. Last Tuesday, the day before Hill was initially scheduled to die, the prison system announced it was abandoning the three-drug cocktail — a sedative followed by the paralytic pancuronium bromide and then potassium chloride, which stops the heart. It was replaced with a single drug process, pentobarbital, the same as in six other states [a seventh uses a different sedative].

Later, on Monday evening, there will be vigils held in 11 Georgia cites to express outrage that the state is executing a mentally retarded man.

“In other states, Hill would not face the ultimate punishment due to his disability,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA.”Unless the Supreme Court steps in to prevent this execution, the state of Georgia will have committed a terrible injustice.”

Hill was condemned for using a nail-studded 2-by-6 board in 1990 to beat to death fellow prisoner Joseph Handspike. At that time Hill was already incarcerated for murdering his 18-year-old girlfriend.

The judge presiding over the 1991 trial for Handspike’s murder found Hill, with an IQ of 70, was more likely than not to be mentally disabled. But the judge also determined that the lawyer representing Hill at the time had not proven his mental disability beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard set in 1988 when Georgia became the first state to prohibit executing the mentally

If he is executed as planned, Hill will be the first in Georgia to be put to death using only one drug — the powerful barbiturate pentobarbital — instead the three that the state has been using in combination since 2008.

Hill still has appeals based on the mental retardation issue pending in the Georgia and U.S. Supreme Courts. And on Monday a Fulton County Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear the issue of the Department of Corrections’ sudden change in its lethal injection protocol from three drugs to one drug. Last Tuesday, the day before Hill was initially scheduled to die, the prison system announced it was abandoning the three-drug cocktail — a sedative followed by the paralytic pancuronium bromide and then potassium chloride, which stops the heart. It was replaced with a single drug process, pentobarbital, the same as in six other states [a seventh uses a different sedative].

Later, on Monday evening, there will be vigils held in 11 Georgia cites to express outrage that the state is executing a mentally retarded man.

“In other states, Hill would not face the ultimate punishment due to his disability,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA.”Unless the Supreme Court steps in to prevent this execution, the state of Georgia will have committed a terrible injustice.”

Hill was condemned for using a nail-studded 2-by-6 board in 1990 to beat to death fellow prisoner Joseph Handspike. At that time Hill was already incarcerated for murdering his 18-year-old girlfriend.

The judge presiding over the 1991 trial for Handspike’s murder found Hill, with an IQ of 70, was more likely than not to be mentally disabled. But the judge also determined that the lawyer representing Hill at the time had not proven his mental disability beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard set in 1988 when Georgia became the first state to prohibit executing the mentally disabled.

Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court said it has said it is unconstitutional to to execute the mentally retarded who are at “special risk of wrongful execution.” But also in that 2002 decision, the justices left it up to the states to determine what was required to show mental retardation; Georgia has the strictest standard.

“Mildly mentally retarded individuals like Warren Hill frequently defy the stereotypical image we often have of persons with the disability in part because they tend to make efforts to hide the symptoms,” wrote Hill’s attorney, Brian Kammer. He said if a defendant can prove retardation beyond a reasonable doubt, then he is likely so severely retarded that if he went to trial the death penalty would not be an option. “He may even be found incompetent to stand trial. This leaves the majority of mentally retarded persons in the criminal justice system, who are mildly mentally retarded, in the lurch, because it is the mildly mentally retarded whose symptoms can mislead … about the significance or even the existence of the disability.”

Docket from  Supreme court

No. 12A57
Title:
Warren Lee Hill, Jr., Applicant
v.
Carl Humphrey, Warden
Docketed:
Linked with 11-10109, 11-10109
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  Case Nos.: (08-15444)
~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jul 16 2012 Application (12A57) for a stay of execution of sentence of death, submitted to Justice Thomas.

~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:
James W. Ellis 1117 Stanford Drive, NE (505) 277-2146
Albuquerque, NM  87131
Party name: Warren Lee Hill, Jr.
Attorneys for Respondent:
Beth A. Burton Senior Assistant Attorney General (404) 656-3499
    Counsel of Record Office of the Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, S.W.
Atlanta, GA  30334-1300
Party name: Carl Humphrey, Warden
Other:
Sheri Lynn Johnson Professor of Law (607) 255-6478
Cornell Law School
108 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY  14853

STAYS OF EXECUTIONS 2012


UPDATE October 19, 2012

STAYS OF EXECUTIONS 2012

Date of  Scheduled Execution  State  Inmate Reason for Stay
January      
17 PA Ralph Birdsong Stayed to allow time for appeals.
18 PA Kenneth Hairston Stayed to allow time for appeals.
 18 OH Charles Lorraine U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost delayed the execution due to the Department of Corrections failing to “follow its own rules for executions.”  Frost said the state failed to document the drugs used in its last execution in November and failed to review the medical chart of the inmate who was put to death.
19 KY Michael St. Clair Stayed due to a pending case on the fairness of the death penalty protocol in Kentucky.
20 DE Robert Gattis Gov. Jack Markell cited the “unusual and perhaps historic” recommendation of the Delaware Board of Pardons, in a 4-1 vote, to commute Gattis’ sentence after considering disturbing accounts of physical and sexual abuse that Gattis claims to have suffered as a child and which his attorneys argued have never been properly considered by the courts.
31 GA Nicholas Tate Stayed to allow time for appeals.
February      
1 TX Donald Newbury Stayed by U.S. Supreme Court to consider an Arizona case that questions whether death row inmates are entitled to better legal help during initial appeals.
8 MS Edwin Turner U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves stayed the execution to allow Turner to be seen by a psychiatrist of his choosing.
16 OK Garry Allen Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin granted a 30-day stay of execution so that state attorneys could study whether he should be granted clemency.
22 OH Michael Webb Stayed by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost, through an agreement with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, to allow time for Ohio to revise their execution protocols.
28 TX Anthony Bartee Stayed by State District Judge Mary Roman to allow time for DNA testing.
March      
6 NE Michael Ryan Stayed by the Nebraska Supreme Court to allow time for a lower court to consider a request to have Ryan’s sentence commuted to life in prison.
8 PA Dustin Briggs Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
16 OK Garry Allen Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued an additional 26-day stay.
18 SD Briley Piper Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
29 AL Tommy Arthur Stayed by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals due to Alabama’s decision to use pentobarbital as part of a three-drug execution combination.
April      
5 UT Michael Archuleta Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
12 AL Carey Grayson Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
12 OK Garry Allen Granted stay by a federal District Court judge to give adequate opportunity to litigate claims regarding competency.
19 GA Daniel Greene Stayed for up to 90 days by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to allow for additional time to examine the substance of claims offered by Greene’s representatives. Update – Greene’s sentence was commuted to a sentence of life without parole by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.
20 DE Shannon Johnson Stayed by a federal judge to allow time to hear mental incompetence claims. 
Update – Johnson has been executed.
26 TX Buenka Adams Stayed by U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider to allow time to review the quality of legal help that Adams had in early stages of his appeal.  Update – Adams has been executed.
May      
2 TX Anthony Bartee Stayed to consider a request for additional DNA testing.
9 LA Todd Wessinger Stayed by U.S. District Judge James Brady to allow time to review arguments presented by Wessinger’s attorneys.
13-19 SD Eric Robert Stayed by the South Dakota Supreme Court so the court can fully review the case.
16 TX Steven Staley Stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals due to mental health issues raised in his appeal.
16 AZ Samuel Lopez Stayed by the Arizona Supreme Court to allow time for issues raised by recent clemency-board appointments to be worked out.
June      
6 TX Bobby Hines Stayed at the request of the district attorney’s office to allow further DNA testing.
6 OH Abdul Awkal Stayed for 2 weeks by Gov. John Kasich to allow a judge to hold a hearing on his mental competency.  Update – Cuyahoga County Judge Stuart Friedman has issued a decision that Awkal may not be executed unless and until he has been restored to competency.
July      
18/23 GA Warren Hill July 18 execution stayed until July 23 to allow time for the state to switch to a single-drug execution protocol.  Update- July 23 execution stayed by unanimous vote of Georgia Supreme Court to consider state’s change of lethal injection protocol.
26 OH John Eley Governor John R. Kasich commuted the death sentence of John Jeffrey Eley to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Kasich stated that Eley, who is of limited mental capacity, acted under the direction of another man who was later acquitted. Without those factors it is doubtful that Eley would have committed this crime. Additionally, the former Mahoning County prosecutor who tried Eley’s case regretted the way the case was handled and its outcome, and had called for clemency.
August      
1 TX Marcus Druery Stayed by TX Court of Criminal Appeals to consider whether a hearing is needed to determine his mental competency.
3 MO Michael Tisius Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
15 LA Jason Reeves Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
22 TX John Balentine Stayed by U.S. Supreme Court to allow time for further review.
September      
9-15 SD Rodney Berget Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
13 PA Michael Travaglia Stayed to allow more time to prepare a federal appeal.
October      
3 PA Terrance Williams Trial level judge found prosecutors withheld evidence.  New sentencing ordered.
9 PA Terry Chamberlain Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
10 PA Andre Staton Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
10 TX Jonathan Green Stayed by U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas to allow review of Green’s mental competency. Update – stay has been overturned by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  Update – Green has been executed.
11 PA David Ramtahal Stayed to allow more time for appeals.
16 FL John Ferguson Stayed by Gov. Scott to allow time for psychiatric testing.  Execution could go forward if Ferguson found mentally competent.  Update – The Florida Supreme Court granted a 2-day stay of execution so the justices can hear another appeal, the stay will expire 10/18. Update – prior stay required setting of a new execution date.  Update – Execution date has been set for 10/23.
18 TX Anthony Haynes Stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court (7-2) to consider claims of inadequate representation at trial and appeal.