Hey, remember how the anti-death penalty zealots keep shouting “why can’t the USA be more like the ‘civilized’ countries like England and other western European countries?”
Well, I’ve been telling you that the regular citizens in those European countries favor re-instating the Death Penalty, BUT the “RULING POLITICAL CLASS” won’t let them vote on reinstating it.
WANT PROOF? HERE IT IS!!
50 YEARS AFTER THE LAST EXECUTION IN BRITAIN, PEOPLE STILL TEND TO SUPPORT THE REINTRODUCTION OF THE DEATH PEANALTY, BY 45% TO 39%.
50 years ago today two unremarkable murderers became the last people to be executed in Britain, on 13th August 1964. Few expected their sentences to be the last of their kind, but that year the death penalty for murder was suspended for a trial period and in 1969 it was abolished completely.
The Commons vote which ended capital punishment was a milestone for British justice, yet YouGov research finds it to be one of those issues where the views of the British public go against the political consensus.
By 45-39% people tend to support the reintroduction of the death penalty for murder.
Support has been dropping steadily – in 2010, 51% were in favour and 37% opposed, and people born after 1964, in the 18-39 age bracket, tend to oppose its reintroduction. This may suggest that we are approaching a moment when people will tend to oppose it, but we are not there yet.
Interestingly, in the US where the death penalty is still legal in some states, YouGov research has found that confidence in its effectiveness as a deterrent is lower (35% compared to 45% in Britain).
The method of Britain’s last state executions – hanging – is also disapproved of by 68-23% amongst all British people, and even by 49-45% amongst those who favour reintroducing capital punishment. Lethal injection is seen as the most appropriate method, approved of by 51% of the general public and 88% of those pro-reintroduction.
MISSOURI SCHEDULED TO EXECUTE RAPIST, MURDERER TONIGHT
by Kent Scheidegger
On the night of September 29, 1995, [Michael] Worthington broke into [Melinda] Griffin’s St. Charles County condominium. He used a razor blade to cut through the screen in the kitchen window and confronted Griffin in her bedroom.
After strangling her into unconsciousness, Worthington raped Griffin with such force that he [caused severe physical injuries]. Griffin regained consciousness during the rape and attempted to fight Worthington, but he beat her and strangled her again, this time killing her. He then stole her jewelry, credit cards, mobile phone, keys, and car.
Guilt was confirmed by DNA and by Worthington’s possession of Ms. Griffin’s jewelry and keys. He also confessed. The judgment was affirmed on direct appeal in State v. Worthington, 8 S.W.3d 83 (Mo. 1999).
For a case with no question of guilt to drag on for another 15 years after the direct appeal is a travesty,
But long-overdue justice is finally scheduled for tonight. Carey Gillam has this story for Reuters noting the scrutiny of this execution after the Wood execution in Arizona. But Missouri still has pentobarbital, the superior drug for this purpose as noted here and here.
Louisville, KY – I just read in the Louisville Courier-Journal that serial murderer LARRY LAMONT WHITE was sentenced to death by a Jefferson County jury. This killer was convicted of raping 22 year-old Pamela Armstrong, mother of 5, and then shooting her twice in the back of her head.
Louisville police cold case unit was able to solve the case thanks to the re-examination of physical evidence which contained the defendant’s DNA.
GREAT WORK by Prosecutors Mark Baker and Andrew Beckmann of the Jefferson Commonwealths Attorneys Office. As well as the Louisville Metro Police Department Detectives.
JUDGE PHILLIP SHEPHERD
I also was reminded in the same article in the Louisville Courier-Journal that executions of any condemned killers on Kentucky’s Death Row HAVE BEEN BARRED because a Franklin Circuit Judge named PHILLIP SHEPHERD has barred any executions until HE considers the constitutionality of the way Kentucky executes these killers.
HOW LONG HAS HE BEEN “CONSIDERING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY” OF HOW KENTUCKY EXECUTES THESE BRUTAL KILLERS?
IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR JUDGE PHILLIP SHEPHERD TO GIVE KENTUCKIANS AN ANSWER. OTHER STATES ARE MOVING AHEAD.
For the sixth time this year, Governor Jay Nixon has declined to grant clemency to a death row inmate. John Middleton, a former meth-dealer convicted of three grisly murders in 1995, was injected with a dose of pentobarbital at 6:58 p.m.. He was pronounced dead at 7:06.
Middleton had spent nearly two decades in prison since his conviction in 1997. He was 54 years old.
Last night, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Perry halted Middleton’s execution less than two hours before the 12:01 a.m. deadline, arguing that his mental health issues “[have] made a significant threshold showing he is incompetent to be executed,” and that he should be granted a legal hearing to evaluate his sanity.
In an affidavit, a psychologist who examined Middleton stated he “lacks a rational understanding of the reason for the execution and is therefore not competent to be executed due to a diagnosis of delusional disorder, a psychotic mental illness.”
However, Middleton’s questionable mental health did not sway the Missouri Supreme Court, the federal appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court — all of which struck down multiple appeals in the final hours before the execution.
“Twenty years ago, John Middleton murdered three people out of fear they would expose him as the drug dealer he was,” wrote Attorney General Chris Koster in a statement announcing Middleton’s death. “This evening, Mr. Middleton paid the ultimate price for his choices.”
See also: Judge Halts Murderer John Middleton’s Execution Over Mental Health Concerns
Middleton was a small-time meth dealer and user in the mid-nineties. In 1995 the Missouri Highway Patrol began orchestrating busts against his fellow drug dealers, and Middleton decided to take proactive measures to silence informants.
He was sentenced to death in 1997 for the killings of three people he supposedly thought were going to rat him out to the police. His lawyers contend that two other meth dealers actually committed the murders and that prosecutors and law enforcement ignored evidence that would have exonerated Middleton.
Middleton’s lawyers also argue that a botched handling of the autopsy records caused a scientist to miscalculate the time of death for one of the murder victims. The scientist — a University of Missouri entomologist — later revised his estimate of the time of death, placing the murder on a day when Middleton was cooling his heels in an Iowa jail cell 40 miles away.
For additional background on the case — including how a Harrison County sheriff briefly reopened the nearly twenty-year-old investigation
(I wonder if Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd is aware of these suggestions around the country?)
Wyoming Bill Seeks to Allow Firing Squads: A bill set for consideration in a Wyoming legislative committee next week would to add firing squads as an approved method of execution.
Laura Hancock of the Star-Tribune reports that lethal injection would still remain the primary method of execution, but if for some reason it is ruled unconstitutional or can’t be performed within the designated amount of time, then the death row inmate may be executed by firing squad.
Wyoming law also allows for lethal gas to be an alternative execution method, however, the state does not have a working gas chamber.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky judge has expressed concerns about the state’s plan to use a single drug to carry out lethal injections after the same method resulted in problems in neighboring Ohio.
The issues raised Wednesday by Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd could further delay Kentucky’s ability to carry out death sentences and prolong the decade-long legal fight over how the state puts condemned inmates to death.
Shepherd told attorneys during a brief hearing in Frankfort that he may set a hearing about the state’s proposal but didn’t immediately set a date.
Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire repeatedly gasped and snorted and took 26 minutes to die during an execution in January.
Kentucky is seeking to implement both one- and two-drug lethal injection methods. Shepherd halted all executions in the state in 2010.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
FLORIDA – A Florida judge has denied a stay of execution for a convicted killer who has spent nearly 20 years on the state’s death row. Suzie Schottelkotte of The Ledger reports that 45-year-old Eddie Davis was sentenced to death for the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. Davis is scheduled to be put to death July 10.
THE CALIFORNIA HIGH COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OF CHILD RAPIST/MURDERER
CA. Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of murdering a 5-year-old girl more than a decade ago.
The Associated Press reports that 39-year-old Alejandro Avila appealed his sentence based on the claim that he was unable to receive a fair trial due to public outrage and prejudice against him. Avila was convicted in 2005 for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Kaufman County murders refer to a series of events involving the murder of two prosecutors and a prosecutor’s wife in Kaufman County, Texas in 2013.
Eric Williams, a former judge whose theft case was prosecuted by the two victims, is facing trial for the three murders.
On January 31, 2013, Mark Hasse was shot and killed while walking in the 100 block of East Grove Street in the City of Kaufman. Hasse was the Chief Assistant District Attorney for the Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. He was walking from his car to the courthouse when a gunman shot him repeatedly and then fled the area in a waiting car.
Hasse, 57, had been an attorney for many years and had previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas County. He ad worked for Kaufman County since 2010 as a prosecutor, but was also a licensed police officer commissioned with the District Attorney’s office.
On March 30, 2013, the bodies of Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney Michael “Mike” McClelland, 63, and his wife Cynthia, 65, were found in their home located in the TaltyCommunity of rural Kaufman County.
Both had been shot and killed in what was described as a home invasion-type assault on their property.
McClelland had been elected to his office in 2010. Mike McClelland was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve for 23 years, while Cynthia McClelland was a well-respected nurse at Terrell State Hospital, a mental health facility for the state.
ARRESTS AND TRIAL
On April 18, 2013, Eric Williams and his wife Kim were arrested for all three murders. As motive, Eric Williams, a former attorney and Justice of the Peace for Kaufman County, had been convicted of burglary and theft while in office and had been prosecuted by McClelland and Hasse. Williams was out of jail on probation at the time of the murders.
Eric Williams’ jury trial will be held at Rockwall County instead of Kaufman County, starting on October 20, 2014. His defense lawyers cited media coverage and its interference of a fair trial as reasons for change of venue. The Williams couple are held at the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center in lieu of $23 million bond for Eric and $10 million for Kim.