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

June 14, 2013

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

June 7, 2013

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

May 7, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLEMENCY: Oklahoma Board Recommends Mercy for Inmate Facing Execution

UPDATE: Gov. Mary Fallin refused to grant clemency to Davis. On June 6, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended clemency for Brian Darrell Davis, who is facing execution on June 25. The board voted 4-1 to recommend that Davis’s death sentence be commuted to life in prison without  parole. The parole board recommended clemency after Davis took responsibility for the crime and apologized to the family of the victim. “A weight lifted off of all of us,” said his mother, Yvonne Davis. “Brian does deserve a second chance.” Davis was convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s mother. The recommendation now goes to Governor Mary Fallin, who can approve or reject the vote. The governor also has the authority to grant a 30-day stay in order to consider the case further.

WASHINGTON Supreme Court upholds death penalty in 1997 murder – CECIL DAVIS

September 20, 2012 http://seattletimes.com


The Washington Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for a man convicted of randomly killing and raping a 65-year-old woman while her disabled husband was in the house.

The court issued its decision Thursday on Cecil Davis’ appeal stemming from his conviction in the 1997 slaying of Yoshiko Couch.

Davis had appealed the death sentence because jurors saw him in shackles during his first trail. In 2004, the Supreme Court vacated his sentence and Davis was re-tried in 2007, when he again was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Justices Mary Fairhurst and Charles Wiggins dissented from the ruling Thursday, saying while Davis’ crime was brutal, similar crimes have been punished with life in prison without chance of parole and not the death sentence.

They say the sentence highlights “the random and arbitrary nature of the imposition of the death penalty in Washington,” Wiggins wrote.

Wiggins also said he dissented because he thinks there is a race factor in the sentencing.

“A review of the reports of prosecutions for aggravated first-degree murder quickly discloses that African-American defendants are more likely to receive the death penalty than Caucasian defendants,” he wrote.

Davis is African-American.

According to the court, Davis was partying with a friend outside his mother’s house in Tacoma when he told his friend he wanted to “rob somebody” and wanted to kill a person. Davis along with a friend crossed the street and kicked in Couch’s front door.

Davis proceeded to beat the woman and sexually assault her. At that point, his friend left, according to court documents.

Later on, friends found Couch dead in her bathtub, naked from the waist down. An autopsy found that Couch had been suffocated and died of exposure to chemicals.

Her husband, Richard Couch, had been downstairs in the home the entire time. Because a number of strokes, he wasn’t able to walk and a telephone that usually sat by his bed had been moved to a closet and he couldn’t reach it. Investigators found extensive evidence connecting the killing to Davis, including blood, hair and fingerprints. Davis had also taken Yoshiko Couch’s wedding ring and he attempted to sell it to his mother.

Prosecutors also said that after Davis was in jail, he told a cellmate he killed Couch, but not raped her.

Amid tragedy, activists promote ‘Better Days Ahead’

march, 26, 2012  source : http://www.roosevelttorch.com

Last year, the execution of Troy Davis execution sparked outrage around the world. Davis, who was wrongfully convicted of killing a police officer in 1989, became a symbol of worldwide artistic and political movements against racial injustice and wrongful convictions.

At the Wicker Park Arts Center Friday, Occupy Chicago Rebel Arts Collective (OCRAC) hosted a tribute event called “Better DaysAhead.” The event was to pay remembrance to Davis and his sister, Martina Correia. Correia, who passed six months after Davis, was an advocate on Davis’ behalf and fought against the death penalty.

“We’ve learned quite a bit of how the legal system fails in the last few decades,” said Paul Cates, Innocence Project communications director. He explained that 25 percent of wrongfully convicted cases are due to misidentification. False confessions account for another 25 percent and 50 percent is attributed to invalidated forensic science. In Davis’ case, there was no DNA evidence, according to Cates.

OCRAC, a project of Occupy Chicago’s Arts & Recreation, hosts events like the Davis tribute to connect local artists and to highlight the human effect of unchanging laws and wrongful convictions.

“OCRAC exists for the purpose of connecting with artists of all stripes…and mobilizing the power of art in the name of a more just and equal world,” according to the OCRAC website.

Artists and attendees reflected on the tragedies and celebrated Davis’ and Correia’s lives at the “Better Days Ahead” event. Speakers from various local anti-racism organizations like Amnesty International, Occupy 4 Prisoners, and Campaign to End the Death Penalty attended the tribute.

FM Supreme, ‘Two-time Louder than A Bomb’ city-wide high school poetry competition winners, performed at the event. The group wrote a song last year, dedicated to Davis and Correia.

“FM Supreme in particular was active in trying to save Troy,” Alex Billet said, an OCRAC artist and Rebel Frequencies founder, a journalism website focused on political activism through music. “Word is that Supreme had the chance to perform the song for her (Correia) before she passed away.”

An additional memorial was held for Trayvon Martin, in which a local artist set up a framed photo of Martin along with candles, and placed iced tea and Skittles, which Martin was carrying in his pockets at the time of the shooting.

Billet felt the impromptu memorial was important.

“Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin are both victims of the same sick, violent and virulently racist system,” Billet said in an email statement.

Ed Yohnka, director of communications and public policy at ACLU Illinois, believes tributes like “Better Days Ahead” help to spread awareness about injustices in the legal system and inspire people to right those injustices in various ways.

“I think stories like Davis’ have a powerful impact on how people relate to policy issues, and how it could affect them,” said Yohnka. “For example, President Obama’s statement in regards to relating to Trayvon Martin as a son. Comments like that connect people to issues. It’s very, very powerful.”

OCRAC hosts several events a month to promote activism through art. The next

OCRAC-sponsored event is Chicago Spring, at the Chicago Board of Trade on April 7 at noon.