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Condemned child killer arrives at Lucasville prison for Wednesday execution

By Alan Johnson The Columbus Dispatch

Posted at 12:32 PM
Convicted child-killer Ronald Phillips has arrived at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville for his scheduled execution at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Phillips, 43, would be the first Ohioan executed in more than 3 1/2 years and the 54th since 1999. He was transferred this morning from the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

As his last meal, Phillips requested a large cheese, bell pepper and mushroom pizza, strawberry cheesecake, a two-liter bottle of Pepsi, a 10-ounce bottle of grape juice and piece of unleavened bread.

The latter two items would presumably be used to take religious communion in his cell in the prison Death House. Inmates are allowed to have anything they want for a last meal as long as it can be prepared at the prison.

Phillips was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1993 rape, beating and murder of three-year-old Sheila Marie Evans, the daughter of his then-girlfriend. His execution was postponed six previous times by the courts and Gov. John Kasich, partly because the state was unable to secure adequate lethal injection drugs.

It appears likely the execution will proceed. The state has a supply of drugs, Kasich has rejected clemency, and the U.S. Supreme Court is not expected to consider Phillips' case on appeal at the 11th hour.

The tentative witness list to watch Phillips' execution includes Renee Mundell, the deceased girl's half-sister, and John Evans and Donna Hudson, her aunt and uncle.

John Phillips, the condemned man's brother, will witness along with a chaplain and spiritual advisor.
The so called mother who let this maggot abuse her daughter rotted away from the inside out with cancer and died in prison.
And Ronny makes his last road trip...

Condemned killer arrives at death house ahead of execution

A condemned killer in Ohio has arrived at the death house ahead of his scheduled execution Wednesday with several requests for a delay pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A prisons department spokeswoman said Ronald Phillips arrived at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville at about 10:15 a.m. today. That's about 24 hours before he is set to die in Ohio's first execution in more than three years.

Phillips was convicted for the 1993 rape and killing of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron.

He has asked the high court for more time to appeal Ohio's lethal injection method. Fifteen pharmacology professors argued Monday a sedative used in the process is incapable of inducing unconsciousness.

Phillips also seeks a delay based on being 19 at the time of the killing.
No mercy for Ronald Phillips: Execution recommended for Akron child rapist and murderer

By Nick Glunt Beacon Journal staff writer
The Ohio Parole Board has recommended that Gov. John Kasich move forward with the execution of Ronald Phillips, an Akron man convicted of raping and murdering a 3-year-old girl.

Phillips' friends and attorneys sought mercy last week in Columbus. Phillips, 43, has been on death row since 1993.

He's scheduled to be the first man executed in Ohio since Dennis McGuire in 2014.

Phillips was convicted in 1993 of beating and raping his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter, Sheila Marie Evans, who died Jan. 18, 1993, of injuries from the violence. Her family urged the Parole Board to deny requests to let Phillips live.

But Phillips' supporters argued he has a life worth sparing. If spared from the death penalty, he vowed to become a chaplain serving his fellow inmates.

According to a clemency report filed with the governor's office on Friday, the Parole Board voted 10-2 to deny the request to spare his life. Kasich will have the final say on Phillips' fate.

Members of the board in favor of Phillips' execution said it was appropriate because Phillips' actions were "among the worst of the worst capital crimes."

The two who voted in favor of Phillips spending his life in prison questioned the reliability of some of the opinions offered by a medical examiner during Phillips' trial in 1993.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh agreed with the Parole Board's recommendation.

"Phillips brutally beat and assaulted Sheila Marie over several hours. She suffered for days before dying from her injuries," she said. "Phillips deserves the ultimate punishment for what he did."

Walsh noted that Friday's recommendation was the third time the Ohio Parole Board has advised Kasich to deny mercy for Phillips. She said she hopes Kasich agrees.

The recommendation from the Parole Board comes days after the Ohio Attorney General's Office denied an attempt to delay Phillips' execution. His attorneys sought a delay because of questions regarding a new lethal injection method.

Phillips is scheduled to die Jan. 12.

Arizona Death Penalty News / Re: Arizona Death Penalty News
Last post by jack313 - July 24, 2017, 07:58:52 PM
The article got it wrong. Texas doesn't have the largest death row. That dubious distinction would go to the great state of California.
Arizona Death Penalty News / Re: Arizona Death Penalty News
Last post by turboprinz - July 24, 2017, 06:21:12 PM
Condemned to Death -- And Solitary Confinement
Arizona is set to become the latest state to move away from automatic isolation for death row inmates.

Arizona death row inmate Scott Nordstrom lives alone in a room smaller than a parking space. He's allowed to leave his cell a few times each week to shower or exercise alone in a similarly-sized mesh cage and is forbidden from making physical contact with visitors from the outside.

But that is set to change this month as the Arizona Department of Corrections is expected to announce a major shift in housing for the state's 118 condemned inmates. Under current policy, death row inmates are automatically and indefinitely placed in solitary confinement until their execution dates, regardless of their behavior or risk to others. Soon, inmates with clear disciplinary records -- including Nordstrom -- will be moved to an area that allows for more out-of-cell time, visits in the same room with family and friends, outdoor group recreation and better job opportunities, according to a recent court settlement.

In 2015, Nordstrom, who was sentenced to death in 1998 for his role in six fatal shootings connected to a pair of robberies in Tucson, filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Arizona's death row conditions violated his constitutional rights. The state settled the suit in March and was given 120 days to institute a new policy, although no changes have been announced to date. Arizona corrections officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Arizona will become the latest of several states to lift restrictions on death row inmates. In recent years, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia have allowed condemned inmates to have more time out of their cells, and in some cases, eat meals and exercise with other inmates and hold jobs.

Still, the mandatory use of prolonged isolation for death row inmates is widespread in the U.S. Of the nation's 2,900 condemned inmates, 70 percent are automatically held alone in cells for more than 20 hours per day, according to a Marshall Project survey of state corrections officials. Sixty-five percent are held alone for more than 22 hours a day.

In Florida, where death row inmates are held alone in their cells for up to 23 hours a day, nine prisoners have filed a federal lawsuit challenging their housing conditions. A state corrections spokesperson said the department was reviewing the lawsuit.

Nordstrom's lawsuit argued that the mandatory use of solitary confinement on Arizona's death row violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. He also claimed that because the state didn't provide him with the chance to challenge his housing placement, his right to due process was infringed. The state's new policy "doesn't mandate softer treatment of death sentence inmates," said Sam Kooistra, staff counsel at the Arizona Capital Representation Project, which represented Nordstrom. "It just means they get treated more like non-death sentence inmates do."

Earlier this year at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, prison officials loosened the rules on death row one month before three condemned inmates filed a federal class action lawsuit claiming that conditions were in "severe denial of human fundamental needs." Starting in February, officials have allowed inmates four hours out of their cell per day -- two hours after breakfast and two after lunch -- as well as educational programming and group activities. Before, death row inmates were held alone in windowless cells for 23 hours per day and were allowed outside to exercise three times per week in unshaded "outdoor pens [that] resemble dog cages," the suit reads.

Louisiana Department of Corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick called the recent policy changes a "great success," saying there has been only one fight between condemned inmates since February.

Michael Taylor, a death row inmate who spent the past 16 years in solitary confinement at Angola, welcomed the new freedoms. "Emotionally, it was brutal. You lose a part of yourself -- your mannerisms being around another person," said Taylor, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in the 1999 shooting death of a Shreveport car salesman. "So far, it's been great just having fellowship, just being around people."

Betsy Ginsberg, one of the Angola inmates' lawyers, said the class action lawsuit will continue despite the recent improvements to ensure conditions are "constitutionally adequate, properly implemented, and permanent."

Virginia prison officials also lifted restrictions on death row in 2015 after a similar lawsuit. Condemned inmates now share an outdoor recreation unit, are allowed contact visits with approved visitors, and can congregate in small groups. Previously, condemned inmates spent about 23 hours a day alone in a small cell, were banned from recreation facilities used by other inmates, and were separated from visitors by a plexiglass wall. As in Louisiana, the Virginia death row inmates' suit continues because prison officials have not guaranteed that the previous policy will never be reinstated.

The use of solitary confinement has received increased scrutiny in recent years as mounting research points to its devastating impact on inmates' mental and physical health. One study found that those who spend time in solitary are seven times more likely to harm themselves than other inmates. In a 2015 opinion in a case involving a death row inmate, Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy raised concerns about the long-term use of solitary confinement, writing, "Years on end of near-total isolation exacts a terrible price."

On death row, many inmates languish in isolation for years, even decades, waiting for their execution dates through lengthy legal appeals and other delays.

In Texas, which has the largest death row in the country by far at 542 inmates, condemned prisoners spend up to 23 hours a day alone in an 8 x 12 foot cell with virtually no human contact or exposure to natural light. Some inmates are so desperate that several have even "volunteered" to be put to death -- they dropped their appeals in order to reach their execution date sooner, according to an April report from the University of Texas School of Law. The report concluded that the "harsh and inhumane" conditions on Texas' death row amount to a form of torture.

Until 1999, condemned inmates in Texas received treatment similar to other inmates. Prison officials instituted mandatory solitary confinement on death row after seven inmates attempted to escape their cells; one was successful.

Some corrections officials have defended the mandatory use of solitary confinement on death row as a necessary security measure to prevent escape attempts and to protect the prison from dangerous inmates who have little incentive to play by the rules. But inmate lawsuits have pointed to research showing that condemned inmates are no more violent than other prisoners.

Prison officials in at least two states that have ended automatic solitary on death row say the change in policy has improved security, if anything.

In North Carolina, which moved death row inmates into the general population more than a decade ago, officials say condemned inmates tend to have better behavioral records than other inmates, with rare incidents of violence, and that they have integrated well. "Part of the reason that works is that they are not isolated 23 hours each day," Kenneth Lassiter, the state director of prisons, told Yale researchers last year.

Similarly, in Missouri, two studies have shown that rates of prison violence went down after death row inmates were integrated into the general population more than 30 years ago. The state also reported a decrease in costs associated with death row housing.

Generally, holding inmates in solitary confinement is much more expensive than keeping them in the general population. In Illinois, for example, it costs $60,000 a year to house a prisoner in the state's only supermax facility compared to an average of $22,000 for inmates in other prisons, according to one estimate.

Other corrections officials remain convinced that the use of mandatory solitary confinement on death row is worth the cost. "Offenders on death row are individuals who have been convicted of heinous crimes and given the harshest sentence possible under the law," said Jason Clark, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said in an email. "TDCJ will continue to ensure it fulfills its mission of public safety and house death row offenders appropriately."
Stays of Execution / Re: Taichin Preyor - TX - 7/20...
Last post by turboprinz - July 24, 2017, 04:28:40 PM
as of "scheduled executions" TX TDC  --> 07/27/2017 executon date  --please move to the other forum
Texas Death Penalty News / TX Faces of Death Row - filter...
Last post by turboprinz - July 17, 2017, 08:51:31 PM

Here is a look at the 235 inmates currently on Texas' death row. Texas, which reinstated the death penalty in 1976, has the most active execution chamber in the nation. On average, these inmates have spent 14 years, 9 months on death row. Though 12 percent of the state's residents are black, 43 percent of death row inmates are.

Texas Death Penalty News / Re: Texas Death Penalty News
Last post by turboprinz - July 17, 2017, 08:46:43 PM
Texan on death row will face parole review instead of execution

For the second time in a week, a Texas death row inmate had his sentenced tossed out. Robert Campbell, 44, has been on death row for nearly 25 years in a Houston kidnapping and murder.
May 10, 2017

A Texas man on death row for almost 25 years will now face parole review instead of an execution date. The Texas Attorney General's office tossed a death sentence Wednesday for a long-serving occupant of Texas' death row in light of a March U.S. Supreme Court ruling on intellectual disability and capital punishment.

It was the second time in a week the sentence of one of the state's death row inmate's was reduced.

Robert James Campbell, 44, was convicted and sentenced to death for the January 1991 abduction and murder of Alejandra Rendon in Houston. Campbell kidnapped Rendon, a bank teller, from a gas station before raping and killing her, according to a statement from the Harris County District Attorney's Office on the change of sentence.

In a recent appeal, Campbell claimed that he was not eligible for the death penalty because he is intellectually disabled. Campbell's tested IQ was 69, according to a court advisory announcing the sentence change.

Also impacting Wednesday's decision was the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in March in favor of a Texas death row inmate, Bobby Moore, that invalidated the state's long-standing method of determining if a death-sentenced inmate was intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution. The ruling called into question multiple death sentences, some of which are decades old. (Moore's case is still winding through lower courts.)

After the state psychologist's review and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the Texas Attorney General's Office decided that pursuing the punishment "would not serve the interests of justice."

Now, Campbell will be resentenced to life in prison, which also means he will become immediately eligible for parole. In 1991, a punishment of life without parole did not exist in Texas, and parole became eligible after 15 years, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. But District Attorney Kim Ogg said she will file formal protests at any parole hearings and do everything in her power to keep Campbell in prison for the rest of his life.

"In unison with his victims and their families, we will do everything we can to see that he serves every second of his life sentence," Ogg said in a statement.

Rendon's family was disappointed in the change of sentence, but accepted the decisions made by Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a statement sent by Rendon's cousin, Israel Santana.

"We truly believe that justice would have been properly served with his execution ... At this point, we can only hope and pray that Robert James Campbell spends the rest of his living years behind bars, and himself seeks forgiveness from our God Almighty," Santana wrote.

Last week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacated the death sentence of Pedro Solis Sosa, who has lived on death row for more than 32 years. He will also become eligible for parole.
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