Ten years after banning the use of firing squads in state executions, Utah lawmakers on Wednesday endorsed a proposal to allow the practice again to avoid problems with lethal-injection drugs. The proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield would call for a firing squad if the state cannot obtain the lethal injection drugs 30 days before the scheduled execution. Utah dropped firing squads out of concern about the media attention, but Ray said it’s the most humane way to execute someone because the inmate dies instantly.
‘We have to have an option,’ Ray told reporters on Wednesday. ‘If we go hanging, if we go to the guillotine, or we go to the firing squad, electric chair, you’re still going to have the same circus atmosphere behind it. So is it really going to matter?’After a 20-minute discussion, an interim panel of Utah lawmakers approved the idea on a 9-2 vote Wednesday. The proposal still needs to go through the full legislative process once lawmakers convene for their annual session in January.
One of two men convicted of killing a South Dakota State Penitentiary guard will be executed the week of May 3-9, 2015.
Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the warrant of execution for Rodney Scott Berget has been issued by Second Circuit Court Judge Bradley Zell. The penitentiary’s warden will set the time and day. Law requires he announce to the public the scheduled day and hour within 48 hours of the execution.
Berget and another prisoner, Eric Robert, attacked penitentiary guard Ronald Johnson during an April 2011 escape attempt. Johnson was alone in an area where inmates work on projects such as upholstery and signs. Robert donned Johnson’s uniform and tried to move a large box with Berget inside toward the prison gate. They were caught before leaving the prison.
Robert was executed in 2012. A third inmate, Michael Nordman, was sentenced to life in prison for providing plastic wrap and a pipe used in the slaying of Johnson, which happened on his 63rd birthday.
At the execution will be the attorney general, the trial judge, the state’s attorney and county sheriff, representatives of the victims, at least one member of the news media, and a number of reputable adult citizens to be determined by the warden.
A 29-year-old man was sentenced to death Monday for a 2009 double-murder inside a Las Vegas apartment.
After a lengthy and emotional penalty hearing, a Clark County jury took just a few hours to sentence Ralph “Macky” Jeremias to capital punishment for the execution-style shootings of Paul Stephens and Brian Hudson.
Last week, the same jury found Jeremias guilty of two counts of first-degree murder along with robbery and burglary charges.
After a clerk read the sentence, Jeremias turned toward his mother, stepfather and grandmother seated in the courtroom gallery.
“I love you mom,” he said, as his family members wept.
Prosecutors said Jeremias used a 9 mm handgun to shoot and kill the two men execution-style. Jeremias had purchased marijuana from Stephens in the past and coveted money and laptops in their apartment.
From the witness stand, Jeremias said he went to the apartment complex with friends Carlos Zapata and Ivan Rios to buy marijuana and found the victims already dead.
Both Rios and Zapata told investigators that Jeremias went inside alone with a gun and shot each victim multiple times.
About a year after their arrests, Zapata made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. In exchange, he agreed to testify at Jeremias’ trial.
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?
“Accused killer wants jury to hear execution details” Not a bad idea – but only if the jury is also told of the last hours and minuted of this killer’s Grandmother who was murdered by this seemingly self-centered killer who will do anything to avoid being held responsible for her awful and brutal deeds. Many survivors of homicide victims think killers like this thug should be executed the same way they murdered their victims. What do you think about that?
An accused killer, battling the possibility of death by lethal injection, believes the jury asked to condemn her should be told exactly how she will die; and that the drugs injected into her veins might cause her to writhe and gasp like two men executed earlier this year. Ellen Crawley, awaiting trial on accusations that she killed her own grandmother, pointed to the two troubled executions in Ohio and Oklahoma that reignited the national debate over lethal injection.
Her attorneys, Jon Heck and Ryan Vantrease, think a jury would spare her if they understood the uncertainty surrounding Kentucky executions, a system they describe as “unconstitutional and broken.” “I like to think we live in a civilized society, where we would not tolerate our citizens being tortured by the state,” Heck said. Crawley’s request is the first of its kind in the state, filed in the wake of the two botched executions that have become a rallying cry for those who see capital punishment as inhumane. At a hearing Thursday, Heck and Vantrease are expected to ask Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Charles Cunningham to allow them to hold a subsequent hearing with testimony about what drugs are used in lethal injections, and the specifics of how those drugs shut down the human body.
The drugs used for decades to kill American prisoners are no longer available, as pharmaceutical companies have refused to supply drugs for lethal injections. States, including Kentucky, have turned to unregulated compounding pharmacies or untested drug combinations, sparking an explosion of lawsuits challenging whether experimental executions violate the constitutional protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
IT’S BEEN ALMOST 5 YEARS SINCE FRANKLIN CIRCUIT JUDGE PHILLIP SHEPHERD HALTED EXECUTIONS IN KENTUCKY.
So . . . what’s the what’s the problem Phil?
I can only assume he’s opposed to the duly enacted law in Kentucky which allows juries in Kentucky to have a death sentence as one l penalty option for the WORST murders.
COME ON JUDGE —- 5 YEARS!!!
U.S. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE IN ALABAMA
High Court Denies Death Penalty Appeal: The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal by an Alabama man sentenced to death for the 1989 pipe bomb death of a federal appeals court judge.
Kent Faulk of AL.com reports that 79-year-old Walter Moody was arrested in 1991 for the crime and was originally sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences in federal court before being convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1996 in an Alabama county court. State officials have yet to set a date for Moody’s execution, he remains the oldest inmate on the state’s death row.
OHIO JURY RECOMMENDS DEATH PENALTY FOR SLEDGE-HAMMER KILLER
Jury Recommends Death for Killer: An Ohio jury has recommended a death sentence for the man accused of beating his ex-girlfriend’s parents to death with a sledgehammer. The Associated Press reports that Shawn Ford Jr., along with a 14-year-old accomplice, killed the couple just 10 days after he stabbed and critically injured their daughter when she refused to have sex with him. The judge presiding over the case has the final say on the sentencing decision and is expected to make it over the next few weeks.
KENTUCKY PROSECUTOR TO SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY FOR CHILD KILLER
A Kentucky prosecutor has announced his plan to seek the death penalty for a man accused of brutally killing a 13-month-old boy last month. Todd Kleffman of The Advocate Messenger reports that 25-year-old Joseph Adams allegedly sodomized and killed the boy after being trusted by the boy’s mother to babysit him while she was at work. The sodomy charged added to the charge of murder is considered an ‘aggravator’ and makes the crime death penalty eligible.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A former gang member was put to death Tuesday evening for the fatal shootings of three rivals 14 years ago in San Antonio.
Miguel Paredes, 32, was convicted along with two other men in the September 2000 slayings of three people with ties to the Mexican Mafia. The victims’ bodies were rolled up in a carpet, driven about 50 miles southwest, dumped and set on fire. A farmer investigating a grass fire found the remains.
Paredes was pronounced dead at 6:54 p.m. CDT, 22 minutes after being injected with a lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital. The execution was delayed slightly to ensure the IV lines were functioning properly, said Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark. The procedure calls for two working lines.
Normally needles are placed in the crease of an inmate’s arms near the elbows, but in Paredes’ case, prison officials inserted IV lines into his hands.
As witnesses entered the death chamber in Huntsville, Paredes smiled and mouthed several kisses to four friends watching through a window and repeatedly told them he loved them. He told everyone gathered that he hoped his victims’ family members would “let go of all of the hate because of all my actions.”
“I came in as a lion and I come as peaceful as a lamb,” Paredes said. “I’m at peace. I hope society sees who else they are hurting with this.”
As the drugs began taking effect, he took several deep breaths while praying. He started to snore and eventually stopped.
The execution was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a last-day appeal from attorneys who contended Paredes was mentally impaired and his previous lawyers were deficient for not investigating his mental history.
His was the 10th lethal injection this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death-penalty state. One other Texas inmate is set to die in December and at least nine are scheduled for execution in early 2015, including four in January.
Prosecutors said Paredes was the most aggressive shooter when Nelly Bravo and Shawn Michael Cain, both 23, and Adrian Torres, 27, showed up to collect drug money at the home of John Anthony Saenz, a leader in Paredes’ gang.
Defense attorneys argued that Paredes, who turned 18 six weeks before the slayings, grew up in a neighborhood where the only way to survive was to join a gang.
No friends or relatives of the victims attended Paredes’ execution. Cain’s family said in a statement afterward that Cain was “no longer with us for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Our family has waited 14 years for justice to finally be served,” the statement said.
Paperwork carrying Saenz’s name was found in the debris with the victims’ bodies and helped police solve the case. Saenz, 32, claimed self-defense and avoided the death penalty when jurors sentenced him to life. The third man convicted in the killings, Greg Alvarado, 35, pleaded guilty and also is serving life in prison.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Missouri is preparing to execute a man who wasn’t able to appeal his conviction in federal court because his attorneys missed a filing deadline to do so.
Mark Christeson is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. CDT Wednesday for the killing of a woman and her two children in 1998.
Christeson had two appeals pending with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. One challenges the state’s planned use of a made-to-order execution drug produced by an unnamed compounding pharmacy. The other argues that Christeson deserves the chance to appeal his case in federal courts, which is the norm for inmates sentenced to death.
Christeson would be the ninth person executed by Missouri this year, which would equal the state record set in 1999.
Of course this killer who murdered 6 people is appealing his case. Our Supreme Court refuses to limit the never-ending frivolous appeals of these characters.
EDDYVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The most prolific killer in Kentucky’s death row is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow him to reopen his case and overturn his convictions and death sentence.
Prosecutors have until Nov. 10 to respond to a petition from 58-year-old Robert Carl Foley, who is awaiting execution for killing six people in eastern Kentucky in 1989 and 1991. That’s more slayings than any of the state’s 34 death row inmates.
Foley lost a bid in April at the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The judges concluded that Foley failed to show he was denied a constitutional right when a federal judge turned away his efforts to continue fighting his conviction.
He had been seeking to challenge his trial attorney’s handling of ballistics evidence and potential expert testimony.