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on: May 14, 2015, 01:41:43 PM 1 Off Topic / Off Topic- News / Re: R'UH RO RAGGY!!!!

And another in the category of too stupid to live...

Mississippi Subway employee fired after celebrating Hattiesburg police deaths on Facebook

Published May 12, 2015 Associated Press

LAUREL, Miss. –  A Mississippi Subway restaurant employee has been fired after posting a photo on Facebook that showed her in uniform celebrating the killing of two police officers in Hattiesburg.

Multiple news outlets report Sierra McCurdy, who worked at a Subway in Laurel, wrote "GOT EM" in reference to the Hattiesburg officers on a post accompanied by emojis of a handgun over a photo of herself in a Subway uniform. The post apparently referred to the fatal shootings of 34-year-old Benjamin Deen and 25-year-old Liquori Tate on Saturday. Four people were arrested for the crime and one faces capital murder charges.

McCurdy's posts created a firestorm on Twitter and many urged Subway to fire her.

Subway responded with a tweet saying the franchise had fired McCurdy and her behavior does not represent company values.

on: May 13, 2015, 06:04:03 AM 2 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Derrick Dewayne Charles - TX - 5/12/15 - Executed

Last words and such...

His last statement was, "I'm ready to go home."

For his last meal Derrick Charles ate baked chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, carrots, black eyed peas and bread with tea to drink.


Charles was the 7th condemned murderer executed by Texas this year and the 525th since executions resumed.
His was the 14th 2015 US execution and the 1408th since 1976.

The skinny...

Unlike the two previous Texas executions that had no last minute appeals, Charles rode a litany of petitions through the courts.  Among others, his claims of mental retardation and ineffectiveness of counsel fell on deaf ears...lights out.

on: May 12, 2015, 05:29:31 PM 3 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Derrick Dewayne Charles - TX - 5/12/15

Texas Executes Derrick Charles, Triple Killer Who Claimed Incompetence


A Texas man who killed his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend, her mother and her grandfather was executed Tuesday evening, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule that he was mentally incompetent.

Derrick Charles was the seventh person put to death in Texas this year, at a time when lethal injections are on hold in several states around the nation.

His last statement was, "I'm ready to go home," and Charles was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m. CT, according to officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Charles, 32, confessed and pleaded guilty to the 2002 triple slaying, telling police how he struggled to strangle teenager Myeshia Bennett and told her, "I guess you don't want to die" — then bashed her in the face with a stereo speaker and dropped a TV on her head. He also admitted sexually abusing Bennett's mother as she was dying.

In petitions filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, Charles' lawyers argued that he suffered from mental illness that dates to childhood and should have been exempt from execution. They said that Texas courts did not provide him with an attorney or other services that would have helped him raise an incompetency claim.

In response, Texas said there was no evidence that Charles suffered from severe mental illness or that he did not understand why he was being executed.

on: April 20, 2015, 01:07:04 PM 4 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Richard Vasquez - TX - 4/23/15

Media Advisory: Richard Vasquez scheduled for execution

AUSTIN – Pursuant to an order of the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas, Richard Vasquez is scheduled for execution after 6:00 p.m. on April 23, 2015.

In June 1999, a Nueces County jury found Vasquez guilty of capital murder for the March 5, 1998, killing of Miranda Lopez, a child under the age of six.


The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas described the murder of Miranda Lopez as follows:

During the guilt/innocence stage, the evidence showed that at the time of the offense, Vasquez, who was eighteen years old, was living with his parents; his girlfriend, Brenda Lopez; their four-month-old child, Meagan; and Brenda’s four-year-old child, Miranda. Vasquez had a serious addiction to heroin and cocaine which had begun when he was thirteen. Although his parents made numerous efforts to help him with his drug problem, Vasquez remained clean only for a short period of time and invariably reverted to his drug use.

By March 1998, Vasquez and Brenda had become so addicted to drugs that, according to Vasquez, they stopped caring about themselves, the children, or anything else except drugs. They would leave the children anywhere so that they could go out and steal things to sell in order to buy more drugs. Vasquez would become infuriated when the drugs ran out and he did not have any more money to feed his habit.

According to Vasquez, he and Brenda argued throughout the night of March 4th, during which time he injected himself with heroin and cocaine before falling asleep in the early morning hours of March 5th. Vasquez injected himself with heroin again at 10:30 a.m. before taking Brenda to work between 11 a.m. and noon. Vasquez drove Brenda to work while the children sat in the back seat of the car. On the way, Vasquez got angry with Brenda because he had to watch the children and would not be able to go steal more things to sell for drugs.

After Vasquez and the children returned home, sometime during the late morning, Vasquez’s neighbor saw a child Miranda’s age playing in the backyard. After about 10–15 minutes, she heard a loud, angry voice coming from Vasquez’s door. She saw Vasquez standing there and heard him say to the girl in Spanish, “You’re going to get it, stupid.” Vasquez denied that this incident ever occurred.

According to Vasquez’s testimony at trial, after he dropped Brenda off, he and the children returned home and Vasquez needed a fix. He called Brenda to ask her where the heroin was and Brenda would not tell him. This angered Vasquez and although Vasquez acknowledged that Miranda was not doing anything wrong, he struck her in the head. He could not say how many times he hit her. He then called Brenda again who told him where the drugs were and he injected another round of heroin. He told Miranda to go get a stool from his parents’ room and brush her teeth. When Miranda came back with the stool, Vasquez claimed that Miranda fell down. He put toothpaste on her toothbrush and left the room. When he came back, Miranda was face down in the sink. He repeatedly tried to make her stand, but she kept falling down. He then put her on his parents’ bed and called “911” around 1:30 p.m., telling the dispatcher that Miranda was choking.

When the deputy constable and the emergency medical technicians arrived at the house, Vasquez said that Miranda had fallen off a wooden stool and hit her head. No wooden stool was in the area, although one was later found next to the bed where Vasquez placed Miranda. Miranda had blood on her nose and mouth which Vasquez claimed was a result of Miranda biting him when he put his fingers in her mouth to prevent her from swallowing her tongue. The paramedics also noted that Miranda had a bump on the back of her head, noticeable bruises of various stages on her back, and bruising around her eyes which indicated a possible head injury. Miranda was taken to the hospital. In the meantime, Vasquez called Brenda and told her that Miranda had fallen off a stool and hit her head. He picked up Brenda at work and they headed to the hospital – both injecting heroin on the way.

It was determined by Dr. Michael Burke, a pediatric neurosurgeon who performed brain surgery on Miranda, that Miranda suffered from trauma to the head. He testified that her brain injuries were equivalent to those she would have sustained had she been ejected from a car traveling 65 m.p.h. Burke’s final diagnosis was that Miranda suffered severe brain injury from child abuse. Leann Box, a sexual assault nurse, examined Miranda at 7 p.m. and noted that she had extensive bruising on her head, face, chest, hips, pelvic region, genitalia area, ankle, thigh, shoulder, back, and arms. Some of these bruises were formed from injuries made within the previous twelve to twenty-four hours. The bruising on Miranda’s hips were consistent with injuries that could be caused from being held from behind while being sexually assaulted.

Box also performed a detailed genital exam. Miranda had multiple abrasions and tears in her genital-anal region. Many of the tears were the result of injuries that had occurred no more than twelve hours earlier. Miranda had a two-centimeter tear […] that was approximately one-half-centimeter deep (just short of muscle tissue). In over 200 sexual assault examinations, Box had never seen a tear this thick. This type of tear would be caused from a great deal of force and would have likely bled a great deal. Box testified that the tear was not bloody when she examined Miranda which led her to believe that it had been cleaned. Although extremely painful, rubbing alcohol and pressure could have stopped the bleeding.

Vasquez was arrested and crime scene technicians photographed him, noting the bruising on his hand, fresh cuts to his thumb and finger, and needle marks on his arms. At Vasquez’s home officers and the crime scene technicians found blood on the wall and shower curtain in the bathroom where Miranda allegedly fell. There was a bottle of rubbing alcohol on a night stand and the bed next to it was damp. A child’s blood stained t-shirt and coveralls were found in a clothes hamper, which Vasquez’s father said he put there after finding them in the house. After searching the garage, the crime scene personnel found two syringes, the cap to a tube of toothpaste, a hair brush, a long black hair, toilet paper with blood on it, and tissue paper that appeared to be saturated with rubbing alcohol inside of a garbage can in a plastic bag. Vasquez’s father testified that he had taken the trash out of the bathroom and put it in the garbage can.

A pediatrician who helped establish a clinic for examining sexual assault victims testified as an expert witness. He summarized his findings by stating in his twenty years of practice, “This is really one of the most severe sexual assaults I have seen in my career.” Additionally, the Nueces County Medical Examiner testified that an analysis of Miranda’s blood indicated a potentially lethal amount of cocaine in her system. It was double the lethal amount for an adult. The doctor could not determine how the cocaine got into Miranda’s body.

Vasquez could not explain the bruising, genital-anal injuries, or the cocaine. He denied sexually assaulting Miranda or giving her drugs. But Vasquez did admit that he was the only adult in the house that morning and that he had struck Miranda in the head.


Under Texas law, the rules of evidence prevent certain prior criminal acts from being presented to a jury during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. However, once a defendant is found guilty, jurors are presented with information about the defendant’s prior criminal conduct during the second phase of the trial – which is when they determine the defendant’s punishment.

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas described the punishment evidence as follows:

[D]uring the punishment phase, the State put on evidence that Vasquez had been verbally abusive and a discipline problem in school. Although the principal spoke with Vasquez’s parents, the situation did not change. In another incident, Vasquez set a fire in an area of the school that had only one entrance and no windows. Additionally, Vasquez had been convicted of theft and burglary of a motor vehicle and had two theft cases pending at the time of trial. Vasquez’s former probation officer testified that Vasquez failed to report, failed to comply with other conditions of his probation, and generally had a very poor attitude concerning his probation. Vasquez also consistently denied that he had a drug problem.

Rita Hunter, Miranda’s pre-school teacher, also testified at punishment that one time when Vasquez came early to pick up Miranda, he closed the classroom door and prevented Miranda from exiting. When Hunter managed to open the door, Vasquez put his hand on her shoulder and began rubbing it down her back. When Hunter told Vasquez to get away, Vasquez began following Hunter around the room in front of her young students, laughing and putting his hands all over her body, including on her chest and between her legs. Eventually he pushed Hunter to the ground and straddled her. Only when a janitor happened to walk by did Vasquez get off of Hunter and leave with Miranda.


On March 26, 1998, Vasquez was indicted in Nueces County, Texas for the capital murder of Miranda Lopez. Vasquez was found guilty of capital murder on June 18, 1999, by a Nueces County jury and, after a separate punishment hearing, Vasquez was sentenced to death on June 22, 1999.

On Oct. 3, 2001, Vasquez’s capital murder conviction was affirmed by the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas on direct appeal.

Vasquez filed his first state habeas application on June 27, 2001, which the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas denied on Jan. 26, 2005.

Vasquez filed his second state habeas application on March 27, 2003, which the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas dismissed as a subsequent application on Jan. 26, 2005.

On Jan. 26, 2006, Vasquez filed a federal habeas petition in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. Relief was denied on March 28, 2008.

On Aug. 11, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of federal habeas relief.

On May 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States denied Vasquez’s petition for writ of certiorari from the Fifth Circuit’s decision.

On Aug. 28, 2014, the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas, set Vasquez’s execution for Jan. 15, 2015.

On Dec. 30, 2014, the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas, re-set Vasquez’s execution for April 23, 2015.

on: April 17, 2015, 12:02:02 PM 5 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Robert Lynn Pruett - TX - 5/21/14

What a charming family!!!!!

It's tough to beat the Texas Mays family...Randall is under sentence of death and he had three brothers, one was executed by the state of TX, one was shot dead by police while committing a crime and one overdosed.

on: April 15, 2015, 02:22:35 PM 6 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Manuel Garza - TX - 4/15/15

Cop killer: 'I made my peace with God'

Posted TODAY, 1:15 PM

By Paul Venema

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - San Antonio police officer John Anthony “Rocky” Riojas was shot and killed in February 2001 while trying to arrest Manuel Garza, 20, following a foot chase. Riojas had approached Garza and asked for identification and Garza ran.

“I ran, that’s where I messed up,” Garza said during an interview from Death Row with KSAT 12 News reporter Paul Venema just two weeks before Garza's scheduled execution.

Garza told how the two struggled as Riojas tried to arrest him.

“He pulled his weapon and in the struggle, he’s trying to get it back and I’m trying to keep it away, and it fired,” Garza said.

Garza was convicted in October 2002 of capital murder and sentenced to death. He is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night.

Garza said he feels no remorse calling the shooting “an accident.”

“To have remorse you have to kill somebody, and I don’t think I did that,” he said.  “I think you have to have the intent and want to kill somebody to have remorse.”

SAPD Sgt. Javier Salazar, who worked with Riojas, said that Garza did not kill “just somebody.”  Salazar said he killed a man whom Salazar called “a cop’s cop.”

“Rocky was just all out when it came to being a cop and fighting crime,” Salazar said.  “He was what I would call a silent professional.”

Garza said although he still feels that Riojas' death was an accident, he has accepted his fate.

“I try not to ponder it too much,” he said.  “I made my peace with God many years ago.”

I guess a bigger question would be has God made his peace with Garza...he will find out soon.

on: April 15, 2015, 11:55:38 AM 7 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / Re: Admin Time2prtee...Lee

Welcome back TIME...and thank you for all the housekeeping on the threads!



on: April 15, 2015, 06:04:49 AM 8 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Andre Cole - MO - 04/14/2015 - EXECUTED

Last words and such...

Cole made no final statement.

He refused a last meal and ate turkey and bologna sandwiches, cookies and fruit punch.


Cole was the 3rd condemned murderer executed in Missouri this year and the 83rd since executions resumed.
His was the 12th 2015 US execution and the 1406th since 1976.

The skinny...

For the 3rd time in the past year US District (so called) Judge Catherine Perry issued a last minute stay...and as before the 8th Circuit bitch slapped her and Cole received his well deserved hot shot.

on: April 10, 2015, 08:21:01 AM 9 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Andre Cole - MO - 04/14/2015

Missouri Supreme Court: Andre Cole competent to be executed

April 9, 2015 by Mike Lear

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected the claim that a man scheduled to be executed next week is not competent to be executed.

Andre Cole is scheduled to die Tuesday evening by lethal injection for the 1998 stabbing death of a friend of his ex-wife’s. Cole’s lawyers offered the findings of a psychiatrist that Cole is depressed and has symptoms of psychosis, specifically delusions that keep him from understanding why he would be executed.  ;D

The Court found that he is competent, in part, by reviewing audio recordings of telephone conversations in which it says Cole demonstrated that he understands his sentence and the reason for it.  :P

Cole’s lawyers still have multiple avenues to attempt to delay or halt his execution. It is scheduled to take place between 6 p.m. April 14 and 5:59 p.m. April 15 at the prison in Bonne Terre.

Cole was convicted of stabbing Anthony Curtis 21 times, after going to confront his ex-wife about the back child support he owed to her. He then attacked his ex-wife, Terri, stabbing her repeatedly, but she survived.

on: April 08, 2015, 10:13:01 AM 10 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Kent William Sprouse - TX - 4/9/15

Texas Parole Board denies Ferris man convicted of killing 2 in 2002

Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 9:37 am |  Updated: 11:20 am, Wed Apr 8, 2015.   

By Shelly Conlon Daily Light Digital News Editor 

Kent Sprouse has been denied a 180-day reprieve from being executed less than two days before his expected death.
Sprouse, convicted of killing a Ferris police officer and another man on Oct. 6, 2002, was denied the reprieve late Tuesday afternoon. He’s expected to be executed near 6 p.m. Thursday in Huntsville, more than 150 miles southeast of Dallas, by lethal injection. The process is expected to take 15 to 30 minutes.

The 180-day Reprieve of Execution and Commutation of Death Sentence to Lesser Penalty request has to be recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to the govoerner, said Raymond Estrada, spokesperson for the board.

“Pursuant to the Texas Constitution and state law, the board makes recommendations to the Governor,” Estrada stated via email. “In this case, the board did not recommend the Governor grant a 180-day reprieve or commutation of sentence.”

Sprouse, who was a Ferris resident, was found guilty of killing a Ferris police officer Harry Steinfeldt, and Pedro Moreno in 2004 and sentenced to death by lethal injection.

In 2002, according to court documents, Sprouse entered a convenience store with a shotgun hung over his shoulder, and after returning to his vehicle, fired the gun in the direction of two men, documents stated.

A nearby customer saw Sprouse working on his vehicle, and Moreno filling his truck with gas. Sprouse tried to speak to Moreno, and when Moreno didn’t respond, Sprouse reached into his vehicle, pulled out a gun and killed Moreno, court documents stated.

Steinfeldt responded to the shooting, and as he turned toward Sprouse’s vehicle, Sprouse shot him twice, according to documents. Steinfeldt returned fire, but died from his injuries. A second officer on scene took Sprouse into custody, reports stated. Sprouse was then transported to a nearby hospital, where a doctor’s testing revealed he had consumed amphetamines, methamphetamines and cannabis within 48 hours of the double homicide, reports stated.

Sprouse has lost several appeals since his sentencing and has declined to comment as of press time.

Sprouse will be the fifth execution for the State of Texas this year, and is expected to be the 523rd since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. He was also expected to receive the last dose of lethal injection drugs during a shortage, where the state had six executions scheduled during the next three months and only enough of the drug for on execution. As of March 25, according to an article by the Washington Post, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice “had obtained another batch of pentobarbital, the drug used in lethal injections there since 2012.”

on: March 26, 2015, 08:12:50 AM 11 General Death Penalty / Scheduled Executions / Re: Lester Bower, Jr. - TX - 6/3/15

Bower's execution date set in June

Posted: Wed 5:01 PM, Mar 25, 2015
Lester Bower has a new execution date for June 3. This is the seventh time Bower's execution date has been set.

Monday, the Supreme Court denied an appeal from Bower. He was scheduled to be executed on February 10 but it was put on hold five days earlier.

Grayson County District Clerk Kelly Ashmore confirmed she signed the death warrant ordered by Judge Jim Fallin.

Bower has been on death row for more than 30 years after being convicted for the slayings of Jerry Brown, Bob Tate, Philip Good, and Ronald Mayes in 1983 in a Grayson County airplane hanger.

on: March 26, 2015, 06:42:26 AM 12 General Death Penalty / Texas Death Penalty News / Re: Texas Death Penalty News

Texas obtains more lethal injection drugs

By Mark Berman March 25 at 6:19 PM    

Texas, the country’s leading death-penalty state, was facing a bit of a quandary recently: Authorities there have six executions scheduled over the next three months, but they only had only enough lethal injection drugs to carry out one of them. And they were not sure what to do when they ran out. Would they postpone the other executions? Try to find a new lethal injection drug, as so many other states have done amid a shortage of execution drugs?

The state will have a little longer to figure that out. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Wednesday that it had obtained another batch of pentobarbital, the drug used in lethal injections there since 2012.

This comes a little more than two weeks before the state’s next scheduled execution, which is set for April 9. That is the first of four executions set for April, with lethal injections also on the calendar in May and June.

“We continue to explore all options including the continued used of pentobarbital or alternate drugs to use in the lethal injection process,” Jason Clark, a spokesman for the department, said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Clark said that the state bought the drugs from “a licensed pharmacy that has the ability to compound,” but he declined to answer additional questions about the pharmacy. He had previously pointed to a lawsuit filed against the Department of Criminal Justice in order to force it to reveal the name of the compounding pharmacy that had supplied the state with lethal injection drugs.

Good old just can't keep a good state down.   8)

on: March 23, 2015, 08:48:38 AM 13 General Death Penalty / Scheduled Executions / Re: Lester Bower, Jr. - TX - 2/10/15 - Stayed

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal of Texas inmate who has been on death row for 30 years

By Mark Berman March 23 at 11:25 AM    

The Supreme Court said Monday it would not hear an appeal from an inmate who has been on death row in Texas for nearly three decades. This decision lifts a stay that has been in place since last month and opens the door for Texas to schedule and try to carry out an execution of one of its longest-serving death row inmates.

Lester Bower, 67, was convicted of shooting and killing four men in an aircraft hangar in 1983. He shot one man while trying to steal an ultralight plane this man was trying to sell, then shot the other three when they unexpectedly arrived, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Bower’s long tenure on death row was among the reasons his attorneys argued he should be eligible for a stay. They say that his execution has been scheduled six times since he arrived on death row, and he has come within hours of heading to the death chamber before.

“Executing Mr. Bower after he has served on death row for more than 30 years under these circumstances serves no penological purpose and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment,” his attorneys wrote in a filing to the Supreme Court.

Last month, five days before Bower’s scheduled lethal injection in Texas, the full Supreme Court granted his request for a stay while it considered whether to hear his case. No explanation was offered, but the court’s order said that if the justices decided not to hear the case, the stay would be lifted.

The court’s decision Monday not to hear the case comes weeks before the justices are scheduled to consider a different case involving capital punishment. The justices are going to hear a case focusing on Oklahoma’s lethal-injection procedure, which relies upon a controversial drug that has been involved in problematic executions. Executions in Oklahoma, Florida and Alabama have been delayed until after the court rules in that case.

After the court said it would not hear the case after all, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in a dissent that he disagreed with the decision. Breyer, who was joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, argued that the court should hear it because of an issue involving sentencing in Bower’s case. When Bower was convicted, the jury helping decide his sentence did not consider potentially mitigating evidence, something the Supreme Court later said was unconstitutional. As a result, Beyer says this should allow for a new sentencing hearing for Bower.

“I recognize that we do not often intervene only to correct a case-specific legal error,” Breyer wrote. “But the error here is glaring, and its consequence may well be death.”

If Bower had been executed last month as scheduled, he would have been the oldest inmate executed in Texas history, according to the state’s Department of Criminal Justice. As it is, he has already spent three times as many years on death row as the average inmate in the state. The average death-row inmate nationwide has spent about 14 years under a death sentence, Justice Department figures show.

Texas state officials argued against granting Bower a reprieve, saying that because Bower has been fighting his looming execution in the courts for so long, his lengthy tenure on row “is purely of his own making.”

“Bower’s claims are nothing more than a meritless attempt to postpone his execution,” the office of Ken Paxton, attorney general of Texas, said in a filing to the Supreme Court opposing a stay. “The families of the victims of Bower’s quadruple murder have been waiting to see Bower’s sentence carried out for over thirty years now.”

However, it is unclear when Bower may face the death chamber. Texas has half a dozen executions scheduled over the next three months and only one dose of its lethal injection drug left. As a result, if the state carries out its scheduled execution of Kent Sprouse on April 9, it will have no execution drugs left and five other executions on the calendar. States around the country are facing a shortage of lethal injection drugs, which has fragmented the way executions are carried out nationwide.

on: March 19, 2015, 11:47:10 AM 14 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Randall Wayne Mays - TX - 3/18/15 - Stayed

Henderson Co. DA responds to Randall Mays stay of execution

 HENDERSON COUNTY, TEXAS (KETK) — On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals placed a stay on the March 18 execution of an East Texas man.

 According to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark, the execution of Randall Mays, 55, was halted after the court ruled additional review of his mental competency is needed. Mays was sentenced to death for killing two peace officers May 17, 2007. The convict barricaded himself in a Henderson County home after neighbors reported hearing gunfire. He then used a high-powered rifle to shoot at authorities and fatally shot Tony Ogburn. He also killed another deputy, Paul Habelt, and critically injured one other.

On Tuesday, the Henderson County District Attorney's Office released the following response to the stay of execution:

Yesterday’s order by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin (CCA) is disappointing for the family and friends of Paul, Tony and Kevin, as well as the entire law enforcement community.

 In Texas and the United States, the law holds that it is unconstitutional to execute a person who does not know why they are to be executed and that the execution is imminent. We believe that Mays is fully competent and that the people of Henderson County, through the jury in this case, issued a clear message in its verdict.

 Although the court in Austin issued a stay, they have not overturned Judge Tarrance's ruling from February 27th that held Mays had not raised substantial doubt of his competency to be executed.

 In its order today, the CCA simply stated it needed more time to consider the arguments and briefs of the State and Mays' attorneys in Austin.

One could certainly speculate that Mays' attorneys made the tactical decision to wait mere weeks before the scheduled execution in order to put the court against the wall with a tight timeline.

 At this point the CCA can do one of two things: uphold Judge Tarrance's findings and ask him to set a new execution date, or reverse his findings and remand the case back to him.

 If the latter happens, the court would appoint at least two independent experts to evaluate Mays for his competency to be executed. After the evaluations, another hearing would then be had and Judge Tarrance would have to rule again. And of course, the CCA would review that ruling.

 I certainly believe and argued in our brief to the CCA that Judge Tarrance and not the judges in Austin, is in the best position to evaluate Mays's competency claims. Judge Tarrance was the trial judge and has handled this case fairly, correctly and efficiently for the past eight years. We certainly hope and advocate for the CCA to uphold his ruling and allow Judge Tarrance to set another execution date.

on: March 13, 2015, 06:58:43 AM 15 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Cecil Clayton - MO - 3/17/15

Missouri inmate faces St Patrick's Day execution for shooting dead sheriff's deputy

By Lydia Warren For

A man who murdered a sheriff's deputy years after doctors removed part of his brain will be put to death in Missouri next week - but his lawyers are fighting for him to be saved.  ;D

Cecil Clayton, from Purdy, will be executed at the state prison in Bonne Terre at 6pm on March 17 for the November 1996 shooting of Barry County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Castetter.

But his attorneys are making a last-ditch attempt to save him by calling for a competency trial - saying a traumatic brain injury makes it impossible for him to understand his death sentence.  ;D

In 1972, 24 years before he killed the officer, Clayton was using a sawmill when a board splintered and a shard went into his head above his right eye, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Facing death: Cecil Clayton is scheduled to die in Missouri next week but his lawyers are calling for a competency hearing. Twenty years before he murdered a cop, he had part of his brain removed, they say  ;D

Doctors were forced to remove 20 per cent of his frontal lobe, the area of the brain that controls decision making and emotions, the newspaper reported as it called for Clayton to be spared.  ;D

Following the accident and before the arrest, Clayton frequently went to mental health facilities, spending up to 15 months at a time under psychiatric care.  ;D

Then the evening before Thanksgiving in 1996, Deputy Castetter responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle parked outside Clayton's girlfriend's mother's home.

Earlier that night, Clayton and his girlfriend had been arguing, and prosecutors said he then took a loaded gun to her mother's house.

Clayton walked up to the deputy's patrol car window and shot him in the head at point-blank range. Castetter, a 29-year-old married father-of-three, died in the hospital later that day.

He was convicted of the murder in October 1997 and sentenced to death later that year.

His attorneys argued that he was mentally incompetent to stand trial but despite their appeals, state and federal appeals courts have upheld the conviction and the death penalty.

His lawyers are now seeking a competency hearing to determine whether he understands his death penalty.  ;D

Mental health professionals who have examined him agree that he is mentally impaired and has mental health issues, including dementia.  ;D

His most recent IQ test found he had an IQ of just 71 - 29 points below the average.  ;D

'He is not simply incompetent legally; he would be unable to care for himself or manage basic self-care, were he not in a structured environment that takes care of him,' according to a doctor who examined him, the Kansas City Star reported.  ;D

'He can shower, groom, eat, walk; it is his comprehension, judgment, memory, limited intelligence and social deficits that plague him.'  ;D

But there is no agreement on how much he understands his death penalty or his other options.  ;D

In Missouri, the director of the Department of Corrections is the only one with the authority to order a competency hearing, and last year, he called on a doctor to examine Clayton.

Dr. James Reynolds of the Missouri Department of Mental Health concluded that Clayton is mentally ill, but could not be certain that he doesn't understand his death sentence.  ;D

But Clayton's lawyers say, while he may have conversations in which he understands he is about to be executed, he will later forget that conversation ever happened. His family have also called for a fair hearing on the issue.  ;D

'He is brain-damaged, and talking with him is like talking to a child,' Clayton's daughter, Jena Clayton, said during his clemency petition, the Kansas City Star reported. 'I do not believe we are the kind of country that executes the disabled.'  ;D

Clayton, who is the state's oldest death row inmate, will be put to death between 6pm on March 17 and 5.59pm on March 18.

He will become the second person put to death in the state in 2015, after a record 10 executions in Missouri in 2014. Last month, Walter Storey was put to death for slitting his neighbor's throat 25 years ago.

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