|Date of Scheduled Execution||State||Prisoner||Reason for Stay|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.**|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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
|3||OH||John Stumpf — RESCHEDULED|
|3||OH||William Montgomery — RESCHEDULED|
|13||OH||Warren K. Henness — RESCHEDULED|
|13||OH||Robert Van Hook — RESCHEDULED|
|14||OH||Douglas Coley — RESCHEDULED|
|14||OH||Warren K. Henness — RESCHEDULED|
|11||OH||Melvin Bonnell — RESCHEDULED|
|30||OH||Stanley Fitzpatrick — RESCHEDULED|
|27||OH||Angelo Fears — RESCHEDULED|
|18||OH||Robert Van Hook|
|1||OH||David A. Sneed — RESCHEDULED|
|13||OH||Cleveland R. Jackson|
|10||OH||James Derrick O’Neal — RESCHEDULED|
|14||OH||John David Stumpf — RESCHEDULED|
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.
August 17, 2015
Death row inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary who claimed in a federal lawsuit that triple-digit temperatures inside their cells at Angola amounts to cruel and unusual punishment have been denied a rehearing of their case.
The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals not to re-examine the case, which was handed down Friday (Aug. 14), upheld a decision delivered July 8 by a three-judge 5th Circuit panel. The July 8 decision found heat indices reaching up to 108 inside the inmates’ cells did, in fact, violate the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, the panel explained in its July 8 decision, the prison should not be required to install air-conditioning on death row to remedy the violation.
U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson had earlier ruled the conditions were unconstitutional and ordered the state to create and implement a plan, which included air conditioning, for cooling off death row.
The state appealed Jackson’s decision, but in the meantime, a plan was drafted. Death row tiers, built in 2008, are only heated and ventilated. The plan would have also provided inmate with chests filled with ice and allowed them daily cold showers. An appeals court intervened on behalf of the state before the prison ever put the plans in place, halting the implementation with an injunction while agreeing to take a look at the case.
The 5th Circuit on July 8 offered a few reasons why installing air conditioning on death row would have gone too far to provide relief for the plaintiffs. Air conditioning would be available year-round, when temperatures were often not extreme; it would cool off inmates who didn’t have medical conditions worsened by heat; and air conditioning “of course is expensive.”
Attorneys for the inmates argued in their request for a rehearing that Jackson’s order for air conditioning was less intrusive — and involved more micromanaging — than the remedies suggested by the panel.
The three inmates who filed suit, Nathaniel Code, 57; Elzie Ball, 60; James Magee, 35, all have medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, that can be exacerbated by high heat.
It’s unclear, the inmates’ attorney Mercedes Montagnes indicated, whether or not the inmates will appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We…have not yet decided our next step,” she said in an emailed statement.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas inmate Daniel Lee Lopez got his wish Wednesday when he was executed for striking and killing a police lieutenant with an SUV during a chase more than six years ago.
The lethal injection was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from his attorneys who disregarded both his desire to die and lower court rulings that Lopez was competent to make that decision.
“I hope this execution helps my family and also the victim’s family,” said Lopez, who spoke quietly and quickly. “This was never meant to be, sure beyond my power. I can only walk the path before me and make the best of it. I’m sorry for putting you all through this. I am sorry. I love you. I am ready. May we all go to heaven.”
As the drugs took effect, he took two deep breaths, then two shallower breaths. Then all movement stopped.
He was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. CDT — 15 minutes after the lethal dose began.
Lopez, 27, became the 10th inmate put to death this year in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state. Nationally, he was the 19th prisoner to be executed.
Lopez’s “obvious and severe mental illness” was responsible for him wanting to use the legal system for suicide, illustrating his “well-documented history of irrational behavior and suicidal tendencies,” attorney David Dow, who represented Lopez, had told the high court. Dow also argued the March 2009 crime was not a capital murder because Lopez didn’t intend to kill Corpus Christi Lt. Stuart Alexander.
The officer’s widow, Vicky Alexander, and three friends who were witnesses with her prayed in the chamber before Lopez was pronounced dead by a doctor. Some people selected by Lopez as witnesses sang “Amazing Grace” from an adjacent witness area.
Alexander, 47, was standing in a grassy area on the side of a highway where he had put spike strips when he was struck by the sport utility vehicle Lopez was fleeing in.
Lopez, who also wrote letters to a federal judge and pleaded for his execution to move forward, said last week from death row that a Supreme Court reprieve would be “disappointing.”
“I’ve accepted my fate,” he said. “I’m just ready to move on.”
Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka said Lopez showed “no regard for human life” when he fought with an officer during a traffic stop, then sped away, evading pursuing officers and striking Alexander, who had been on the police force for 20 years. Even when he finally was cornered by police cars, Lopez tried ramming his SUV to escape and didn’t stop until he was shot.
“He had no moral scruples, no nothing. It was always about Daniel Lopez, and it’s still about Daniel Lopez,” Skurka said Tuesday. “He’s a bad, bad guy.”
Lopez was properly examined by a psychologist, testified at a federal court hearing about his desire to drop appeals and was found to have no mental defects, state attorneys said in opposing delays to the punishment.
Deputies found a dozen packets of cocaine and a small scale in a false compartment in the console of the SUV.
Records showed Lopez was on probation at the time after pleading guilty to indecency with a child in Galveston County and was a registered sex offender. He had other arrests for assault.
Testimony at his trial showed he had at least five children by three women, and a sixth was born while he was jailed for Alexander’s death. Court records show Lopez had sex with girls as young as 14 and had a history of assaults and other trouble while in school, where he was a 10th-grade dropout.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas inmate Daniel Lee Lopez has been trying to speed up his execution since being sent to death row five years ago for striking and killing a police lieutenant with an SUV during a chase.
On Wednesday, he’s hoping to get his wish.
The 27-year-old prisoner is set to die in Huntsville after getting court approval to drop his appeals. A second inmate scheduled to be executed this week in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state, won a court reprieve Tuesday.
Lopez is facing lethal injection for the 2009 death of Corpus Christi Lt. Stuart Alexander. The 47-year-old officer was standing in a grassy area on the side of a highway where he had put spike strips when he was struck by the sport utility vehicle Lopez was fleeing in.
Last week from death row Lopez said: “It’s a waste of time just sitting here. I just feel I need to get over with it.”
Attorneys representing Lopez refused to accept his intentions, questioning federal court findings that Lopez was mentally competent to volunteer for execution. They appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the punishment, arguing his crime was not a capital murder because he didn’t intend to kill the officer, and that Lopez had mental disabilities and was using the state to carry out long-standing desires to commit suicide.
“It is clear Lopez has been allowed to use the legal system in another attempt to take his own life,” attorney David Dow told the high court.
Lopez, who also wrote letters to a federal judge and pleaded for his execution to move forward, said a Supreme Court reprieve would be “disappointing.”
“It’s crazy they keep appealing, appealing,” he said last week of his lawyers’ efforts. “I’ve explained it to them many times. I guess they want to get paid for appealing.”
Lopez was properly examined by a psychologist, testified at a federal court hearing about his desire to drop appeals and was found to have no mental defects, state attorneys said in opposing delays in the punishment.
Alexander had been a police officer for 20 years. His death came during a chase that began just past midnight on March 11, 2009, after Lopez was pulled over by another officer for running a stop sign in a Corpus Christi neighborhood. Authorities say Lopez was driving around 60 mph.
Lopez struggled with the officer who made the stop and then fled. He rammed several patrol cars, drove at a high speed with his lights off and hit Alexander like “a bullet and a target,” said an officer who testified at Lopez’s 2010 trial.
When finally cornered by patrol cars, Lopez used his SUV as a battering ram trying to escape and wasn’t brought under control until he was shot, officers testified.
“It’s a horrible dream,” Lopez said from death row. “I’ve replayed it in my mind many times.”
Deputies found a dozen packets of cocaine and a small scale in a false compartment in the console of the SUV.
Records show Lopez was on probation at the time after pleading guilty to indecency with a child in Galveston County and was a registered sex offender. He had other arrests for assault.
Lopez would be the 10th inmate executed this year in Texas. Nationally, 18 prisoners have been put to death this year, with Texas accounting for 50 percent of them.
On Tuesday, another death row prisoner, Tracy Beatty, 54, received a reprieve from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He had been scheduled for lethal injection Thursday. He’s on death row for the 2003 slaying of his 62-year-old mother, Carolyn Click, near Tyler in East Texas.
At least seven other Texas inmates have execution dates in the coming months.
June 29, 2015
Glenn Ford, who spent nearly 30 years on Angola’s death row for a murder that prosecutors eventually conceded he did not commit, died in New Orleans early Monday (June 29), supporters announced. He was 65.
Ford learned he had lung cancer shortly after his release from Angola on March 11, 2014. A news release from Ford’s supporters said he died at 2:11 a.m., having been “surrounded by friends, loved ones and family in recent days.”
Ford, who was born in Shreveport on Oct. 22, 1949, was convicted of the 1983 murder of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker for whom Ford had done occasional yard work. Ford had always denied killing Rozeman, and on March 10, 2014, he was exonerated of the crime when the state vacated his conviction.
State District Judge Ramona Emanuel voided Ford’s conviction and sentence based on new information corroborating his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman’s death, Ford’s attorneys said.
Ford was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to death. He spent 29 years, three months and five days in solitary confinement on Angola’s death row. At the time of his release, Ford was the longest-serving death row inmate in the United States, supporters said.
The final 15 months of Ford’s life were spent outside prison walls but not without challenges.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office filed a petition to deny Ford state-mandated compensation for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment, arguing Ford failed to meet the law’s “factually innocent” clause. The provision requires petitioners to have not committed the crime for which they were originally convicted as well as “any crime based upon the same set of facts” used in the original conviction.
First Judicial District Court Judge Katherine Clark Dorroh sided with Caldwell in a ruling three months ago, deciding Ford was aware of the plan to rob Rozeman and failed to stop it, and took and sold items stolen during the robbery. The judge also ruled Ford tried to find buyers for the weapon used in Rozeman’s murder, and that he tried to hinder the police investigation by initially giving a false name for the man he later identified as Rozeman’s killer.
Ford died while awaiting the outcome of separate federal lawsuits aimed at securing compensation for his imprisonment and failing health, which he claimed resulted from insufficient medical treatment while in prison. Supporters said all he had received from the state before his death was $20 for a bus ride home from prison.
Supporters said Ford is survived by “several children” who live in California, and “more than 10 grandchildren.”
A memorial service will be held at the Charbonnet Funeral Home at 1615 St. Philip St., but a date and time had not been immediately determined, supporters said. They asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Ford’s name to Resurrection After Exoneration at www.r-a-e.org.
june 29, 2015
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A woman freed after 16 years on Mississippi’s death row says God helped her come to peace with herself and the fact that until recently, her execution might come any time.
Michelle Byrom tells a local paper that she has forgiven her son and others she feels treated her wrongly. Her son, Edward Byrom Jr., testified against her but later allegedly confessed.
Byrom was convicted of getting her son to hire a hit man to kill her husband. The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered a new trial in March.
She pleaded “no contest” Friday, asserting innocence but acknowledging prosecutors could probably convince a jury otherwise.
Byrom says that after the brief court hearing in Tishomingo County, she and her brother didn’t stop for lunch until they got to Tennessee.
June 22, 2015
Texas executes more of its citizens than any state in the country, and there’s new evidence that what we call justice is actually a corrupt, inhumane and morally indefensible system.
Alex Hannaford’s cover story this month shows an alarming correlation between trauma that happens to adolescent boys, the biological damage it does to their brains, how that altered physiology leads to violent behavior in their adult lives and their ultimate journeys to death row.
It’s been clear for a long time that poverty, violence, poor education and crime are interconnected. (We executed a 45-year-old man last year whose education ended in fourth grade and a 53-year-old man this year whose education ended in sixth grade.) And 97 percent of the people on death row are men.
We traditionally have used that sociological framework to examine homicidal behavior. Then, we find a personal comfort level with it and our individual moral codes.
But new studies and the data Hannaford collected from Texas death row inmates show the situation is more complex. There also are biological factors at work, and that discovery raises new questions about the morality of the Texas system.
As recently as the 1980s, professionals believed that the human brain was genetically determined by the time of birth. Now, studies by American and British scholars show that trauma actually changes the physiology of the brain and that those altered brains work differently in males and females. (Females tend to process the stress and trauma internally, directing destructive action at themselves; men tend to process it externally, focusing violence on other people.)
Male children who are physically, emotionally and/or sexually traumatized experience physical changes to their brains that make violence a common response to similar experiences later in life.
When that violence leads to a capital crime, the state places the man on death row, where the average inmate spends a full decade in an environment of emotional isolation, physical depravation, authoritarian relationships, and little or no interaction with any type of family or support network.
It’s a classic list designed for an assault on someone’s mental well-being. In fact, the state essentially drives many of those waiting to be executed insane. Then, we stick a needle in the arm of that adult traumatized child and kill him.
It is a shameful, barbaric process that many of us choose to look past, but every person who loves Texas should look directly at it. Texas is better than this.