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Messages - Grinning Grim Reaper

on: October 08, 2015, 12:34:05 PM 1 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 11/6/15 - Stayed

Sure it worked but that doesn't concern the ANTIs.  There is no excuse for not getting the freaking drug protocol correct...any junior chemist know the difference between the anions chloride and acetate.  Potassium must be the deadly ion since both produced an execution.

on: October 06, 2015, 07:22:34 AM 2 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Juan Garcia - TX - 10/6/15

Texas to execute man for killing missionary in $8 robbery

By Associated Press

October 6, 2015 | 8:39am

HOUSTON — No late appeals have been filed on behalf of a Texas inmate convicted of killing another man in a robbery in Houston that yielded just $8.

Juan Martin Garcia’s execution is scheduled for Tuesday. He was convicted of capital murder for the September 1998 killing and robbery of Hugh Solano, a Christian missionary from Mexico who had moved his family to the city just weeks earlier so his children could be educated in the U.S.

Garcia, who acknowledges shooting Solano and is linked to a string of aggravated robberies and two attempted murders, insists he has been unfairly penalized because he didn’t take the witness stand in his own defense at trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review Garcia’s case in March. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a 5-2 vote, refused a clemency request from Garcia last week.

“If it’s God’s will, it’s his will,” Garcia, 35, told The Associated Press last month from inside a cage at a prison near Livingston.

His lethal injection in Huntsville would be the 11th this year in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state. Three more executions are scheduled in upcoming weeks.

on: October 02, 2015, 02:28:49 PM 3 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Alfredo Rolando Prieto - VA - 10/1/2015 - Executed

The execution of Alfredo Prieto: Witnessing a serial killer’s final moments

By Tom Jackman October 2 at 5:37 AM    

JARRATT, Va. — It is undeniably disturbing to drive to the scheduled killing of another. A hurricane brewing in the distance, slicing steady rain through the gray day. The first song on the car radio: “Enter Sandman,” by Metallica. Passing the old Lorton prison on the way out of Fairfax County.

But the state of Virginia handles the execution of convicted murderers in a precise and professional way. Similarly, serial killer Alfredo R. Prieto lived the final moments of his life with his own version of professionalism, maintaining the same passive look he held through his three long trials in Fairfax, and defiantly refusing to show any remorse or regret as he issued a rehearsed final statement similar to a pro athlete being interviewed after a game. He thanked his “supporters” and then snapped, “Get it over with.”  They did.  :D :P :-\ ;D

He entered the death chamber at 8:52 p.m. Thursday, and was dead by 9:17 p.m. A diverse crowd of witnesses watched every moment intently, some in the chamber with him, some victims’ family members and friends in a room peering through one-way glass, and then about 18 more people — lawyers, corrections officials, and four reporters including me — facing him straight on from another room. We watched what appeared to be an utterly painless death for a man who brutally killed nine people and devastated nine families, and here is how it unfolded:

3 p.m.: Six hours before Prieto’s scheduled execution, there is a court order in place postponing it, and no one knows whether the execution will happen. In Richmond, lawyers are arguing about whether the first drug used in Virginia’s lethal injection process will cause undue pain to Prieto. When they are done, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson doesn’t immediately issue a ruling. The execution remains in limbo.

At Greensville Correctional Center in southern Virginia, visitor logs show that Prieto is visited by his mother, Teodora Alvarado, his sister Yolanda Loucel, his brother Guillermo Prieto, all from Pomona, Calif.; and a Catholic prison chaplain, the Rev. Richard Mooney from Petersburg. It’s not clear whether Prieto’s family stayed for the execution. Mooney would come in and take a seat in the main witness room minutes before the execution started, but would not say whether Prieto asked to be absolved of his sins.

6 p.m.: Judge Hudson lifts the stay on the execution, ruling that Prieto’s lawyers had not shown that the drug pentobarbital would cause him pain. One of the lawyers who argued his case in Richmond, Elizabeth Peiffer, also joins us in the witness room, sitting next to Mooney.

7 p.m.: Various groups arrive at the prison in Jarratt, Va., just off Interstate 95 and 20 miles north of the North Carolina line. Deidre and Matt Raver, the sister and brother of 22-year-old murder victim Rachael Raver, are present as is Velda Jefferson, the mother of 24-year-old murder victim Tina Jefferson. Several relatives and family friends join them. No relatives of the five people slain by Prieto in California are present, though they are following the news online.

 Woodruff Yvette Woodruff, who was 15 when she was abducted, raped and murdered by Prieto in 1990. He was sentenced to death in California for Woodruff’s murder. (Courtesy Stephanie Jette)

Also arriving is Ray Morrogh, the Fairfax County prosecutor who co-chaired the first Prieto trial with then Fairfax prosecutor Robert Horan, along with his chief deputy Casey Lingan, who assisted in the second and third Prieto trials. They are joined by retired Detective Bob Murphy, who was a Fairfax cold case detective in 2005 when the word came in that a DNA hit on two unsolved homicides from 1988 had linked a prisoner in California — Prieto — to the deaths of Raver, her boyfriend Warren Fulton, and Jefferson. Morrogh and Lingan take seats in the front row along with the jury foreman from the second Prieto trial, who wanted to express his support for the victims but did not want to be identified. They will sit about six feet from Prieto, as they did at the trials, when Prieto wore high-collared shirts to hide his gang tattoos, and hid his shackled ankles under a tablecloth spread over the defense table.

8 p.m.: Of the four media witnesses, Frank Green of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Brent Epperson of WBRG radio in Lynchburg are veterans of the process, having seen multiple executions. They are joined by Alanna Durkin of the AP, seeing her first, and me, having witnessed one previous lethal injection in Missouri. We are given a briefing of how things are expected to go. We are told that Prieto had a final meal but asked that its contents not be revealed. It is noted that he can only request food available from the prison kitchen, no steaks or extravagances from the outside.

As we take vans from one building to another, the rain keeps pounding down, and the night gets progressively gloomier. As is usual on an execution night in most prisons, the general population, which is more than 3,000 here, is on lockdown, so the ambient racket is minimal. Guards in rain gear are everywhere, and everyone’s movements are closely tracked by radio traffic. There is chatter about the arrival of the secretary of public safety, former assistant Arlington prosecutor Brian Moran. He will join us soon in the witness room.

8:45 p.m.: We are led to the witness room, about 15 feet wide with four tiered levels of plastic chairs facing a large pane of glass. Beyond that, the death chamber, and an empty white gurney with supports jutting out on either side for the patient’s arms. We have been told that Prieto is in a cell adjacent to the death chamber. Morrogh, Lingan and the jury foreman are in the front row. A big sign above the glass window declares, “Media Must Be Seated in Rear of the Room.” So we are.

8:50 p.m.: A thick, anxious silence fills the room. We are all staring at the empty gurney. The electric chair is apparently nearby, and ready, but Prieto chose lethal injection.

8:53 p.m.: Prieto emerges from his cell, handcuffed and shackled, surrounded by six guards. He is somewhat heavier than when we last saw him in Fairfax in 2010, and his hair is thinner. He is wearing glasses, a blue work shirt, blue work pants and sandals with no socks. The guards lift him on to the gurney, remove the cuffs, and then place two leather straps across his chest, two more straps across his legs, one around each ankle, and then strap down each hand.

  Left: Warren H. Fulton III, 22, was found shot to death outside Reston on Dec. 6, 1988. Right: Veronica Lynn “Tina” Jefferson, 24, was found raped and shot to death in Arlington on May 11, 1988. (Family photo/Arlington Police Department)

8:55 p.m.: A curtain in front of our window is closed so that medical personnel cannot be seen placing intravenous tubes into each arm and a heart monitor on his chest.

9:03 p.m.: The curtain is still closed. Moran receives word that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an appeal of Judge Hudson’s ruling from 6 p.m.

9:07 p.m.: The curtain is still closed. It’s been 12 minutes. Is something wrong? Can they not find a vein? I look at Frank Green. He shakes his head knowingly. This is standard. Mooney is reading his Bible. The silence is suffocating.

9:08 p.m.: The curtain opens. Prieto’s arms are extended onto the supports, IV tubes in both forearms. A prison official asks if he has any last words and holds a microphone down to him. He is fully strapped down, but raises his head slightly to say quickly: “I would like to say thanks to all my lawyers, all my supporters and all my family members. Get this over with.” We can’t hear the last part because the audio in our room is unclear, but prison officials taped it and listened to it several times to get it exactly right.

9:09 p.m.: Prieto lies back, and there is no more sound. His face is emotionless, not sad or fearful or angry. The only movement is his chest heaving. He is presumably receiving the dose of compounded pentobarbital, blamed in the extended pain episodes experienced by inmates elsewhere. Now it is really quiet.

9:12 p.m.: A guard stands by Prieto’s head, watching his chest still moving. There are two more guards to Prieto’s right, and three correctional officials standing by a wall to his left, including Harold W. Clarke, the state director of the Department of Corrections. Clarke is holding a red phone connected to the governor’s office, but he is not talking. No one is talking. We are watching for any sign of life. Or death.

9:13 p.m.: A guard moves to Prieto’s feet, takes off his sandals and pinches Prieto’s feet. We learned in the Richmond hearing that this is done to see if the first drug has effectively sedated the prisoner. Prieto doesn’t move. The pentobarbital has made him unconscious without incident.

9:15 p.m.: Prieto does not appear to be breathing. He should have received a second drug to stop his lungs, and then a third drug to stop his heart.

9:17 p.m.: Warden Eddie L. Pearson emerges from a curtain behind Prieto and announces, “The Fairfax County court order has been carried out at 9:17 p.m.” Prieto is dead.

9:18 p.m.: The curtain closes. We are soon ushered out.

9:50 p.m.: Prieto’s body is taken by ambulance to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond. He is gone.

I first met Dede Raver in 2000, 12 years after her sister was killed in Reston. A DNA match had been made with Tina Jefferson’s slaying in Arlington, but there was still no suspect. Raver would become active in pushing for more funding for DNA use in crime fighting, and now it is everywhere. And now, her sister’s killer had been caught, convicted and put to death.

“To me, the whole thing is so surreal,” she said late Thursday night. “It’s lasted so long, it’s hard to believe it’s come to an end.”

 Stacey Siegrist, believed abducted, raped and shot to death by Alfredo Prieto in Rubidoux, Calif., in May 1990. (Courtesy CSA FD) Stacey Siegrist, believed abducted, raped and shot to death by Alfredo Prieto in Rubidoux, Calif., in May 1990, when she was 19. (Courtesy CSA FD)

She said of Prieto: “I did not see any emotion in him. It kind of haunts me because I kind of know that’s the expression my sister saw. I found it absolutely disturbing.” She did not expect him to apologize or offer condolences. “But I’m glad that I went,” she said, “because my mother really wanted to. [Veronica Raver, who attended all three Prieto trials in Fairfax despite suffering from stomach cancer, died in 2013.] So I did it on her behalf.”

It was Ray Morrogh’s third time witnessing an execution, which he felt was only right as a prosecutor who sometimes seeks the death penalty. “I thought Prieto died a much easier death than any of his victims,” he said. “He passed very quietly. The way he was administered the lethal injection and went to sleep, I’ve seen family and friends struggle to the last heartbeat. His death was a lot easier than those women who begged for their lives.”

From the back row, Prieto’s death was the culmination of a sad 15-year journey, starting with speaking to the Ravers and the Jeffersons when their daughters’ cases were first linked in 2000. Then in 2005, I learned from excited cold case detectives Murphy and Steve Milefsky that they had a break in the unsolved 17-year-old double killing. Prieto would soon enter Virginia as he would leave it, in cuffs.

 Alfredo R. Prieto, convicted of two murders in Northern Virginia and one in California, is scheduled to be executed Thursday night at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va. (Virginia Department of Corrections) Alfredo R. Prieto (Virginia Department of Corrections)

In 2006, I waited outside Fairfax police headquarters for Prieto to arrive from California late one night, and asked him, “How will you plead?” He looked at me and said without missing a beat, “Not guilty.” I sat with the Ravers, Fultons and Jeffersons through three long, painful capital murder trials from 2007 to 2010. Not once did Prieto rise to proclaim his own innocence or deny the charges, though he had two of Virginia’s best defense attorneys, Peter Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro, raising mental deficiency and every other argument in hopes of saving his life. I once filed my own motion to get a camera in the courtroom, horrifying Post lawyers, which Judge Randy I. Bellows graciously allowed me to argue. (Denied.) I took one last shot and wrote to Prieto last month asking for an interview. (No reply.)

But Morrogh and countless others are right that the muted process of lethal injection seems disproportionate to the violent horror that brought us here. The clinical professionalism of the execution is the government’s compromise between those who would stage public hangings and those who would abolish the death penalty. In the end, as with most compromises, neither side feels truly satisfied.

on: September 30, 2015, 02:47:40 PM 4 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 11/6/15 Another New Date

Really.  What is the Governor thinking/doing?  She is playing right into the anti's/saving Glosspi's butt peeps. 


Earlier on I complimented Fallin as being a hard ass...turns out she is just an ordinary politician.

on: September 30, 2015, 01:48:39 PM 5 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 9/30/15

Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Oklahoma Execution of Richard Glossip

by Tracy Connor

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to stop the execution of Richard Glossip, whose case drew a call for mercy from Pope Francis.

The justices weighed in just minutes before Glossip was scheduled to be put to death for the 1997 murder of his boss, Barry Van Treese.

On Tuesday, the pope had tried to convince Georgia's parole board to halt another execution, the lethal injection of Kelly Anne Gissendaner, who was put to death hours later while singing "Amazing Grace."

That intervention came just days after he wrapped up his first visit to the United States, where called for a global ban on the death penalty in a speech to Congress.

The pope is batting 0 for 2 in butting into US business.  8)

on: September 30, 2015, 11:34:45 AM 6 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Alfredo Rolando Prieto - VA - 10/1/2015

3 murder victims’ families prepare for Alfredo Prieto’s execution

By Tom Jackman September 29 at 7:58 PM    

After 27 years, the families of Tina Jefferson and Rachael A. Raver still clearly remember where they were when they learned that their loved ones had been killed: Velma Jefferson was at work in Lawton, Okla., when a family friend unexpectedly appeared with news about her daughter. Deidre Raver was in a neighbor’s car in Yorktown, N.Y., when she learned that her missing sister’s body had been found.

“I just screamed,” Raver said. “It’s like your body isn’t prepared for something like that.”

Now they are steeling themselves for one more unforgettable moment: the execution of the murderer, Alfredo R. Prieto, on Thursday night.

Tina Jefferson, a 24-year-old CIA financial analyst from Oklahoma, was living in Arlington when she was raped and shot to death behind an elementary school there in May 1988. Raver, 22, had just graduated from George Washington University, and her new boyfriend, Warren H. Fulton III, also 22, was a senior there when they were shot in the back in a vacant lot outside Reston in December 1988. Investigators believe that Raver was raped as she lay dying.

It was the beginning of a horrific rampage by Prieto, now 49, who is linked by ballistics to a fourth slaying in Northern Virginia: Manuel F. Sermeno, 27, was found shot to death in a burning car on Interstate 95 in Prince William County in 1989, according to law enforcement authorities. Prieto then returned to California, where he apparently killed five more people before being captured in September 1990 — a total of nine murders and four rapes in a two-year period, police in both states say.

“If there ever was a human being for whom capital punishment makes sense,” Robert F. Horan Jr., the former Fairfax commonwealth’s attorney, said Tuesday, “it’s this guy.” After DNA unexpectedly connected Prieto to the unsolved Virginia killings, Horan decided in 2005 to put Prieto on trial in Fairfax even though he already had a death sentence in California.

Prieto has not spoken publicly about any of his crimes. He never spoke to investigators in California or Virginia. He did not testify at his trials. He refused even to answer a question from prison officials recently about whether he preferred death by lethal injection or electrocution, a corrections spokeswoman said. By default under Virginia law, he will receive a lethal injection.

But at his fourth and final trial, in Fairfax in 2010, Prieto stood and answered questions from a judge about whether he was cooperating with the prosecution’s mental health expert after his defense, in two prior trials, posited that his client was mentally retarded.

In clear English, with the jury out of the nearly empty courtroom, he told Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows he “spoke to [the expert] about a variety of issues. Some of the questions I could not answer, under the Fifth Amendment. I have a right to remain silent. He asked me some questions about my state of mind. What I said was, I was using a lot of drugs. I was drinking. I gave him a lot of answers.”

The jury heard from the prosecution expert, then voted for two death sentences, which Bellows imposed in December 2010.

If Prieto is executed Thursday at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va., his state and federal appeals processes will have been completed in under five years. A request for a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court is pending.

That does not seem like a short amount of time to the families of the three Northern Virginia victims, who endured three long trials between 2007 and 2010. Some of the family members did not survive. Rachael Raver’s mother, Veronica, struggled through stomach cancer and chemotherapy and traveled from Yorktown to Fairfax for all three trials. As Prieto was being led out of the Fairfax courtroom for the last time, Veronica Raver hissed at him: “Hey, Prieto — does your mother know you rape dying dead girls?”

In the hallway afterward, she said she did not expect to be around for Prieto’s execution but that she’d “be there in spirit.”

Veronica Raver died in 2013.

Tina Jefferson’s father, Henry Jefferson, died in April 2007, weeks before Prieto’s first trial. He was a Vietnam veteran and a career soldier who never stopped pushing for an answer to his daughter’s death. “I broke down and started crying” after Arlington County police told him that Prieto had been identified through DNA, he told The Washington Post in 2005. “For a 62-year-old man, that’s something.”

Tina was an honors student and a basketball player in high school who served as a resident assistant and president of her sorority at Oklahoma State University. She was last seen at a Giant grocery in Baileys Crossroads at 9:30 p.m. on May 10, 1988, although a witness saw her red Camaro in Arlington not long after that. Her body was found at 2 a.m. the next day behind McKinley Elementary School, and her car was back in the Giant parking lot.

No one knows how or where she might have crossed paths with Prieto, but his semen was found on her body, authorities said.

“She was a kindhearted, loving, very outgoing person,” her mother said. “And that probably was the cause of her demise.”

Raver was a varsity soccer player who graduated from George Washington University in May 1988 with an education degree. She was living in Alexandria, working as a secretary there and planning to apply for law school, when she met Fulton in the summer of 1988. “She was a clean-cut kid,” said her brother Matthew Raver. “She would not hurt a fly.”

Fulton was a senior at George Washington, living with his parents in Vienna while they helped run the local chapter of the Salvation Army. On the night of Dec. 3, 1988, Raver went to their home for dinner. Then the young couple went to a Christmas party in Arlington and finally to Mister Days, a sports bar in the District. They had planned to attend church with Fulton’s parents the next morning.

They did not come home. It is not known where they might have encountered Prieto, although autopsies showed that they ate food not long before their deaths. Their bodies were found in a lot off Hunter Mill Road on Dec. 6, 1988.

“He was a gorgeous, wonderful, talented young man,” Fulton’s father, Warren Fulton Jr., told a jury in 2008. “Twenty-two years of work and sacrifice and hopes and dreams, and suddenly it’s over.”

After the slayings of Jefferson, Raver and Fulton in 1988, Prieto moved to Manassas, not far from where Sermeno was found dead in September 1989. In February 1990, Prieto returned to California, trial testimony showed.

In May 1990, Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Tony Gianuzzi, 21, were abducted and shot to death in Rubidoux, Calif. The next month, Lula and Herbert Farley, 71 and 65, respectively, were abducted and shot to death in Ontario, Calif. Prieto was connected by DNA to the first double killings and by ballistics to the second set, California authorities said.

Finally, in September 1990, Prieto and two other men abducted three women from a rival gang’s party and raped them, according to court testimony. Prieto shot 15-year-old Yvette Woodruff in the head, according to testimony, and the other women were stabbed but not killed. The survivors identified their attackers, the two accomplices were convicted, and Prieto was finally arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. His accomplices were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

on: September 30, 2015, 11:20:03 AM 7 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 9/30/15 New Date Temp Stay

Pope Francis Tries to Stop Richard Glossip's Oklahoma Execution

by Tracy Connor

Pope Francis, who was not able to stop a Georgia woman's execution, has asked for a reprieve for an Oklahoma man headed for the death chamber Wednesday afternoon.

Richard Glossip, whose supporters include "Dead Man Walking" nun Helen Prejean and actress Susan Sarandon, is due to be put to death at 3 p.m. CT if his appeals are rejected. He insists that he is innocent in the 1997 murder of his boss, Barry Van Treese.

In a letter to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin dated Sept. 21, the pope's representative asked her to commute Glossip's death sentence, saying that would "give clearer witness to the value and dignity of every person's life."

A spokeswoman for Fallin said she does not have the authority to commute the sentence. The letter was also sent to the state parole board.

On Tuesday, the pope tried to convince Georgia's parole board to halt another execution, the lethal injection of Kelly Anne Gissendaner, who was put to death hours later while singing "Amazing Grace."

That intervention came just days after he wrapped up his first visit to the United States, where called for a global ban on the death penalty in a speech to Congress.

The son of the victim in Glossip's case called the papal letter "interesting" but said he believes the death penalty actually saves lives.

"I believe that if the death penalty was a more frequently used method it would in turn lessen heinous crimes simply because no one wants to die before their time," Daniel Van Treese wrote in a message to NBC News.

"If people feared the reproductions of their actions, they would presumably take different actions."

It was unclear if the pontiff's request would have any effect on Glossip's situation. He had an appeal pending with the U.S. Supreme Court as the clock ticked down.

Glossip's execution has been stayed three times before, including last winter when the Supreme Court agreed to hear his challenge to Oklahoma's lethal-injection drugs. The justices eventually upheld the state's protocol.

Just two weeks ago, Glossip was hours away from being escorted to the execution chamber when a state appeals court halted the process so it could consider his claim that new evidence shows he is innocent.

Glossip's conviction hinged largely on the testimony of the man who actually carried out the 1997 bludgeoning murder of his boss. That man, Justin Sneed, is serving a life sentence.

The defense says it has witnesses who back up their claim that Sneed acted alone, and that the state has tried to intimidate those witnesses by hitting them with probation violations.

Van Treese's family says they have no doubt that Glossip was involved in the murder to cover up a $10,000 embezzlement.

The Catholic clergy just keeps "butting in."   :-\

on: September 30, 2015, 10:18:31 AM 8 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 9/30/15

All the media outlets are blaring that Glossip's ambulance chasers have gone to SCOTUS but there is nothing new about him on the USSC website.

on: September 16, 2015, 06:11:46 AM 9 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 9/16/15

Gov. Fallin rejects request to delay Richard Glossip's execution

OKLAHOMA CITY —Gov. Mary Fallin responded to requests from Richard Glossip's defense attorneys to delay his execution by 60 days.

Fallin released the following statement:

“For months, and as part of a larger publicity campaign opposing the death penalty, Richard Glossip’s attorneys have been publicly claiming to have new evidence that exonerates their client. During that time, my office and I have urged them to bring that so-called evidence to the proper venue: a court of law. Not only have Glossip’s lawyers not done so, but they have actively rejected requests from public officials to examine whatever materials they have. His attorneys even refused to share the contact information of so-called ‘new witnesses’ with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and with my office.

“Yesterday, forty-eight hours before Glossip’s scheduled execution, his attorneys presented my office with a binder of what they have labeled ‘new evidence.’ After reviewing it with my legal team, we have determined the vast majority of the limited content they have presented is not new; furthermore, we find none of the material to be credible evidence of Richard Glossip’s innocence. After carefully reviewing the facts of this case multiple times, I see no reason to cast doubt on the guilty verdict reached by the jury or to delay Glossip’s sentence of death. For that reason I am rejecting his request for a stay of execution.

“Nevertheless, I join our district attorney in urging Glossip’s legal team to present whatever information they have to a court of law. Courts, unlike my office, have the legal authority to grant an indefinite stay of execution or a retrial. Courts are the proper venue to present new information or evidence, and the attorneys representing Glossip have a moral and ethical duty to file legal documents and make their case in front of a judge.

“In the event that a court refuses to issue a stay, Richard Glossip will be executed tomorrow. I hope the execution brings a sense of closure and peace to the Van Treese family, who has suffered greatly because of Glossip’s crimes.”

Glossip, speaking from his death row cell, said he was surprised the governor didn't grant a stay, in light of the new evidence his attorneys presented Monday, but is saying he's not giving up.

Read more:

on: September 08, 2015, 07:33:58 AM 10 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Eugene Glossip - OK - 9/16/15

Richard Glossip case: Here's the story of his victim

A motel manager scheduled for execution was convicted of arranging for his boss to be killed.


Richard Glossip: “I have to ask, ‘How does murdering another innocent man make things better?’” the death row inmate wrote.

Full statement from Barry Van Treese family

The Van Treese family released a statement to the Tulsa World ahead of Richard Glossip's Sept. 16 execution:

Over these many years our family has endured all manner of pain as a result of the death of Barry. The Van Treese family knows with absolute certainty the State of Oklahoma has provided the opportunity for justice to be served in this case. The death penalty in Oklahoma is reserved for the most heinous crimes. Two juries who heard all of the testimony agreed this case warranted the death penalty for Richard Glossip. Numerous courts have reviewed the facts of this case and have determined Richard Glossip's case warrants the death penalty. To ensure Richard Glossip received a fair judgement, he was given a second trial where he was represented by a legal team with decades of experience. The facts and testimony of the case have been proven in two trials and reviewed by every possible court all the way to include the US Supreme Court. And, finally, as the law provides in these types of cases, the Pardon and Parole board extensively reviewed the case, talked with and questioned Glossip, and voted unanimously against clemency.

Execution of Richard Glossip will not bring Barry back or lessen the empty hole left in the lives of those who loved Barry. What it does provide is a sense that justice has been served.

We have a right as a family and as citizens of the United States of America to expect justice to be served. Would not you feel the same if this was your loved one?

Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:00 am |  Updated: 12:14 am, Tue Sep 8, 2015.   

By SAMANTHA VICENT World Staff Writer

In January 1997, Richard Glossip was living with his girlfriend at the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City, where he worked as a manager for one of the two motels owned by Barry Van Treese.
Van Treese and his wife, Donna Van Treese, audited their business in late December 1996 and discovered that more than $6,000 was missing from the Oklahoma City books, according to court records. Wondering whether Glossip had a hand in the discrepancy, Barry Van Treese told day desk manager Billye Hooper things “needed to be taken care of,” which Hooper took to be a reference to Glossip’s management despite not knowing for sure that money was missing.
Oklahoma County prosecutors said Glossip told Justin Sneed, a maintenance worker at the motel, that if Barry Van Treese inspected the rooms and saw that work hadn’t been done inside them, they both would be fired. Sneed was not a paid employee but was able to stay in one of the rooms in exchange for his services.

So when Glossip reportedly offered Sneed $10,000 to kill their boss on the night of Jan. 6, 1997, police said Sneed — who they alleged was “totally dependent” on Glossip due to his work arrangement — listened.

Sneed confessed to entering Room 102 using a master key and hitting Barry Van Treese with a bat before throwing him to the floor and hitting him “10 or 15” times. The motel owner gave Sneed a black eye, and photos of both men’s injuries were included in a packet of papers requesting that Glossip be granted clemency from a death sentence in the case. The effort was denied in October.

Sneed is serving a life sentence without parole for his role in the murder after pleading guilty and testifying against Glossip, who was convicted of first-degree murder with the added stipulation that his former boss was killed for remuneration. Glossip was sentenced to death Aug. 14, 1998.

His conviction was overturned on appeal, and another jury found him guilty on Aug. 27, 2004, and returned the same sentence. Since then, Glossip has taken his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court without success.

He is scheduled to die by lethal injection Sept. 16 following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that the use of midazolam in executions is constitutional.

But hundreds of thousands of people, led by well-known anti-death-penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean and actress Susan Sarandon, are calling on Gov. Mary Fallin to stay his execution.

Van Treese family feels his loss every day

Barry Van Treese’s sister, Alana Mileto, and her family watched Prejean and Sarandon appear on a Monday broadcast of the “Dr. Phil” show, where they presented their case for Glossip’s innocence.

The women believe there is evidence that was never presented in court that casts doubt on his guilt, and they point to a letter they said was written by Sneed’s daughter, O’Ryan Justine Sneed, in advance of Glossip’s October clemency hearing.

Sneed’s daughter has not spoken to media about the case or confirmed publicly that she wrote the letter, which wasn’t received in time for the hearing but which states that Justin Sneed is considering recanting his testimony but fears being sentenced to death himself.

A statement from Van Treese’s family sent to the Tulsa World by Mileto says the “Dr. Phil” segment was “very one-sided.” Van Treese was a “fun-loving” father and husband, and his family feels his loss every day, according to the statement, which further describes him as an honorable businessman who expected honesty and accountability from his employees.

“Over these many years our family has endured all manner of pain as a result of the death of Barry,” Mileto said in a separate statement. “The Van Treese family knows with absolute certainty the State of Oklahoma has provided the opportunity for justice to be served in this case. … We have a right as a family and as citizens of the United States of America to expect justice to be served.”

During the television show, Sarandon choked up while reading a statement from Glossip in which he continued to maintain his innocence. For his part, Sneed wrote a letter to a former Tulsa World reporter in which he discussed his and Glossip’s involvement in the crime.

Sneed was described by the state as having limited intellectual ability and a child-like demeanor, which prosecutors said put him in a good position to be dependent on Glossip.

“I have to ask, ‘How does murdering another innocent man make things better?’” Glossip wrote. “I also have a family who should not have to suffer through that. They should not have to see their father, their brother, their uncle killed. That is not justice.”

He also said the fight for his life extends to others on death row who were wrongfully convicted.

“I hope and pray my eventual exoneration will help others and that this country will finally realize just how broken our system is and how easy it is to make mistakes,” Glossip said. “If my execution ensured no other innocent man was sent to the death chamber, I am prepared to die for that cause. I have never been in trouble with the law in my life. … I was a good citizen and always tried to help others. Now I have gone from doing everything right to fighting (for) my life.”

Prejean held a press conference in Oklahoma City on Thursday and presented about 270,000 signatures requesting a stay of Glossip’s execution to Fallin’s office.

Plans to cover up death thwarted by police

Once the deed was finished early Jan. 7, 1997, Sneed said, he told Glossip what he had done and Glossip told him to drive Van Treese’s car, which had about $4,000 inside, to a nearby parking lot. By this point, Donna Van Treese was concerned about her husband because she had not heard from him and called the motel to ask when he was last seen.

“My sister and an uncle who live in Oklahoma City were on property at the motel within a short time joining the search for Barry,” Mileto said. “We later learned Glossip knew exactly where Barry was. His dead body was still lying beneath the bedding in Room 102. The room where he was beaten to death.”

In that room, Sneed said, he and Glossip took money from their boss’s wallet, put a shower curtain over a broken window and covered the body. The story for the broken window would be that it was broken during a fight, and they would use chemicals and a saw to clean the mess.

“They turned the air conditioner on high, broke the key off in the door, then left,” Mileto said. “Glossip made arrangements for the morning housekeeping crew to clean other rooms.”

Oklahoma City police officers were eventually called after Barry Van Treese’s car was found at a nearby credit union, and after hearing what they said were conflicting statements from Glossip, they searched Room 102 themselves.

The motel was described as being in “deplorable” condition, and police said only half of the rooms were habitable. Donna Van Treese testified that her husband was not as involved in motel operations in his last six months of life because her mother and her husband’s mother had both died recently, which led to the facility’s falling into disrepair.

Officers found Barry Van Treese’s body around 10 p.m. Jan. 7, and Sneed was already gone. Glossip was questioned and released and began making plans to leave town but was detained before he could do so.

“We are enormously thankful Barry’s body was discovered before their plan to dispose of it using the hacksaw, muriatic acid and trash bags was carried out,” Mileto said. “Many families of victims do not have this closure.”

In Glossip’s 2005 appeal to the state, the court stated that there was evidence that connected him with the commission of the crime. The court additionally found that he lied about Van Treese’s whereabouts and Sneed’s part in the murder because he felt like he “was involved in it.”

“He admitted knowing Sneed killed Van Treese in room 102,” the appeal states. “He knew about the broken glass. However, he never told anyone that he thought Sneed was involved in the murder until after he was taken into custody that night, after Van Treese’s body was found.”

State intends to carry out death sentence

Fallin’s office has repeatedly emphasized that Glossip has had multiple opportunities in court to prove his innocence and that two juries and several appeals court judges have determined his guilt. Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said Thursday that Sarandon and Prejean are fighting a public relations campaign and should take evidence to a judge, as Fallin does not have the power to indefinitely stay an execution.

“They can order new trials,” he said of judges. “The governor can’t. They are not doing that because they have no new evidence.”

Barry Van Treese’s uncle, Boyce Bowdon, who lives in Oklahoma City, wrote a statement commending Fallin for the “wisdom and courage to stand strong against the pressures of crusaders against the death penalty.” He also called for the end of the continuing focus on his family’s heartbreak.

“Governor Fallin recognizes that the issue before her is not whether the death penalty is barbaric and should be eliminated,” Bowdon said.

“The issue is whether a man who has been given every opportunity provided by our legal system should be given another 60 days to do what his attorneys could not do in nearly two decades. … Talk shows, Hollywood, and petition campaigns should not be allowed to undermine the authority given by our Constitution to our courts.”

Mileto said she believes that Glossip is guilty and deserves the death penalty.

“Execution of Richard Glossip will not bring Barry back or lessen the empty hole left in the lives of those who loved Barry,” she said. “What it does provide is a sense that justice has been served.”

on: August 25, 2015, 12:07:19 PM 11 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Bernardo Tercero - TX - 8/26/15

At this point Tercero has filed no last minute appeals...perhaps he is counting on the Nicaraguan Consulate to ride to the rescue.  ;D

on: August 24, 2015, 07:20:43 AM 12 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Bernardo Tercero - TX - 8/26/15

Media Advisory: Bernardo Aban Tercero Scheduled for Execution

Monday, August 24, 2015 – Austin, Texas

AUSTIN – Pursuant to a court order by the 232nd District Court of Harris County, Bernardo Aban Tercero is scheduled for execution after 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26, 2015.

In October 2000, a Harris County jury found Tercero guilty of murdering Robert Berger during the course of committing an aggravated robbery.  Below is a summary of the evidence presented at trial.


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals summarized the evidence of guilt in its opinion on direct appeal:

On March 31, 1997, Robert Berger and his young daughter entered the Park Avenue Cleaners near closing time.  At about the same time, Ricardo Toruno unlocked the back door of the cleaners to take the trash out to the dumpster.  On Toruno’s way back inside, one of [Tercero]’s accomplices put a gun to Toruno’s head and accompanied him through the door. [Tercero] then entered the cleaners and proceeded to the front of the store.  Michelle Johnson, the manager of the cleaners, testified that [Tercero] said something to Berger, but that Berger did not respond. [Tercero] grabbed Berger by the arm and pushed him back.  Berger attempted to get away from [Tercero], but [Tercero] shot him in the back of the head, and he fell to the ground.  At some point, one of the robbers demanded money.  Thereafter, [Tercero] and his co-defendant, each carrying a cash drawer, fled through the back door of the cleaners.

[Tercero] testified that he and Marisol Lima lived together.  When they began having economic difficulties, Marisol told [Tercero] that he could easily get money from the dry cleaners where she and her sister both worked. [Tercero] and Marisol’s sister, Idalia, met and discussed how to commit such a robbery. [Tercero] and the two women “cased” the dry cleaners the day before the robbery and devised a pager code so Idalia could page [Tercero] and his accomplice when there were no customers in the shop.  He testified that when he pulled out his gun in the dry cleaners, waved it in the air, and asked for money, Mr. Berger began to advance on him.  The two began struggling and “the gun went off.”

After escaping from the dry cleaners with the money from the cash drawers, [Tercero] stayed with another woman, Sylvia Cotera, that evening.  He later told her that he had shot someone during a robbery because the person did not have any money and that made him mad.  He also told her that he shot the person because he was afraid that the man had seen his face and could identify him.  He then threatened to burn Ms. Cotera’s apartment if she said anything.

Tercero v. State, No. 73,992, slip op. at 2-3 (Tex. Crim. App. Sept. 18, 2002).


In addition to the calculated planning and commission of the robbery, the cold-blooded nature of the murder, and Tercero’s callous explanation to Sylvia Cotera, the State also presented evidence during the punishment phase of trial of several armed offenses Tercero subsequently committed while hiding in his home country of Nicaragua after the murder.  Through the testimony of several witnesses, the jury learned that Tercero robbed three men at gunpoint in Nicaragua, shot one victim and kidnapped his four-year-old son, and shot at police officers who pursued him.


On November 20, 1997, a Harris County grand jury indicted Tercero for the capital murder of Robert Berger committed during the course of a robbery.

On October 16, 2000, a Harris County jury convicted Tercero of capital murder.  After a separate punishment proceeding, the same jury sentenced Tercero to death on October 20, 2000.

On September 18, 2002, Tercero’s conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on direct appeal.  Tercero did not appeal the state court’s decision to the United States Supreme Court.

On May 18, 2002, Tercero filed an application for state habeas corpus relief, and later filed an amended pro se petition alleging an additional five grounds for relief on November 29, 2004.

On November 16, 2005, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief on Tercero’s first state habeas petition.  The court also found that Tercero’s supplemental pro se petition was a subsequent application under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 11.071  § 5, and dismissed the additional five claims as an abuse of the writ.

On October 24, 2006, Tercero filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.  On November 10, 2006, appointed counsel filed an amended federal petition adopting the issues raised in the pro se petition as well as asserting several other claims for the first time.

On March 31, 2008, the federal court stayed the case to allow Tercero to present his unexhausted claims to the state court for the first time.

On May 5, 2008, Tercero returned to state court and filed a successive state habeas application raising only one of his previously unexhausted claims.  After granting Tercero leave to proceed with his successive application and remanding to the trial court for a determination, the Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the lower court’s recommendation and denied relief on March 3, 2010.   

On July 14, 2010, Tercero returned to federal court and filed a second amended petition that adopted his earlier claims.  After further briefing was received, the district court ultimately denied Tercero’s request for federal habeas relief on February 7, 2013.

On May 28, 2013, Tercero appealed the district court’s decision to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On December 18, 2013, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision and denied Tercero’s request for a certificate of appealability (COA) in a published opinion.

Tercero filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on March 17, 2014.  The Supreme Court denied review on June 30, 2014.

On May 19, 2015, the 232nd state district court issued an order setting Tercero’s execution date for August 26, 2015.

on: August 21, 2015, 11:35:42 AM 13 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Bernardo Tercero - TX - 8/26/15

And sure enough...

Friends and supporters of Nicaraguan citizen Bernardo Tercero rallied outside of the Nicaraguan Consulate to encourage the consul general to intensify efforts to stop Tercero’s August 26 execution in Huntsville, Texas. “We are here to urge the Honorable Samuel Trejos, consul general of Nicaragua in Houston, to step up and defend his fellow countryman, Bernardo Tercero, before any more injustices take place,” said Tercero’s friend Luz Alvarez.

Death penalty opponents protested outside Nicaraguan Consulate in Houston as well.

The activists raised with the media the many troubling issues in Tercero’s case that must be settled before Texas carries out this execution. Media coverage was extensive, including a TV station from Nicaragua as well as local Houston stations and La Semana and the Houston Chronicle newspapers.

Go ahead, rally and protest...Texas doesn't give a rat's ass.  8)

on: August 21, 2015, 08:26:48 AM 14 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Benjamin Robert Cole - OK - 10/7/15

Death row inmate convicted of killing daughter denied clemency

Benjamin Robert Cole, who was convicted of the 2002 murder of his 9-month-old daughter, was denied clemency by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Thursday by a vote of 3 to 2.

by Graham Lee Brewer   Published: August 20, 2015 

A man who was convicted of the 2002 murder of his 9-month-old daughter was denied clemency on Thursday by the state Pardon and Parole Board.

Benjamin Robert Cole, 50, did not speak before the board at his clemency hearing, declining to appear via video from the state penitentiary in McAlester. Cole confessed to causing the death of his daughter, Brianna Cole, by forcefully flipping the infant's legs toward her head in 2002 in Claremore, causing her spine to sever.

Attorneys representing Cole told board members he suffered from brain lesions and severe mental illness, which has increased significantly since his incarceration. They urged board members to give Gov. Mary Fallin an opportunity to review Cole's case before he is executed.

It is wrong to kill mentally ill people. It is uncivilized, and it is inhumane," said Susan Otto, a federal public defender representing Cole.

"And it is the governor’s prerogative to make that decision. That’s all we’re asking for you to do is allow the governor to exercise her constitutional duty and make that decision.”

“What this is about is nothing less than the dignity of man, the dignity of our societies, humanitarianism, basic decency," said federal public defender Thomas Hird.

Without the board's recommendation, Fallin can only delay Cole's execution for 60 days and would be unable to stop it. His lethal injection is scheduled for Oct. 7.

The Oklahoma Attorney General's office argued Cole was found competent to stand trial and noted recent instances were Cole was interviewed and found to be responsive and able to answer questions, contrary to his defense attorneys' assertions that he had gone from delusional to near catatonic and was physically wasting away from lack of movement.

Dignity, decency and humanitarianism...for a POS that snapped his 9 month old daughters spine?  I think not ambulance chaser!

on: August 20, 2015, 09:03:46 AM 15 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Bernardo Tercero - TX - 8/26/15

On March 31, 1997, two men, Bernardo Tercero and Jorge Becencil Gonzales, forced their way through the back door of a dry cleaning establishment.  Gonzales held the employees at gunpoint while Tercero went to the front of the store and demanded money. 

Robert Berger, who was there with his three year old daughter, approached Tercero.  The two became physical and Robert was shot.  He died from his injuries.  Tercero and Gonzales fled.  Tercero went to Florida, while Gonzales left the country.

Tercero eventually fled to Nicaragua, where he is alleged to have been involved in a series of violent crimes, including robberies, shootings, and a kidnapping.  Tercero was extradited to the United States upon request.

Bernardo Tercero has two conflicting birth certificates.  One alleges that he was under 18 at the time of crime, making him ineligible for the death penalty.  Bernardo alleges that this is his correct birth certificate.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

This discrepancy has been the focus of many appeals, non of which have been successful.  His attorney is also asking for a stay of execution to allow further litigation.

I believe this will be the 15th foreign national executed by the state of Texas.  The howls from the world court and Nicaraguan counsel should start up shortly.  8)
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