Page 23 of 23 FirstFirst ... 13 21 22 23
Results 551 to 572 of 572

Thread: The Death Penalty in action - issues updates and the ongoing debate

  1. #551
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    The parents of the 16 year old were co-workers of mine when she went missing. I actually suspect that he may have been involved in Jennifer Lynn WIlkerson's case:http://mydeathspace.com/vb/showthrea...hlight=lubbock

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...id=mailsignout

    Texas to execute 'suitcase killer' for prostitute's murder

    Texas is scheduled on Tuesday to execute a man convicted of murder for suffocating a prostitute, placing her lifeless body in a suitcase and tossing it into a garbage dumpster in 2005.

    Rosendo Rodriguez, who turned 38 a day before the planned execution, was set to be put to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. at the state's death chamber in Huntsville.

    If the execution goes ahead, it would be the seventh this year in the United States and the fourth in Texas, which has executed more inmates than any state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

    Attorneys for Rodriguez filed a last-minute appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking judicial review after they questioned the integrity and findings of medical examiners in Lubbock relating to the autopsy on the victim, Summer Baldwin, 29.

    The body of Baldwin, described by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as "a drug-addicted prostitute," was found in a suitcase in a Lubbock landfill in September 2005. A police investigation found the suitcase was recently purchased and paid for by a debit card belonging to Rodriguez, court papers showed.

    Baldwin's blood was later found in a hotel room where Rodriguez stayed. Rodriguez, later dubbed "the suitcase killer" was arrested and confessed to police, prosecutors said.

    In a police statement admitted at trial, Rodriguez said he had sexual intercourse with the victim and placed her in a choke-hold until she lost consciousness and had no pulse. He then purchased the suitcase, stuffed Baldwin inside and threw the suitcase into a dumpster, prosecutors said.

    He also admitted to murdering Joanna Rogers, 16, in 2004, stuffing her body in a suitcase and throwing the bag away, prosecutors said. His death sentence is for Baldwin's murder.

    Lawyers for Rodriguez have asked for a new autopsy for Baldwin after it was reported that she may have died from blunt force trauma, saying her death could have come from a trash compactor and not from their client.

    Lawyers for Texas said the exact manner of death does not matter because it was Rodriguez's actions that directly led to Baldwin's death.

    "Demonstrating that Rodriguez did not cause the blunt-force injuries does not negate the fact that he asphyxiated her and then placed her in harm’s way," they said in court filings.

  2. #552
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/15...wednesday.html

    San Antonio "lovers' lane" killer set to die Wednesday

    Juan Edward Castillo, convicted of killing Garcia, is set for execution Wednesday for the slaying more than 14 years ago.

    He'd be the sixth inmate put to death this year in Texas, more than any other state.

    What 19-year-old Tommy Garcia Jr. didn't know was the proposition to take a woman he knew to a San Antonio "lovers' lane" was a setup for an ambush robbery. The plot crumbled when he refused to surrender any money and was shot seven times by a man identified as the woman's boyfriend.

    Castillo's appeals lawyers contended no physical evidence tied him to the crime and trial testimony from witnesses who said they heard Castillo talk about committing the crime was either false or misleading.

    At his trial, two eyewitnesses testified they saw Castillo shoot Garcia, three people said they heard him talk about the killing and another witness testified he was wearing jewelry that belonged to the victim, Matthew Howard, an assistant Bexar County district attorney, said.

  3. #553
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...id=mailsignout

    Nevada sets 1st execution in 12 years after fight over drugs

    Nevada plans to carry out its first execution in 12 years using a never-before-tried combination of drugs that drew a court challenge over concerns that a convicted murderer could suffer during the lethal injection.

    Scott Raymond Dozier is scheduled to die July 11, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Santina said Wednesday, a day after a judge in Las Vegas signed the death warrant.

    The state Supreme Court decided last month not to stop the execution on procedural grounds, despite challenges by lawyers and a rights group who argued that the procedure would be less humane than putting down a pet. There also were concerns that some of the state's drugs would have expired.

    "We have what we need to complete the execution order," Santina told The Associated Press. "The same three drugs. We have some that are not expired."

  4. #554
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,147
    Rep Power
    0
    https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/ohi...ar-2018-07-18/

    Robert Van Hook has been executed on death row.

  5. #555
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Probably South Of You
    Posts
    11,347
    Rep Power
    21474855
    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/re...4d89dbc7dd54bc

    Billy Ray Irick, 59, is set to be executed for the brutal rape and murder of a little girl

    IT WAS one of the most shocking cases the United States had ever seen. Now, the man who brutally raped and killed a seven-year-old girl will face execution.

    Gavin Fernando@GavinDFernando news.com.auAUGUST 6, 20186:59AM

    WARNING: GRAPHIC

    IT WAS one of the most shocking murder cases the United States had ever seen.

    Now Billy Ray Irick, the man who raped and killed a seven-year-old girl more than 30 years ago, is finally set to be executed.

    Despite his harrowing crimes, some groups are protesting the decision to put the 59-year-old to death.

    But the little girl?s mother is determined that justice is done.

    HOW A YOUNG GIRL WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED

    Billy Ray Irick had a troubled upbringing.

    According to Knoxville TV station WBIR, he was an uncontrollable child who was regularly tied up and beaten by his parents.

    He spent his early years in a mental institution and an orphanage, before eventually finding a job as a dishwasher at a Knoxville truck stop in 1983.

    It was here that he met Kenny Jeffers, the father of the little girl who would later lose her life at the hands of Irick.


    Billy Ray Irick, who brutally raped and murdered a seven-year-old girl in 1985, faces death by lethal injection next week.Source:Supplied

    The pair became friends and Irick eventually moved in with Kenny, his wife Kathy and five of their eight children.

    Several of the kids were from previous relationships, but according to Kathy, they were a close-knit family.

    ?All of the kids were really close and loved each other. There was no ?step? or ?half? brother or sister. They were brothers and sisters from the start,? Kathy told WBIR.

    Irick became part of the family. He would help take care of the children while Kathy and Kenny worked long hours and overnight shifts.

    When the family?s house caught fire, he saved two of the boys from the house, and continued living with them when they moved to a nearby neighbourhood.

    A DISTURBING PHONE CALL ? AND A CONFESSION

    On the morning of April 15, 1985, Irick had a fight with Kathy, which ended with her kicking him out of the family home.

    Later that day, Kathy had to work the graveyard shift, and her regular babysitter was unable to come in. She told the station she thought Kenny would watch the kids, but he was busy, so he called Billy to come over.

    Kathy said she wasn?t comfortable leaving the five children in his care.

    ?I don?t know if you call it ?intuition,? but something seemed off about him. I stopped at a payphone and called Kenny at the truck stop and asked him to get back to the house,? she told WBIR.


    Paula Dyer was just seven years old when she was murdered. Kathy described her as outgoing, very friendly and extremely trusting of others.Source:Supplied

    At midnight that night, Kenny received a disturbing phone call from Irick. ?It?s Paula. I can?t wake her up,? he said.

    Kenny testified that when he arrived, Irick was standing on the porch outside. Paula was unconscious on the floor, covered in blood and not breathing.

    He rushed the little girl to the nearby hospital, but she was practically gone by the time they arrived.

    The doctors looking after her concluded from her injuries that she had been brutally raped anally and vaginally, with asphyxiation ruled as the cause of death.

    One doctor noted that she had been hit in the head and may have been knocked unconscious.

    By the time Kathy showed up at the hospital, the girl was gone. She never got to say goodbye.

    The following day, the Knoxville Police Department told the public to be on the lookout for Irick.

    That evening, he was spotted and arrested beneath the Baxter Avenue bridge.


    The home where little Paula was murdered in 1985.Source:YouTube

    According to WBIR, police said he was cooperative, remorseful and confessed to the crime immediately. He was 26 years old.

    After a six-day trial, a Knox County jury convicted Irick of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated rape on November 1, 1986.

    The judge, John James Duncan Jr, described the incident as the most brutal case in his career.

    A jury of eight men and four women sentenced Irick to die in the electric chair, which was scheduled for May 4, 1987.

    But over the following decades, the case was postponed during ongoing debates around acceptable methods of execution, and last-ditch appeals including claims of new evidence and testimonies that Irick suffered from mental illness.

    CONCERNS OVER IRICK?S EXECUTION

    Mental health groups have urged authorities to reconsider the execution.

    Last week, a letter was sent by the leaders of the National Alliance on Mental Illness calling on the court to instead give Irick life without parole.

    ?From all reports, Irick?s severe mental illness has continued unabated during his many years of incarceration,? reads the letter. ?The fact that eight experts, working for both the state and the defence, agree that he suffers from severe mental illness is powerful evidence in support of this point.?

    The US Court has ruled that people with mental illnesses cannot be executed.

    But according to the Nashville Scene, a psychiatrist who interviewed Irick during the trial concluded he did not suffer from mental illness.


    Irick at his trial in 1986.Source:YouTube

    A separate group are seeking to block the lethal injection of the convicted killer, saying it could have dire consequences.

    Five women who were victims of the deadly 2102 fungal meningitis outbreak have warned that purchasing execution drugs from an unknown unlicensed compounding pharmacy could pose a safety risk to the public, the Tennessean reports.

    ?Innocent lives are put at risk when compounding pharmacies are permitted to make execution drugs without oversight or scrutiny,? the filing warns.

    A compounding pharmacy was responsible for the drugs that caused the deadly 2012 virus.

    ?Compounding pharmacies have repeatedly been found to produce medicines of questionable quality,? the filing continues, noting the supplier does not have a licence to supply drugs over state lines.

    The briefing notes that it takes no position for or against capital punishment, but does not want to repeat the mistakes of six years ago.


    But Kathy ? the little girl?s broken mother ? stands firm. She wants closure, and she wants the world to remember her name.

    ?All you ever hear about is him. Nothing about her,? she said. ?What he did to her is the reason he?s where he is. I am sick of hearing about his pain and his suffering. What about her pain and her suffering? She was seven years old, raped, sodomised, and strangled to death. I?m sorry, I feel nothing for his pain. Nothing at all. God, forgive me, but I don?t.?

    She says her little girl is more than just a name in a court document.

    ?She was alive. She?s real. She?s not just a name on a piece of paper. That?s what she is boiled down to now, according to the papers and the courts, is just a name. She is more than that. She is a lot more than that. She still is.

    ?I don?t think Paula can rest in peace until this is resolved. I honestly don?t believe she can. Paula needs to rest in peace.?

    Irick?s execution is set for August 9.

  6. #556
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Probably South Of You
    Posts
    11,347
    Rep Power
    21474855
    I assume they were arguing that if oversight of compounding chemists is so lacking that they got meningitis due to fungal contamination of their medication purchases, it's possible other customers will be poisoned after purchasing medication contaminated with residue from death row drugs?


    https://www.tennessean.com/story/new...ion/905351002/



    Tennessee court denies meningitis victims' motion to intervene in Billy Ray Irick execution

    WALTER F. ROCHE JR. | SPECIAL TO THE USA TODAY ? TENNESSEE NETWORK
    Updated 5:15 a.m. GMT+10 Aug. 7, 2018






    The death penalty in Tennessee

    As of January 2017, there were 63 inmates on death row in Tennessee. Executions have been on hold pending a challenge by inmates to the single-dose drug protocol.

    KAREN GRIGSBY / THE TENNESSEAN
    The Tennessee Supreme Court quickly denied a motion by five victims of the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak who sought to intervene in a case related to the scheduled execution of convicted killer Billy Ray Irick.

    In response to a motion filed Friday, the court issued a brief ruling Monday denying the petition to intervene. The court provided no rationale for denying the motion.

    In the Friday filing, the five victims warned that purchasing execution drugs from an unknown unlicensed compounding pharmacy could put the general public at risk.

    Noting that it was a compounding pharmacy that produced the drugs that caused the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis, the filing warns that "Innocent lives are put at risk when compounding pharmacies are permitted to make execution drugs without oversight or scrutiny."


    Charging that the unnamed compounder Tennessee has lined up to produce execution drugs "has a history of disciplinary infractions in his home state."

    The five seeking to intervene are Rosanna Bennington of Minnesota, Francis Farmer Hayes, Nancy Riley-Dargan, Leah Hyman and Vicki Scott. Though none are from Tennessee, the brief notes that Tennessee was particularly hard hit in the outbreak with 16 patients dying.

    The brief states that the proposed intervenors take no position on capital punishment, but do not want to see the mistakes of 2012 repeated.

    "Compounding pharmacies have repeatedly been found to produce medicines of questionable quality," the filing continues, adding that the unlicensed supplier does not have a license to supply drugs over state lines and the pharmacist does not have approval to compound drugs for use in Tennessee.

    The five charge that allowing the state to use the compounded drugs will effectively circumvent reforms implemented at the state and federal level as a result of the outbreak.

    State officials have stated that the compounder providing the execution drugs has applied for a Tennessee license.

    PROVIDED BY NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
    The case before the state Supreme Court seeks to reverse a decision by Davidson Chancery Court Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle, who ruled the state could proceed with executions utilizing a three drug cocktail including midalozam and potassium chloride.

    The state plans to obtain a compounded version of midazolam, the first drug in the three-drug protocol. Attorneys for death row inmates argue the drug doesn't render inmates unconscious or unable to feel pain, essentially allowing inmates to be tortured to death.

    Irick is scheduled to be executed Thursday. He was convicted in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl. The state Supreme Court is expected to rule JMonday on a motion to delay his execution.

    The five victims of the 2012 outbreak cited the numerous deaths, 76, and more than 750 patients who were sickened after fungus tainted steroids were injected into their bodies.

    The tainted spinal steroids were shipped from the now defunct New England Compounding Center. Two NECC officials, president and co-owner Barry Cadden and supervising pharmacist Glenn Chin, are now serving multi-year sentences for their roles in the outbreak.

    More on Billy Ray Irick
    Mental health: Is Knoxville's Billy Ray Irick too impaired to be executed?

    Clemency petition: Gov. Bill Haslam evaluating mental health concerns ahead of Billy Ray Irick execution

    Analysis: Will Billy Ray Irick receive a stay of his Aug. 9 execution?

    Death row inmate?s attorney:: Tennessee Supreme Court must delay Billy Ray Irick?s execution

    Tennessee Attorney General: It's time to put Billy Ray Irick to death





    Supreme Court and Haslam won't stop Irick execution
    DAVE BOUCHER, ADAM TAMBURIN | NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN
    UPDATED 8:20 P.M. GMT+10 AUG. 7, 2018


    The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the scheduled execution of Billy Ray Irick should proceed as planned on Thursday, denying his request for a stay.

    Shortly after the Monday evening ruling, Gov. Bill Haslam announced he would not intervene and would allow the execution to go forward.

    ?I took an oath to uphold the law," Haslam said in a statement. "Capital punishment is the law in Tennessee and was ordered in this case by a jury of Tennesseans and upheld by more than a dozen state and federal courts."

    The decisions from Haslam and the high court come despite an ongoing legal challenge of the state's lethal injection method. They move the state one step closer to executing its first inmate since 2009.



    Billy Ray Irick moved to death watch before execution
    NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN

    The Tennessee Department of Correction confirmed Tuesday that death row inmate Billy Ray Irick had been moved to death watch, a period of increased supervision and security ahead of his execution date later this week.

    Irick, 59, was moved to death watch at 11:30 p.m. Monday; he is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday. The Tennessee Supreme Court and Gov. Bill Haslam have both denied requests to delay the execution.

    "Death watch is the three-day period before an execution when strict guidelines are implemented to maintain the security and control of the offender and to maintain safe and orderly operations of the prison," the department said in a statement.

    Irick has been moved from his normal Riverbend Maximum Security Institute to one next to the execution chamber.

    Irick was convicted in 1986 of the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl in Knox County. Although Irick has exhausted appeals on his original case, he and 32 other death row offenders are challenging the drugs Tennessee intends to use in lethal injections.

  7. #557
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...id=mailsignout

    A Tennessee inmate grimaced and waved goodbye before saying "let's rock," moments before he became the first man executed in the electric chair in that state since 2007, put to death Thursday for shooting two men and slitting their throats during a drug deal decades ago.

    Edmund Zagorski, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. Thursday at a Nashville maximum-security prison, officials said.

    Asked by the prison warden if he had any last words in the death chamber, Zagorski said, "Let's rock," shortly before the execution was carried out.
    In opting for the electric chair over a lethal injection as Tennessee allowed him, Zagorski had argued it would be a quicker and less painful way to die. He became only the second person to die in the electric chair in Tennessee since 1960. Nationwide, only 14 other people have been put to death in the electric chair since 2000, including a Virginia inmate in 2013.

    The execution was carried out minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday evening denied the inmate's request for a stay. Zagorski's attorneys had argued it was unconstitutional to force him to choose between the electric chair and lethal injection.

    The state came close to administering an injection to Zagorski three weeks ago, a plan halted by Tennessee's governor when Zagorski exercised his right to request the electric chair.

    The Supreme Court's statement said Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the dissenting voice on Thursday, noting Zagorski's difficult decision to opt for the electric chair. In Tennessee, condemned inmates whose crimes occurred before 1999 can choose the electric chair — one of a handful of states that allow such a choice.

    "He did so not because he thought that it was a humane way to die, but because he thought that the three-drug cocktail that Tennessee had planned to use was even worse," Sotomayor said in the statement. "Given what most people think of the electric chair, it's hard to imagine a more striking testament — from a person with more at stake — to the legitimate fears raised by the lethal-injection drugs that Tennessee uses."

    Zagorski was convicted of an April 1983 double slaying. Prosecutors said Zagorski shot John Dotson and Jimmy Porter and then slit their throats after robbing the two men after they came to him to buy marijuana.

  8. #558
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,147
    Rep Power
    0
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1404951/middle-east

    Now Iran has executed people on corruption

    LONDON: After two men convicted of financial crimes were executed in Iran, Amnesty International has strongly criticized the Iranian regime.
    Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi were put to death after a trial Amnesty has called “grossly unfair.”
    Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director, Philip Luther, said of the case: “With these abhorrent executions the Iranian authorities have flagrantly violated international law and once again displayed their shameless disregard for the right to life.
    “Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances but it is even more horrific given that these men were convicted after a grossly unfair show trial that was broadcast on state television. Under international human rights law, the death penalty is absolutely forbidden for non-lethal crimes, such as financial corruption.
    “The shocking manner in which their trial was fast-tracked through Iran’s judicial system without allowing them the chance of a proper appeal is yet another example of the brazen disregard the Iranian authorities have for defendants’ basic due process rights.”
    The duo were executed after being charged with “manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorized deals” as well as smuggling. An unspecified number of other accomplices went to prison.
    Iran detained Mazloumin, 58, in July for hoarding two tons of gold coins.
    With Iran in the grip of a deepening economic crisis, authorities have carried out mass arrests of individuals whom they accuse of being “financially corrupt” and “saboteurs of the economy.”
    According to Amnesty, the pair were convicted and sentenced to flogging, lengthy prison terms and eventually the death penalty after “grossly unfair summary trials.”
    In August, Iran’s Supreme Leader approved a request by the Head of Judiciary to set up special courts to deal with crimes involving financial corruption. Since then, these courts have sentenced several people to death.
    In a statement, Amnesty said the trials were unfair because defendants were denied access to lawyers of their own choosing, had no right to appeal against sentences of imprisonment during the process and were given only 10 days within which to appeal death sentences.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ne...tv-show-trial/

    “The shocking manner in which their trial was fast-tracked through Iran’s judicial system without allowing them the chance of a proper appeal is yet another example of the brazen disregard the Iranian authorities have for defendants’ basic due process rights.”

    Background

    Amid a deepening economic crisis, the Iranian authorities have carried out mass arrests of individuals whom they describe as “financially corrupt” and “saboteurs of the economy”, convicted them of charges related to financial crimes and sentenced some of them to flogging, lengthy prison terms and the death penalty after grossly unfair summary trials.

    In August, Iran’s Supreme Leader approved a request by the Head of Judiciary to set up special courts to deal with crimes involving financial corruption. Since then, these courts have sentenced several people to death. Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi had been accused of manipulating Iran’s gold and currency markets and were sentenced to death in September on the charge of “spreading corruption on earth”. Dozens of other people have also been sentenced to prison terms after convictions on similar charges.

    Amnesty International considers that trials before these special courts are inherently unfair because defendants are denied access to lawyers of their own choosing, have no right to appeal against sentences of imprisonment and are given only 10 days within which to appeal death sentences.

  9. #559
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,147
    Rep Power
    0
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1404951/middle-east

    Now Iran has executed people on corruption

    LONDON: After two men convicted of financial crimes were executed in Iran, Amnesty International has strongly criticized the Iranian regime.
    Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi were put to death after a trial Amnesty has called ?grossly unfair.?
    Amnesty International?s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director, Philip Luther, said of the case: ?With these abhorrent executions the Iranian authorities have flagrantly violated international law and once again displayed their shameless disregard for the right to life.
    ?Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances but it is even more horrific given that these men were convicted after a grossly unfair show trial that was broadcast on state television. Under international human rights law, the death penalty is absolutely forbidden for non-lethal crimes, such as financial corruption.
    ?The shocking manner in which their trial was fast-tracked through Iran?s judicial system without allowing them the chance of a proper appeal is yet another example of the brazen disregard the Iranian authorities have for defendants? basic due process rights.?
    The duo were executed after being charged with ?manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorized deals? as well as smuggling. An unspecified number of other accomplices went to prison.
    Iran detained Mazloumin, 58, in July for hoarding two tons of gold coins.
    With Iran in the grip of a deepening economic crisis, authorities have carried out mass arrests of individuals whom they accuse of being ?financially corrupt? and ?saboteurs of the economy.?
    According to Amnesty, the pair were convicted and sentenced to flogging, lengthy prison terms and eventually the death penalty after ?grossly unfair summary trials.?
    In August, Iran?s Supreme Leader approved a request by the Head of Judiciary to set up special courts to deal with crimes involving financial corruption. Since then, these courts have sentenced several people to death.
    In a statement, Amnesty said the trials were unfair because defendants were denied access to lawyers of their own choosing, had no right to appeal against sentences of imprisonment during the process and were given only 10 days within which to appeal death sentences.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ne...tv-show-trial/

    ?The shocking manner in which their trial was fast-tracked through Iran?s judicial system without allowing them the chance of a proper appeal is yet another example of the brazen disregard the Iranian authorities have for defendants? basic due process rights.?

    Background

    Amid a deepening economic crisis, the Iranian authorities have carried out mass arrests of individuals whom they describe as ?financially corrupt? and ?saboteurs of the economy?, convicted them of charges related to financial crimes and sentenced some of them to flogging, lengthy prison terms and the death penalty after grossly unfair summary trials.

    In August, Iran?s Supreme Leader approved a request by the Head of Judiciary to set up special courts to deal with crimes involving financial corruption. Since then, these courts have sentenced several people to death. Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi had been accused of manipulating Iran?s gold and currency markets and were sentenced to death in September on the charge of ?spreading corruption on earth?. Dozens of other people have also been sentenced to prison terms after convictions on similar charges.

    Amnesty International considers that trials before these special courts are inherently unfair because defendants are denied access to lawyers of their own choosing, have no right to appeal against sentences of imprisonment and are given only 10 days within which to appeal death sentences.

  10. #560
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,147
    Rep Power
    0
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8636451.html

    ANother take on the Iranian execution issue. This is like Iran executing Wall Street Execs. Sure some find the executions suspicious though.

    The execution of two Iranian gold traders this week has raised concerns that the authorities are seeking to use them as scapegoats to divert attention from corruption at the heart of the regime.

    But while the Iranian establishment has hailed the arrests and prosecutions of the traders, charged with corruption and tried by a special court dealing with cases of economic malfeasance, rights advocates have criticised what they call “kangaroo trials”.

    Among the executed was Vahid Mazloumin, branded “the Sultan of Coins” for hoarding gold in an alleged effort to manipulate prices.

    The pair were convicted on charges of “spreading corruption on earth”, considered a severe breach of Iranian law. Amnesty International called the trial “grossly unfair”.

    “In Iran, unfortunately, instead of punishing the main elements of systematic corruption, they punish and execute persons who are not important,” said Mahdi Khalili, a reformist politician and political scientist in Tehran. “The main ones are free from any problems or punishment.”

    Read more

    Iran sanctions could turn into demonstration of US weakness
    Iran ranked 130 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2017 corruption index. Economic pressures exacerbated by tough US sanctions on Iran under the Trump administration have hammered away at the rial, which has lost 75 per cent of its value this year.




    TOP ARTICLES
    1/6
    READ MORE
    Chicago shooting: Police officer among four
    killed after gunman goes on rampage in Mercy Hospital

    But the executions of the two businessmen, with three more merchants on death row, shows that Iran is in danger of exacerbating its human rights difficulties in order to placate anger over perceived corruption.

    Human rights specialists and jurists, including Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, have said the suspects were condemned to death in quick trials that were unfair and failed to measure up to Iranian law much less international standards, which include a thorough appellate review process for death sentences.

    Among other irregularities, the courts apply secretive national security rules to cases of white-collar crime, restricting the ability of defendants to get a lawyer.

    In Iran, unfortunately, instead of punishing the main elements of systematic corruption, they punish and execute persons who are not important
    Mahdi Khalili, reformist politician
    “Iran’s hanging of people who have been convicted in courts without a fair trial is a blatant violation of law,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Centre for Human Rights in Iran, describing the trial venues as “kangaroo courts”.

    The prosecutions suggest Tehran is attempting to shift blame for the collapse of the country’s currency to low-level traders and grey market businessmen in an effort to deflect from the Iranian system’s own incompetence and corruption, rooted in the economic power of religious charities and ideologically fervent security branches, especially the Revolutionary Guard.

    It also shows what many critics have described over the years as the arbitrary nature of justice under the Islamic republic, where prominent members of ethnic and religious minorities as well as the Shia Muslim majority, and dissidents as well as businessmen, can become entangled in an obscure, Kafkaesque legal system overseen by Islamic jurists under the sway of shadowy security enforcers.


    ‘The Sultan of Coins goes to the gallows,’ declares the front page of Iranian newspaper Setareh Sobh, or Morning Star (Setareh Sobh)
    State-dominated media hailed the executions: “Death: Compensation for betraying the people,” said a headline in the daily newspaper Tejarat, or Commerce.


    Mr Mazloumin, 58, earned the moniker Sultan of Coins for his perceived mastery of the Iranian gold market, reportedly trading up to $30m worth of gold a day. Iranians have rushed to convert their savings into gold as the country’s currency has lost value.

    Mr Mazloumin and his partner were reported to have been arrested in July, accused of hoarding two tons of gold in order drive up prices, according to local media. He always insisted on his innocence, explaining in an interview published after his death that gold prices rose and fell based on supply and demand.

    Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei approved the creation of special economic courts to handle corruption cases in August. Since then, dozens of businesspeople have been sentenced by the court.

    Mr Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi were tried hurriedly in a proceeding that was partially broadcast on state television in September, with hardline media clamouring for the ultimate punishment and a charge of spreading corruption on earth.



    Iranians barely hanging on brace for impact of new US sanctions
    “Gallows waiting for the Sultan of Coins,” the Javan newspaper declared in September.

    The two men were initially sentenced to death in early October. The judiciary announced on 21 October that the death sentences against the two had been upheld.

    This week they were abruptly hung at the gallows.

    Mr Khalili said he suspected the executions were meant to distract the public from scrutinising the underlying causes of corruption, but also to send a warning to private sector vendors to lower their profit margins. While both may be humdrum political objectives, rights advocates say they in no way justify the death penalty.

    “Under international human rights law,” Amnesty International’s Philip Luther said, “the death penalty is absolutely forbidden for non-lethal crimes, such as financial corruption.”

  11. #561
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...id=mailsignout

    ‘Texas 7’ escapee fights death sentence as Dec. 4 execution nears

    Joseph Garcia met George Rivas back in the summer of 1999, eight months before they started plotting their escape.

    They were doing time together on the Connally Unit, counting out their days in the heat of a Texas prison.

    Garcia was locked up on a murder charge, a crime he’s long maintained was self-defense. Rivas, on the other hand, was a convicted kidnapper, violent and full of charisma.

    They both had decades of time in front of them. But Rivas had better plans.

    Around lunchtime on Dec. 13, 2000, they broke out of the maximum security prison south of San Antonio, bringing along five confederates as they made good on an intricate plot culled straight from the pages of a novel.

    They took hostages, burst into the prison armory, stole weapons and stormed out in a prison truck, making for the biggest escape in Texas prison history. After pulling off two robberies in the Houston area, they headed to the Dallas suburbs, hoping to get as far as they could from the bloodhounds and helicopters hunting them down.

    There, on Christmas Eve, the men held up a sporting goods store and made off with bags of cash and dozens of guns. On the way out, they ran into a cop.

    In a chaotic scene, five of the men started firing, some at each other and some at the lawman. When it was over, Officer Aubrey Hawkins lay dead in the Oshman’s parking lot, shot 11 times and dragged 10 feet by an SUV as the panicked prisoners fled.

    After a six-figure reward and a spot on “America’s Most Wanted,” the wanted men were finally captured in Colorado more than a month later, living in a trailer park and posing as Christian pilgrims. One killed himself rather than be captured, and the other six were sent to death row.

    “It wasn’t supposed to happen,” Garcia told the Houston Chronicle in a recent death row interview. “I wish I could take everything back.”

    Three have been executed and now a fourth — Garcia — is scheduled to die Dec. 4.

  12. #562
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,147
    Rep Power
    0
    https://www.abc4.com/news/national/j...since-2003/?V4

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it will carry out executions of federal death row inmates for the first time since 2003.

    The department says five inmates will be executed, starting in December.

    In 2014, President Barack Obama directed the department to conduct a review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs. That review resulted in what effectively was a freeze on executions.

    The department says the Bureau of Prisons has completed the review and the executions can continue.

  13. #563
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    I'm quite ok with them getting rid of these sleazebags.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/25/us/fi...ons/index.html

    According to a Justice Department news release, Daniel Lewis Lee is a member of a white supremacist group who killed a family of three -- among them an 8-year-old girl.
    He was found guilty in May 1999 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on three counts of murder in aid of racketeering and sentenced to death.
    His execution is scheduled for December 9.

    Lezmond Mitchell was found guilty in May 2003 in the US District Court for the District of Arizona of stabbing a 63-year-old grandmother to death and then forcing her 9-year-old granddaughter to sit next to her body during a 30- to 40-mile drive. He then slit the girl's throat twice. She also died.
    His execution is slated for December 11.

    Welsey Ira Purkey was found guilty in November 2003 in the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri of violently raping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering and burning her body.
    He had also been convicted in state court of using a claw hammer to kill an 80-year-old woman, the Justice Department said in the release.
    His execution is scheduled for December 13.

    Per the Justice Department, Alfred Bourgeois tortured and sexually molested his 2-year-old daughter before beating her to death.
    He was found guilty in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas in March 2004 of multiple offenses, including murder, and sentenced to death.
    He's scheduled to be executed on January 13, 2020.

    Dustin Lee Honken was found guilty in October 2004 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Iowa of murdering five people, including a single mother and her 10- and 6-year-old daughters.
    Honken's execution is scheduled for January 15, 2020.

  14. #564
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16,431
    Rep Power
    21474860
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/22/us/ga...ida/index.html

    Florida has put to death the man known as the "I-95 killer," who was convicted of killing three people and admitted to killing several more in a 1994 spree targeting gay men.

    The Supreme Court decided late Thursday not to stay the execution.

    Gary Ray Bowles, 57, was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m. ET, Michelle Glady, communications director for the Florida Department of Corrections, said.

    Bowles' attorneys had appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay, arguing that Bowles is intellectually disabled and that was something no court had considered.

    The state argued in its response filed with the court that Bowles' attorneys didn't file a proper claim until this week. The matter should be, and was, decided by a lower court of appeals, the state said.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that she believes there were important questions in the case.

    However, "because I do not believe that the questions as presented merit this Court's review at this time, I do not disagree with the denial of certiorari," she wrote. It could be different in other cases, she said.

    On Thursday, Bowles woke up at 4 a.m. and was calm and in good spirits, Glady said. His last meal was three cheeseburgers, french fries and bacon, she said.

    The FBI began a national search for Bowles in 1994 after they determined he was killing gay men at locations near the highway from Florida to Maryland, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Once on the FBI's most wanted list, he was arrested in November 1994 in Jacksonville Beach going under an alias.

    He also was later featured in an episode of A&E's show "The Killer Speaks" as the "I-95 Killer."

    Bowles pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 1996 for killing Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach, Florida by dropping a 40-pound cement stepping stone onto his sleeping head. Bowles then strangled him and stuffed toilet paper and a rag in his mouth, court documents show. His body was found inside his locked home wrapped in sheets and bedspreads, the documents say.

    A jury sentenced him to death in 1996 for killing Hinton, but the Florida Supreme Court later reversed the death sentence and remanded the case for a new penalty phase. Another jury unanimously sentenced him to death in 1999, and since then, a series of appeals have been denied by courts leading up to Thursday's expected execution.

    In addition, he was convicted of first-degree murder in 1997 for robbing and killing John Roberts by strangling him and stuffing a rag in his mouth, according to court documents. He also was convicted in 1996 of murder for killing Albert Morris in a case in which he struck Morris in the head, beat him, shot him, strangled him and tied a towel over his mouth. He was sentenced to life in prison for both of those cases.

    Convicted killer is 99th person executed in Florida

    Bowles had several previous charges and was sentenced to prison for beating and raping his girlfriend in 1982.

    Bowles is the 99th person to be put to death in Florida since capital punishment resumed in 1976. Bobby Joe Long, who was convicted for killing eight women in the Tampa Bay area in 1984, was executed by the state in May.

  15. #565
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://apnews.com/0238930de18b029e4b31ea1114d4a0d8

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has set new dates to begin executing federal death-row inmates following a monthslong legal battle over the plan to resume the executions for the first time since 2003.

    Attorney General William Barr directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions, beginning in mid-July, of four inmates convicted of killing children. Three of the men had been scheduled to be put to death when Barr announced the federal government would resume executions last year, ending an informal moratorium on federal capital punishment as the issue receded from the public domain.

    The Justice Department had scheduled five executions set to begin in December, but some of the inmates challenged the new procedures in court, arguing that the government was circumventing proper methods in order to wrongly execute inmates quickly.

    The department wouldn’t say why the executions of two of the inmates scheduled in December hadn’t been rescheduled.

    The move is likely to add a new front to the national conversation about criminal justice reform and raise interest in an issue that has largely lain dormant in recent years amid the culture battles that President Donald Trump already is waging on matters such as abortion and immigration in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.

    The federal government’s initial effort was put on hold by a trial judge, and the federal appeals court in Washington and the Supreme Court both declined to step in late last year. But in April, the appeals court threw out the judge’s order. Lawyers for the inmates are asking the Supreme Court to order a halt to the process.

    “The American people, acting through Congress and Presidents of both political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes should be subject to a sentence of death,” Barr said in a statement. “The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws. We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind, to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”

    The resumption comes as the federal prison has struggled to combat the coronavirus pandemic behind bars, including at least one death at USP Terre Haute, where they will take place. One inmate there has died from COVID-19.

    The inmates who will be executed are: Danny Lee, who was convicted in Arkansas of killing a family of three, including an 8-year-old; Wesley Ira Purkey, of Kansas, who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman; Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five people in Iowa, including two children; and Keith Dwayne Nelson, who kidnapped a 10-year-old girl who was rollerblading in front of her Kansas home and raped her in a forest behind a church before strangling the young girl to death with a wire.

    Three of the executions — for Lee, Purkley and Honken — are scheduled days apart beginning July 13. Nelson’s execution is scheduled for Aug. 28. The Justice Department said additional executions will be set at a later date.

    Executions on the federal level have been rare and the government has put to death only three defendants since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988 — most recently in 2003, when Louis Jones was executed for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a young female soldier. Though there hasn’t been a federal execution since 2003, the Justice Department has continued to approve death penalty prosecutions and federal courts have sentenced defendants to death.

    In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, President Barack Obama directed the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.

    The attorney general said last July that the Obama-era review had been completed, clearing the way for executions to resume. He approved a new procedure for lethal injections that replaces the three-drug combination previously used in federal executions with one drug, pentobarbital. This is similar to the procedure used in several states, including Georgia, Missouri and Texas, but not all.

    Barr told the AP in November that the federal Bureau of Prisons had been testing and conducting practice drills ahead of the first execution. He would not say where the drugs would come from.

    Those chosen were among inmates who had exhausted their appeals, and the cases were forwarded to senior Justice Department officials who reviewed the cases and made recommendations to him, Barr said.

    President Donald Trump has spoken often about capital punishment and his belief that executions serve as an effective deterrent and an appropriate punishment for some crimes, including mass shootings and the killings of police officers.

    Lawyers for the men decried the Justice Department’s decision to move ahead with the executions.

    Ruth Friedman, an attorney for Danny Lee, said the government relied on “junk science and false evidence” in his case and said he is trying to get a court to consider problems in his case. A federal judge denied Lee’s request for a new trial but noted that evidence presented by his attorneys “is reasonably likely” to have led to a different sentence.

    “Given all of these circumstances, it would be unconscionable for the government to execute Danny Lee,” Friedman said.

    Purkey’s attorney, Rebecca Woodman, said her client suffers from schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and doesn’t understand why the government plans to execute him. “No execution should proceed unless and until the question of Wes’s competency is resolved,” she said.

    And an attorney for Honken, Shawn Nolan, said Honken’s trial and sentencing proceeding were “plagued by misconduct and the ineffectiveness of counsel” and said he was been denied a full and fair review of the alleged defects in the case. Nolan described Honken as a “deeply remorseful and devout Catholic and loving father of two children.”

    An attorney for Nelson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

  16. #566
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://www.4029tv.com/article/us-ca...ades/33308823#

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. —
    The U.S. has carried out the first federal execution in nearly two decades, putting to death a man who was convicted of killing an Arkansas family in the 1990s in a plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.

    Forty-seven-year-old Daniel Lewis Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, died Tuesday after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    Lee is the first death row inmate to be executed since 2003.

    Lee's last words were: “You’re killing an innocent man.”

    Lee's execution came over the objection of the victims’ family and following a series of legal challenges related to the raging coronavirus pandemic.

    An Execution has taken place.

  17. #567
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...preme-n1233749

    Here is more details.

    The U.S. carried out the first federal execution in 17 years at a prison in Indiana after a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling cleared the way.

    Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of killing an Arkansas family in a plot to establish a whites-only nation, was executed by lethal injection early Tuesday at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute.

    “I didn’t do it,” Lee said before he was executed. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer. ... You’re killing an innocent man.” He was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m.

    In 1996, Lee and four other associates, who were members of a white supremacist organization, went on a crime spree that included the murders of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter Sarah Powell.

    At their 1999 trial, prosecutors said Lee and Chevie Kehoe, who recruited him, stole guns and $50,000 in cash from the Muellers as part of their plan to fund and set up a whites-only nation.

    Lee was scheduled to receive a lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital at 4 p.m. Monday, but a federal judge's order prevented the execution.

    Hours later, the Supreme Court issued an unsigned majority opinion saying that "the plaintiffs have not established that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their Eighth Amendment claim" and "that claim faces an exceedingly high bar."

    The Eighth Amendment bars cruel and unusual punishment. The majority opinion says that four executions, all planned to take place at the penitentiary in Terre Haute, may proceed as planned.

    His execution, the first by the federal Bureau of Prisons since 2003, was initially halted Friday over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, which were raised by civil rights groups and relatives of Lee’s victims who had sued to try to stop it.

    Those relatives had long argued that Lee deserved a sentence of life in prison. They countered any contention that the execution was being done on their behalf. They noted that Kehoe received a life sentence

    “For us it is a matter of being there and saying, 'This is not being done in our name; we do not want this,’” relative Monica Veillette said.

    Lee's attorney, Ruth Friedman, said in a statement that he was executed "a mere 31 minutes after a court of appeals lifted the last impediment to his execution at the federal government's urging, while multiple motions remained pending, and without notice to counsel."

    “It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution during a pandemic. It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution when counsel for Danny Lee could not be present with him, and when the judges in his case and even the family of his victims urged against it," said Friedman, director of the Federal Capital Habeas Project. "And it is beyond shameful that the government, in the end, carried out this execution in haste, in the middle of the night, while the country was sleeping. We hope that upon awakening, the country will be as outraged as we are."

    In a statement, Attorney General William Barr countered: "Today, Lee finally faced the justice he deserved. The American people have made the considered choice to permit capital punishment for the most egregious federal crimes, and justice was done today in implementing the sentence for Lee’s horrific offenses.”

    Prior to his execution, Lee had been allowed social visitors and meetings with his spiritual adviser and had been able to receive mail, prison officials said, according to NBC affiliate WTWO in Terre Haute.

    He was in the execution chamber with two men whom the Bureau of Prisons would only identify as “senior BOP officials,” a U.S. Marshal and Lee's spiritual adviser, whom a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson described as an “Appalachian pagan minister.”

    Lee breathed heavily before the lethal drug was injected and moved his legs and feet. He mumbled to himself briefly as his chest continued to rise and fall.

    Two more executions are scheduled this week: Wesley Ira Purkey on Wednesday and Dustin Lee Honken on Friday. Keith Dwayne Nelson is scheduled to be executed in August

  18. #568
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://news.yahoo.com/judge-halts-2...142002057.html

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. ? The United States on Thursday carried out its second federal execution this week, killing by lethal injection a Kansas man whose lawyers contended he had dementia and was unfit to be executed.

    Wesley Ira Purkey was put to death at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Purkey was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering, burning and dumping her body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in a state court in Kansas after using a claw hammer to kill an 80-year-old woman who had polio.

    Purkey expressed remorse right before he was executed.

    ?I deeply regret the pain and suffering I caused to Jennifer?s family,? he said. ?I am deeply sorry. I deeply regret the pain I caused to my daughter, who I love so very much. This sanitized murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever.?

    His time of death was 8:19 a.m. EDT.

    The Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to take place just hours before, ruling in a 5-4 decision. The four liberal justices dissented, like they did for the first case earlier this week.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that ?proceeding with Purkey?s execution now, despite the grave questions and factual findings regarding his mental competency, casts a shroud of constitutional doubt over the most irrevocable of injuries.? She was joined by fellow liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

    It was the federal government?s second execution after a 17-year hiatus. Another man, Daniel Lewis Lee, was put to death Tuesday after his 11th hour legal bids failed.

    Both executions were delayed into the day after they were scheduled as legal wrangling continued late into the night and into the next morning.

    The Justice Department has been questioned for holding the executions in the middle of the worsening coronavirus pandemic, prompting lawsuits over fears those who would travel to the prison could become infected. The decision to resume executions after nearly two decades was criticized as a dangerously political move in an election year forcing an issue that is not high on the list of American priorities considering the 11% unemployment rate and the pandemic.

    Purkey?s lawyers had argued his condition had deteriorated so severely that he didn?t understand why he was being executed. They said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions.

    The issue of Purkey?s mental health arose in the run-up to his 2003 trial and when, after the verdict, jurors had to decide whether he should be put to death in the killing of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in Kansas City, Missouri. Prosecutors said he raped and stabbed her, dismembered her with a chainsaw, burned her and dumped her ashes 200 miles (320 kilometers) away in a septic pond in Kansas. Purkey was separately convicted and sentenced to life in the beating death of 80-year-old Mary Ruth Bales, of Kansas City, Kansas.

    Purkey had a long history of childhood trauma, was sexually abused by family members and a Catholic priest and was beaten by other family members, said Liz Vartkessian, a mitigation specialist who worked with Purkey?s legal team and visited him dozens of times in the last five years.

    ?His case is replete with instances where he has expressed a deep remorse,? she said in an interview earlier this month.

    But recently, Purkey?s mental health had seriously deteriorated to the point he didn?t have the stamina for long visits with his legal team and often forgot key facts and dates, she said.

    Correction officers had to help him write down a schedule to remember his visits with his lawyers, she said.

    He also had a long history of paranoia and delusions and believed the Justice Department was moving forward with his execution because of many complaints and lawsuits he brought in prison, even though most had failed, Vartkessian said.

    On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., imposed two injunctions prohibiting the federal Bureau of Prisons from moving forward with Purkey?s execution. The Justice Department filed immediate appeals in both cases. A separate temporary stay had already been place from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Chutkan didn't rule on whether Purkey was mentally competent but said the court needed to evaluate the claim, saying he would suffer ?irreparable harm? if he was put to death before the issue could be evaluated by the court.

    The legal questions of whether Purkey was mentally fit to stand trial or to be sentenced to die are different from the question of whether he is mentally fit enough now to be put to death.

    In a landmark 1986 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution prohibits putting someone to death who lacks a reasonable understanding of why he is being executed. It involved the case of Alvin Ford, who was convicted of murder but whose mental health deteriorated behind bars to the point where, according to his lawyer, he believed he was pope.

    Last week, three mental health organizations urged U.S. Attorney William Barr to stop Purkey?s execution and commute his sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole. The letter ? signed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America and the Treatment Advocacy Center ? said that executing mentally ailing individuals like Purkey ?constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and does not comport with ?evolving standards of decency.??

    The mother of the teen he killed, Glenda Lamont, told the Kansas City Star last year she planned to attend the execution.

    ?I don?t want to say that I?m happy,? Lamont said. ?At the same time, he is a crazy mad man that doesn?t deserve, in my opinion, to be breathing anymore.?

    The Supreme Court also lifted a hold placed on other executions set for Friday and next month.

    Dustin Honken, a drug kingpin from Iowa convicted of killing five people in a scheme to silence former dealers, was scheduled for execution Friday.

  19. #569
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://www.kare11.com/article/news/...6-963e51abde81


    IOWA CITY, Iowa — A ruthless Iowa meth kingpin who killed five people, including two young girls, in 1993 to thwart his prosecution for drug trafficking is set to become the third federal inmate to be executed this week.

    Dustin Honken, 52, would become the first Iowa defendant to be put to death since 1963 if he is executed as scheduled on Friday. Iowa abolished the death penalty in 1965, but federal prosecutors sought to execute Honken for killing government informants and children.
    PM: People should return to workplace if safe to do so
    featured by

    Honken is set to die by lethal injection at the prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he's been on death row since 2005 and two other men have been put to death since Tuesday after a 17-year hiatus in federal executions. His appeals to delay the execution have so far been denied.

    “He does deserve what he’s getting. I can tell you that. He deserved it a long time ago,” said Susan Torres, 54, who plans to attend the execution with other victims' relatives.

    Torres, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, was Lori Duncan's sister-in-law before her brother and Duncan split up and she was an aunt to Duncan's daughters, 10-year-old Kandi and 6-year-old Amber. Duncan, her new boyfriend, Greg Nicholson, and her daughters were kidnapped and killed by Honken and his girlfriend in 1993, which was seven years before their bodies were found.

    Mark Bennett, the federal judge who oversaw Honken’s trial, said he generally opposes the death penalty, but that if anyone deserved to be executed, it was Honken. He said Honken’s crimes were reprehensible and that Honken had a fair legal process, including talented lawyers who “did an outstanding job with virtually nothing to work with."

    “I am not going to lose any sleep if he is executed,” said Bennett, who has since retired from the bench. “Normally I would, but the evidence was so overwhelming.”

    Honken grew up in the northern Iowa town of Britt as the bright but devious son of an alcoholic father who was convicted of robbing banks.


    OTHER NEWS: Guilty plea in officer Arik Matson shooting

    Honken was dealing marijuana and cocaine by the early 1990s, and he began cooking meth after studying chemistry at a community college. He and a friend moved to Arizona to produce the drug in the hopes of getting rich, and they distributed their product through two dealers based in Mason City, Iowa.

    Nicholson, who was one of the dealers, began cooperating with investigators in 1993 after coming under suspicion. Honken was arrested and indicted for conspiring to manufacture meth after Nicholson secretly recorded Honken and testified before a grand jury.

    Honken informed the court that he would plead guilty. But days before his July 1993 plea hearing, he and his girlfriend, Angela Johnson, went searching for Nicholson. They found him at the home where he had moved in Duncan and her daughters.

    Duncan didn't know that Nicholson was an informant and she wasn't involved in drugs, said Torres, whose daughters were playmates with Duncan's girls.

    “She was a very sweet innocent person that happened to be put in a bad situation,” she told The Associated Press on Wednesday by phone.

    According to prosecutors, Johnson posed as a cosmetics saleswoman to get into the house. Honken forced Nicholson, 34, to record a statement declaring Honken innocent of the drug charges.

    OTHER NEWS: Legal experts review Black Minnesota teen's life sentence

    OTHER NEWS: After Florida conviction, Lois Riess pleads not guilty to husband's murder in Minnesota

    Nicholson and the Duncans were taken to a remote area, fatally shot and buried. Honken withdrew his guilty plea and gave his lawyer the videotape of Nicholson.

    As the investigation into Honken continued, Honken's other dealer, 32-year-old Terry DeGeus, disappeared months after Nicholson and the Duncans did. Johnson lured DeGeus, whom she dated before Honken, to a property where Honken beat him with a bat and shot him.

    Investigators found the bodies of Nicholson and the Duncans in 2000 in a wooded area outside Mason City after Johnson was duped into giving a hand-drawn map showing where they were buried to a jailhouse informant. The adults had been bound and gagged and shot multiple times. The girls had each been shot once in the back of the head. DeGeus’ body was found a few miles away, his skull fractured.

    Bennett said the girls were still in their swimsuits when they were kidnapped on the hot summer day. “It’s just horrific how they were massacred,” the judge said.

    Honken was convicted of the killings in 2004 in a trial that featured extraordinary security measures, including an anonymous jury. Honken was bolted to the floor of the courtroom and wore a stun belt under his clothing to prevent escape attempts.

    The jury recommended that Honken be put to death for the girls' slayings, and Bennett agreed.

    The girls' father, John Duncan, who had pushed for years to have Honken executed, died in 2018 of stomach cancer.

    “He was very sad when he knew he was passing because he wasn’t going to see this happen,” Torres said. “We assured him we would be there."

    Johnson was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to death. Bennett later reduced her punishment to life behind bars, which she's currently serving at a federal prison in Minnesota.

    Honken did not respond to an interview request sent last year after the government announced its plans to execute him.

    Honken has two children — one with Johnson and one with another woman — and was a father figure to a third. He wrote in a 2006 journal that he felt a “great crushing weight of despair” for failing them.

    “When those people finally get around to killing me they’ll realize only the shell of me remains, the heart of me died long ago," he wrote.

  20. #570
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/natio...omu-story.html

    TERRE HAUTE, IND. — The U.S. government on Friday put to death an Iowa chemistry student-turned-meth kingpin convicted of killing five people, capping a week in which the Trump administration restored federal executions after a 17-year hiatus.

    Dustin Honken, 52, who prosecutors said killed key witnesses to stop them from testifying in his drugs case, received a lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Two others were also put to death during the week after a hiatus of nearly 20 years, including Wesley Purkey. His lawyers contended he had dementia and didn’t know why he was being executed.



    The first in the spate federal executions happened Tuesday, when Daniel Lewis Lee was put to death for killing a family in the 1990s as part of a plot to build a whites-only nation. Lee’s execution, like Purkey’s, went ahead only after the U.S. Supreme Court gave it a green light in a 5-4 decision hours before.

    Honken, who had been on death row since 2005, was pronounced dead at 4:36 p.m. The inmate — known for his verbosity at hearings and for a rambling statement declaring his innocence at sentencing — spoke only briefly, neither addressing victims’ family members nor saying he was sorry. His last words were, “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for me.”



    A Catholic priest, Honken's spiritual adviser, stood near him inside the death chamber. Honken spoke on his back, strapped to a gurney under a pale-green sheet. He didn't look toward witnesses behind a glass barrier, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the ceiling.

    Honken’s lawyer, Shawn Nolan, said his client was “redeemed” and had repented for his crimes.



    “There was no reason for the government to kill him, in haste or at all,” Nolan said. “The man they killed today ... could have spent the rest of his days helping others and further redeeming himself.”

    In a statement, Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said “just punishment has been carried out.”

    “Nearly three decades after Honken coldly ended the lives of five people ... all in an effort to protect himself and his criminal enterprise, he has finally faced justice,” Kupec said.

    After officials began administering the lethal injection, Honken began blinking his eyes, his fingers twitching and his lips quivering. After several minutes his breathing became more labored. He turned increasingly ashen as blood drained from his face and hands. His fingers gradually stopped twitching, and his breathing became shallower until it stopped.

    Honken was pronounced dead after 30 minutes — longer than the other two executions. An official with a stethoscope walked into the small death chamber, put his fingers on Honken’s neck to check for a pulse, listened for a heartbeat, then exited.

    Seconds later, officials announced the time of death.

    Honken, whose crimes struck at the foundation of the U.S. justice system, always seemed the least likely to win a reprieve from the courts. After the two previous executions were repeatedly delayed amid back-and-forth legal maneuvering, Honken’s began almost on the minute it had been scheduled for weeks.

    While out on bond in his drugs case in July 1993, Honken and his girlfriend Angela Johnson kidnapped Lori Duncan and her two daughters from their Mason City, Iowa, home, then killed and buried them in a wooded area nearby. Ten-year-old Kandi and 6-year-old Amber were still in their swimsuits on the hot summer day when they were shot execution-style in the back of the head.

    Their primary target that day was Lori Duncan’s then-boyfriend, Greg Nicholson, who also lived at the home and was also killed. He and Lori Duncan were bound and gagged and shot multiple times. Honken had recently learned Nicholson, a former drug-dealing associate, was cooperating with investigators and would likely testify against Honken at trial.

    Lori Duncan didn’t know Nicholson was an informant and she wasn’t involved in drugs.

    As the investigation into Honken continued, he killed another drug dealer working with him, Terry DeGeus, beating him with a bat and shooting him.

    Honken had earlier informed the judge in his drug case that he would plead guilty at the end of July. But days after the still-undiscovered killings of Nicholson and the Duncans, he told the court he would stick to his not guilty plea.

    A statement from the Duncan family said the execution provided a degree of justice and closure to the family.

    The two young Duncan girls “never had a chance to grow up and share in the joys and sorrows of their life,” it said. “Their mother never got to see them having their first dance, first date or first walk down the aisle at their wedding.”

    “We will continue to live with their loss,” it said. “However, this is a step toward healing of broken hearts and shattered lives.”

    Investigators found the Nicholson and Duncan bodies only seven years after the killings, in 2000, after Johnson scrawled out a map showing a jailhouse informant where they were buried. DeGeus’ body was found a few miles from the wooded area.

    Honken was considered so dangerous that the judge took the rare step of impaneling an anonymous jury. Other security measures included fitting Honken with a stun belt under his clothes to prevent him from trying to escape.

    Johnson, Honken’s girlfriend, was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to death. A judge later reduced her sentence to life behind bars.

    In recent days, prison authorities permitted Honken to make his last calls to family and friends, according to Sister Betty Donoghue, a Catholic nun whom he called Wednesday.

    On death row, Honken befriended Lee and knew his execution was called off one hour, then was back on another hour, Donoghue said.

    “He was very upset with the way Danny died,” said Donoghue, who visited Honken regularly over the past decade.

    Yet Donoghue, of the Sisters of Providence just outside Terre Haute, said she was startled by how calm Honken sounded over the phone.

    “He was at peace. I was totally amazed,” she said. “He believed he would go to heaven. He is ready to meet his maker.”

    At his sentencing in 2005, Honken denied killing anybody, but Donoghue said she never heard him say he was innocent.

    Honken’s mother, brother and college-age daughter visited him in prison in recent days, she said.

  21. #571
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://omaha.com/news/national/lawy...xtual-fallback

    CHICAGO (AP) — An inmate suffered “extreme pain" as he received a dose of pentobarbital during just the second federal execution following a 17-year lag, according to court filings by lawyers representing one of the inmates scheduled to be executed next.

    The claim Wesley Purkey may have felt a sensation akin to drowning while immobilized but conscious is disputed by Department of Justice attorneys. They insist the first three lethal injections since 2003 were carried out without a hitch last month at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    This month's filings were part of motions to halt the execution of Keith Nelson, convicted in the 1999 rape and strangulation of 10-year-old Pamela Butler. Prosecutors said he pulled her into his truck as she skated on rollerblades back to her Kansas home after buying herself cookies.

    Nelson’s execution is set for Aug. 28. The execution of Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on federal death row, is scheduled for Aug. 26. His lawyers have made similar arguments.

    Purkey was convicted federally of kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering and dumping her body in a septic pond. The first federal execution last month was of Daniel Lewis Lee, convicted of killing an Arkansas family in a 1990s plot to build a whites-only nation.

    Here’s a look at issues surrounding the use of pentobarbital:

    ——

    Q: WHAT’S THE LAWYER’S CLAIM?

    A: An autopsy performed by a Michigan-based pathologist a week after the 68-year-old Purkey was put to death found evidence of “severe bilateral acute pulmonary edema” and “frothy pulmonary edema in trachea and mainstem bronchi,” filings by the attorneys allege.



    Those findings mean fluid quickly filled Purkey’s lungs and entered his airway up to his trachea, causing “a near-drowning" sensation, said Dr. Gail Van Norman, a medical expert retained by Nelson’s lawyers to interpret the autopsy.

    “These are among the most excruciating feelings known to man,” she said in a filing.

    Flash pulmonary edema, where fluid enters the lungs and airways, can only occur when someone is alive, she said.

    “It is a virtual medical certainty, that most, if not all, prisoners will experience excruciating suffering, including sensations of drowning and suffocation” from pentobarbital, she added.

    The autopsy wasn't official. It was performed by a Western Michigan University pathologists, Dr. Joyce L. deJong, at the behest of Purkey relatives.

    Autopsies weren't performed of the others executed last month, Nelson's lawyers said.

    Q: HOW DID GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS RESPOND IN FILINGS?

    A: They’ve said the execution of Purkey and the other inmates last month “were implemented without any pentobarbital-related complications.” They’ve said previous court rulings have concluded pentobarbital injections are humane.

    And even if some pain is involved, that doesn’t render an execution method inhumane, the government attorneys argued, citing a 2008 Supreme Court ruling.

    “Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of ‘objectively intolerable risk of harm’ that qualifies as cruel and unusual,” the high court said.



    Q: WAS IT CLEAR DURING THE EXECUTION THAT PURKEY SUFFERED?

    A: No. There weren’t obvious outward signs he was in pain.

    An Associated Press reporter who served as a media witness described Purkey taking several deep breaths and blinking repeatedly as the pentobarbital was injected. The other inmates also twitched for several minutes before their breathing slowed, then stopped.

    But death-penalty foes say the paralyzing effects of pentobarbital may make it impossible for the condemned to grimace or thrash around, even if even they are feeling excruciating pain.

    Q: WHY IS PENTOBARBITAL USED?

    A: Pentobarbital is a barbiturate that depresses the central nervous system and that, given in a high dosages, causes the heart to stop. It doesn’t have widespread medical uses, though is often used by veterinarians to anesthetize or euthanize animals.

    For three federal executions in the early 2000s, a cocktail of drugs was used: sodium thiopental, which has a similar affect as pentobarbital; pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the body and potassium chloride, a drug that induces cardiac arrest.

    But pharmaceuticals later refused to allow those drugs to be used in executions, forcing the federal and many state governments to seek an alternative. Attorney General William Barr last year approved reworked execution protocols that called for using pentobarbital alone.

    Q: WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVES?



    A: Nelson's lawyers ideally want all executions suspended for good. But legal precedent requires, when arguing one form of execution is cruel, that they offer what they believe are more humane alternatives.

    Among the alternatives they suggested: a firing squad.

    “Historically, the firing squad has resulted in significantly fewer ‘botched’ executions,” they say in one filing. “Execution by firing squad is both swift and virtually painless.”

  22. #572
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    2,605
    Rep Power
    3848413
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54129949

    Navid Afkari, 27, was sentenced to death over the murder of a security guard during a wave of anti-government protests in 2018.
    He said he had been tortured into making a confession.
    Human rights organisation Amnesty International described Afkari's execution as a "travesty of justice".
    In a leaked recording released by the group, Afkari says: "If I am executed, I want you to know that an innocent person, even though he tried and fought with all his strength to be heard, was executed."
    Afkari was executed by hanging in the southern city of Shiraz, according to state media.
    His lawyer said his client had been prevented from seeing his family before his death, as required under Iranian law.
    "Were you in such a hurry to carry out the sentence that you deprived Navid of a last visit?" Hassan Younesi said on Twitter.
    There had been many calls to stop the execution, including from a union representing 85,000 athletes worldwide.
    The World Players Association said he had been "unjustly targeted" for taking part in the protests, and called for Iran's expulsion from world sport if it went ahead with the execution.
    US President Donald Trump also appealed for mercy, saying the wrestler's "sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets".
    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called his execution "very sad news" and said their thoughts were with his family and friends.
    "It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind-the-scenes work of the IOC... did not achieve our goal," their statement said.
    Why were there protests in Iran in 2018?
    Iran protesters 'flogged and electrocuted'
    Afkari's brothers Vahid and Habib were sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison in the same case, according to human rights activists in Iran.
    In an audio recording leaked from the prison where he was being held, Afkari had said he had been tortured. His mother said her sons were forced to testify against each other.
    His lawyer had said on Twitter that, contrary to Iranian news reports, there was no video of the moment of the security guard's killing. He added that footage used as evidence in the case was taken an hour before the crime took place.
    The Iranian authorities have denied accusations of torture.
    Afkari was a national champion in wrestling, a sport that has a long history and is hugely popular in Iran.
    In 2018, protesters in cities across Iran took to the streets over economic hardship and political repression.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •