First Federal Execution in Washington?

Started by Peter, June 01, 2007, 10:12:18 PM

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WASHINGTON - A man described as an enforcer in a violent Washington drug gang was convicted Friday in connection with four murders, including two that could send him to death row.

Larry Gooch was found guilty of several federal murder charges and, most seriously, committing two murders in connection with a racketeering organization. That organization, authorities said, was the M Street Crew drug gang.

The District of Columbia has no death penalty but Gooch could be put to death under federal law. He would be the first person executed in the district under federal law since the U.S. reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Lawyers must now argue whether he is eligible to be executed based on his intent and other factors. If jurors says he is, they must then decide whether to put Gooch to death. That process could take another two months.

Gooch was convicted in the Aug. 1, 2000, shooting deaths of Christopher Lane, 19, and William Cunningham, 27, as well as the Feb. 21, 2003, fatal shootings of Calvin Cooper, 40, and his girlfriend, Yolanda Miller, 32.

Three men identified by prosecutors as leaders of the M Street gang already are serving life sentences in the case. Gooch is the only defendant facing the death penalty.


I think he would Be executed in Terra Haute.


I think he would Be executed in Terra Haute.

I believe that would be correct. In that the District of Columbia neither has the death penalty nor an execution chamber; then most likely the execution would take place at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.

When the District of Columbia did have a death penalty back as late as the early 1960s, several executions were carried out in the D.C. Jail. If I understand correctly, persons who are convicted of crimes in the District of Columbia courts system are most oftentimes incarcerated at the federal correctional facility at Loring, Va. The D.C. government has a contract with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to incarcertate inmates who are serving sentences longer than one year. If someone in the District receives a sentence of one year or less, then I do believe that person would be locked up in the D.C. Jail.

I'm not sure of the particulars though. I'm sure someone on this board will probably enlighten us.

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