alabama

SCOTUS rejects case of Alabama Death Row inmate who claims racial discrimination in jury picks


December 4, 2017

Christopher Floyd

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling issued today, refused to hear the appeal of Alabama Death Row inmate Christopher Anthony Floyd, who says prosecutors struck 10 of 11 blacks from the jury pool at his trial.

Floyd appealed earlier this year to the U.S. Supreme Court after a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court last year.

The Alabama Supreme Court’s decision came despite a previous U.S. Supreme Court order that told the Alabama court to take another look at Floyd’s case in light of a similar case in Georgia – Foster v. Chatman. In the 2016 appeal of that case, SCOTUS reversed a conviction for discriminatory jury selection involving prosecutors’ striking blacks from the jury pool.

However, the Alabama Supreme Court in November 2016 concluded that the Foster case did not require a change in the outcome of Floyd’s case, and again affirmed Floyd’s conviction. Floyd then turned again to SCOTUS.

In 2005, Floyd was convicted in Houston County for the murder and robbery of Waylon Crawford. Floyd was sentenced to death.

In selecting the jury for Floyd’s case, the prosecutor and Floyd’s lawyers exercised a total of 36 peremptory challenges, according to the state supreme court order. Prosecutors used its 18 challenges to remove 10 of 11 African-American venire members and 12 of 18 female venire members. Floyd’s lawyers removed one African-American and seven female venire members. The final jury consisted of six white male jurors, six white female jurors, two alternate white male jurors and one alternate African-American female juror.

Floyd, who is white, did not object to the jury based on Batson v. Kentucky– a previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting racial discrimination in jury selection, court records show.

In Monday’s rejection of Floyd’s appeal, SCOTUS did not render an opinion. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, with which Associate Justice Stephen Breyer concurs, issued a statement.

“Although the unique context of Floyd’s case counsels against review by this Court, I find the underlying facts sufficiently troubling to note that in the ordinary course, facts like these likely would warrant a court’s intervention,” Sotomayor wrote. “During voir dire, the Houston County District Attorney’s Office exercised peremptory challenges against 10 out of 11 qualified African-American venire members, and used 12 of its 18 strikes against women. The prosecutor also marked the letter “‘B,’ as in black,” next to the name of each potential African-American juror.”

“That we have not granted certiorari should not be construed as complacence or an affirmance of all of the reasoning of the courts below,” Sotomayor wrote. “The unusual posture in which Floyd raised his Batson and J. E. B. claims warrants caution in the exercise of the Court’s review here. Yet, courts reviewing claims in circumstances like these must be steadfast in identifying, investigating, and correcting for improper bias in the jury selection process. Such discrimination “‘casts doubt on the integrity of the judicial process,’ and places the fairness of a criminal proceeding in doubt.”

Stays of Execution 2017



Date of Scheduled Execution State Prisoner Reason for Stay
January
11 OH Anthony Kirkland Stay granted by Ohio Supreme Court on October 16, 2014 “pending disposition of available state remedies …. It is further ordered that this stay shall remain in effect until exhaustion of all state post-conviction proceedings, including any appeals.”
12 OH James Hanna Reprieve granted by Gov. John Kasich because Ohio did not have execution drugs.^^
12 OH Ronald Phillips Stay granted by magistrate judge in U.S. District Court on December 19, 2016 to permit litigation of challenge to Ohio lethal injection protocol; on December 21, 2016, governor then rescheduledexecution for February 15, 2017.
23 OR Gary Haugen Reprieve in place, Gov. John Kitzhaber imposed a moratorium on all executions in Oregon. Current Gov. Kate Brown has requested a report on the status of the death penalty and indicated the report will inform future policy decisions.
25 TX Kosoul Chanthakoummane Execution date rescheduled to July 19, 2017.
February
2 TX John Ramirez Stay granted by U.S. District Court on January 31, 2017 to permit new counsel to file a petition seeking clemency for Ramirez. On February 1, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit deniedthe Texas Attorney General’s motion to vacate the District Court’s stay order.
7 TX Tilon Lashon Carter Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on February 3, 2017 on a 5-4 vote. The Court ruled that Texas had failed to timely serve the death warrant upon the Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs.
15 OH Ronald Phillips Stay granted by U.S. District Court magistrate judge on January 26, 2017 as part of preliminary injunction order declaring Ohio’s execution protocol unconstitutional. Then rescheduled for May 10, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
19 OH Ramond Tibbetts Stay granted by U.S. District Court magistrate judge on December 19, 2016 to permit litigation of challenge to Ohio lethal injection protocol; on December 21, 2016, Gov. John Kasich rescheduledexecution for April 12, 2017.
March
2 PA Wayne Smith Stay granted by U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on January 25, 2017 to provide Smith to vindicate his right to pursue state and federal post-conviction challenges to his conviction and sentence that are available to all criminal defendants.
3 PA Richard Poplawski Stay granted by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on February 17, 2017 to provide Poplawski the opportunity to pursue state post-conviction challenges to his conviction and sentence that are available to all criminal defendants.
4 PA Aric Woodard Stay granted by the York County Court of Common Pleas on February 9, 2017 to provide Woodard the opportunity to pursue state post-conviction challenges to his conviction and sentence that are available to all criminal defendants.
6 PA Patrick Haney Stay granted by U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on February 8, 2017 to provide Haney the opportunity to pursue state and federal post-conviction challenges to his conviction and sentence that are available to all criminal defendants.
15 OH Gary Otte Stay granted by U.S. District Court magistrate judge on January 26, 2017 as part of preliminary injunction order declaring Ohio’s execution protocol unconstitutional. Then rescheduled for June 13, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
22 OH Jeremiah Jackson Stay granted by Ohio Supreme Court until exhaustion of all state post-conviction proceedings.
April
12 OH Ramond Tibbetts Stay granted by U.S. District Court magistrate judge on January 26, 2017 as part of preliminary injunction order declaring Ohio’s execution protocol unconstitutional. Then rescheduled for July 26, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
12 TX Paul Storey Stay granted by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
17 AR Bruce Ward Stay granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court on April 14 to permit counsel to litigate whether Ward is mentally competent to be executed. Temporary restraining order granted by Pulaski County court on April 14 in litigation brought by pharmaceutical company seeking to bar Arkansas from using vecuronium bromide in scheduled execution. Restraining order lifted by Arkansas Supreme Court. Stay granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court on April 17 pending decision by the United States Supreme Court in McWilliams v. Dunn on questions concerning the right to an independent mental health expert that may affect the resolution of similar issues in Ward’s case.
17 AR Don Davis Temporary restraining order granted by Pulaski County court on April 14 in litigation brought by pharmaceutical company seeking to bar Arkansas from using vecuronium bromide in scheduled execution. Restraining order lifted by Arkansas Supreme Court. Stay granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court on April 17 pending decision by the United States Supreme Court in McWilliams v. Dunn on questions concerning the right to an independent mental health expert that may affect the resolution of similar issues in Davis’s case.
20 AR Stacey Johnson Temporary restraining order granted by Pulaski County court on April 14 in litigation brought by pharmaceutical company seeking to bar Arkansas from using vecuronium bromide in scheduled execution. Restraining order lifted by Arkansas Supreme Court. Stay issued by Arkansas Supreme Court on April 19 to allow hearing on postconviction DNA testing.
25 VA Ivan Teleguz Death sentence commuted by Gov. Terry McAuliffe on April 20 to life in prison, with no chance for parole.
27 AR Jason McGehee Preliminary inunction granted by U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas staying McGehee’s execution until Arkansas Parole Board complies with 30-day period for public comment on its 6-1 recommendation for clemency and Gov. Asa Hutchinson decides whether to issue clemency.
May
10 OH Alva Campbell, Jr. Execution rescheduled for September 13, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
10 OH Ronald R. Phillips Execution rescheduled for July 26, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017.**
17 OH Donald Ketterer Stay granted by Ohio Supreme Court until exhaustion of all state post-conviction proceedings.
16 TX Tilon Carter Stay granted by Texas Court of Criminal Appealson May 12 to permit the court to consider claim that new evidence shows that Carter’s conviction was a product of scientifically erroneous and false forensic testimony that the victim had been smothered.
24 TX Juan Castillo Execution rescheduled for September 7, 2017.
June
13 OH William Montgomery Execution rescheduled for October 18, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
13 OH Gary Otte Execution rescheduled for September 13, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017.**
28 TX Steven Long Execution rescheduled for August 30, 2017.
July
19 OH Mark Pickens Stay granted by Ohio Supreme Court until exhaustion of all state post-conviction proceedings.
19 TX Kosoul Chanthakoummane Stay granted by Texas Court of Criminal Appealson June 7, 2017, to review claims of discredited forensic science.
26 OH Robert Van Hook Execution rescheduled for November 15, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
26 OH Raymond Tibbetts Execution rescheduled for October 18, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017.**
August
15 PA Omar Shariff Cash Stay granted by U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 28, 2017 to provide Cash the opportunity to pursue state and federal post-conviction challenges to his conviction and sentence that are available to all criminal defendants.
22 MO Marcellus Williams Stay granted by Governor Greitens on August 22, 2017. The Governor appointed a Gubernatorial Board of Inquiry to further consider Marcellus Williams’ request for executive clemency.
30 TX Steven Long Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on August 21, 2017 to permit Long to re-litigate his claim of intellectual disability under Moore v. Texas. The Texas courts had previously denied his claim, applying the “Briseno factors” that were declared unconstitutional in Moore.
September
7 TX Juan Castillo On August 30, 2017, the Bexar County District Court granted the Bexar County District Attorney’s motion to withdraw Juan Castillo’s execution date. The request was made after Governor Abbott declared a state of disaster for 30 Texas counties because of Hurricane Harvey. The court also issued an order setting a new execution date for December 14, 2017.
13 OH Jeffrey A. Wogenstahl Stay granted by the Ohio Supreme Court on May 4, 2016 on motion to vacate execution date and to reopen direct appeal. Execution rescheduled for April 17, 2019 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
13 OH Alva Campbell, Jr. Execution rescheduled for November 15, 2017 by Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017.**
26 GA Keith Tharpe Stay granted by the U.S. Supreme Court on September 26, 2017 “pending the disposition of [Tharpe’s] petition for a writ of certiorari” seeking review of a decision by the 11th Circuit denying him an appeal of his habeas corpus claim that his death sentence was unconstitutionally tainted by the participation of a racially biased juror.
October
5 AL Jeffrey Borden Injunction granted by U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on September 29 staying Borden’s execution through October 19, 2017, but vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 4. Stay grantedby U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama on October 5, 2017
18 OH Melvin Bonnell Rescheduled for April 11, 2018 by Gov. John Kasich on February 10, 2017.*
18 OH William Montgomery Rescheduled for January 3, 2018 by Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017.**
18 OH Raymond Tibbetts Rescheduled for February 13, 2018 by Gov. John Kasich on September 1, 2017.^
18 TX Anthony Shore 90-day stay of execution granted by Harris County trial court to permit prosecutors to investigate claim that Shore was colluding with another death-row prisoner to confess to the murder in that case. Execution rescheduled for January 18, 2018.
19 AL Torrey McNabb Injunction granted by U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama on October 16, 2017 astaying McNabb’s execution, and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on October 18. Injunction vacated by U.S. Supreme Court on October 19, 2017 and stay lifted. EXECUTED.
26 TX Clifton Lee Young Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on October 18, 2017 and evidentiary hearing ordered on Young’s claim that newly discovered evidence (gunshot residue on the gloves of the prosecution’s key witness and affidavits of four prisoners that this witness had bragged about committing the killing and framing Young) shows that his conviction and sentence were obtained with false or perjured testimony.
November
9 AR Jack Greene Stay granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court on November 7, 2017 on petition raising issue related to Arkansas procedures for determining competency to be executed.
14 NV Scott Dozier Stay granted by the Clark County District Court on November 9, 2017 to permit the prosecution to appeal its ruling barring the use of a paralytic drug in Nevada’s execution protocol.
15 OH Alva Campbell Gov. John Kasich called off the execution on November 15, 2017 after personnel of the Ohio Department of Corrections failed five times to find a suitable vein to insert an intravenous execution line.
15 OH Robert Van Hook Rescheduled for February 13, 2018 by Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017.**
16 TX Larry Swearingen Stay granted by trial court on October 27 because of clerk’s error in serving notice of execution.

Executions Scheduled for 2018


Executions Scheduled for 2018


Month State Prisoner
January
2 PA Sheldon Hannibal — STAYED
3 OH John Stumpf — RESCHEDULED
3 OH William Montgomery — RESCHEDULED
18 TX Anthony Shore
25 AL Vernon Madison
30 TX William Rayford
February
1 TX John Battaglia
13 OH Warren K. Henness — RESCHEDULED
13 OH Robert Van Hook — RESCHEDULED
13 OH Raymond Tibbetts
22 TX Thomas Whitaker
March
14 OH Douglas Coley — RESCHEDULED
14 OH Warren K. Henness — RESCHEDULED
20 MO Russell Bucklew
27 TX Rosendo Rodriguez
April
11 OH Melvin Bonnell — RESCHEDULED
11 OH William Montgomery
May
30 OH Stanley Fitzpatrick — RESCHEDULED
June
27 OH Angelo Fears — RESCHEDULED
July
18 OH Robert Van Hook
August
1 OH David A. Sneed — RESCHEDULED
September
13 OH Cleveland R. Jackson
October
10 OH James Derrick O’Neal — RESCHEDULED
November
14 OH John David Stumpf — RESCHEDULED

Disease, suicide killing Ala inmates faster than execution


August 29, 2015

IRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Disease and suicide are claiming inmates on Alabama’s death row faster than the executioner.

With Alabama’s capital punishment mechanism on hold for more than two years because of legal challenges and a shortage of drugs for lethal injections, five of the state’s death row inmates have died without ever seeing the inside of the execution chamber.

John Milton Hardy, convicted of killing Clarence Nugene Terry during a robbery at a convenience store in Decatur in 1993, was the most recent death row inmate to die. Prison officials say he died of unspecified natural causes on June 15.

Convicted killer Benito Albarran, 41, hanged himself in the infirmary at Donaldson prison about two months earlier. A decade earlier, he was convicted of fatally shooting Huntsville police officer Daniel Golden outside a Mexican restaurant where he worked.

Golden’s brother, David Golden, said family members wanted to witness Albarran’s execution and felt cheated by his death.

“He took the coward’s way out,” Golden told reporters in Huntsville after Albarran killed himself.

Attorney Joseph Flood, who represented Albarran as he challenged his conviction in state court, said the inmate’s mother died a week or two before he took his own life.

“He fell into a deep depression after that,” said Flood.

In March, David Eugene Davis, 56, died of natural causes at Holman prison near Atmore after suffering from liver failure. He was convicted of killing Kenneth Douglas and John Fikes in St. Clair County in 1996.

Two more death row inmates died last year, Ricky Dale Adkins of cancer and Justin T. Hosch, who hanged himself at Holman prison. Hosch was convicted in Autauga County in the 2008 shooting death of Joey Willmore, and Adkins was condemned for killing real estate agent Billie Dean Hamilton in St. Clair County in 1988.

The last inmate put to death in Alabama was Andrew Reid Lackey, who died by lethal injection on July 25, 2013, for killingCharles Newman during a robbery in Limestone County in 2005. At the time, he was the first inmate put to death in the state since October 2011.

With 189 people currently on death row, the state is trying to resume executions, but legal challenges could be a roadblock.

The state is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by death row inmate Tommy Arthur, who challenged the use of the sedative midazolam as inhumane during lethal injections. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of the drug in an Oklahoma case, but Arthur contends Alabama’s execution protocol is different from the one used there.

The state switched to midazolam after it had to halt executions because it was out of other drugs needed for lethal injections.

Life on Alabama Death Row? 45 convicted killers have served 20 or more years


It has been nearly 37 years since Willene and Carl Nelson were shot and stabbed to death in a robbery at their Blount County home in 1978. Their three children, then ages 10, 13 and 21, were critically wounded but survived, as did the children’s 85-year-old grandmother.

Arthur Lee Giles — who will turn 56 on July 15 — went to Alabama Death Row for the crime in 1979.

Giles is Alabama’s second longest serving death row inmate and one of 45 Alabama inmates who have faced execution for 20 or more years. There have been nine presidential elections since Giles first arrived on death row.

Only William Bush, sentenced in the 1981 shooting death of Montgomery convenience store clerk Larry Dominguez, has served more time on death row than Giles. According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Bush has served 33 years, 10 months, and eight days.

Nearly two years have passed since Alabama executed an inmate, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week might pave the way for more executions.

In a 5-4 decision Monday, the court ruled that one of the drugs used in lethal injections does not violate the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.

What does that mean for Alabama?

“The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on the constitutionality of states’ use of lethal injections and death penalty opponents cannot continue to indefinitely delay lawful executions,” Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange stated in a press release issued Monday morning.

“Opponents of lethal injections have repeatedly used court challenges of certain lethal injection drugs as ways to delay or avoid lawful executions,” Strange stated. “The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed our belief that executions using these lethal injection drugs are not cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore are not prohibited under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

There are 189 inmates on Alabama’s death row — all but three are men, according to ADOC. The average age is 39. (The oldest inmate, 80-year-old Walter Leroy Moody, has been on death row since 1997 in the 1989 pipe bomb murder of Judge Robert Vance.)

Forty-five inmates — 24 percent of death row’s population — have faced execution since at least 1995.

That includes:

  • James Edmond McWilliams: Sentenced to death in the 1984 rape, robbery and murder of Patricia Vallery Reynolds, a 22-year-old convenience store clerk shot to death at the store where she worked in Tuscaloosa County.
  • Larry Donald George: Convicted in the 1988 killings of two former next-door neighbors. Authorities say George killed Janice Morris, 29, of Talladega, and Ralph Swann, 24, of Alpine. George’s wife, Geraldine, was shot and paralyzed.
  • Anthony Boyd and Robert Shawn Ingram: Convicted for helping take Gregory Huguley to a baseball park in Munford  in 1993, where he was taped to a bench, soaked with gasoline and burned to death because Huguley owed $200 for cocaine.
  • Steven Wayne Hall and Wayne Holleman Travis: Sentenced to death for the murder of retired school teacher Clarene Haskew, 69, in 1991. She was beaten, strangled and shot twice in the head. A pentagram had been spray painted on a cabinet and the words ”thunder struck” were painted on the floor beside her body.
  • Alonzo Burgess: Sentenced to die for the murders of Sheila Nnodimele and her two daughters, Latoria Long, 14, and Alexis Nnodimele, 8. Burgess also was convicted of attempting to murder 2-year-old Larice Long, Ms. Nnodimele’s son  in Colbert County in 1993. They were fatally beaten and strangled in their home.

How much does it cost to house — and execute — those inmates?

Since 1983, when another U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed Alabama to execute an inmate for the first time since 1965, the average time an inmate has served on death row in Alabama is approximately 16 years, according to ADOC spokesman Bob Horton.

The cost to incarcerate a death row inmate in Alabama is $53 per day. Over the course of 16 years, that comes to roughly $309,732.

That means Alabama has spent approximately $640,742 caring for William Bush.

For Giles, who has served 32 years, five months, and 28 days, that is approximately $628,898. Giles would have been Alabama’s longest serving death row inmate, but his 1979 conviction was overturned and he was again sentenced to death upon his second conviction in the 1990s.

It’s estimated lethal injection drugs run about $100 — the Texas Department of Criminal Justice put the cost of their drug cocktails at $83 in 2011, Forbes.com reported in 2014.

A Seattle University study found that each death penalty prosecution cost an average of $1 million more than a case where the death penalty was not sought, an anti-death penalty organization reported.

Whatever the cost, opponents of the death penalty found some signs of hope in Monday’s ruling that maybe the court will one day find the death penalty cruel and unusual.

“For me what was more significant was the affirmative suggestion by some members of the Court that the constitutionality of the death penalty itself be reconsidered,” Bryan Stevenson, executive director and founder of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative stated in an email to AL.com.

“It’s unfortunate this decision won’t resolve issues surrounding lethal injection we are still litigating in Alabama, but I’m encouraged to see members of the Court warming up to the idea that we may be on the brink of a new era where capital punishment is prohibited.”

AL.com reporters Kent Faulk and Izzy Gould contributed to this report.

Read More

Us – Inmates sentenced to Death in 2013


Inmates Sentenced to Death in 2013

First Name Last Name State County Race 
Dontae Callen AL Jefferson B
Thomas Crowe AL Blount W
Carlos Kennedy AL Mobile B
Joshua Russell AL Calhoun B
Nicholas Smith AL Calhoun B
Darrel Ketchner AZ Mohave W
Joel Escalante-Orozco AZ Maricopa L
Vincent Guarino AZ Maricopa W
Jeffrey Aguilar CA Ventura L
Emilio Avalos CA Riverside L
Ronald Brim CA Los Angeles B
Nathan Burris CA Contra Costa B
Osman Canales CA Los Angeles L
Daniel Cervantes CA Riverside L
Carlos Contreras CA Riverside L
Rickie Fowler CA San Bernardino W
Travis Frazier CA Kern W
Robert Galvan CA Kings L
Richard Hirschfield CA Sacramento W
Emrys John CA Riverside B
Waymon Livingston CA Orange B
Jesse Manzo CA Riverside L
Desi Marentes CA Los Angeles L
Tyrone Miller CA Riverside B
Joseph Naso CA Marin W
Kenneth Nowlin CA Kern W
Christian Perez CA Los Angeles L
John Perez CA Los Angeles L
Rudy Ruiz CA Los Angeles L
Charles Smith CA Los Angeles B
Anthony Wade CA Orange B
Michael Walters CA Kings L
Kaboni Savage Federal Eastern District of Pennsylvania B
Michael Bargo FL Marion W
John Campbell FL Citrus W
Steven Cozzie FL Walton W
Wayne Doty FL Bradford W
Richard Franklin FL Columbia B
Victor Guzman FL Miami-Dade L
Derral Hodgkins FL Pasco W
Kenneth Jackson FL Hillsborough W
Kim Jackson FL Duval B
Joseph Jordan FL Volusia W
Joel Lebron FL Miami-Dade B
Khadafy Mullens FL Pinellas B
Khalid Pasha FL Hillsborough B
John Sexton FL Pasco W
Delmer Smith III FL Manatee W
Jeremy Moody GA Fulton B
William Gibson IN Floyd W
Kevin Isom IN Lake B
Jeffrey Weisheit IN Clark W
Nidal Hasan Military (Fort Hood, Texas) O
Robert Blurton MO Clay W
Jesse Driskill MO LaClede W
David Hosier MO Cole W
Timothy Evans MS Hancock W
James Hutto MS Hinds W
Mario McNeill NC Cumberland B
Bryan Hall NV Clark W
Gregory Hover NV Clark W
Richard Beasley OH Summit W
Steven Cepec OH Medina W
Curtis Clinton OH Erie B
Dawud Spalding OH Summit B
Mica Martinez OK Comanche NA
Omar Cash PA Philadelphia B
Kevin Murphy PA Westmoreland W
Ricky Smyrnes PA Westmoreland W
Aric Woodard PA York B
Micah Brown TX Hunt W
Obel Cruz-Garcia TX Harris L
Franklin Davis TX Dallas B
Bartholomew Granger TX Jefferson B
James Harris, Jr. TX Brazoria B
Willie Jenkins TX Hays B
Matthew Johnson TX Dallas B
Albert Love, Jr. TX McLennan B
Naim Muhammad TX Dallas B
Byron Scherf WA Snohomish W

Alabama executes Andrew Lacke


ATMORE, Alabama – Andrew Lackey was executed by lethal injection at Holman Correctional Facility Thursday evening for the 2005 murder of an 80-year-old World War II veteran he was trying to rob.

Lackey was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m.

Four of Lackey’s family members, including his mother, father, brother and aunt, were in attendance.

A jury convicted Lackey, 29, of the Halloween night murder in 2005 of Charles Newman, 80, at Newman’s Limestone County home. Lackey beat, shot and stabbed Newman. Authorities say he was seeking money.

Lackey became the first inmate executed in Alabama since Christopher T. Johnson of Escambia County received a lethal injection Oct. 20, 2011.

A Limestone County jury convicted Lackey in 2008. He had dropped all appeals and asked for his execution to be scheduled.

Lackey, wearing glasses and with trim, dark hair, was already strapped to a gurney when a curtain opened at 6 p.m. to allow witnesses to see him. He looked around briefly, then laid his head on the pillow.

Holman Warden Gary Hetzell read the execution order and asked Lackey if he had anything to say.

“No sir, I don’t,” Lackey replied.

Lackey’s mother, father, brother and aunt witnessed the execution in silence, his mother and father holding hands. The four had visited Lackey earlier today, Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said.
A man and two women witnessed the execution on behalf of the victim’s family. The Department of Corrections did not have their names.

Shortly after Lackey declined to make a statement, Holman Chaplain Chris Summers approached the gurney, touched Lackey’s hand and spoke to him. Lackey nodded and Summers knelt to pray.

The drugs seemed to to take effect within a couple of minutes. Lackey’s chest and abdomen convulsed slightly for several minutes. That was followed by what appeared to be several minutes of shallow breathing. He remained still and quiet for several minutes until a corrections officer closed the curtain at 6:15 p.m.

Source: Al.com, July 25, 2013

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.

US – UPCOMING EXECUTIONS JULY


July
10 TX Rigoberto Avila   Execution moved 2014
16 TX John Quintanilla EXECUTED
18 TX Vaughn Ross Executed
25 AL Andrew Lackey
31 TX Douglas Feldman

Death row inmate Jason Sharp, convicted in 1999 Madison County slaying, to get new case review


NOVEMBER 1, 2012 http://blog.al.com

The Alabama Supreme Court wants the state’s criminal appeals court to take another look at the case of Jason Sharp, who is on death row after being convicted of the 1999 rape and murder of Tracy Morris.

The case took years to go to trial before Sharp was convicted in 2006.

The appeals process has bounced back and forth from various Alabama courts since Sharp’s lawyers alleged prosecutors improperly struck black would-be jurors from the jury pool.

jason sharp.JPGJason Sharp is led from Judge Laura Hamilton’s courtroom by Madison County Sheriff deputies from left, Sgt. Emmanuel Simmons, E.T. Burrows and Avery Miller after being sentenced to the death penalty Thursday Sept. 14, 2006 for the murder of Tracy Morris. (The Huntsville Times/Robin Conn)Brian Lawson | blawson@al.com

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors must have race-neutral reasons for striking jurors. Both Sharp and Morris are white.

The state’s high court today denied a request by the State of Alabama to reconsider its order from last month, directing the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to allow Sharp’s attorneys and the state to file new briefs on the issue of whether Sharp received a fair trial.

The dispute centers the complaint by Sharp’s attorneys that the prosecution improperly struck all but two of 13 potential jurors who were African American. The defense struck the other two black potential jurors.

In December 2009, the Alabama Supreme Court overturned the conviction andordered a hearing before Circuit Judge Laura Hamilton, who presided over Sharp’s trial. The court required prosecutors to spell out their reasons for striking black jurors. If the prosecution, led by Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard failed to persuade the trial court that the juror strikes were proper, Sharp would be entitled to a new trial.

The hearing was held and Hamilton ruled in June 2010 that prosecutors did not discriminate in picking a jury. The prosecution had argued a number of the black potential jurors said they opposed or would be reluctant to impose the death penalty, or didn’t appear to have the professional or social “sophistication” to comprehend technical DNA evidence.

Broussard said he struck twice as many white potential jurors based on the DNA issue and has insisted there was no discrimination in the Sharp case.

The sophistication argument was ridiculed by the defense for appearing to suggest the jurors weren’t intelligent enough. And in one instance, a woman with a bachelor’s degree from Alabama A&M University was excluded, the defense argued, but two white jurors with no college education did make the jury.

The case took another turn in February 2011, when the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the prosecution had discriminated against the black members of the jury pool and said Sharp was entitled to a new trial.

But in February of this year, the same court, though with a slightly different make-up,reversed its decision from the previous year and said prosecutors did not discriminate.

That ruling was appealed by Sharp’s lawyers to the Alabama Supreme Court. The court ruled Oct. 18, that the lower court must let the two sides provide briefs to the appeals court on the issue of whether Hamilton’s ruling was correct that the prosecution did not discriminate against members of the jury pool.