Thank You Posts

Show post that are related to the Thank-O-Matic. It will show the messages where you become a Thank You from an other users.

Messages - Grinning Grim Reaper

on: November 20, 2015, 11:49:15 AM 1 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Meet the Graduating Class of 2015

The following graduated with highest honors in the 2015 term:

1/13/15  1395  GA  Andrew Brannan 66 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 15
1/15/15  1396  FL   Johnny Kormondy 42 White 1 White Lethal Injection 3-drug (midazolam) 21
1/15/15  1397  OK  Charles Warner 46 Black 1 Black Lethal Injection 3-drug (midazolam, pancurionium bromide, potassium acetate) 17
1/21/15  1398  TX   Arnold Prieto 41 Latino 2 Latino, 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 20
1/27/15  1399  GA  Warren Hill 54 Black 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 25
1/29/15  1400  TX   Robert Ladd 57 Black 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 28
2/4/15    1401  TX   Donald Newbury 52 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 15
2/11/15  1402  MO  Walter Storey 47 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 24
3/11/15  1403  TX   Manuel Vasquez 46 Latino 1 Latino Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 16
3/17/15  1404  MO  Cecil Clayton 74 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 18
4/9/15    1405  TX   Kent Sprouse 42 White 1 White, 1 Latino Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 11
4/14/15  1406  MO   Andre Cole 52 Black 1 Black Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 14
4/15/15  1407  TX   Manuel Garza 34 Latino 1 Latino Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 13
5/12/15  1408  TX   Derrick Charles 32 Black 3 Black Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 12
6/3/15    1409  TX   Lester Bower 67 White 4 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 31
6/9/15    1410  MO  Richard Strong 48 Black 2 Black Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 12
6/18/15  1411  TX   Gregory Russeau 45 Black 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 14
7/14/15  1412  MO  David Zink 55 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 11
8/12/15  1413  TX   Daniel Lopez* 27 Latino 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 5
9/1/15    1414  MO  Roderick Nunley 50 Black 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 24
9/30/15  1415  GA   Kelly Gissendanerƒ 47 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 16
10/1/15  1416  VA   Alfredo Prieto~ 49 Latino 2 White Lethal Injection 3-drug (pentobarbital) 4
10/7/15   1417 TX   Juan Garcia 35 Latino 1 Latino Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 15
10/14/15 1418 TX   Licho Escamilla 33 Latino 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 12
10/29/15 1419 FL   Jerry Correll 59 White 4 White Lethal Injection 3-drug (midazolam) 29
11/18/15 1420 TX   Raphael Holiday 36 Black 3 Black Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 13
11/19/15 1421 GA   Marcus Johnson 50 White 1 White Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital) 17

The shortest stays on DR were Alfredo Prietto 4 years and Daniel Lopez 5 years (Both Volunteers)
The longest were Lester Bower 31 years, Jerry Correll 29 years and Robert Ladd 28 years
The average stay on DR for the Class of '15 was 15 years, 10 months
Texas once again led the league in graduates with 13 and with non-graduates as well with 9 stays

All will be receiving their diplomas in hell.  8)

on: November 18, 2015, 02:03:59 PM 2 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Raphael Deon Holiday - TX - 11/18/15 - Stayed

And in the you had to see it coming category...

Execution date withdrawn for death row inmate set to die Wednesday

Published: November 18, 2015 3:14 pm

Hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday, a judge in Madison County ordered a halt to the execution of Raphael Holiday, who was convicted in the burning deaths of three children in 2000.

Madison County state district Judge Hal Ridley granted a motion from Holiday’s original trial lawyers that called for a halt to the execution. The lawyers argued that additional time was needed give Holiday a meaningful chance at clemency.

Holiday has been pleading with the courts to appoint him new lawyers who would work to stop his impending death. In June, Holiday’s federally appointed court lawyers wrote him a letter saying they would not file additional appeals or seek clemency on his behalf. The lawyers, James “Wes” Volberding and Seth Kretzer, said such efforts had no chance of success in conservative Texas and they didn’t want to give Holiday false hope.

“We decided that it was inappropriate to file [a petition for clemency] and give false hope to a poor man on death row expecting clemency that we knew was never going to come,” Volberding said.

But critics of the lawyers’ decision say the law under which the two were appointed doesn’t allow that kind of discretion. It requires death row lawyers to make every possible effort to save a client’s life, if that’s what the inmate wants.

The judge’s order came the day after Austin-based pro bono lawyer Gretchen Sween had submitted a motion urging the U.S. Supreme Court to stay Holiday’s execution to give him time to seek new lawyers.

Three little children never had a chance at meaningful clemency.

on: November 17, 2015, 12:46:19 PM 3 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Raphael Deon Holiday - TX - 11/18/15

Ambulance chaser Sween went to SCOTUS anyway...

No. 15-6956      *** CAPITAL CASE ***   

Title: Raphael Deon Holiday, Petitioner v. William Stephens, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division
Docketed: November 17, 2015
Linked with 15A520
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Case Nos.: (15-70035)
Decision Date: November 12, 2015

~~~Date~~~  ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 16 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed.
Nov 16 2015 Application (15A520) for a stay of execution of sentence of death, submitted to Justice Scalia. 
Nov 17 2015 Brief of respondent William Stephens, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division in opposition filed. 
No. 15A520 
Title: Raphael Deon Holiday, Applicant v. William Stephens, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division
Linked with 15-6956
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Case Nos.: (15-70035)

~~~Date~~~  ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 16 2015 Application (15A520) for a stay of execution of sentence of death, submitted to Justice Scalia. 
~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:   Gretchen S. Sween

on: November 17, 2015, 11:45:57 AM 4 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Raphael Deon Holiday - TX - 11/18/15

Texas Man Set To Die For Fire That Killed Wife’s 3 Children

November 17, 2015 10:54 AM

LIVINGSTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Condemned Texas inmate Raphael Holiday says he loved his kids and has no idea how the East Texas log cabin where they lived with their mother caught fire 15 years ago. The blaze killed his 18-month-old daughter and her two young half-sisters.

A jury said he was responsible for the September 2000 fire, and decided he should be put to death.

The 36-year-old’s execution is set for Wednesday evening in Huntsville. He would be the 13th prisoner executed in Texas this year.

Evidence showed Holiday’s former common-law wife had obtained a protective order against him after he was arrested for assaulting one of the girls. Testimony showed that he forced the children’s grandmother at gunpoint to douse the inside of the home with gasoline.

Holiday, who was estranged from the girls’ mother, reportedly watched the house burn after it ignited.

on: November 17, 2015, 10:12:18 AM 5 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Raphael Deon Holiday - TX - 11/18/15

Condemned man’s lawyers stop helping, cite ‘false hope’

AUSTIN — From his cell on death row, Raphael Holiday drafted letter after desperate letter to lawyers who represent the condemned. He begged for their help to plead for mercy from Gov. Greg Abbott, to try any last-ditch legal maneuvers that might stave off his impending execution.

 Holiday’s appointed lawyers had told him that fighting to stop his punishment was futile, and they wouldn’t do it. The 36-year-old thought he’d be left to walk to the death chamber with no lawyer at his side.  ;D

 Less than a month before his execution — scheduled for Wednesday — Holiday secured help. Austin attorney Gretchen Sween agreed to ask the court to find new lawyers willing to try to keep him from dying.

 But Holiday’s federally appointed lawyers — the ones who said they would do no more to help him — are opposing their client’s attempts to replace them.

 Now, just hours before he is set to face lethal injection for burning to death three children, including his own daughter, Holiday is awaiting word from the U.S. Supreme Court on his latest request for help.

‘False hope’ argument

 Lawyers James “Wes” Volberding and Seth Kretzer said they worked diligently to find new evidence on which to base additional appeals for Holiday, but that none exists. Seeking clemency from Abbott, a staunch death penalty supporter, would be pointless, they say.

 The two contend they are exercising professional judgment and doing what’s best for their client.

“We decided that it was inappropriate to file [a petition for clemency] and give false hope to a poor man on death row expecting clemency that we knew was never going to come,” Volberding said in a telephone interview.

 But others say the law under which death row lawyers are appointed doesn’t allow that kind of discretion. It requires attorneys to make every possible effort to save a client’s life, if that’s what the inmate wants.

“This seems unconscionable,” said Stephen Bright, president and senior counsel of the Southern Center for Human Rights and a teacher at Yale Law School. “Lawyers are often in a position of representing people for whom the legal issues are not particularly strong, but nevertheless they have a duty to make every legal argument they can.”

So far, appeals courts have sided with Volberding and Kretzer. Last Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to have them replaced. On Monday, Sween appealed to the Supreme Court.

 Holiday was convicted of intentionally setting fire to his wife’s home near College Station in September 2000, killing her three little girls. He forced the children’s grandmother to douse the home in gasoline. After igniting the fumes, Holiday watched from outside as flames engulfed the couch where authorities later found the corpses of 7-year-old Tierra Lynch, 5-year-old Jasmine DuPaul and 1-year-old Justice Holiday huddled together.

 Volberding and Kretzer were appointed in February 2011 to represent Holiday in his federal appeals. They filed a 286-page petition in federal court, alleging dozens of mistakes in Holiday’s case, ranging from assertions that he was intellectually disabled to charges that clemency is so rarely granted in Texas that the process has become meaningless.

 On June 30, the Supreme Court denied Holiday’s petition for a review of his case.

 Such rulings are common; the high court declines thousands of cases each year. Still, it’s a major blow to an inmate whose life depends on the court’s mercy. Many lawyers for death row inmates deliver the news in person, knowing how devastating it can be when a last, scant shred of legal hope disintegrates.

 Volberding sent Holiday a letter.

‘The end of work’

 “I am sorry, but the Supreme Court just denied your appeal,” the Tyler-based lawyer wrote. “This marks the end of work for your appeals I regret.”

The 11/2-page message informed Holiday that his lawyers would not file additional appeals or seek clemency from the governor. Neither option, Volberding wrote, presented a real chance of sparing Holiday’s life.

 In the letter, Volberding told Holiday he could seek the help of pro bono lawyers if he wanted to pursue those options.

 So Holiday blanketed the small community of Texas death penalty lawyers with letters seeking help.

 When none responded, he wrote to the court.

“Your honor, I beg you to consider new appointment of effective counsels to my case,” Holiday wrote. “They have refused to help me and it is a disheartening conundrum I am not fit to comprehend.”

Kretzer countered with a letter to the court insisting that he and Volberding were still working on the case despite its hopelessness. They refused to seek clemency or file additional pleadings not out of laziness or antipathy toward Holiday, Kretzer said, but because they recognized the “political realities” in Texas.

 In late October, Sween, an appellate lawyer from Austin who teaches writing and advocacy courses at the University of Texas School of Law, agreed to help Holiday obtain new lawyers, at no charge.

 Sween filed a motion alleging that Volberding and Kretzer had abandoned Holiday in his hour of greatest need. The law under which the two were appointed says lawyers for death row clients “shall” represent them in “all available post-conviction proceedings.” She pleaded with the court to assign new lawyers who would do so.

Clemency petition

 Volberding and Kretzer opposed the motion and sent Sween a letter threatening to seek sanctions if she did not stay away from their client. They said they would agree to her involvement only if she would take on Holiday as her client pro bono. She declined, insisting that she was unqualified because she had never worked directly on a capital case.

“If you can propose a course of action that stands a reasonable chance … we will pursue it,” Volberding said in a letter to Sween. “Otherwise, we respectfully ask that you take no further action in this case. We will respond firmly if you do.”

Nevertheless, in an effort to mollify Sween, Volberding and Kretzer filed a clemency petition — hastily. In two places on the first page, the document cites the wrong execution date for Holiday. The petition painstakingly details the horrific nature of Holiday’s crime, while containing little evidence that might persuade the governor to show Holiday mercy.

 After the federal district court rejected her attempts to remove Volberding and Kretzer, Sween appealed to the 5th Circuit, calling the lawyers’ clemency petition a “sham” and asking the judges to stay Holiday’s execution. Additionally, she argued, the lawyers are now in conflict with their own client, opposing his wishes for new attorneys that he trusts to fight until the bitter end.

 A three-judge appellate panel denied the motion and warned Sween that future attempts to dislodge Holiday’s lawyers would be viewed skeptically.  :P

 Jim Marcus, a UT law professor who specializes in capital punishment, said that while Holiday certainly has an uphill battle to avoid execution, federal law requires his lawyers to push ahead.

“There’s a difference between saying that’s not a viable strategy or viable claim and abandoning an entire proceeding altogether,” said Marcus, who has represented condemned inmates for more than 20 years. “The latter is not really permissible under the statute.”

The statute, though, is rarely enforced and judges provide little oversight of attorneys who represent indigent condemned clients, said Bright, of the human rights center.

 In decades of practicing, Bright said he had never seen a case like Holiday’s in which appointed lawyers so vociferously fought to keep a death row inmate from retaining a different attorney. In some cases, he said, new lawyers have discovered evidence others overlooked pointing to an inmate’s innocence or showing people’s intellectual disabilities made them incompetent for execution.

“Most people don’t get executed for crimes they committed,” Bright said. “They get executed for mistakes their lawyers made.”

Wow...the first time I have seen an ambulance chaser not milking it to the end.  8)

on: November 02, 2015, 08:02:20 AM 6 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Ernest Lee Johnson - MO - 11/3/15

Grisly triple murder case shocked mid-1990s Columbia

By Alan Burdziak The Columbia Daily Tribune

 Driven by his addiction to crack cocaine, Ernest L. Johnson robbed a north Columbia convenience store on Feb. 12, 1994, and killed three people for $1,700 to support his drug habit. Nearly 22 years later, Johnson appears to be living out his final days while his attorneys scramble to stop his execution.

 Unless a court agrees with his lawyers’ pleas for clemency or Gov. Jay Nixon intervenes, the state of Missouri will inject 5 grams of pentobarbital into Johnson at 6 p.m. Tuesday at a prison in Bonne Terre, cementing the fate three separate juries have decided for him.

 Columbia was a different, smaller town in 1994. The area where Casey’s General Store stood on Ballenger Lane was mostly rural, and the city had about 40,000 fewer people than the 2014 estimate of nearly 117,000 residents.

 When news broke that Johnson had used a hammer and screwdriver to fatally bludgeon Mary Bratcher, 46, Mable Scruggs, 57, and Fred Jones, 58, during the robbery, the city was shocked. Though police arrested Johnson the day after the murders, the city was on edge in the aftermath of the crime.

 Carroll Highbarger was deputy chief of the Columbia Police Department in 1994. Highbarger said the murders frightened the city’s residents, particularly people who worked at night in gas stations, convenience stores and other businesses.

“Everybody was more cautious,” Highbarger said Friday at his south Columbia home. “Obviously we were very fortunate he was caught pretty quick.”

The Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad was activated to aid in the investigation, with investigators coming from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and nearly every other law enforcement agency in adjacent counties. Highbarger recalled a break in the case that identified Johnson: A woman who lived across the street from the store saw Johnson enter and exit the building at the time of the slayings, but she did not come forward for several hours.

“That did it,” Highbarger said. “Then it was just a matter of running him down.”

The case was the most heavily covered crime story in Columbia’s history at that point, said Stacey Woelfel, who was KOMU’s news director at the time. Media coverage was so intense that Johnson’s lawyers requested the judge in the case bar the media and public from pretrial hearings because, they said, the coverage could prejudice the jury pool.

 The sheer brutality of the crime shocked people, Woelfel said. Before Johnson beat Jones to death, he shot him in the face with a .25-caliber gun. Johnson stabbed Bratcher at least 10 times with a screwdriver. Investigators found Jones’ body in a cooler and the other two victims in the store’s bathroom. Police found teeth, bone fragments and large amounts of blood near all three victims.

“It was kind of a lonely little outpost there, and people could just picture the way these folks were killed and how they just couldn’t get away,” said Woelfel, now the head of the documentary journalism program at the University of Missouri.

 Randy Boehm, who was a Columbia police captain at the time, said the murders created a lot of fear in the city.

“A lot of folks didn’t think of something like that happening in our community,” said Boehm, who now is manager of security services with MU Health Care.

 Police increased their presence in the area near the store and frequently updated the public on the progress of the investigation to assuage fears, Boehm said. The store closed immediately after the murders and never reopened.

 Though Boehm was not part of the investigation, he said it affected officers in the department who were involved. “It wasn’t ... a typical crime scene,” he said.

 Several people who investigated the case, responded to the scene or took part in Johnson’s court proceedings either declined comment or did not respond to messages seeking comment. Relatives of Johnson and his victims were unavailable or unwilling to comment. Kevin Crane, the county prosecuting attorney at the time who tried the case and is now a circuit judge, declined comment because of the pending litigation. Johnson’s attorneys, W. Brian Gaddy and Jeremy Weis, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

 The first two times Johnson was condemned to die were overturned, but a Pettis County jury’s 2006 decision to put him back on death row withstood a Missouri Supreme Court review.

 At trial and in his penalty phases, public defenders represented Johnson. Nancy McKerrow, one of Johnson’s public defenders during his trial, said the murders never would have happened had it not been for crack cocaine and Johnson’s addiction.

“Ernest was not — I know this sounds weird given the horrendous nature of the crime — was not and is not a violent person,” McKerrow said. “He’s very mild-mannered.”  ;D

The three victims knew Johnson, now 55, who lived nearby with his girlfriend and her two sons. He frequented the store, and it was during his third visit that day that he robbed the place and killed the three employees. Scruggs and Bratcher were single mothers, and Jones cared for his disabled twin brother. The night she died, Scruggs was filling in for another employee who switched shifts to attend a birthday party.

 One of 33 inmates on Missouri’s death row, Johnson will be the seventh inmate in Missouri to be executed in 2015 if he dies Tuesday. Ten men were put to death in the state in 2014; two in 2013.

 A three-judge panel in the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied a motion to stay Johnson’s execution on an appeal from U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. A bid to stop the execution on the grounds that Johnson is intellectually disabled is pending in the Missouri Supreme Court.

 McKerrow said the nation’s capital punishment system is flawed.  ;D

“When the state seeks the death penalty, the system is such that they get it,” she said. “The way the juries are selected, I think they’re predisposed to give death.”

She mentioned dozens of inmates who sat on death row but later were exonerated. While proponents call it a deterrent, she said people who commit capital crimes don’t consider the consequences.

“I just don’t see any good coming from executing Ernest Johnson,” McKerrow said.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

on: October 29, 2015, 11:27:14 AM 7 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Jerry William Correll - FL - 10/29/15

They could always try death by Mad Dog 20/20.  That way, everybody wins.....

Word around the campfire is that Correll preferred Thunderbird.  8)

on: October 15, 2015, 06:50:16 AM 8 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Licho Escamilla - TX - 10/14/2015 - Executed

Last words and such...

In a last statement before being executed, Escamilla said: "To my family, I love them and everybody that showed support. ... From California to New York thank you for all of your support. Pope Francis, God’s children has asked the State of Texas to switch my death sentence to life in prison. But the State of Texas has refused to listen to God’s children, they will have to take that up with God. Let everyone know it’s not over."

For his last meal he had pepper steak, steamed rice, gravy, corn, pinto beans, bread and brownies, with tea to drink.


Escamilla was the 12th condemned Texas inmate executed this year and the 530th since executions resumed.
His was the 23rd 2015 US execution and the 1417th since 1976.

The skinny...

Like the previous Texas execution Escamilla filed no last hour appeals, instead placing his hopes of clemency on the Parole Board...bad move.

on: October 14, 2015, 08:21:28 AM 9 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Tracy Lane Beatty - TX - 8/13/15 - Stay Lifted


NO. WR-59,939-03



This is a subsequent application for a writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to the provisions of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 11.071 § 5.1  In August 2004, a jury found applicant guilty of the offense of capital murder. The jury answered the special issues submitted pursuant to Article 37.071, and the trial court, accordingly, set applicant’s punishment at death.

This Court affirmed applicant’s conviction and sentence on direct appeal. Beatty v. State, No. AP-75,010 (Tex. Crim. App. Mar. 11, 2009)
This Court denied relief on applicant’s initial post-conviction application for a writ of habeas corpus. Ex parte Beatty, No. WR-59,939-02 (Tex. Crim. App. May 6, 2009)

On August 5, 2015, applicant filed in the trial court a subsequent application for a writ of habeas corpus. In the subsequent application, applicant asserts that he was denied the effective assistance of both trial and appellate counsel and that the State violated his due process rights “when it gave the jury a false impression that [the victim] withdrew her consent for [him] to enter their home.”

On August 11, 2015, this Court stayed applicant’s execution.  After reviewing applicant’s subsequent application, we find that he has failed to satisfy the requirements of Article 11.071 § 5.

Accordingly, the application is dismissed as an abuse of the writ without reviewing the merits of the claims, and the stay of execution is lifted. Art. 11.071 § 5(c).


on: October 13, 2015, 01:25:16 PM 10 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Licho Escamilla - TX - 10/14/2015

Man who killed Dallas cop in club parking lot in 2001 faces Wednesday execution

 HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The 19-year-old was already wanted in Dallas in the fatal shooting of a neighbor when he got involved in a brawl outside a club, pulled out a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and opened fire on police as they tried to break up the fight.

 Licho Escamilla’s bullets twice struck Christopher Kevin James, among four uniformed Dallas officers working off-duty security that 2001 Thanksgiving weekend, knocking him to the ground. Escamilla then calmly walked up to James and pumped three more shots into the back of his head before running and exchanging shots with other officers, witnesses said. A wounded Escamilla was arrested as he tried to carjack a truck.

 On Wednesday night, Escamilla is slated to become the 24th convicted killer put to death this year in the United States — with Texas accounting for half of the executions.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to review the 33-year-old’s case, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday decided against a reprieve and recommending clemency and no new appeals were in the courts Tuesday.

“He’s a really bad guy,” trial prosecutor Fred Burns said Tuesday. “I think what happened is the guy already committed one murder and figures that’s what (officers) were coming after him for.”

A warrant had been issued for Escamilla in the shooting death of a West Dallas neighbor nearly three weeks before James’ death on Nov. 25, 2001. Escamilla’s trial attorneys told jurors he was responsible for James’ slaying but argued it didn’t merit a death sentence because James was not officially on duty, meaning the crime didn’t qualify as a capital murder.

 As the judge in October 2002 read his death sentence, Escamilla threw a pitcher of water at the jury, started kicking and hitting people and hid under the defense table until he was subdued by sheriff’s deputies.

“It was a real scene,” Wayne Huff, Escamilla’s lead trial lawyer, said. “I don’t think there was any real doubt he was going to be found guilty.”

Testimony showed Escamilla bragged to emergency medical technicians who were treating his wounds that he had killed an officer and injured another and that he’d be out of jail in 48 hours. He also admitted to the slaying during a television interview from jail.

 James, 34, had earned dozens of commendations during his nearly seven years on the Dallas police force after graduating at the top of his cadet class. He was working the off-duty security job to earn extra money so he and his new wife could buy a house. A second officer wounded in the gunfire survived.

 According to court documents, Escamilla and some older brothers were involved in gang activities and sold and used drugs from an early age. He was involved in two high-speed police chases and an assault on an assistant principal in school, where he dropped out after the eighth grade.

Adios Licho    8)

on: October 08, 2015, 12:34:05 PM 11 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 08, 2015, 07:30:58 AM 12 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Licho Escamilla - TX - 10/14/2015

Relief Denied, Inmate to Be Executed

Escamilla to be 12th Texan executed this year

By Chase Hoffberger
Texas will execute its 12th Texan this year when it sends Licho Escamilla to the gurney on Wed., Oct. 14. He was convicted of capital murder in the Nov. 25, 2001, shooting death of 34-year-old Christopher Kevin James, an off-duty policeman carrying out secondary employment as a security guard at Dallas' Club DMX.

Escamilla, 33, shot James at 2:45 am after a fight broke out on the sidewalk of the northwest Dallas club.  Evidence has also been presented to implicate that Escamilla fatally shot another man, Michael Torres, days before James' murder.

Petitions for relief at the state and federal levels have both been unsuccessful, as was an April 2012 motion for a new trial.  In Feb­ruary, Escamilla learned that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not see enough mitigating evidence in earlier requests for relief to reverse the decision on his execution.

Escamilla had a final petition with the U.S. Supreme Court denied Monday morning. He stands to be the 530th Texan executed since 1976.

on: October 06, 2015, 07:22:34 AM 13 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 05, 2015, 12:03:23 PM 14 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Licho Escamilla - TX - 10/14/2015

Just in case someone thinks this POS doesn't deserve a gurney ride...

Convicted cop killer hurls pitcher of water at jury after death sentence announced

Editor's note: This story was originally published in The Dallas Morning News on Nov. 1, 2002 .

A 20-year-old convicted killer triggered a brief courtroom riot Thursday after learning he would be sentenced to die by injection for shooting a Dallas police officer.

Licho Escamilla, convicted of capital murder Monday for the death of Officer Christopher Kevin James last fall, lashed out at jurors by hurling a pitcher of water just after hearing their unanimous decision.

As water sloshed over defense attorneys and prosecutors, a half-dozen bailiffs pounced on Mr. Escamilla while some of his family and friends shrieked and fought with deputies trying to clear the gallery of state District Judge Lana McDaniel's court.

"I think if anybody had any doubt that this Licho Escamilla is a future danger to society, that put the lid on it right there," Dallas County District Attorney Bill Hill said. "He is evil, and we need to do everything we can to protect society from people like that."

Judge McDaniel had just finished reading the jury's decision to the courtroom when Mr. Escamilla shot out of his seat, grabbed a plastic pitcher and flung it toward the jury box.

More than a dozen armed Dallas police officers - some uniformed, some in plainclothes - shielded Officer James' family and family members of another murder victim linked to Mr. Escamilla.

Mr. Escamilla's father filed out of the gallery with a daughter while other family members wailed and leaned over courtroom benches, reaching for Mr. Escamilla and cursing deputies.

Mr. Escamilla was convicted of shooting Officer James, 34, five times in the early-morning hours of Nov. 25 at a northwest Dallas nightclub. He also was indicted but not tried for two counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer on the same night he "turned the Club DMX parking lot into a shooting gallery," prosecutor Howard Blackmon said. Mr. Escamilla was also charged with the Nov. 8 killing of Michael Torres, 26, in West Dallas.

Sgt. Don Peritz, spokesman for the Dallas County sheriff's office, said a bailiff triggered Mr. Escamilla's electro-shock stun belt three times before the former gang member stopped fighting. The belt, fitted under his shirt and out of sight of jurors, delivers a 50,000-volt charge for eight seconds.

"We anticipated that he was going to try something based on intelligence gathered from various sources throughout the trial," Sgt. Peritz said. "We knew that he would take any opportunity he could to either harm someone, try to escape - or both - and we prepared for that."

Defense attorney Brook Busbee, who was sitting next to Mr. Escamilla, said she was impressed with how quickly bailiffs regained control of the courtroom. She said she suspected her client might cause an outburst, so she removed pens and paper clips from the defense table before the verdict was read.

"I didn't really think about the water pitcher, though," she said.

Ms. Busbee said deputies also warned her Thursday that, on separate occasions over the last week, they had recovered from a holding cell a 3-inch nail, a 2-inch bolt wrapped in thread and a homemade handcuff key fashioned from a paper clip.

After bailiffs restored order and escorted Escamilla family members out of the building, Judge McDaniel had Mr. Escamilla brought back to a doorway so she could formally pronounce the death penalty with him present. His defense attorneys, Wayne Huff and Ms. Busbee, stood near the empty jury box on the opposite side of the court for the brief reading. When Judge McDaniel asked for any legal reason why Mr. Escamilla shouldn't be sentenced, they stood in silence.

Within a half-hour of the sentencing, deputies put Mr. Escamilla on a van headed to state prison.

Officer James' widow, Lori, declined to comment on the trial. She left with a small contingent of family members and police officers.

Senior Cpl. Clarence Lockett, wounded in the shooting, declined to comment, leaving the courthouse to help escort the family of Mr. Torres safely out of the building.

During final arguments, prosecutor Steve Tokoly's voice wavered slightly as he reminded jurors of the human wreckage Mr. Escamilla had left in his wake by age 19 - when Officer James was killed by three shots to the head and neck as he lay wounded and defenseless on the ground.

"You will never again sit so close to personification of evil as you are now," Mr. Tokoly told the jury, looking at Mr. Escamilla. "What could possibly mitigate what he has done?"

In asking the jury to spare his client's life, Mr. Huff argued that prosecutors failed to prove Mr. Escamilla would pose a threat to others behind bars.

"He's going to be without two things that made him a big man," Mr. Huff said. "Alcohol and a gun. They're going to take away his name and give him a number ... and make him live with people just like him."

Three days into the trial, which began Oct. 21, Judge McDaniel moved proceedings from her seventh-floor courtroom to a vacant court on another floor for security reasons after discovering the nail. Bailiffs also installed a walk-through metal detector for those filing into the court's gallery.

Sgt. Peritz said his office had good information that an escape was planned at some point, but he declined to elaborate.

on: October 02, 2015, 02:28:49 PM 15 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.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 104