There was not an inch on his body that had not been bruised or scarred or injured,” said Dixie Bersano, one of Coleman’s trial prosecuto
by Kent Scheidegger
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend’s 9-year-old son a decade ago was executed Wednesday evening.
Lisa Coleman, 38, received a lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to spare her.
She was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. CDT, 12 minutes after Texas Department of Criminal officials began administering a lethal dose of pentobarbital.
Coleman became the ninth convicted killer and second woman to receive lethal injection in Texas this year. Nationally, she’s the 15th woman executed since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the death penalty to resume. During that same time, nearly 1,400 men have been put to death.
Coleman was condemned for the death of Davontae Williams, whose emaciated body was found in July 2004 at the North Texas apartment Coleman shared with his mother, Marcella Williams.
Paramedics who found him dead said they were shocked to learn his age. He weighed 36 pounds, about half that of a normal 9-year-old. A pediatrician later would testify that he had more than 250 distinct injuries, including burns from cigarettes or cigars and scars from ligatures, and that a lack of food made him stop growing.
“There was not an inch on his body that not been bruised or scarred or injured,” said Dixie Bersano, one of Coleman’s trial prosecutors.
Women are a much smaller proportion of death row than of the general population, but we don’t hear the same wailing and gnashing of teeth that we do with racial “disproportion.” It’s perfectly obvious to everyone that women per capita commit fewer murders overall and far fewer murders deserving the death penalty than men, and therefore comparison with the general population is irrelevant. Why are so many people blind to the same truth on the racial angle?
But there are a few. Torture and starvation of a child definitely does it.
Twelve minutes. No indication of a problem. Pentobarbital is the way to go if we can get it. Write your congressman and demand action lifting importation restrictions and outlawing resale restrictions in contracts.
DON’T YOU KNOW THAT THE ANTI-DEATH PENALTY ZEALOTS IN THOSE STATES WISH THEY HAD A JUDGE LIKE KENTUCKY’S PHILLIP SHEPHERD.
Remember he’s the Frankfort judge who has put Kentucky’s executions on hold while he does nothing HELL, It’s been 4 years FOUR YEARS.
I’m certain he will be named the Public Defenders’ OUTSTANDING CIRCUIT JUDGE and put in their HALL OF FAME with Rep. John Tilley and Tom Jensen (authors of the wimpy, criminal-friendly, soft-on-crime House bill 463).
NOW, BACK TO MISSOURI & TEXAS
Missouri and Texas Prepare to Execute Convicted Killers: Two men, one from Missouri and the other from Texas, are scheduled to be executed Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. after more than decades on death row. Jim Salter and Michael Graczyk of the Associated Press report that Earl Ringo Jr. from Missouri was sentenced to death in 1998 for murdering two people during a robbery attempt. Texas inmate Willie Trottie, also a convicted double-murderer, was sentenced to die more than 20 years ago. The executions will be the eighth in each state so far in 2014.
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.