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Stays of Execution / Re: Thomas Arthur - AL - 2/19/...
Last post by deeg - May 24, 2017, 07:34:32 PM
Do I really care if they move and cough?  I don't want the murdering POS to suffer needlessly, however a little coughing and moving, doesn't compare to what the victims went through.  Enough already.  Off this cocky slimeball.
The Latest: Alabama inmate seeks execution stay

 MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Latest on the scheduled execution in Alabama (all times local):

 8:20 a.m.

 An Alabama inmate is asking an appellate court to stop his execution as he challenges the constitutionality of the state's death penalty procedures.

 Lawyers for Tommy Arthur filed the request Tuesday night with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Arthur has a pending lawsuit arguing Alabama improperly left decisions about how lethal injections are carried out to state prison officials.

 The stay request comes after the appellate court on Tuesday reversed a judge's decision to toss out the lawsuit. The court said since it should have been transferred to the court where his trial occurred.

 The state attorney general's office says the decision should not delay the execution.

 Arthur is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday. Arthur was convicted in the 1982 murder-for-hire of Troy Wicker.

 Arthur has had seven executions stayed previously.

The Latest: Death row inmate: Execution drugs won't work

 MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Latest on the scheduled execution in Alabama (all times local):

 11:40 a.m.

 Lawyers for Alabama inmate Tommy Arthur say his lethal injection should be delayed because of issues with the state's execution drugs.

 His attorneys filed court papers Wednesday with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They pointed to issues with the state's last lethal injection and say the state will give Arthur an ineffective anesthetic before giving him drugs to stop his lungs and heart.

 In December, inmate Ronald Bert Smith coughed for the first 13 minutes of his execution and moved slightly after two consciousness tests. Arthur's lawyers argued that Smith was awake during his execution. Alabama uses the sedative midazolam, which has come under scrutiny after some inmates moved and coughed.

 The state responded in a court filing that there was no evidence that Smith, or other inmates, experienced pain.

What the hell will they appeal next?  That he shouldn't get smoked because he is left handed?

Tommy Arthur: 'They are going to kill me this time'

 MONTGOMERY (AP) -- Tommy Arthur has had his execution postponed seven times since 2001, so many delays that victims' rights advocates derisively call him the "Houdini" of death row. He says he is innocent and is fighting for an eighth reprieve, but he is losing optimism: "They are going to kill me this time."

Arthur, now 75, is set to be put to death at 6 p.m. Thursday for the 1982 murder-for-hire slaying of Troy Wicker in Muscle Shoals.

 Wicker's wife, Judy, initially told police she came home and was raped by a black man who shot and killed her husband. After her conviction, she changed her story and testified that she had discussed killing her husband with Arthur, who wore a wig and painted his face in an attempt to look like a black man.

 But he is unequivocal: "I did not commit that crime," he said during a recent telephone interview from prison.

 "I won't give up 'til I draw my last breath. I won't give up," he said.

 When police found Troy Wicker shot through the eye in his bed on Feb. 1, 1982.

Arthur was already in a prison work-release program in Decatur for the 1977 slaying of his sister-in-law. He admits to that crime, but says he only meant to scare her by firing a shot over her head

 Police first looked into Arthur when a tip came in saying a work-release inmate had a stack of $100 bills. Arthur said he won the money in a poker game. But investigators said they also found phone calls between Judy Wicker and Arthur.

 On the day of the murder, authorities said, Arthur walked away from the work release program in Decatur and drove to Muscle Shoals.

 He was convicted in 1983, but that conviction was overturned.

While awaiting retrial, he escaped from jail in 1986 by shooting a jailer in the neck with a pistol and forcing another jailer to open his cell door. He remained a fugitive for more than a month.

A second conviction followed and also was overturned, but a third conviction stuck.

 At each trial, Arthur -- initially to the surprise of his lawyers -- asked jurors to give him the death penalty. The decision was strategic, he said, to open up more appellate review.

 The state set execution dates for Arthur in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016. All were delayed as a pro bono legal team fought his convictions. Arthur has won multiple execution delays, partly because his attorneys have pursued appeals arguing lethal injection procedures would be painful because he suffers from a heart condition.

 "He's a Houdini," said Janette Grantham, director of the Victims of Crime and Leniency. "He always finds a way to escape."

 The many delays have been painful for Troy Wicker's family, Grantham said, including one of his sisters, who died of cancer soon after Arthur's last reprieve.

 "I consider that he killed her, too, because she just fought so hard to get justice for her brother, and it never came," Grantham said

 Arthur says that there is no physical evidence linking him to scene and that Judy Wicker changed her story as a "get out of jail free card." His defense has asked for modern DNA testing on the wig the killer wore, arguing the prosecution's case would "fall apart" if it shows someone else's DNA. Judy Wicker's rape kit cannot be found to be tested.

 He has appealed to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to intervene.

 Arthur's recent legal challenges have largely centered on the state's method of execution, including the use of the sedative midazolam to render inmates unconscious. The state's last execution using midazolam took longer than expected as the inmate coughed for the first 13 minutes of the procedure.

 In 2016, Arthur was minutes away from execution when the U.S. Supreme Court gave him an unexpected reprieve.

 "We were fixing to go into the room and they were going to put the needle in my arm," he said.

 Back then, he asked to put a picture of his four children on the back of his Bible so he could look up at them as he died. The request was denied. They are not expected to witness his execution Thursday.

 "I would like to publicly apologize to my children, all of them," he said. "I want to apologize for not being the father that I should have been and could have been. I failed as a father."

Yeah this guy's innocent...uh huh.
Court reverses death row inmate case; Attorney General says execution still on

 Alabama Death Row inmate Tommy Arthur won a victory in court Tuesday, just two days before his scheduled execution, when a state appeals court reversed a judge's ruling that rejected Arthur's claim that the legislature, not the prison system, should decide on the method of execution.

 But the Alabama Attorney General's Office says the ruling won't stop plans for Arthur's execution Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Holman Correctional Facility.

"I consulted with our capital litigation team. The Thomas Arthur execution is not off. No change," Mike Lewis, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office wrote in an email to

 Arthur's attorneys also agreed that the ruling does not stay the execution.

 It is the eighth time since 2001 that the state has set an execution for Arthur for his conviction in the 1982 shooting death of Troy Wicker.

 The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday afternoon reversed the ruling last month by Montgomery Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs. "This matter is remanded to that court for it to vacate its judgment and transfer the case to the Jefferson Circuit Court ... Once the matter is transferred to the Jefferson Circuit Court, that court should hold it in abeyance until this Court issues its certificate of judgment," according to the appeals court ruling.

 The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals does not rule that Arthur's challenge is correct, just that Hobbs should have transferred it to the Jefferson Circuit Court, the court in which Arthur was convicted.

 Arthur's attorneys had argued that one reason why Arthur should not be executed is because the Alabama Legislature, not the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), should be the one to decide what lethal injection drugs should be used for executions, according to Arthur's motion.

 The prison system also has been secretive about its' lethal injection drugs and is withholding review of public records on the last two executions, which the motion says were botched, Arthur's motion states.

 "The Legislature's abdication of its role to set the state's execution law violates the improper delegation doctrine and the Alabama Constitution," Arthur's motion stated. "The role of the legislature is particularly critical given the controversial nature of the ADOC's current midazolam-based execution protocol."

 ADOC's current lethal injection protocol uses three drugs: midazolam, a sedative that is used in medical practice to reduce anxiety; procuronium bromide, a paralytic; and potassium chloride, a chemical salt to stop the heart, according to the motion.

 "The choice of the first drug (midazolam) to be used is critical, because without an effective anesthetic, the second and third drugs would cause unbearable pain," Arthur's lawyers state. "But the drug the ADOC chose (in secret), midazolam, is not used in medical practice as a general anesthetic; rather, it is an anti-anxiety sedative in the same drug family as Valium and Xanax, and its use in lethal injection has been extremely problematic."

 Hobbs in dismissing Arthur's complaint stated that Arthur should have filed it as a Rule 32 petition, which would have been precluded from being filed as being successive and past the deadline for such an appeal.
2nd execution scheduled for Ohio killer who survived '09 execution

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Supreme Court has set a new execution date for a convicted killer who survived a botched execution attempt in 2009.

The court last week scheduled the lethal procedure for death row inmate Romell Broom for June 17, 2020.

Broom was sentenced to die for abducting, raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in Cleveland in 1984.

The 62-year-old Broom is only the second U.S. inmate to survive an execution after the process began.

The state stopped Broom's execution after two hours in September 2009, when executioners failed to find a usable vein following 18 attempts to insert needles.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley says Broom has stalled his execution for years with appeals.

Broom's attorneys say Broom has important appeals still pending.
Alabama Death Row Inmate Tommy Arthur Pleads for Eighth Reprieve

 Seven times, Tommy Arthur has escaped death. With his eighth execution date less than a week away, he phoned from an Alabama prison to talk about the increasingly slim chance that his lethal injection will be called off yet again.

 "Until I take my last breath I'll have hope," Arthur, who has been on death row for almost 35 years, told NBC News on Friday. "I don't know how to quit. I don't know how to give up."

 He has the paperwork to prove it. Sentenced to death for a 1982 contract killing he insists he didn't commit, Arthur has filed a mountain of challenges, many of them successful -- at least in the short run.

 The U.S. Supreme Court halted his last scheduled execution six months ago but later declined to take up his case. More recent appeals have been rejected, and while Arthur's attorneys are continuing to fight, the prospects for another reprieve are growing dimmer.

 Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey last month shot down a request for new, enhanced DNA testing of a wig from the crime scene, which Arthur, 75, contends will prove that someone else is responsible for the murder of Troy Wicker. She's considering a request to test a hair he claims was collected.

 "There is evidence in the evidence box that can be and should be DNA tested and they are not doing it," he said. "I asked them, 'Please don't let Alabama kill me without testing it.'

 "Honest to goodness," said Arthur, who was found guilty by three different juries, "I did not commit this crime."

 Arthur's odyssey through the justice system began in 1977. That's when he was sentenced to life for fatally shooting his sister-in-law through the eye. He joined a work release program, and according to court records, began an affair with a married woman named Judy Wicker.

 By prosecutors' account, Wicker offered Arthur $10,000 to kill her husband, Troy. Arthur dressed up as a black man, in an Afro wig, and shot the sleeping man through his eye, prosecutors say.

 Arthur and Judy Wicker, who initially claimed a burglar raped her and killed her husband, were convicted at separate trials.

 But Arthur's first conviction was overturned because the court found details of the earlier killing were improperly disclosed during the trial. He was tried and convicted again, and that verdict was tossed over a statement he gave to police without a lawyer present.

 At Arthur's third trial in 1992, Judy Wicker testified and named him as the hitman for the first time; she was paroled soon after. Arthur was convicted and sentenced to death for a third time -- after telling the jury he wanted a capital sentence because, he said, it would give him better tools to appeal the verdict.

 The third conviction stuck -- and the Alabama Supreme Court set execution dates in 2001, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2016.

 Each time, they were postponed, once after a fellow inmate claimed in writing that he was the real killer, only to clam up on the stand during a hearing where Judy Wicker again swore Arthur was the gunman.

 Arthur is now the third longest-serving death-row inmate in Alabama, where the legislature just passed a measure that would hasten executions by speeding up appeals. He has several pending appeals that have to be resolved before his May 25 execution date.

 One challenges Alabama's lethal injection protocol, which uses the controversial sedative midazolam, on the grounds that it will cause suffering. It cites the December execution of Ronald Smith, who witnesses said heaved and coughed for 13 minutes and moved his arm during a consciousness check.

 "It's inevitable that I'm going to have some problems if they execute me," Arthur said.

 Another appeal attacks the state's former sentencing scheme, which allowed judges to overrule juries and impose death sentences and which the governor just overturned.

 Arthur, who has encyclopedic knowledge of his case, is most focused on another avenue: his quest to have the killer's wig subjected to a new type of DNA testing that could turn up genetic material that might have been missed by earlier tests.

 On April 26, the governor's counsel turned down that petition, saying it "merely recycles the same request and contention made by Arthur for more testing on a piece of evidence that has been shown to contain no DNA profile."

 Arthur said he doesn't understand the state's reluctance. "Why won't they let this testing take place? What would it hurt?" he asked.

 His lead attorney, Suhana Han, said that "neither a fingerprint nor a weapon nor any other physical evidence" links Arthur to the crime.

 "If the state executes Mr. Arthur on May 25 as planned, he will die without ever having had a meaningful opportunity to prove his innocence, an outcome that is inexcusable in a civilized society."

 An advocacy group called Victims of Crime and Leniency said the courts have given Arthur enough second chances over the last three decades.

 "He's Houdini," said Janette Grantham, the executive director. "He escapes and he escapes."

 She said that for many years, she had been in contact with Troy Wicker's sister, who showed up for several executions that were then called off at the last minute.

 "She died a couple of months ago so she won't make it to the final execution," Grantham said. "To me, that is very sad."

 However the courts rule, Arthur said, he does not plan to apply for clemency; in his view, it would amount to an admission of guilt.

 "I'm not interested," he said. "I could have pleaded guilty to this in 1982 and taken a straight life sentence but I'm not going to plead guilty to something I just didn't do."
Execution Date Set for Romell Broom

 The Ohio Supreme Court set a June 2020 execution date for Romell Broom, whose 2009 execution was halted after prison officials couldn't find suitable veins to carry the lethal injection.

 Broom, convicted in the rape and murder of a Cleveland teen, was reportedly struck at least 18 times over two hours before then-Gov. Ted Strickland granted a reprieve.

 Broom sued to block further execution attempts, but the Ohio Supreme Court paved the way for a new lethal injection date in a split decision more than a year ago.

 There are now more than 30 executions scheduled through 2021, though ongoing legal challenges have led to continued postponements in recent years as the state tries to find lethal injection drug supplies and convince the court that its execution protocols are constitutional.
AL sets execution time for Tommy Arthur

 ATMORE, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Corrections has set an execution time for Thomas Arthur. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. on May 25 at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

 Arthur, now 75, was convicted in the 1982 murder-for-hire of Troy Wicker of Muscle Shoals and sentenced to death.

 Arthur saw two trials end with overturned convictions before a third in 1990 reached a final guilty verdict. He asked the jury to sentence him to death, a move he thought would get him more time for appeals, though he has always maintained his innocence.

 Over the following decades, Arthur has sat on death row and seen seven execution dates come and go because of court-ordered temporary stays.

Recently, though, Arthur has suffered a string of legal defeats in his battle to avoid execution.

 In January the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a petition by Arthur and two other death row inmates challenging the constitutionality of Alabama's capital punishment sentencing law. In April, the Supreme Court again declined to hear his request to reconsider the appeal.

 In late April Gov. Kay Ivey rejected his request for additional DNA testing on evidence in the case.

I think this cat has finally run out of lives.   8)
Last words and such...

Ledford smiled broadly as witnesses entered the viewing area. When given a chance to make a final statement, he appeared to quote from the movie "Cool Hand Luke."  "What we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach," he said, later adding, "I am not the failure. You are the failure to communicate."  "You can kiss my white trash ass," he added, continuing to smile. As the warden exited the execution chamber at 1:09 a.m., Ledford began talking again, but the microphones had been turned off.

His last meal was filet mignon wrapped in bacon with pepper Jack cheese, large French fries, 10 chicken tenders with sauce, fried pork chop, bloomin' onion, pecan pie with vanilla ice cream, sherbet and Sprite.


Ledford was the 1st condemned murderer executed in Georgia this year and the 70th since executions resumed.
His was the 11th 2017 US execution and the 1453rd since 1976.

The skinny...

Ledford's 7:00 pm execution was delayed as SCOTUS considered his appeal.  It was denied shortly after midnight but since Georgia's death warrant is good for 7 days the lights went out at 1:17 AM EDT.

Up next...

Thomas Douglas Arthur is set for execution in Alabama on May 25 for the 1981 murder for hire of Troy Wicker.
Scheduled Executions / Re: J. W. Ledford - GA - 5/16/...
Last post by turboprinz - May 17, 2017, 02:22:10 PM
Georgia executes J.W. Ledford Jr. after stay denied by US Supreme Court
May 17, 2017

JACKSON, Ga. -- Georgia carried out its first execution of the year early on Wednesday, putting to death a man convicted of killing a 73-year-old neighbor in 1992.

J.W. Ledford Jr., 45, was pronounced dead at 1:17 a.m. at the state prison in Jackson, more than six hours after his initial execution time. The delay was waiting for a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his request for a stay.

He was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of Dr. Harry Johnston in Murray County, northwest Georgia.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles, which is the only authority in Georgia with the power to commute a death sentence, declined to spare Ledford's life.

Ledford told police he had gone to Johnston's home on Jan. 31, 1992, to ask for a ride to the grocery store. After the older man accused him of stealing and smacked him, Ledford pulled out a knife and stabbed Johnston to death, according to court filings. The pathologist who did the autopsy said Johnston suffered "one continuous or two slices to the neck" and bled to death.

After dragging Johnston's body to another part of Johnston's property and covering it up, Ledford went to Johnston's house with a knife and demanded money from Johnston's wife, according to court filings. He took money and four guns from the home, tied up Johnston's wife and left in Johnston's truck. He was arrested later that day.

Ledford told police he had a number of beers and smoked a couple joints in the hours before the killing.

Ledford's lawyers had asked the parole board to spare him, citing a rough childhood, substance abuse from an early age and his intellectual disability. After a hearing Monday, the board declined to grant clemency. Following its normal practice, the board did not give a reason for its denial.

Because of changes in brain chemistry caused by a drug Ledford has been taking for chronic nerve pain for more than a decade, there is a high risk that the pentobarbital Georgia plans to use to execute him will not render him unconscious and devoid of sensation or feeling, his lawyers wrote in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday. That would violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment enshrined in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the lawsuit says.

When challenging an execution method on those grounds, a U.S. Supreme Court precedent requires inmates to propose a known and available alternative. Ledford's lawyers, therefore, proposed that he be executed by firing squad, a method that is not allowed under Georgia law.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying Ledford's attorneys had failed to show that execution by pentobarbital would be "sure or very likely" to cause him extreme pain as required by U.S. Supreme Court precedent. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones also said the decision to wait until just a few days before his execution date to file the lawsuit suggested a stalling tactic.

Ledford's lawyers appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked that court to temporarily halt the execution. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit on Monday rejected that request. Ledford's attorneys have asked the full 11th Circuit to take up the case.

Ledford's lawyers had also asked a state court judge to halt the execution because he was only 20 and his brain wasn't done developing when he killed Johnston. Just as juvenile offenders are considered less culpable and not the "worst of the worst" for whom the death penalty is reserved, the execution of those under 21 is also unconstitutional, Ledford's lawyers argue.

A Butts County Superior Court judge rejected that petition, and Ledford's lawyers have appealed to the state Supreme Court. The Georgia Supreme Court, later Tuesday, rejected the appeal of the lower court refusal to stop the execution.

Ledford would be the first inmate executed this year in Georgia. The state executed nine inmates last year, more than any other state and the most Georgia had executed in a single calendar year since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume 40 years ago.

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