UPCOMING EXECUTIONS 2013

UPCOMING EXECUTION – TEXAS, Gregory Russeau, June 18, 2015 6 pm EXECUTED 6.49 PM


June 18, 2015

 

Gregory RusseauGregory Russeau ( Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP file)

Asked by a warden if he had a final statement, Russeau thanked his family and friends for what they had done for him and thanked three friends who were witnesses “for being here with me so I do not have to transition alone.”

“I’m at peace, I’m good,” he said. “I’m ready to go home.”

He began snoring as the lethal dose of pentobarbital began and all movement stopped within about a minute.

He was pronounced dead at 6:49 p.m. CDT, 21 minutes later.

 

Russeau will be the ninth Texan executed this year

On Thursday, June 18, the state of Texas plans to execute Gregory Russeau, a 45-year-old Tyler man, convicted in Oct. 2002 of killing 75-year-old James Syvertson in his auto shop’s garage on May 30, 2001.

Russeau was found guilty of capital murder after jurors deliberated for less than an hour. He argued, after his conviction, that he was found guilty because his attorney Clifton Roberson fumbled his handling of witnesses and failed to argue that law enforcement planted evidence (two hairs belonging to Russeau found on a bottle) at the crime scene. Those concerns were raised in subsequent petitions for writ of habeas corpus filed by Jeffrey Haas.

Haas, it should be said, had his own issues. As a petition for relief filed in 2012 by Carlo D’Angelo notes: “Both the 2004 and 2009 petitions for habeas corpus that Mr. Haas filed in the state district court contained no claims that were based upon any evidence or the result of any investigation that occurred outside of the Clerk’s Record and trial transcript in either of the Petitioner’s cases, thus indicating that Mr. Haas did virtually nothing to investigate the facts pertaining to the actions of trial and appellate counsel, potential mitigation, and potential prosecutorial misconduct and withholding of evidence.”

The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on Dec. 2, 2004, during which Roberson and his co-counsel Brandon Baade testified to the competence of their representation of Russeau. Six months later, in June 2005, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued an opinion that upheld Russeau’s conviction but remanded the case back to trial for a new sentencing. There, he was represented – once again – by Roberson and Baade, the two attorneys who failed to properly represent him in the first place, and whom Russeau specifically asked the court to not appoint for the second hearing (on the grounds that Roberson and Baade had waived the attorney-client privilege when they testified at the hearing.)

Russeau’s second punishment-determination hearing was held in 2007 and resulted in the same findings and sentence as his first. (Unsurprisingly, his argument hinged on the claim that Roberson and Baade did a bad job representing their client.) He was denied a 2009 petition for relief, filed by Haas, in 2010, at which point D’Angelo assumed Russeau’s counsel. A Feb. 2012 federal petition was denied, as was an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals in March 2014. Appeals for relief from the U.S. Supreme Court were denied in October.

Russeau will be the ninth Texan executed this year, and the 527th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Death row inmate maintains innocence to the last

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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.

Scheduled Executions in Texas


By On July 17, 2013

Texas has passed 500 executions in the modern era since the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty was constitutional. Texas conducted its first execution after the ruling in 1982.

To express your opposition to any execution, you can contact Governor Rick Perry’s office at 512 463 2000. If you call after business hours, you can leave a voice mail message. During business hours, someone should answer the phone. You can also send a message using a form on Perry’s official website.

503) Douglas Feldman, July 31, 2013

TDCJ Info on Feldman

Letter from Feldman to Gawker.com

504) Robert Garza, September 19, 2013 (Law of Parties case)

TDCJ Info on Garza

505) Arturo Diaz, September 26, 2013

TDCJ Info on Diaz

506) Michael Yowell, October 9, 2013

TDCJ Info on Yowell

507) Rigoberto Avila Jr, January 15, 2014

TDCJ Info on Avila, Jr

1st Alabama. execution since 2011 set for Thursday


July 20, 2013

This March 18, 2009 photo provided by the Alabama Dept. of Corrections shows inmate Andrew Reid Lackey. Alabama’s second execution in almost two years is scheduled for Thursday, July 25, 2013 at Holman Prison in Atmore, Ala.. Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Lackey asked the state to set his execution date, and Alabama has not taken action to stop it. Photo: Alabama Dept. Of Corrections

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  — Alabama’s second execution in almost two years is scheduled for Thursday at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Lackey asked the state to set his execution date, and has not taken action to stop it.

Lackey is scheduled to die by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore for the beating and shooting death of 80-year-old Charles Newman during a 2005 Halloween night robbery at Newnan’s home in Limestone County. Lackey is to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Lackey would be the first inmate executed in Alabama since Christopher T. Johnson of Escambia County received a lethal injection Oct. 20, 2011. He was the sixth inmate executed in 2011.

The state’s executions have been slowed partly because of a legal dispute over the drugs used in executions.

Lackey’s execution was set after he wrote a letter to the Alabama Supreme Court saying that he had “an odd request.”

“Please set me an execution date. I do not wish to pursue any further appeals for my death sentence,” Lackey said in the letter to the justices, according to court records. Lackey said he would not file any further appeals.

Court records show Lackey has taken no action to stop the execution.

In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Richard Anderson, Lackey says, “I do not know what else I can do. Will you please help me get an execution date.”

Court records show that Newman made an emergency phone call to the Athens Police Department on Halloween night 2005 in which he could be heard saying, “Don’t do that,” ”Leave me alone” and “What do you want.”

The police operator then heard the apparent assailant repeatedly ask, “Where’s the vault?” according to the records.

Bryan Stevenson, an attorney with the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, said both the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the trial court have ruled that the state can go ahead with Lackey’s execution.

Stevenson said he and other attorneys opposed to Lackey being executed and “have argued that he is mentally ill.”

“Our point is that he needs to be examined,” Stevenson said.

Georgia stays execution of mentally disabled prisoner Update


Update July 13, 2013
Georgia officials reschedule Hill execution for Friday
ATLANTA (AP) – State officials have rescheduled the execution of Georgia death row inmate Warren Lee Hill for Friday.

Hill was originally scheduled to be executed on Monday, but a Fulton County judge issued a temporary stay so she could consider a legal challenge filed by Hill’s attorneys. Hill is challenging a new state law prohibiting the release of certain information related to Georgia’s supply of lethal injection drugs.

A hearing on that issue has been scheduled for Thursday morning.

Separately, Hill’s attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution, arguing Hill is mentally disabled and should not be put to death.

Attorneys for the state say Hill has failed to prove he’s mentally disabled and that his case has been thoroughly reviewed by the courts.

(Source: The Associated Press)

 

A mentally ill prisoner who was scheduled for execution in Georgia on Monday has been granted a stay of execution by a judge.

Major questions were raised over the execution, which appeared to be in stark contrast with the Eighth Amendment.

Warren Lee Hill, a 53-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and beating a fellow inmate to death in 1990, has been facing execution for the past 12 months. He was scheduled to be killed by lethal injection last July and again in February, but was spared by last-minute court orders.

Hill has been classified as “mentally retarded” by all nine government and state doctors who examined him, and the Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia bars the execution of mentally ill inmates. According to one state expert, Hill has an IQ under 70, classifying him as ‘challenged,’ at best.

Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan held a 90-minute hearing Monday, hearing challenges from Hill’s attorneys regarding the constitutionality of a new state law that hides from public view the manufacturer of the drug used in lethal injections and the physicians who prescribe it.

Small local pharmacies provide the drugs for lethal injections in Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal constitution, because European drug companies refuse to let their drugs to be used in executions.

A second meeting to continue the discussion was scheduled for Thursday.

Hill was previously scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 7pm local time (14:00 GMT) Monday.

Three of nine doctors classified him as competent 13 years ago, but in February redacted their statements and described him as mentally ill. One doctor called his earlier evaluation “extremely and unusually rushed” and another said his conclusions were “unreliable because of my lack of experience at the time,” Reuters reports.

The Supreme Court decision states that executing those with a cognitive impairment is a “cruel and unusual” punishment, which violates the Eighth Amendment.

Defense Attorney Brian Kammer last week filed a Supreme Court motion for a stay of execution. Hill’s lawyer also filed a second legal challenge with the Georgia state courts concerning new drug secrecy laws.

Georgia recently passed the controversial Lethal Injection Secrecy Law, which allows the state’s Department of Corrections to secretly obtain the sedative pentobarbital, which is used in executions. As a result of the law, the state can bypass the Freedom of Information Act and consider information about the drug suppliers a “state secret.”

In a motion filed with the state, Kammer argues that the uncertainty about the sedatives’ origins means that his client has “no means for determining whether the drugs for his lethal injection are safe and will reliably perform their function, or if they are tainted, counterfeited, expired or compromised in some other way.”

The motion was filed to challenge “the constitutionality of [the secrecy law] and clarify the rights of Mr. Hill to obtain information about the origins and manufacture of the drug with which he will be executed – and by extension – its safety an likely efficacy.”

To defend itself against the federal court, the state is arguing that all nine doctors who diagnosed Hill as mentally ill were flawed in their analyses and failed to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt under state standards – and that the three who redacted their classifications did so too late.

“Hill has not met his burden of proving retardation under an onerous state standard; that the doctors’ new diagnoses are flawed; and that, as a matter of law, they come too late anyway to spare Hill,” writes The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen.

Civil rights groups have spoken out against the Georgia court system, and the non-profit group All About Developmental Disabilities has called on the state to lower its standard for proving mental disability. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, has published a statement declaring the inmate’s scheduled execution unconstitutional.

“The American Civil Liberties Union believes the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law,” he writes.

“Executing this indisputably intellectually disabled man would not only violate our Constitution, but it would be cruel and unjust beyond reason.”

Hill’s death would have marked the 19th execution in the United States this year. (RT News)

Stop Warren Hill’s Execution in Georgia – Amnesty International Usa


Despite unanimous agreement from 7 doctors that Warren Hill is intellectually disabled and opposition from the victims family and original trial jurors, Georgia is still planning to kill Warren Hill this Monday.

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To learn more about this case, read or print AIUSA’s full Urgent Action sheet: PDF format

Florida: Execution of Marshal Lee Gore halted again


For the second time in less than three weeks, a court has stayed the execution of Miami killer Marshall Lee Gore, who was set to die by lethal injection Wednesday.

Gore was convicted and set to Death Row for the 1988 slaying of Lauderhill’s Robyn Novick, whose body was found stabbed and beaten in a trash heap near Homestead.

On Tuesday, a Bradford County circuit judge agreed with Gore’s defense lawyers and found “reasonable grounds” that the Death Row inmate was too insane to be executed. Circuit Judge Ysleta McDonald ordered more hearings.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that executing insane inmates is cruel and unusual punishment.

Gov. Rick Scott originally scheduled Gore to be executed on June 24 at the Florida State Prison in Starke. However, one hour before the execution, the Atlanta-based U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeal stayed the execution, giving Gore a chance to flesh out the issue. Three days later, the court lifted the stay, saying Gore had not met the criteria for delaying the execution. (Source: Miami Herald)

Georgia has set an execution date of July 15 for Warren Hill (update)


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.

rrelated articlee  warren hill

Texas Defender Service (TDS)


June 20,2013
The July 10 execution date for our client, Rigoberto Avila, Jr., has been withdrawn by 41st District Court Judge Annabell Perez to give Mr. Avila time to litigate new scientific evidence relevant to the merots of hos case. El Paso DA Jaime Esparza did not oppose Mr. Avila’s motion to withdraw the July 10 execution date.

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