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Topics - AnneTheBelgian

Off Topic - Anything / HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA :-) !!!
November 04, 2012, 10:59:37 AM
Dear Amanda,

I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

I hope that this special day will be nice and wonderful for you !

God bless you !

Big hugs !

:-* :-*

Dear Glynis (aka ggbop),

I would like to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

I hope that you have a good day.

I have seen you this year, on May, in Scotland and I am blessed with that ! Thanks again !

God bless you !

Big hugs !

:-* :)


Dear Karen (aka Kitten Resq),

I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

Have a nice Thursday !

God bless you !

Big hugs !

:-* :-*

Dear Members, Dear Friends here,

Today is a special day for the United States of America... ;)



:-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*


Alabama Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal by condemned pipe bomber Walter Leroy Moody

Published: Friday, May 18, 2012, 11:26 AM     

Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012, 11:26 AM

By Eric Velasco -- The Birmingham News

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Alabama Supreme Court today refused to hear the latest appeal by Walter Leroy Moody, who was sentenced to death in 1996 for the pipe-bomb murder of federal appeals judge Robert Vance.

Moody, 77, is pursuing what is known as a Rule 32 appeal challenging his conviction and death sentence, which occurs after the initial round of direct appeals in state and federal courts.

A Jefferson County judge rejected Moody's Rule 32 petition in 2010 and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denied his appeal late last year. On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court denied Moody's request for the state high court to hear the appeal.

Vance was killed Dec. 16, 1989, and his wife, Helen, was seriously injured after the judge opened a package that had been sent to his home, detonating the pipe bomb. Two days later, a similar pipe bomb killed a lawyer in Atlanta. Those were followed by two other bombs that were defused, one in Georgia and one in Florida.

Moody was linked to the crimes through a similar bomb nearly two decades earlier that had injured his wife when it exploded. His prosecution in that case led to a lingering resentment of the courts that built into the 1989 bombings.

Moody was arrested in 1991. He was tried first in federal court, receiving seven consecutive sentences of life without parole, before his capital conviction in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Moody is held on Death Row at the Holman Correctional Facility.

Other link :

Photo : The death row inmate and murderer Walter Leroy Moody >:(



MONDAY, 30 April 2012 English

Last Updated: Mon Apr 30, 2012 18:16 pm (KSA) 15:16 pm (GMT)

Jordanian to hang for raping, killing girlfriend

Monday, 30 April 2012



A Jordanian was condemned to death on Monday for raping and stabbing his teenage girlfriend to death before burning her body because her family refused to let him marry her, a court official said.

"The criminal court in Amman sentenced the 19-year-old to death by hanging for finding him guilty of murdering his girlfriend, who was also 19, in May last year," he told AFP.

"He wanted to marry the girl, but her family refused."

The official said the convict "got enraged and decided to commit his crime."

"He took the girl to a deserted area south of Amman, where he raped and stabbed her to death several times in the neck, chest and stomach," he added.

"The next day, he burned her body and turned himself into police, confessing to the murder."

Murder is punishable by death in Jordan but, in so-called "honor killings," courts sometimes commute or reduce sentences.

Between 15 and 20 women die in such murders each year in the Arab kingdom.

I have found this article :

Rolling back the death penalty

Article by: E.J. DIONNE JR. , Washington Post
Updated: April 30, 2012 - 11:07 AM

Since the 2010 elections, the activism of newly empowered conservative and Republican state legislatures has gained national attention with their wars on public employee unions, additional restrictions on abortion, and new barriers to voting.

Against this backdrop, the little state of Connecticut has loomed as a large progressive exception. Last year, it became the first state to require employers to grant paid sick leave. It also enacted a law granting in-state tuition to students whose parents brought them to the United States illegally as young children.

And recently, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed a law repealing the state's death penalty. There are now 17 states without capital punishment, Illinois having joined the ranks last year. What happened in Connecticut brings home the flaw in seeing everything that has happened in the states since the midterm vote as embodying a steady shift rightward.

Where they hold power, progressives have also been using their states as laboratories, and Malloy is part of an impressive group of mostly smaller-state Democratic governors who have combined a moderate, business-friendly style with progressive policymaking. Their ranks include, among others, Govs. Jack Markell in Delaware, Martin O'Malley in Maryland, John Hickenlooper in Colorado, Deval Patrick in Massachusetts and outgoing Gov. John Lynch in New Hampshire.

After the 2012 election, a key front in the battle for America's political future will involve how the various left and right experiments in the states are judged. Aggressive conservatives such as Govs. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio are in the headlines now, and the recall Walker faces will keep him there for a while. But there will be a quieter and more comprehensive reckoning down the road. 

Part of this reckoning will be a remarkable pivot in the politics of the death penalty, the premier issue on which an overwhelming consensus favoring what's taken to be the conservative side has begun to crumble.

In the 1980s and '90s, capital punishment was a staple of Republican campaigns against a handful of liberals who bravely stuck with their opposition to the ultimate punishment. George H.W. Bush used the issue effectively against Democrat Mike Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign, and so did Republicans in their 1994 electoral sweep, notably in defeating three-term Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo in New York. And no wonder: In 1994, support for the death penalty hit its peak of 80 percent nationwide.

But a Gallup survey last fall showed how much things have changed: Support for capital punishment was down to 61 percent. Among the many reasons for the drop are a decline in crime rates, which has increased public confidence in the criminal justice system, and a stream of reports casting doubt on the guilt of some who were executed. In addition, significant groups of libertarian Republicans and opponents of abortion have crossed to the repeal side. An important test of the new politics of capital punishment will come this November in a California death penalty referendum.

For all this, it still takes political courage to end capital punishment. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week as Malloy signed the death penalty repeal found 62 percent of Connecticut voters still favoring executions of those convicted of murder, with only 30 percent opposed. Just 29 percent approved of the Legislature's handling of the issue, while 51 percent disapproved.

But (and it's a very important but) support for the death penalty, in Connecticut and elsewhere, is not as robust as it looks. When Quinnipiac asked a different question -- "Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder, the death penalty, or life in prison with no chance of parole?" -- only 46 percent favored the death penalty. An equal number chose life without parole. Death penalty opponents have an opening they haven't had for some time.

Moreover, voters aren't as agitated by the issue as they once were. Only 37 percent of Connecticut voters told Quinnipiac that the issue would be "extremely" or "very" important to how they cast their ballots in legislative elections.

Malloy is under no illusions about the strong residual opposition to repeal. When he signed the repeal bill last Wednesday, he did so with little ceremony, carefully observing that "many people whom I deeply respect, including friends and family ... believe the death penalty is just."

Nonetheless, what Malloy did was historic, and it was a sign that despite the dreary polarization that characterizes our debates, American politics is still capable of springing surprises.

Photo : Dr. William Petit Jr., left, speaks to the media as his sister Johanna Chapman looks on at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., in early April. The sole survivor of the deadly Cheshire home invasion made an eleventh-hour push to persuade members of the Connecticut Senate to oppose efforts to repeal the state's death penalty.  :'( (Photo: Jim Michaud, Associated Press)



(with video)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jury selection resumes in Taft murder case

By: Andrea Blanford | Eyewitness News 9 , WNCT Staff | WNCT

Published: April 06, 2012

Updated: April 10, 2012 - 10:28 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. - Jury selection resumes today in the trial of Jason Williford.

Prosecutors say he raped and beat to death state school board member and Greenvile native Kathy Taft inside a Raleigh home in March 2010 in a seemingly random crime.

Williford could face the death penalty if he's convicted.

Jury selection could take several weeks.

--- Original Story ---

RALEIGH,N.C. (WNCT)- Jury selection is underway in the murder trial of a Raleigh man accused of raping and killing state school board member Kathy Taft.

32-year-old Jason Williford sits in a Wake County courtroom ready to stand trial for the murder of a woman so many people knew and loved.

"If I were describing Kathy I'd just say she was a good and decent human being, a very thoughtful and caring person," said Pat Dunn, former Greenville Mayor.

Dunn called Kathy Taft her friend.

She lived inGreenville, supported local schools and served on the State Board of Education.  At 62 years old, while recovering from neck surgery at a friend's house inRaleighTaft was beaten and raped.  She died three days later leaving children and grandchildren behind.

"Detective Hodge just said, we got him," said Paige Fukua, Kathy Taft's daughter back in April 2010.  "And I was speechless and I said, are you sure? And he said we're sure."

Nine on Your Side talked with Taft's daughter Paige Fukua and son Jonathan Taft just after Raleigh Police arrested and charged Williford with killing their mother.

"To me he's just pure evil and I would like to just stare at him in the eyes and force him to recognize what he did," Jonathan said.

Raleigh Police say DNA evidence from one of Williford's cigarette butts ties him to the murder.  Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby says if Williford is convicted, the facts of the case will justify the death penalty.

"The brutality and the fact that someone was in their home when they were randomly selected for violence," saidWilloughby.

Now more than two years later Taft's friends just want to see her loved ones at peace again.

"I think what this- what the trial will do will help bring closure," said Dunn.  "But it certainly will not relieve them of the intense pain and grief that they're experiencing.  My heart really goes out to them."

Jason Williford is facing charges of first-degree murder and first-degree forcible rape in Taft's death.

Other links : 1.

Kathy Taft's Murder Suspect Enters Not Guilty Plea

10:03 PM, Feb 21, 2012

Written by The Associated Press

Raleigh, NC-- The man accused in the death of state school board member Kathy Taft has pleaded not guilty.

Jason K. Williford entered the plea during a hearing Tuesday in a Wake County courtroom. Williford is charged in the March 2010 rape and death of Taft at a home in Raleigh.

Defense attorneys on Monday asked Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner to throw out DNA evidence it believes was improperly gathered. Attorney Michael Driver says police should have obtained a search warrant before picking up the cigarette butt. Gessner rejected the defense request.

Williford's trial is scheduled to begin on April 9. Gessner agreed to a delay after defense attorneys complained about not having enough time to go through DNA reports and other evidence.


Police: Raleigh Man Arrested In Connection With State School Board Member's Death

6:05 PM, Apr 16, 2010

Written by Carrie Hodgin


Raleigh, NC -- Authorities arrested a Raleigh man Friday evening in the death of State Board of Education member Kathy Taft.

Police arrested 30-year-old, Jason Williford, of Wayland Drive.

Taft, 62, died March 9 at WakeMed, three days after she was assaulted in the home of a friend and suffered a severe head injury. Search warrants released last Friday also state that she was sexually assaulted.

Taft, of Greenville, had undergone neck surgery in Raleigh on and was recovering at a friend's home. Taft's friend was in Florida at the time.




Photos : 1. The victim Kathy Taft :'(

               2. The murderer Jason Williford >:(

Rest in Peace Madam Taft :'( :-* God bless you :'( :-*



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Former Fort Drum Soldier Could Face Death Penalty In Delaware

Story Published: Apr 10, 2012 at 5:56 AM EDT

Story Updated: Apr 10, 2012 at 5:56 AM EDT

A former Fort Drum soldier accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a woman in Delaware could face the death penalty.

Authorities say a grand jury returned a six-count indictment of Dwight Smith on Monday.

Attorney General Beau Biden said the aggravating circumstances make the case eligible for the death penalty.

Smith is accused of killing 65-year-old Marsha Lee of Wilmington, who was taking her dog for a walk on Dec. 19.

According to police, Smith targeted Lee at random after deciding he wanted to kill somebody, hitting her with his sport utility vehicle, stuffing her inside, then beating her to death.

Smith was on leave from Fort Drum at the time of Lee's death, having previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other link :

(with video)

Fort Drum Soldier Accused Of Kidnapping, Murder In Delaware

Story Published: Dec 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM EDT

Story Updated: Dec 21, 2011 at 7:34 PM EDT

A Fort Drum soldier, veteran of two wars and Purple Heart recipient has allegedly admitted to kidnapping and murdering a woman in Delaware.

According to CBS, Staff Sgt. Dwight Smith Jr. kidnapped the 65-year old woman while she was walking her dog and later killed her.

The website also quotes police who say Smith told them he intentionally killed the woman.

A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was on leave from Fort Drum at the time of the incident. He is a resident of Delaware.

He is currently being held in jail without bail.

Fort Drum officials say Smith was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

He joined the Army in July 2006 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Smith was deployed to Iraq from September 2007 to November 2008 and to Afghanistan from May 2010 to April 2011.

He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division and came to Fort Drum in September.

Smith's awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the NATO medal, four Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Army  Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War  on Terrorism Service Medal, the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the  Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge, the Marksman Qualification Badge - Carbine, and the Marksman Qualification Badge - Field Artillery.

Photo : The murderer Dwight Smith >:(


Oklahoma court rejects death row inmate's claim he can't be executed because he's retarded

TIM TALLEY  Associated Press
First Posted: April 05, 2012 - 7:32 pm
Last Updated: April 05, 2012 - 7:33 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma appeals court on Thursday rejected a death row inmate's claim that he is mentally retarded and should not be executed for the slaying of his girlfriend's ex-husband in 1999.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals handed down the decision in the case of Patrick Dwayne Murphy, 42, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die for the death of George Jacobs, 49, of rural McIntosh County. Both Murphy and Jacobs were members of the Creek Nation.

Authorities said Jacobs was beaten and slashed to death. His genitals were cut off and his body dumped in a ditch. At his trial, Murphy testified he was intoxicated on the day of the beating and couldn't remember what happened. His defense attorneys argued Murphy was so drunk that he was incapable of forming the specific criminal intent legally necessary to commit murder.

Prosecutors who sought the death penalty argued it was warranted because Murphy is a continuing threat to society and Jacobs' murder was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel."

On appeal, Murphy claimed he is mentally retarded and should not be executed. The U.S. Supreme Court has banned the execution of the mentally retarded, and the state appeals court has said an IQ of under 70 could be a factor in a jury's determination of whether an inmate is retarded.

In 2005, the appeals court ordered McIntosh County Judge Thomas Bartheld to empanel a jury to determine whether Murphy's claims were true. Following a four-day trial, the jury determined Murphy was not mentally retarded, but Bartheld threw out the jury's findings because of a procedural technicality.

Before a new jury could be empanelled, Bartheld granted a motion by prosecutors to end the proceedings. In granting the motion, Bartheld ruled that Murphy had received two separate IQ scores above 76 on scientifically recognized, standardized IQ tests.

In a unanimous decision written by Judge Gary Lumpkin of Madill, the five-member appeals court said the Legislature has given capital defendants in Oklahoma the benefit of a standard measurement of error in the administration of the IQ tests. But state law disqualifies anyone from being considered mentally retarded in a death-penalty case if the individual has received an IQ score of 76 or higher on a scientifically recognized, standardized test.

The appellate decision says Murphy received IQ scores of 80 and 82 on tests administered by two psychologists.

"Petitioner received all that Oklahoma law allows him," the ruling states. "There is nothing unsettled about petitioner's mental retardation claim."

Murphy's defense attorney, Gary Henry of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Other links : 1.


Photo : The murderer Patrick Dwayne Murphy >:(

I have found this article :


U.S. ranks 5th in executions but death penalty declining


Thursday, 05 April 2012

The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The United States was the only Western democracy that executed prisoners last year, even as an increasing number of U.S. states are moving to abolish the death penalty, Amnesty International announced.

America's 43 executions in 2011 ranked it fifth in the world in capital punishment, the rights group said in its annual review of worldwide death penalty trends. U.S. executions were down from 46 a year earlier.

"If you look at the company we're in globally, it's not the company we want to be in: China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq," Suzanne Nossell, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press.

Deeply Divided

The United States seems deeply divided on the issue.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was cheered at a Republican presidential candidates' debate last September when he defended his signature on 234 execution warrants over more than 10 years as being the "ultimate justice."

Just weeks later, young people rallied in person and online to protest the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia for the 1991 murder of a police officer. In the intervening years, key witnesses for the prosecution had recanted or changed their stories.

"I think the debate on the issue may be nearing a tipping point in this country," Nossell said. "I think we're seeing momentum at the state level in the direction of waning support for the death penalty."

Illinois banned the death penalty last year and Oregon adopted a moratorium on executions.

On the Defensive

Maryland and Connecticut are close to banning executions, Amnesty said. And more than 800,000 Californians signed petitions to put a referendum on the state ballot in November that would abolish the death penalty.

However, 34 U.S. states have the death penalty.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks U.S. trends, told the AP that last year 78 prisoners received death sentences, down from an average of more than 300 annually a few years ago. "Executions peaked in 1999 at 98,"he added. "By all measures, the death penalty is on the defensive."

Dieter attributed much of the decline to the introduction of DNA testing, which has exposed some mistaken convictions. With stronger defense tactics and appeals processes getting longer, states also found it more and more expensive to pursue death penalty cases, he said.

No Executions

The United States was the only member of the G-8 group of developed nations to use the death penalty last year. Japan, which also retains capital punishment, recorded no executions for the first time in 19 years, Amnesty reported.

"Our government has made a very strong point of trying to reassert its position as a standard-bearer on human rights globally," Nossell said. "When other countries look at the United States, the use of the death penalty really stands out a lot in the mind of Europeans and others around the world. We're in such incongruous company."

Mexico strongly pro-tested the July execution in the U.S. of one of its citizens, Humberto Leal, for rape and murder on grounds that he had not been advised of his rights to receive legal advice and assistance from his consulate. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations is supposed to guarantee the right of any citizen to consular help.

Leal was one of 51 Mexican men who have been sentenced to death in the United States after being denied consular assistance, Amnesty said. The International Court of Justice had ordered a full review of all these cases after Texas executed another Mexican man in 2008.

The U.S. federal stance on capital punishment was complicated by the Defense Department's announcement that it would seek the death penalty for six foreign nationals detained at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for trial by military commission. Amnesty contends that military commissions are discriminatory because they do not give foreign citizens the same right to appeal as U.S. courts.

I have found this article :

Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - Page 2 

Arts used to focus on death penalty

PONDER THIS:A harpist involved in one of the events said the use of photos and music meant people could approach the issue of capital punishment in a soft way

Staff writer, with CNA

A Japanese photographer and harpists from France and Taiwan are encouraging Taiwanese to reconsider their thoughts on issues related to the death penalty through a photography exhibition and a concert, organizers said yesterday.

The events began in Taipei yesterday with a two-day display of 16 photographs taken by US-based photographer Toshi Kazama, featuring pictures of death-row inmates in the US and Taiwan, execution sites, a prisoner's last meal and execution devices, such as the electric chair.

The collaboration marks the first time that the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty has organized events incorporating music and photographs to raise public awareness on the issue, said Lin Hsin-yi (林欣怡), the executive director of the Taipei-based alliance.

Holding the events this month is significant because Taiwan has executed inmates in the spring of the previous two years, Lin said.

Taiwan ended a four-year moratorium on executions in 2010, executing four prisoners that year and another five in March last year, drawing criticism from the EU and human rights advocates.

Speaking at a news conference, Kazama said he wanted to encourage people to think about a wide range of aspects surrounding the practice of capital punishment.

"Most people just focus on whether it is right or wrong to impose the death penalty," said the 54-year-old, who began taking photos of death-row inmates and execution sites in 1996.

"However, they don't know the reality [surrounding the death penalty]," Kazama said, adding that the emotional impact on execution officials is often ignored.

By viewing the black-and-white photographs, Kazama said he hoped visitors to the exhibition could "see beyond just the image."

French harpist Isabelle Perrin and her Taiwanese counterpart Shannon Chieh (解瑄) were scheduled to perform at the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei last night, organizers said.

In a video shown at the news conference, Chieh said she hoped the performance with Perrin -- who is from a country where the death penalty has been abolished -- will offer people an opportunity to approach the issue in a "soft way."

Echoing Chieh's remarks was Fleur Willson, head of the British Trade and Cultural Office's Political and Economic Section, who was also present at the news conference.

An arts performance is an easier way to get the message across to people, she said.

Kazama's photographs will also go on display in Greater Kaohsiung from Thursday through April 11.


Capital punishment: Russians want return of death penalty

Published: 29 March, 2012, 21:59

Russia needs to lift the moratorium on death penalty, believe 62 per cent of the country's residents, the latest poll indicates.

­According to results revealed by a major Russian polling center - the Public Opinion Foundation - respondents suggested using capital punishment for sexual offenses against teenagers (72%), murder (64%), terrorism (54%) , drug trafficking (28%)  and  treason (12%).

However, there were also those who suggested using the death penalty for espionage, desecration of religious sites, bribery, theft, looting and robbery.

Meanwhile, 21 per cent of those asked are convinced that Russia should keep following the moratorium, which was imposed in 1996. Another 5 per cent of Russians responded in support of full abolishment of death penalty in the country. The possibility of the death penalty as an exceptional measure of punishment is officially written into the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

On March 27, Amnesty International said in its annual review of the use of the death penalty worldwide that the number of executions carried out around the world jumped by 28 per cent last year. And that is largely due to liberal use of the death penalty in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the Human Rights group said.

However, China is the absolute leader -  more people were executed there in 2011than in the rest of the world combined.

The United States ranked fifth in the world for its use of the death penalty - 43 executions in 2011.

According to polls conducted in fall 2011, shortly after the execution of Troy Davis, who was accused of killing a police officer in 1989, 60 per cent of Americans favor the death penalty for convicted murderers. And only 27 per cent oppose it. However, that percentage was said to be slightly down in comparison to previous results.

The European Union, on the contrary, holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty. Moreover, the abolition of a capital punishment is a pre-condition for entry into the Union. In October 2011, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton declared the EU's work on abolishing the death penalty worldwide a "personal priority."

The EU calls for all states where capital punishment is still used to restrict it progressively, and insists that it be carried out according to international minimum standards.

It also criticized the latest executions in Japan and Belarus.

Three men were executed by hanging in Japan on Thursday. The executions became the first since July 2010. Currently, Japan has 132 prisoners on death row. Capital punishment there is usually ordered for multiple murders.

In response to that, France said that executions "were even more regrettable because they occurred after Japan had not applied the death penalty for more than a year and a half."

Earlier, in mid-March, the EU also reacted with severe criticism to Belarus, where two men convicted of the April 2011 Minsk subway bombing were put to death. Belarus is the only European country which does not have a moratorium on the death penalty.


Scranton man to face death penalty for alleged murder of infant son

Published: March 29, 2012

By Denis J. O'Malley

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the West Scranton man accused of murdering his 2-month-old son in August, the man was informed Thursday at his arraignment.

Michael Nice, 24, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him, which include first-degree murder, during the arraignment before Lackawanna County Judge Terrence R. Nealon.

Mr. Nice is accused of throwing his 2-month-old son, Leon, in the air, grabbing him by his neck and ultimately shaking him to death on Aug. 9 when the infant would not stop crying, police said at the time.

An autopsy performed the following day found the infant had died of shaking and blunt force trauma, according to Times-Tribune archives, and Lackawanna County Coroner Tim Rowland ruled the case a homicide.

In interviews with police, Mr. Nice admitted he had grown frustrated with Leon and his other young son, Deamon, because they would not stop crying, police said.

Mr. Nice picked up Leon and began tossing him in the air for a few minutes then "he lost it" and started to shake the infant, according to the complaint.

When asked by police to illustrate the way he shook the infant, Mr. Nice began pushing and pulling his fists back and forth from his chest "in a fast motion" while grinding his teeth, Scranton police Detectives Capt. Al Leoncini said at the time.

Upon his arrest, Mr. Nice told police that, after the crying child had calmed down, he fed him a bottle and put him to bed at 4:25 p.m., according to a criminal complaint.

Twenty minutes later, Mr. Nice checked on Leon and found him pale, not breathing and without a pulse. Mr. Nice told police that he began performing CPR on the infant at that point, according to the complaint.

The child's condition was not reported for another 30 minutes, though, when the child's mother, Elizabeth Crandall, arrived at their 602 N. Rebecca Ave. home at 5:15 p.m. and called 911, police said at the time.

In addition to first-degree murder, Mr. Nice faces charges of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

Earlier this month, the Lackawanna County District Attorney's office filed a notice of aggravating circumstances in the case citing the victim's age as cause to seek the death penalty against Mr. Nice - an intention Mr. Nice was formally notified of by Judge Nealon during Thursday morning's proceedings.

Judge Nealon scheduled jury selection to begin on Oct. 9 with opening statements in the trial expected to begin on Oct. 22.

Mr. Nice remains in custody at the Lackawanna County Prison without bail.

Photo : The murderer Michael Nice >:(



This site last updated on, Wednesday, March 28, 2012

State seeks death penalty in Tulsa murders


Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:38 PM CDT

TULSA, Okla. - Motions for the death penalty were filed Tuesday by a Tulsa County (Okla.) district attorney against two men accused of the murders of a former Keokuk couple.

Jerard Davis, 21, and Darren Price, 19, allegedly gunned down 21-year-old Ethan Nichols and 18-year-old Carissa Horton last fall in an East Tulsa park.

Davis and Price each are charged with two counts of felony murder and two counts of robbery with a firearm. Price faces additional charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and eluding a police officer.

Nichols, who moved from Keokuk to nearby Broken Arrow, Okla., exactly one year ago today with his family, and Oral Roberts University freshman Horton were jogging in the park on the night of Sept. 18, 2011, when they were robbed and shot execution-style. Their bodies were discovered the next morning by dog walkers.

According to police, Price and Davis stole the couple's car and cell phones and texted Nichols' family the next day, pretending to be him in order to throw them off track.

Price returned to the scene of the crime after the bodies were discovered, telling a TV reporter he feared for his family's safety. He and Davis were arrested hours later.

After Horton and Nichols were identified, patrol officers covered the area around the park and found what appeared to be Nichols' 2001 White Pontiac Grand Am in the Salida Park Apartments. A pursuit of the vehicle ended when the driver, Price, crashed into an apartment building. Police later arrested Davis in a separate location.

Price and Davis' district court arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, April 26. No trial date has been set.

The death penalty is sought in a small percentage of murder cases in Tulsa County, according to a report this morning from the Tulsa World.

Other link :

(with video)

March 28, 2012 - 10:32 PM

Reported by: Abbie Alford


Updated: 9/24/2011 1:43 pm    Published: 9/20/2011 9:38 pm

Police say the two men arrested on murder charges showed no remorse for their alleged crimes.

Darren Price, 19, and Jerard "Jirao" Davis are accused of ambushing, robbing and shooting a young couple at Hicks Park in east Tulsa on Sunday night.

The bodies of Ethan Nichols, 21, and Carissa Horton, 18, were found on the jogging trail the next day by a couple walking their dog.

Tulsa Police patrol, homicide detectives and the Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force tracked down Darren Price just hours after the bodies were found, he was in Ethan's car.

Police arrested Davis not long after Price's arrest and found the suspected murder weapon inside his apartment, not far from Hicks Park.

In an interview Tuesday, the parents of Ethan and Carissa share their children's story and their dedication to Christ.

Ethan worked at Blue Bell Creamery and had his Associates degree and wanted to be a graphic designer. His family says he loved Frisbee golf and was an active guy.

Carissa was a freshman at ORU and her parents say she was nervous about earning credit for physical education. She was majoring in music and moved to Tulsa on August 2nd.

Carissa and Ethan enjoyed jogging together, that's why they were at Hicks Park Sunday night.

Carissa's father says he talked to her earlier that Sunday; she called to sing an early birthday song. "That was the last time I talked to her. She said 'well Daddy I'll talk to you later... we want to go the concert,'" says Carissa's father Rod Horton.

They were headed to a Christian piano concert and Ethan, who always wore tennis shoes, wanted to impress Carissa. "He bought brand new dress shoes so they could be there together," says Ethan's mother Teresa Nichols.

Carissa wrote and performed Christian music and always had her guitar. "She loved Ethan. Her world was beautiful. I think for the first time in her life she was exceptionally happy," says Carissa's mother Susan Gardner.

The two were from a small town Keokuk, IA but didn't know each other until recently. Their parents did and when Carissa got accepted to ORU, his mom asked him to help Carissa get adjusted.
"If he got to know you he would do anything for you. He did everything he could to lighten up anything," says Mrs. Nichols.

Before she moved the pair exchanged Facebook messages, then text messages and then started talking on the phone. Their families say the couple prayed together every night before they got off the phone. They say the couple was destined to be together.

"There will be hard times and a love story," says Mrs. Nichols. Carissa's mother believes this is where Carissa was destined to be, "Their lives started here. It bloomed and blossomed then it is snuffed out mercilessly," says Mrs. Gardner.

A tragic love story of two young people whose love for Christ brought them together and was taken away by two robbers who gunned them down.

"We know with all of our hearts the moment the triggers were pulled that they were in heaven," says Mrs. Nichols.

Police say the suspects, Darren Price and Jerard Davis, showed no remorse.

"They are right where they need to be in this society. We need to warehouse them and that's where they need to be for the rest of their life. If there is any case for a death penalty case this would be one of them," says Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker.

Ethan's father is fighting to forgive the men who took away his youngest child.
"I know I have to forgive to be forgiven but I can't find it in my heart for them to," says Scott Nichols. Ethan's mother believes he will find forgiveness.

"I can't say I want them condemned to hell because that wouldn't be any better. If they have a chance to know Christ, and really truly know Christ then they will know and realize and feel the anguish they have they have caused by killing absolutely two loving and innocent, wonderful kids," says Mrs. Nichols. "It is so important for us to know, we cannot, I will allow none of my family to see revenge or seek hatred in their hearts because that is Satan. We wouldn't be any better for them."

Carissa's mother believes all the anger in the world will still not bring her daughter and her boyfriend back.

"Tulsa needs to know that these were two innocent children. Not doing anything wrong. Their lives were taken in a horrifying way," says Mrs. Nichols.

They warn others that this can happen to any innocent person. "Continue to remind their kids not to put themselves in a vulnerable position," says Mr. Nichols.
"Don't turn your back on anybody it's just not right. If Tulsa can step up and take hold of that and at least love each other a little bit maybe we can stop some of this next time," says Mrs. Nichols.

One of the suspects was so bold that he was seen at the park while police were on the murder scene. A reporter even interviewed Darren Price about the murders; he made-up a story about being scared by what happened and not wanting to bring his children to the park.

Price and Davis are charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder and two counts of Robbery. Their bond has been raised to $2,050,000 and are currently in jail.

A memorial service will be held for Ethan Nichols and Carissa Horton on Saturday at their Church, Destiny Church, in Broken Arrow at 11 a.m.

Carissa will be buried in her hometown Keokuk, IA.

Darren Price and Jerard Davis are scheduled for September 27th.

Photos : 1. The murderers Darren Price and Jerard Davis >:( >:(

              2. The two victims Carissa Horton and Ethan Nichols :'( :'(

Rest in Peace Carissa and Ethan :'( :'( :-* :-* God bless you :'( :'( :-* :-*


No death penalty in shooting case

March 28, 2012 4:17 AM

The state will not seek the death penalty against a Jacksonville man accused in the shooting death of a woman last year, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Timothy Joseph Akers, 25, of Hardison Hills Road, was indicted last month on an open count of murder in the death of 19-year-old Caitlyn Elizabeth Culpepper. Her body was found in the middle of Hardison Hills Road at around 7 a.m. on July 6, 2011. Akers is accused of shooting her in the head.

Akers entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment Monday.

His attorney, Jacksonville lawyer Dick McNeil, said prosecutors have handed over evidence through the discovery process. McNeil did not know when a trial might begin.

Investigators have not commented publicly on any motive in the case but have said they believe Culpepper, a 2010 graduate of Richlands High School, was staying at the Hardison Hills Road apartment at least some of the time.

A resident of Hardison Hills Road told The Daily News that he heard a single gunshot at about 3:30 a.m. the morning Culpepper died.

Aggravating circumstances necessary for the state to press for capital punishment are not present in Akers' case, District Attorney Ernie Lee said.

Akers is being held in the Onslow County Jail without bond.

Other link :

Shooting suspect to hire own attorney

July 07, 2011 3:52 PM

A Jacksonville man accused of killing a woman Wednesday after she asked for a break in their relationship told a judge this morning that he will hire an attorney to represent him.

Timothy Joseph Akers, 24, of Hardison Hills Court, appeared in Onslow County District Court on an open count of murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Caitlyn Elizabeth Culpepper.

N.C. District Court Judge Carol Jones-Wilson denied Akers bond and ordered he be held in pretrial confinement at the Onslow County Jail. His next court date is set for July 28.

Akers is accused of shooting Culpepper in the head and leaving her body in the street in front of the Hardison Hills apartment they shared, according to warrants. A neighbor said he heard a single gunshot at 3:30 a.m. Culpepper's body was discovered at around 7 a.m.

Family members and close friends of Culpepper sat sobbing in the courtroom during the proceedings. They declined to speak with reporters at the courthouse after the hearing.

Akers' father, Tim Akers, Deputy Provost Marshal for Camp Lejeune and a retired Jacksonville police captain, was also at the hearing. He left without making a public comment.

Search warrants obtained by The Daily News show that a shell casing was found at the scene of Culpepper's death and a pink cellphone was found at her feet. Investigators seized the phone and extracted from it text messages, pictures, videos, audio files and a list of incoming and outgoing calls as possible evidence.

Court records show Ashley Lemiszki lived at the Hardison Hills Court residence with Culpepper. Lemiszki told reporters late Wednesday that Culpepper had asked Akers for a short break in their relationship.

Photo : The murderer Timothy Joseph Akers >:(


Slayings of 5 in S.F. cited to back immigrant detention bill

The suspect is from Vietnam and has a record. A House bill would let the government hold 'as long as necessary' immigrants deemed to be criminals who can't be deported to their native countries.

By Matt Stevens, Los Angeles Times

March 28, 2012
Lawmakers are using revelations about the suspect in the slaying of five San Francisco residents to push legislation that would allow lengthier detention of criminal immigrants who cannot be repatriated.

Binh Thai Luc, 35, of San Francisco was arrested Sunday in connection with the slayings of five people in a home in the Ingleside neighborhood. He had been taken into custody in August 2006 after serving time for assault and attempted robbery but had to be released six months later after Vietnamese authorities declined to provide appropriate travel documents for his deportation, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Supreme Court rulings hold that continued detention of an immigrant becomes unlawful after 180 days, when "no significant likelihood of removal exists in the reasonably foreseeable future."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released a statement Tuesday morning calling attention to a bill he introduced in May that aims to allow the Department of Homeland Security to detain "as long as necessary" immigrants deemed to be criminals who cannot be deported to their native countries.

The proposed law allows for a review of an immigrant's detention every six months. Officials said Luc, a convicted felon, probably would have remained in custody under the proposal.

"Just because a criminal immigrant cannot be returned to their home country does not mean they should be freed into our communities," Smith said in a statement tailored to the Luc case. "Dangerous criminal immigrants need to be detained."

A Judiciary Committee aide said the bill was approved by the panel in July and now awaits floor consideration.

The legislation has ignited opposition from civil rights groups. Ahilan Arulanantham, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, testified against the bill in May, and Tuesday he called the law's provisions "deeply misguided."

"We don't indefinitely detain people after their sentences are finished in the name of public safety," he said. "That violates our most basic constitutional principles."

Smith's bill follows a Florida law that allows judges to deny bail to violent criminals who commit a felony while on probation. The Officer Andrew Widman Act, signed into law in May, was named for a police officer killed by a Cuban immigrant who was on supervised probation and also was ineligible for deportation.

Photo : The suspect Binh Thai Luc >:(


Amnesty Displeased with Death Penalty Stance

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


caribarena news Antigua News - Latest

Antigua St John's - Amnesty International has issued a public statement regarding Antigua & Barbuda's reluctance to abolish the death penalty.

This came after this week's adoption of the Universal Periodic Review of Antigua & Barbuda by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The following is a statement sharing the recommendations made by the organisation to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda: Amnesty International welcomes the commitment to condemn human rights violations against persons because of their sexual orientation, but regrets the rejection of recommendations to abolish the death penalty.

Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Antigua and Barbuda

Amnesty International welcomes that there have been no executions in Antigua and Barbuda in the last 11 years, and further welcomes the government's commitment to rigorously apply international standards for fair trial in all death penalty cases.

However, Amnesty International is disappointed that Antigua and Barbuda rejected recommendations from six States to abolish the death penalty.

Amnesty International rejects the government's justification that it does not have a political mandate to abolish the death penalty.

The organization believes that public opinion on capital punishment is overwhelmingly based on a desire to be protected from violence and to be free from fear of crime.

A more effective strategy to address public safety would involve improving the capacity of the police to detect and solve crimes, enhancing the criminal justice system, and tackling the root causes of crime and violence more effectively.

Amnesty International recalls that the death penalty violates the right to life as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and urges Antigua and Barbuda to impose a formal moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to abolishing it; to commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment; to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR; and to vote in support of the next General Assembly resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

Amnesty International welcomes Antigua and Barbuda's commitment to condemn human rights violations against persons because of their sexual orientation and to institute policies and initiatives to address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

However, the organization emphasizes that the removal of discriminatory laws is a first step in fighting the stigma surrounding homosexuality, and regrets the government's rejection of recommendations to decriminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Amnesty International welcomes Antigua and Barbuda's support of recommendations to sign and ratify international human rights conventions including the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.



(with video)

No death penalty for Garage Bar killer

Reported by: Rob Munoz

Published: 11:57 am

Updated: 12:26 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- In a surprise move today, the death penalty has been taken off the table for a man accused of shooting his former lover several times in a Las Vegas bar.

News 3's Rob Munoz is in the newsroom with more information. A lot of people will find this plea deal surprising because the crime seemed so deliberate.

Deliberate because Tracy Kaufman flew more than 2,000 miles to, in his words, "scare" Phil Wells, his ex-boyfriend, and deliberate because he was arrested at McCarran Airport trying to skip town.

Wells' former boyfriend and friends are glad with the deal.

"It's closure," said Thomas Martinez, Phil Wells' boyfriend. "It's knowing that it's over and that we don't have to keep coming and staring at him everyday. He's finally going to get what he deserves."

For months, Thomas Martinez and his friends have had to watch in court as his boyfriend's accused murderer saw court delay after court delay in plea deal negotiations.

But this morning reality set in on Tracy Kaufman's face as he heard judge Philip Dabney read him his rights.

A complete 180 from previous appearances says Wells' friend Albert Perez.

Kaufman told police he flew from Knoxville, Tenn. to Las Vegas last November to "scare" his ex-boyfriend with a gun.

Police say the scare tactic morphed into Kaufman shooting his former lover Phil Wells more than 15 times as Wells was at work at the Garage Bar.

The deal on the table would see the 51 year-old Kaufman serving at least 20 years to life behind bars for the murder and an additional 20 years on a deadly weapons charge.

"He's going to be an old man by the time he even gets out," said Thomas Lahey, Phil Wells' friend. "And that's the very first time he can be considered for parole. From what I hear from the DA, they don't get parole the first time, so he'll be in there for a while."

Wells' last boyfriend said Kaufman didn't deserve to get off the hook with the death penalty.

"I actually think that's too easy,"  Martinez said. "I don't think he deserves to get off that easy. I think sitting in there and suffering every day for the rest of his life is what he should do."

The district attorney has also said he will block any attempts by Kaufman to try and serve out his sentence in Tennessee.

Wells' friends say Kaufman doesn't deserve to be near family when Wells' will never see him again. Kauffman's next court date is set for next Tuesday.

Related links : 1.

(with video)

Suspect in bar shooting arrested while fleeing city

Published: 11/15/2011 7:29 am

Updated: 11/15/2011 12:23 pm

LAS VEGAS -- Police say 50-year-old Tracy Kauffman -- the Knoxville, Tennessee man arrested in a shooting at 'The Garage' bar in Vegas -- was trying to flee the city when he was captured. Metro arrested Kauffman while he tried to buy a ticket at McCarran airport.

Friends of the victim, Phil Wells, Kauffman and Wells were involved in a relationship at one time.

For a short while, many were afraid the shooting was a hate crime, but Kauffman's arrest quickly dispelled that notion. Kauffman has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon and burglary with the use of a deadly weapon.

Hundreds showed up at a vigil outside 'The Garage' bar. Those who showed up said they arrived not only to remember Phil Wells, but as a sign of solidarity. The vigil was quiet, except for the few times friends sang some of Wells' favorite songs.

In the short time Wells lived in Las Vegas, friends say he made an impression on a lot of them.

According to friends and family, Wells had only been bartending at 'The Garage' bar for a short time, but they said he was their first employee of the month. He was shot and killed yesterday morning at the bar, near Flamingo and Maryland Parkway.

Wells counted a few hundred in the gay community as his friends, and they came together last night outside the bar where he worked.

David Martin, Wells' uncle and roommate, said that Wells' death has been like a punch in the gut.

"I feel like somebody's taken an ice cream scoop and scooped out my insides," Martin said. "I'm just very raw and empty right now. I can't really see a lot of sense in the world right now, that this would have to happen."


(with video)

Police make arrest in pre-dawn Garage Bar shooting

Published: 11/14/2011 6:27 am

Updated: 12/07/2011 10:52 am


LAS VEGAS -- Metro Homicide Detectives have taken Tracy Kaufmann, 50 years of age of Knoxville Tennessee into custody in connection with the shooting of Phill Wells at The Garage bar.

Kaufmann's booking photograph and the exact charges for which he will be arrested, will be released Tuesday morning following his booking into the Clark County Detention Center.

Police found Wells dead after a pre-dawn shooting at a bar not far from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Friends helped to identify the victim as bartender, who worked at The Garage bar where the shooting took place.

Brandon Busche, one of Wells' friends, says that Wells was not the type of person to make enemies, and cannot understand why he was shot.

Lt. Patrick Charoen says police were called about 5:30 a.m. Monday to the bar near Maryland Parkway and Flamingo Road. Wells was declared dead around 6 a.m.

Police say they do not know the motive of the shooting. They are currently reviewing security footage as part of the investigation.

Photos : 1. The murderer Tracy Kauffman >:(

              2. The victim Phil Wells :'(

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY 2012 to all the members here who have irish blood !

In Belgium, we appreciate this great Day !

Every year, myself and my friends go to the Irish Times Pub in Charleroi because there is a big party with a lot of music !

Also, we like to drink beers like Guinness or a Kilkenny.

During this special Day, we don't drink our belgians beers LOL ;D ;)

We love Ireland and the irish culture !

God bless you all here !

:-* :-*

Photos : The Irish Times Pub in Charleroi ;) :)