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on: February 27, 2012, 07:04:13 AM 16 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Former Death-Row Inmate Kirk Bloodsworth Speaks Out Against System

Former death-row inmate speaks out against system


Monday, February 27, 2012

Wrongfully convicted twice for a child rape and murder he did not commit, Kirk Bloodsworth has dedicated his life to freeing other people who suffered a similar fate.

"Think about how you would feel and magnify it a million times and that would get you close," Bloodsworth, 51, of Mt. Ranier, Md., said Sunday before speaking at a forum sponsored by Pittsburgh Faith in Action Against the Death Penalty at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. "It was the most God-awful feeling I ever had."

He was the first death row inmate in America to be exonerated and freed by DNA evidence. After his 1993 release, he became an activist, public speaker and consultant for Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, a coalition of groups and individuals opposed to the death penalty in that state.

In 1984, he was an honorably discharged, three-time discus champion in the Marines when he was arrested in connection with the rape and murder of Dawn Hamilton, 9, in Baltimore County. Five witnesses said he was the was the last person to see the little girl alive.

"The death penalty is a stark reminder that if it can happen to an honorably discharged Marine like me, it can happen to anybody in this room," Bloodsworth told about 120 people attending the forum. He wore a tie bearing the pattern of a DNA strand.

He recalled when his mother died and he was allowed to view her body for five minutes while wearing handcuffs and shackles. She did not live long enough to learn of his exoneration.

The first time he was convicted, Bloodsworth was sentenced to death. After receiving a new trial because the prosecutor had withheld evidence, he was convicted again and sentenced to two life terms. He served nine years in prison before his release.

Bloodsworth said the witnesses initially described the killer as 6-foot-5 with curly blond hair. He said he is about 6 feet tall, and his hair back then was "as red as a fireplug."

In 1992, Centurion Ministries of New Jersey helped him get court approval for DNA testing that provided biological evidence of his innocence. Such testing was not available at the time of his trial.

The state paid Bloodsworth $300,000 for wrongful imprisonment, or $92.39 a day, according to the Northwestern University Center on Wrongful Convictions.

"They wanted somebody for this crime, and I was the one," he said. "The real killer was caught several years later after I was released."

In 2003, DNA testing showed the killer was Kimberly Shay Ruffner, who arrived at the Maryland prison just a month after Bloodsworth and knew of Bloodsworth's fight to prove his innocence.

Bloodsworth is one of more than 130 death row inmates freed by DNA evidence. Six are from Pennsylvania.

In 2000, Congress set up the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA testing program to help defray the costs for states to do DNA testing, part of the Innocence Protection Act.

The Bloodsworth program has been instrumental to getting four people out of prison who are innocent, he said.

"Obviously, I'm against the death penalty and work for criminal justice reform," Bloodsworth said. "I keep working to make this system better."

Photo : Kirk Bloodsworth


on: February 24, 2012, 11:15:59 AM 17 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Victor Gantt Found Guilty, 2011 Murder, Faces The Death Penalty

Guilty verdict in Middletown murder case

Submitted by Fox19 Web Staff

Friday, February 24th, 2012, 1:52pm

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19)- A man accused of a brutal murder in Middletown has been found guilty.

A Butler County jury convicted Victor Gantt, 26, of murdering Leroy Jones, 75, in May of 2011.

Gantt was convicted of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence. He faces the death penalty.

Prosecutors made their closing arguments on Friday morning. The defense waived their right to make a closing argument. The judge gave the jury their instructions, and then deliberations began.

On Thursday, prosecutors played a taped confession that Gantt made to police the day after the murder. In the confession, Gantt said he hit Jones several times with an axe.

Defense attorneys have said the case is not about Gantt's guilty or innocence, but whether or not he should receive the death penalty.

The sentencing phase will likely begin on Monday.

Related stories :  1.

(with video)

February 24, 2012 - 8:11 PM

Trial Continues in Middletown Hatchet Murder

Published: 2/23 5:29 pm

Updated: 2/23 6:40 pm

If Victor Gantt is convicted of the May murder of 75-year-old Leroy Jones of Middletown, he could be sentenced to death.  Local 12 News reporter Larry Davis has a look at today's testimony.

After calling several witnesses, the prosecution today played a videotape of Middletown police detectives questioning Victor Gantt following his arrest.They heard the murder suspect, in his own words, describe killing Leroy Jones with an ax.

During his interrogation, Gantt told detectives how he broke into Jones' home with the ax.  He says the elderly man confronted him and hit Gantt on the shoulder and the head with a baseball bat.  It was then that Gantt told police he hit Jones four or five times with the ax.

He also said he stayed at the home after killing Jones to watch a movie and TV.  Gantt also admitted ransacking the home.

On the witness stand, detective David Swartzell testified Gantt told him much the same story immediately following his arrest. He said Gantt said "that he was sure he would sleep just fine."

The jurors also saw surveillance pictures of Gantt at a grocery store cashing in coins worth about $150 that he stole from Jones' home.The prosecutor says it was a pornographic movie Gantt watched inside Jones' home.He also said he ordered pornography on pay per view.

The defense admits their client is guilty and the only question for the jury to decide is Gantt's punishment. Closing arguments are expected tomorrow morning. Then the jury will decide whether to convict Gantt.


(with video)

Police arrest suspect in Middletown murder

Posted: 05/03/2011

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - Middletown Division of Police arrested Victor Gantt, 25, of Middletown for the death of a 75-year-old man who was found dead inside his home Monday afternoon.

Police reported to the 2200 block of Brentwood St. around 2:30 p.m. after a woman came home to find her house ransacked and her husband missing. Police found the body of Leroy Jones inside.

Gantt was arrested for murder and is also charged with criminal damaging and petty theft. He arraigned at the Middletown Municipal Court at 9 a.m. Tuesday. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday May, 11 at 2 p.m.

The investigation is still ongoing. No other information is available at this time.

This is the third murder in Middletown this year.

Photos : 1. The murderer Victor Gantt >:(

               2. The victim Leroy Jones :'(

Rest in Peace Miste Jones :'( :-* God bless you :'( :-*



on: January 25, 2012, 11:33:54 AM 18 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Lawmakers Consider Bill To Abolish Death Penalty

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 — Last update: 12:25 p.m. MST

Lawmakers consider bill to abolish death penalty

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 3:49 p.m. MST

By Rachel La Corte, Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Lawmakers are considering a measure to abolish the death penalty, an effort that has failed in Washington state in recent years but which supporters hope will gain traction after other states have recently either issued moratoriums or outlawed it completely.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Debbie Regala, of Tacoma, is set to receive a public hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"We can keep the public safe with putting people in prison for the rest of their life, as opposed to the costly expense of executing them," she said.

Regala also argued that the death penalty doesn't deter someone from committing a murder. She cites her own personal experience with the 1980 murder of her brother-in-law whose killer was never caught. Even if her relative's killer was charged, Regala said she wouldn't have wanted the assailant to face death.

"It doesn't do anything to heal your grief," she said. "It doesn't bring the victim back."

Fiscal documents from a similar bill last year showed that, not counting incarceration costs, a death penalty case runs about $1.2 million in state and local costs compared with $89,000 for a life-without-parole case.

Lawmakers are in the midst of a 60-day legislative session where they are tasked with patching a projected $1 billion dollar shortfall.

"It's always important and valuable for us to look at public policy and see if it's actually getting us the results that we want," Regala said. "When you're facing an economic crisis, you add an extra lens."

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire has not taken a position on the measure, said her spokeswoman, Karina Shagren.

The death penalty is currently used by the federal government and 34 states, including Washington. Sixteen states have abolished it, with Illinois being the most recent last year. And while a death penalty statute is still on the books in Oregon, Gov. John Kitzhaber last year stopped a pending execution and declared no one would be executed during his time in office.

"There is absolutely no question that there is a growing tide of public sentiment that the death penalty is economically and morally deficient," said Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle. Carlyle sponsored a similar bill in the House but acknowledged he didn't have the support in the House to get a hearing. "The pressure is growing for Washington to design a more thoughtful approach."

The last execution in Washington state was in September 2010, when Cal Coburn Brown died by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of a Seattle-area woman. He was the first Washington inmate executed since 2001, after spending nearly 17 years on death row.

Since 1904, 78 men have been put to death in Washington. Eight men are on death row at the state penitentiary.

Bills have been introduced in past years but have not garnered much support. In November, a coalition seeking to change the state's death penalty laws was formed called "Safe and Just Alternatives."

"The death penalty is enormously expensive," said spokeswoman Mishi Faruquee. "Given the budget situation right now in Washington state, you can't be spending those resources on a broken system."

A message left with the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys was not returned on Tuesday. Don Pierce, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, said his organization has never weighed in on the issue.

"I suspect that our sheriffs and chiefs have mixed feelings on this," he said.

Carlyle said that while it's unlikely the measure will pass this year, "there's a profound structural shift under way."

"I'm hopeful that in the very near future, we may find we reach a tipping point of our ability to pass this legislation," he said.

The death penalty abolition bills are Senate Bill 6283 and House Bill 2468.


on: December 13, 2011, 09:40:12 AM 19 Off Topic / Off Topic- News / Kingdom of Belgium : Four Dead In Armed Attack In The Walloon City Of Liege


13 December 2011


Four dead in armed attack in Liège

Tue 13/12/2011


Four people have been killed and seventy-five people injured in an armed attack in the heart of the Walloon city of Liège on Tuesday lunchtime. Grenade were thrown and shots fired at a group of people that were waiting at a bus shelter on the busy Place Saint-Lambert. One of those killed, Nordine Amrani (32), was involved in carrying out the attack.

A total of sixteen people were taken to hospital suffering from injuries or shock.

Three of those injured in the attack are reported to be in a life-threatening condition. Among them is a child.

Witnesses had reported that a group of men carried out the attack.

However, the Federal Crisis Centre says that only one person was involved in the attack.

The Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (Francophone socialist) and the Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet (Francophone Christian democrat) are to visit the scene.

The Medical Disaster Action Plan has been put into force and the police have sealed off the city centre.

The police asked people in Liège city centre to stay indoors. Anyone on the streets was advised to seek shelter in shops and public buildings.

An emergency first aid post was set up in the courtyard of the Prince-Bishops’ Palace on the Place Saint-Lambert. Witnesses sought shelter in Liège’s courthouse. The emergency services from Liège received reinforcements from Verviers (Liège province), Namur and the Dutch city of Maastricht.

Previous conviction

Nordine Amrani was sentenced to 58 months in prison in 2008 after a search of his home in the rue Bonne Nouvelle in Liège discovered 9,500 weapon parts, 10 complete weapons and 2,800 cannabis plants.

The assailant’s car has been found on the Place Saint-Lambert. A bomb disposal team from the Heverlee Barracks in Flemish Brabant has been called to scene.


Attack in Belgian City Leaves 4 Dead, 75 Wounded

By RAF CASERT Associated Press

LIEGE, Belgium December 13, 2011 (AP)

A man armed with grenades and an assault rifle attacked holiday shoppers Tuesday at a central square in the Belgian city of Liege, leaving four people dead and wounding 75, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack, but Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens said it did not involve terrorism.

Belgian officials identified the attacker as Norodine Amrani, 33, a Liege resident who they said had done jail time for offenses involving guns, drugs and sexual abuse. He was among the dead, but Liege Prosecutor Danielle Reynders told reporters it was unclear if he committed suicide or died by accident. He did not die at the hands of police, she said.

The dead also included two teenage boys, 15 and 17, and a 75-year-old woman, she said. The La Libre newspaper reported that a 2-year-old girl was clinging to life.

Reynders said Amrani had been summoned for police questioning on Tuesday but the reason for the questioning was not clear.

Officials said Amrani left his home in Liege with a backpack, armed with hand grenades, a revolve and an FAL assault rifle. He walked alone to the central square. From a platform, he lobbed three hand grenades toward of a bus shelter, then he opened fire.

He still had a number of grenades with him when he died, Reynders said.

Photos : 1.  A police officer directs traffic near a bus stop around the scene of incident in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Photo: Virginia Mayo / AP

2. A covered body is seen between two police vans, after an incident in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Photo: Virginia Mayo / AP

3. Ambulances are seen at the scene of incident in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Photo: Virginia Mayo / AP

4. Police stand next to evidence markers after an incident in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Photo: Virginia Mayo / AP

My country, my compatriots, my loved ones and myself are shocked ! It is very terrible ! God bless the victims and their families and friends !

 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(


on: December 05, 2011, 11:13:04 AM 20 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Trial Of Curtis Copeland, Faces Life In Prison If Convicted, 2010 Child Murder

Sanger man faces capital murder trial in Bowie boy's death

Posted Monday, Dec. 05, 2011

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.

A Sanger man goes on trial in Denton today in the 2010 beating death of a 3-year-old Bowie boy whom he was baby-sitting while the boy's mother delivered her third child.

Jury selection begins today in the trial of Curtis Leon Copeland, 28, in the death of Jesse Fisher. He is charged with capital murder of a person under six years old.

The Denton County district attorney's office is not seeking the death penalty, Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck said Monday in an email.

If convicted, Copeland faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole, Beck said.

Bruce Isaacks, a former Denton County district attorney who is Copeland’s court-appointed lawyer, could not be reached to comment Monday.

Testimony is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

Copeland remained in the Denton County Jail on Monday with bail set at $175,000.

Jesse’s mother, Sharon Worthy, 22, of Bridgeport is awaiting trial on a charge of injury to a child/recklessness. Worthy remains in the Denton County Jail with bail set at $75,000.

Authorities reported that at about 6:30 a.m. March 30, 2010, Worthy left her sons, Jesse Fisher and Malachi Yeley, 1, alone with her boyfriend, Copeland, at a Denton County residence he shared with his father, while she went to a Bridgeport hospital for scheduled induced labor.

The baby, named Arian Lee Worthy, was born about 5 p.m. that day.

Worthy and her two sons had been living in Bowie, according to Denton County authorities and court documents.

While Worthy was in Bridgeport, an ambulance was called for Jesse, whom Copeland said he found unconscious on the floor.

Jesse died March 31 at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Medical personnel alerted authorities that the child had numerous injuries and had been sexually assaulted, authorities have reported. Worthy and Copeland were the only people who had cared for Jesse alone recently, and their accounts of his injuries differed, authorities said.

The boy had a head injury, a broken vertebra, a broken hip and bruises all over his body, officials have reported.

When authorities checked on Malachi, he had a "busted lip and a bruise on his bottom," according to a Child Protective Services petition.

Arian and Malachi are in foster care, CPS officials said.

Other link :

Posted Friday, Apr. 02, 2010

Denton County man faces capital murder charge in death of 3-year-old boy


A 26-year-old Denton County man faces a capital murder charge in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was fatally injured this week while his mother was in a hospital delivering her third child, authorities said Thursday.

The boy suffered a head injury, a broken vertebra, a broken hip and bruises all over his body, and he had been sexually assaulted, officials reported.

The Tarrant County medical examiner's office identified the boy as Jesse Fisher and reported that he was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

No ruling had been recorded late Thursday on the cause or manner of his death.

Curtis Leon Copeland, with whom the mother and two children had lived for several days, was arrested Wednesday at a Denton hospital while he was visiting a relative, said Tom Reedy, a spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff's Department.

Copeland was in the Denton County Jail on Thursday night with bail set at $525,000, according to jail records, which list his aliases as X and Chaos.

The 19-year-old mother, who gave birth Tuesday, had not been charged, but the investigation was continuing, Reedy said. Child Protective Services had already been investigating a report that the 3-year-old had been abused in early March, a spokeswoman said.

CPS officials have placed the other children, a 1-year-old and the newborn, in foster care, the spokeswoman said. Copeland is not the father of any of the children, authorities said.

The boy's death

The pregnant mother and her two children had been living in Bowie but moved in with Copeland on March 25 in the 6500 block of Private Road 6601, Reedy said. That's between Krum and Sanger in unincorporated Denton County.

"She left on Tuesday morning to go have her baby," Reedy said. "And she left her two children with him."

Copeland went to a neighboring residence to ask that 911 be called, saying the boy had fainted, Reedy said.

The boy was taken first to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton and then transferred to the Fort Worth hospital.

Medical personnel called authorities, and sheriff's investigators and Texas Rangers interviewed Copeland on Tuesday. Copeland told them that the mother had told him that the boy had fallen down some stairs.

He agreed to take a polygraph test Wednesday but "didn't show up," Reedy said.

Officers began looking for Copeland and found him at Denton Regional Medical Center visiting his grandfather, who was scheduled for bypass surgery, Reedy said.

Copeland was initially arrested on an outstanding warrant, Reedy said. But after investigators searched his residence, he was booked into the Denton County Jail at 1:41 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of capital murder of a child younger than 6, records show.

CPS investigations

CPS has four reports on file regarding the mother, spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said. In March 2007, a report of neglectful supervision and physical neglect was filed involving the one child she had then. Investigators reported finding no neglect.

In July 2009, she was reported for medical and physical neglect and neglectful supervision. This time, investigators found "reason to believe" the report. She then had two children, records show.

"They were offered family services," Meisner said.

In December, CPS received another report of neglectful supervision. That report was recorded as "unable to determine."

On March 9, CPS received a report of physical abuse of the 3-year-old. That report was being investigated when the child died, Meisner said.

Photo : The murderer Curtis Leon Copeland >:(



on: November 25, 2011, 01:11:24 PM 21 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2011 !!!

Dear Members, Dear Friends,

It is a little bit late, I know, but...


God bless you and all your family and friends !!!

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


on: November 12, 2011, 04:20:45 AM 22 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Joseph Brown (MS DR),Mississippi Supreme Court To Review Post-Conviction Appeals

Miss. Supreme Court to review post-conviction appeals in death row cases

JACK ELLIOTT JR.  Associated Press
First Posted: November 11, 2011 - 3:29 pm
Last Updated: November 11, 2011 - 3:29 pm

JACKSON, Miss. — The post-conviction appeal of death row inmate Joseph Patrick Brown has made its way back to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

In 2009, Brown's case was among nine death row post-conviction appeals in which the Supreme Court asked trial judges why they had not ruled — or scheduled hearings.

Brown's claims of ineffective counsel were heard in Adams County Circuit Court in 2004. But no ruling had been issued. The trial judge issued a ruling denying the petition in 2010.

In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence — or a possible constitutional issue — that could persuade a court to order a new trial.

Brown's case is among dozens the Supreme Court will consider during its November-December term.

In 1999, the Supreme Court ordered an Adams County judge to determine if Brown was treated fairly when his attorneys decided against pursuing a mental evaluation of their client.

The court said there was merit to Brown's complaint about his attorneys' failure to ask questions about a state mental examination or to pursue an examination themselves.

Brown was convicted and sentenced to death in Adams County in 1994 for the killing of a convenience store clerk in Natchez.

Prosecutors said Brown and his girlfriend were driving around Natchez on Aug. 8, 1992, looking for drugs when they pulled into the Charter Food Store where Martha Day worked.

Brown's girlfriend testified that she saw Day grab her chest and fall after Brown approached the counter. The woman said Brown returned to the car with a cash register and other items.

Police said Day was shot four times and died at the scene.

The Supreme Court also will hear a post-conviction petition from death row inmate Jeffrey Keller Davis. A Greene County judge in 2010 ruled against Davis' petition of ineffective counsel.

Davis was convicted in the robbery and killing of Linda Hillman. She was shot and stabbed in 1991 at her trailer in Greene County. Prosecutors said Davis confessed to the killing and said he needed money to buy drugs in Pascagoula.

Other links : 1.


Photo : The murderer Joseph P. Brown >:(


on: November 10, 2011, 01:01:02 PM 23 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Prosecutors Will Seek DP Against Joshua Sellers And Jamie Shaffer, 2011 Murder

Prosecutors seek death penalty in slaying of Ohio woman whose body was left on railroad tracks

LISA CORNWELL  Associated Press
First Posted: November 09, 2011 - 5:35 pm
Last Updated: November 09, 2011 - 5:35 pm

CINCINNATI — Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for two men charged with murdering a 20-year-old woman and leaving her body to be struck by a train in southwest Ohio.

The Montgomery County prosecutor's office in Dayton says a grand jury Wednesday re-indicted 21-year-old Jamie Shaffer and 26-year-old Joshua Sellers in the slaying of Lisa Spinks of Miamisburg. Grand jurors added specifications to aggravated murder counts against the men, making them eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

The Miamisburg men were initially indicted last month on aggravated murder and other charges. Their attorneys did not immediately return calls.

Spinks' body was found Sept. 25 along train tracks in Miamisburg. Authorities say she was stabbed in the neck before her body was left on railroad tracks and struck by a train.

Other links : 1.

Cops: Slaying in suburb involved a plan

One suspect accuses the other of taking latex gloves to place of killing.

By Lawrence Budd, Staff Writer Updated 12:24 AM Thursday, September 29, 2011

MIAMISBURG — Before the battered body of 20-year-old Lisa Spinks was dumped on a railroad track, two men joked about killing her, according to police.

The woman’s severed torso was found Sunday on either side of the tracks near Upper River Road.

Tuesday, two men — one of whom was Spinks’ ex-boyfriend — were charged in the death of the 2010 Miamisburg High School graduate.

Joshua J. Sellers, 26, and Jamie Shaffer, 21, remained in the Montgomery County Jail after prosecutors approved charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and possession of criminal tools.

Prosecutors will explore the possibility of pursuing the death penalty later, Miamisburg police Capt. Ron Hess said.

According to the county coroner’s office, Spinks was the victim of a homicide, having died from multiple stab wounds to the neck.

But Shaffer, the woman’s ex-boyfriend, said Sellers put on latex gloves before beating Spinks with a rock near the tracks, according to an affidavit filed by Miamisburg
police, which doesn’t hint at a motive in the slaying.

The Dayton Daily News obtained the affidavit Tuesday.

The suspects had apparently joked about killing the woman. Shaffer told police he invited Spinks to his apartment on South Second Street. From there, the three of them walked to the tracks. When Shaffer saw Sellers with the latex gloves, he said he knew his friend was going to follow through with the killing.

A blood trail indicates that her body was dragged from nearby Bear Creek, according to court records. Shaffer told police he refused to help move the woman’s body. Capt. Hess said there was evidence of blunt force trauma to Spinks’ head, but “that was after death.”

It has not been determined if Spinks was killed Saturday or Sunday. “We have a weapon. We don’t know if it is the weapon,” Hess said.

Spinks’ brother, David, told police his sister and Shaffer had broken up a few days earlier.

“Lisa wanted more of a relationship,” Shaffer told police.

Spinks was raised from infancy by Linda Nicholas, a retired Xenia schoolteacher, and her husband William, a security guard.

Shaffer graduated from Miamisburg high in 2008, but attended Miami Valley Career Technology Center his junior and senior years, according to school records.

His only court involvement in Miamisburg stemmed from a charge accusing him of failure to control (while driving) in 2008.

That year he was on a team competing in a green technology contest at the Career Technology Center.

Sellers is to be in Municipal Court on Oct. 11 stemming from a November 2010 incident in which he’s accused of making a false statement to police involving a black-handled knife.

Two years ago, Miamisburg police investigated the stabbing death of Charles Zan II of Miamisburg. His wife and her stepson were convicted in the case.

The Spinks killing, Hess said, “I think this is worse.”


2 Arrested In Slaying Of Woman Found Near Tracks


Associated Press

Published: September 28, 2011

Updated: September 28, 2011 - 9:12 AM

CINCINNATI -- Two men were arrested Tuesday on aggravated murder charges in the fatal stabbing of a woman whose body was found near railroad tracks in southwest Ohio, police said.

Jamie L. Shaffer, 21, and Joshua J. Sellers, 26, both of Miamisburg, were arrested in the death of 20-year-old Lisa Spinks. Spinks' body was found Sunday along train tracks in Miamisburg, which is about 35 miles northeast of Cincinnati.

A CSX train crew reported the body. Police believe that Spinks' corpse was struck by at least one train, Miamisburg Capt. Ron Hess said.

Both Shaffer and Sellers were arrested on one count each of aggravated murder while committing kidnapping, aggravated murder with prior calculation or design, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and possession of criminal tools, Hess said.

Court records did not list an attorney for either man. Bond for each was set at $1 million, and they were being held at the Montgomery County jail in Dayton, Hess said.

The charges were filed in municipal court, and a Montgomery County grand jury was expected to review the case within 10 days, Hess said.

He would not comment on a possible motive, saying police are still investigating.

"We believe her body was placed on the tracks and hit by one, maybe two trains sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Hess said.

He said authorities will be reviewing videos from trains that passed through the area where the body was found.

Photos : 1. The murderer Joshua Sellers >:(

               2. The murderer Jamie Shaffer >:(

               3. Th victim Lisa Spinks :'(

Rest In Peace Lisa :'( :-* God bless you :'( :-*


on: November 10, 2011, 12:23:12 PM 24 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Prosecutors Will Not Seek DP Against Lindsey Lowe, 2011 Children Murders

State Will Not Seek Death Penalty Against Lindsey Lowe

Posted: Nov 10, 2011 8:09 PM

Updated: Nov 10, 2011 8:22 PM

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. – Prosecutors announced Thursday that they will not seek the death penalty against Lindsey Lowe, who is accused of killing her newborn twins on six counts including murder.

The Sumner County Grand Jury indicted Lowe on six counts including murder. Lowe is due back in court next Friday for an arraignment, but she may not appear.

She remains free on bond.

Lowe was charged with two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of her newborn sons in September.

Last week, a judge ruled that Lowe could remain free on bond after drug tests found Valium in her system.

Her father, Mark Lowe, testified that the family gave her two- 2 milligram Valium pills the Sunday of the twins' funeral to help her maintain her composure.

He told the judge they immediately reported the Valium use the following morning. The judge deemed she was not a flight risk.

The 25-year-old has been accused of killing both of her newborn twin boys after they were born in a toilet in her parents' home on September 12. Her father discovered one of the babies in a laundry basket two days later and called 911.

Lowe allegedly admitted to smothering the infants so her parents would not hear them cry.

In a preliminary hearing two weeks ago, a detective testified that the father of the newborn twins was not Lowe's fiancé, but rather a man she had had an affair with in December 2010 and January 2011.

Lowe was released on September 21 on supervised bond, after her attorney said her grandparents offered their home for collateral to pay the $250,000 bond.

Before the babies were buried at a private ceremony in September, family members named them Mark Alvin Michael Lowe and Paul Duvoll Tate Lowe.

Members of her church also held a public vigil for the twins in September.

Other links : 1.

Lindsey Lowe Remains On Bond After Valium Use

osted: Nov 04, 2011 5:20 PM

Updated: Nov 04, 2011 11:30 PM

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – The Hendersonville woman accused of killing her newborn twins will remain on bond after a hearing Friday afternoon.

The hearing was for 25-year-old Lindsay Lowe after she violated her probation last month. A drug test found a form of valium in her system at one of her check-ins with a probation officer. The unprescribed drug was not allowed by the terms of her original bond.

If found that Lowe was not authorized to take the medication, her bond could have been revoked, meaning she would return to jail.

Her father, Mark Lowe, testified that the family gave her two 2mg Valium pills the Sunday of the twins' funeral to help her maintain her composure.

"That was a very hard day to say the least," Mark Lowe said on the stand Friday. "I was not going to be able to find someone to give her a prescription for Valium at five o'clock on a Sunday, but my daughter needed something to calm her down."

He told the judge they immediately reported the Valium use the following morning.

Lowe's probation officer told the judge he did not believe she was a flight risk.

Lowe has been accused of killing both of her newborn twin boys after they were born in a toilet in her parents' home. Her father discovered one of the babies in a laundry basket and called 911.

A grand jury has been scheduled for November 7.


(with video)

Lindsey Lowe Case Bound Over For Grand Jury

Posted: Oct 25, 2011 12:42 PM

Updated: Oct 26, 2011 1:41 PM

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – The case against Hendersonville woman accused of suffocating her newborn twins and hiding them in a laundry basket has been bound over for the grand jury.

Lindsey Lowe, age 25, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing on charges of first degree murder. Her family and some supporters joined her in the courtroom.

Lowe has been accused of killing both of her newborn twin boys after they were born in a toilet in her parents' home. Her father discovered one of the babies in a laundry basket and called 911.

Hendersonville Police Det. Steve Malach testified that when he first took Lowe to police headquarters for an interview, she talked about her interest in interior design and hope to one day opening a business in that field.

It was when she was being interviewed that they first learned about the second baby.

Lowe admitted to police that she cheated on her fiance Jonathan Brooks in December 2010 and January 2011 with a man named Jeremy Smith. Paternity tests revealed that Smith - not Brooks - was the father of the twins.

Lowe sobbed audibly as Malach described how she had told him of the affair that occurred in December and January.

Police said Lowe told them that she did not tell Brooks or Smith about the pregnancy.

Lowe's attorney, John Pellegrin, said after the hearing that it was the first time she had heard the results of the paternity test.

An additional bond hearing was scheduled after it was revealed that Lowe tested positive for an unprescribed valium at one of her check-ins with a probation officer.

The drug was a violation of the terms of her probation.

Defense attorney John Pellegrin said he was considering an insanity defense. Prosecutors have said they may seek the death penalty.

The last time Lowe was in court for a bond hearing, she was handcuffed, wearing a prison jumpsuit, and under suicide watch.

Lowe has been out of jail on bond for more than a month and staying with her parents at the same home where she allegedly killed her newborn sons.  She returned back home on September 21 on supervised bond, after her attorney said her grandparents offered their home for collateral to pay the $250,000 bond.

Before the babies were buried at a private ceremony in September, family members named them Mark Alvin Michael Lowe and Paul Duvoll Tate Lowe. Lindsey was in attendance.

Members of her church also held a public vigil for the twins in September.

The grand jury was scheduled for November 7.


Private Funeral Held Sunday For Newborn Twins

Posted: Sep 27, 2011 10:31 PM

Updated: Sep 28, 2011 5:13 AM

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – A private funeral was held Sunday for the newborn twins who were allegedly suffocated by their mother. The attorney for Lindsey Lowe said that she along with her family and a few close friends were the only ones in attendance.

The service was held at Spring Hill Funeral Home and the twins were buried at Spring Hill Cemetery.

Attorney John Pellegrin told NewsChannel 5 that the twins were given names, Mark Alvin Michael Lowe and Paul Duvoll Tate Lowe.

Lowe was charged with two counts of first degree murder after the infants were discovered.

The infants were born on September 12 at Lowe's parents' Hendersonville home. Her father, Mark Lowe, discovered one of the babies dead in a laundry basket two days later and called police. When they arrived on scene, they discovered the second baby.

In a court affidavit, the 25-year-old mother reportedly told police she held her hand over each baby's mouth until each was dead.

The affidavit said Lowe then hid the bodies in the laundry basket to keep them from being discovered.

She returned back home on September 21 on supervised bond, after her attorney said her grandparents offered their home for collateral to pay the $250,000 bond.

Lowe has reportedly not talked or eaten much since her arrest last week. In fact, she had been on suicide watch while in jail.

Lowe's attorney said they have been considering an insanity plea, but it was too early to make that determination. Prosecutors have mentioned that they may pursue the death penalty.

Lowe had been engaged since 2008, however, paternity testing was done to determine who the father was. Detectives hope to have the results in the next week.

Lowe was scheduled for a preliminary hearing for Wednesday, but it was rescheduled for October 11.


(with video)

Vigil For Family Of Mom Accused Of Killing Newborns

Posted: Sep 22, 2011 4:51 PM

Updated: Sep 23, 2011 5:39 AM

MADISON, Tenn. – A vigil was held Thursday night for the two newborns killed last week in Hendersonville. Police said their mother, Lindsey Lowe, admitted to hiding her pregnancy and suffocating her twin infant sons after they were born at home.

The vigil was held at the City Road Chapel United Methodist Church on South Gallatin Road in Madison. It is the church where Lowe was baptized and confirmed.

Guests brought flowers and candles and placed them near a cross during the service.

The same people that took the stand in Lindsey Lowe's defense in court on Monday planned the vigil. They said it's to grieve a loss, but also to pray for the Lowe family.

Pastor Ron Lowery and about 50 others gathered to grieve the loss of two newborn boys. 

"We know there's been a tremendous loss that cannot be overlooked," said Pastor Lowery.

What we're trying to do is apply whatever grace we can in a situation, not condoning any of this. I want that to be very clear," he added.

The Pastor said as a member of the church, it is their duty to stand behind Lowe, no matter the situation.

"Do we condone what Lindsey did? No, but the scripture also teaches us that every last one of us is a sinner," Lowery added.

"There were no exemptions for our church people. Even though horrible things come along, we have to stand with our people," he continued.

The Pastor said there will not be a funeral for the infants at the Madison church. He was not aware if the family will plan a service for a different location.

The Assistant District Attorney in Hendersonville said they don't need opinions, vigils, or character witnesses because they have facts on their side.

"The nature of the crime lends itself to a lot of talk. We are going to keep our nose to the grounds and keep working on the case and seek justice for these two little kids," said Ron Blanton.

Blanton said it's too early to see how all of the support for the Lowe family will play out in the courtroom, but he said none of it will change the two charges of first degree murder which could bring life in prison or the death penalty.

The infants were born last Monday evening at Lowe's parents' Hendersonville home. Her father, Mark Lowe, discovered one of the babies dead in a laundry basket two days later and called police. When they arrived on scene, they discovered the second baby.

In a court affidavit, the 25-year-old mother reportedly told police she held her hand over each baby's mouth until each was dead.

The affidavit said Lowe then hid the bodies in the laundry basket to keep them from being discovered.

She returned back home on supervised bond, after her attorney said her grandparents offered their home for collateral to pay the $250,000 bond.

Lowe has reportedly not talked or eaten much since her arrest last week. In fact, she had been on suicide watch while in jail.

Some people have worried that home may not be the best place for her. One doctor said Lowe needs to be under professional care and somewhere other than home.

"We don't know if the family is really stable, and [returning to the location] where the event occurred could be really traumatizing for her, making the suicidal thoughts even worse," said Dr. Kristi Marshall, a licensed clinical professional.

Lowe's attorney said they have been considering an insanity plea, but it was too early to make that determination.


(with video)

Help Sought For Woman Charged With Killing Twins

Posted: Sep 21, 2011 11:22 PM

Updated: Sep 22, 2011 3:55 AM

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The attorney for a woman accused of hiding her pregnancy and smothering her newborn twins so that her parents wouldn't hear their cries said the family is seeking mental health treatment for the 25-year-old.

Lindsey Lowe's attorney said she is back at her Hendersonville home on a supervised bond, but some psychologists wonder if that's the safest place for her.

It was one week ago that Lowe's father discovered the bodies of newborn twins in a laundry basket in his daughter's bedroom.

Lowe has reportedly been on suicide watch, not eating and not communicating since being arrested for murder last week. One doctor believes she needs to be under professional care outside the home.

"And to bring her back into the home where we don't know if the family is really stable and where the event occurred could be really traumatizing for her making the suicidal thoughts even worse," said Dr. Kristin Marshall, a licensed professional counselor.

Lowe's attorney said an insanity plea is not out of the question, but it is too early to make that call.

She was released on $250,000 bond on Tuesday. That came a day after a hearing in which Lowe's father described her as a "model daughter" who had lived at home and taken care of her ailing mother since graduating from Western Kentucky University in 2008.

Pellegrin said finding treatment for Lowe and getting her stabilized are their top priorities.


(with video)

Bond Set For Mother Accused Of Killing Infant Twins

Posted: Sep 19, 2011 5:41 PM

Updated: Sep 20, 2011 12:16 AM

by Tim Wetzel and Kim Gebbia

GALLATIN, Tenn. – Bond has been set for the mother who police said confessed to killing her two newborn babies.

Lindsey Lowe, age 25, appeared in a General Sessions courtroom in Sumner County Monday morning. Last week she delivered two twin boys in a bathroom in her parent's Hendersonville home. Police said she confessed to killing the babies so her parents wouldn't find out about the pregnancy.

Lowe told investigators she delivered the first child and covered his mouth so that her parents wouldn't hear him crying. She kept her hand on the child's face for more than two minutes, suffocating the baby.

According to police, she killed the other twin the same way. Lowe's father found the newborns in a clothes basket covered in blankets.

Attorneys for Lowe asked a judge to grant her bail. However, prosecutors argued in favor of keeping her behind bars because they may seek the death penalty.

The judge decided Lowe is not a flight risk and not a danger to the community.  The judge set bond at $250,000, with supervised probation.

Dozens of people showed up in court to show their support of Lowe. Ten character witnesses, including her father, described her as warm, kind, loving, and respectful of her parents.

"Lindsey is a model daughter and we love her very much. She is as good as it gets," said Mark Lowe.

Lowe said he had no idea his daughter was pregnant before finding the body of a dead baby boy in a laundry basket on September 14.

It was later discovered there were two bodies in the basket in Lindsey Lowe's bedroom.

Family friend Debbie Naylor said even those who love her may never be able to explain her actions, but said, "Lindsey is not a monster."

"Lindsey is very kind very caring, very considerate of others," said Naylor.

But a detective painted a very different picture of the college graduate.

"She figured she would smother it, so she put her hands over the child's mouth until it could not breathe and I specifically asked did you know the child was dead at that time and she said yes," said Detective Steve Maloch.

Prosecutors argued Lowe was a 25-year-old woman – not a teenager – and that she knowingly suffocated and killed her twin infant boys.

Lowe appeared very emotional during testimony.

The judge asked Lowe if she had ever been on mental health medication or had experienced mental health issues. She said no.

Also in court taking her defense was Lowe's fiance,  John Browns, the potential father of the murdered twins.

"I am really sorry, I am having a really hard time with it," Browns said.

He said he had "no comment" when NewsChannel 5 asked if had anything to say about the paternity testing being completed to determine who the father of the twins was.

Lowe worked at a pediatric dental office. Her co-workers said they had no idea she was expecting babies.

"We are all just shocked and saddened and pray for her and her family," said co-worker Michele Stainback.

It was not clear why Lowe hid the pregnancy from friends and family. She told police she believes she got pregnant in January 2011.

Lowe was still behind bars while waiting for her family to secure bond.

If the Lowe's can post the bond, her family and attorney said the first order of business will be to get Lowe the mental help they said she needs.

A preliminary hearing will be held for Lowe on September 28.

Tennessee does have a "Safe Haven" law. Within 72 hours of having a child, a mother can bring her newborn baby to any hospital, fire or police station and can drop the child off, no questions asked.


DA Fights to Keep Mother of Dead Twins in Jail

Posted: Sep 18, 2011 1:51 AM

Updated: Sep 18, 2011 5:49 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- An attorney for a Hendersonville woman accused of killing her newborn twins, says she's now on medication for her mental state. Lindsey Lowe's attorney says she was depressed, and she says she had told her parents she was ill.

Police arrested Lowe earlier this week.  She told investigators that after she gave birth to twin boys Monday night at her family's home, she used her hand to smother the babies to keep her parents from hearing them cry.

She then hid the babies' bodies in a laundry basket. Her dad discovered them Wednesday and called police. A bond hearing for Lowe is set for Monday.  The District Attorney will fight to keep her in jail and says the death penalty is a possibility in the case against Lowe.


(with video)

Mother Charged After Newborn Twins Found Dead In Home

Posted: Sep 15, 2011 1:10 AM

Updated: Sep 15, 2011 5:41 AM

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – Police have charged a Hendersonville mother in the deaths of her two newborn sons.

25-year-old Lindsey Lowe was arrested on Wednesday and charged with two counts of first degree murder.

Police were called out to a home on Park Circle around 9 a.m. by Lowe's father.

A young mom who lives on the same street couldn't believe what unfolded as paramedics, officers then crime scene units flooded her usually quiet cul-de-sac.

"You never would have thought that would happen 2 houses down," said one 23-year-old mom, Ashley.

The father, who reportedly didn't know his daughter was pregnant, found a newborn baby in her bedroom, apparently hidden and lifeless.

"A child was found deceased in a part of the bedroom that you wouldn't normally find a child and that certainly was suspicious in and of itself," said Lt. Scott Ryan.

But when officers arrived they made a second shocking discovery: the newborn boy was a twin and a second deceased baby was found near the first.

Police said the deaths were immediately deemed suspicious due to the location of the infant and absence of the mother.

Police located Lowe. She was taken to the police department where she was cooperative but "distraught and saddened" during her interview with investigators. She is currently undergoing medical evaluation.

Police believe the two newborn boys had been in their mother's bedroom since Monday.

"I wanted throw up. I was seriously nauseated to my stomach, I have a baby, I love her. I'd do anything for her. to know that somebody couldn't take the time to love a child and would do something like that just tears me apart ," said a neighbor.

Police said it's still unclear why the Western Kentucky student would kill her own twins. After reviewing the evidence and interviewing Lowe, they felt it was no accident.

Police said it's a crime that may never make sense and one they'll likely never forget.

"Will always remember this day and the events. It's very sad our heart goes out to the mother the rest of her family and to those children who didn't have a chance at life," added Ryan.

Police would not speculate on how the infants died, but said there were no signs of trauma or abuse. However, they did have enough information to arrest and charge her.

Police said aspects of the investigation are pending further scientific examination, including the identity of the babies' father.

Both of the infants' bodies were transported to the Medical Examiner's office for autopsy.

Neighbors tell us the Lowe family was very close, very spiritual and involved in the church. One of the very first people to arrive on scene was their pastor.

Lowe is behind bars with no bond.

Photo : The murderer Lindsey Lowe >:(


on: November 10, 2011, 12:04:04 PM 25 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / November 11, 1918 : Armistice Day : I remember...

In advance, I would like to start this special thread who concerns the famous Armistice Day and commemorate the November 11, 1918 :-* Tomorrow, it will be a publc holiday in Belgium :-*

I have an ancestor (by my Dear father) who participated and I am so proud of this great heritage :)

God bless all victims and their families :-* :-* Peace to them all :-*



on: November 09, 2011, 12:43:29 PM 26 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Elroy Chester (TX DR) : His Attorneys Trying To Halt Death Sentence, 1998 Murder

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Attorneys for Port Arthur serial killer trying to halt death sentence

By Heather Nolan (409) 880-0724

Published 03:35 p.m., Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Additional cases pending against convicted capital murderer Elroy Chester apparently will remain on the shelf until all his appeals in the 1998 shooting death of Port Arthur firefighter Willie Ryman III are exhausted.

Court procedure had dictated that a hearing be set this week, but because the appeals still are active, the hearing was canceled. The 42-year-old death row inmate is being represented in his appeals by the Alaska law firm of Feldman, Orlansky and Sanders.

According to the firm's website, Chester has a history of having been diagnosed by Texas schools and prisons as mentally retarded. Attorneys are trying to establish that his death sentence is unconstitutional because the Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of mentally retarded offenders.

Chester's two murder and capital murder charges stem from the Sept. 20, 1997 shooting death of John Henry Sepeda, 78; the Nov. 15, 1997 slaying of Etta Mae Stallings, 87; the Nov. 20, 1997 death of Cheryl DeLeon, 40; and the Dec. 21, 1997 death of Albert Bolden Jr., Chester's brother-in-law.

Chester admitted killing the four. In the Ryman case, after Chester pleaded guilty, it only took a Jefferson County jury 12 minutes to sentence Chester to death.

Ryman was killed on Feb. 6, 1998 in his sister's Port Arthur home while trying to stop Chester from sexually assaulting his teenage nieces. Chester then took jewelry from the home and fled, according to the prosecution case.

Chester testified in his trial against the advice of his defense attorneys, Doug Barlow and Layne Walker, according to Enterprise reports from the time.

Chester said on the stand that his sexual assault victims were "lucky they ain't dead" and that he had "a whole lot of fun" committing crimes.

He told jurors if they gave him the death penalty he would order his "homeboys" to kill a Port Arthur police officer. If he received a life sentence, he said he would kill a guard in prison.

Other links : 1.


Photos : 1. The murderer Elroy Chester >:(

              2. The victim Willie Ryman III (in 1988) :'(


on: November 09, 2011, 12:28:27 PM 27 Across the Globe / World Death Penalty Discussion / South Africa : Pretoria Gallows Restored As A Museum

Pretoria gallows restored as a museum

9 Nov 2011 07:29

The gallows in Pretoria's Central Prison - where hundreds of people, many of the political activists were put to death - is now being restored and turned into a museum and tourist attraction, reports IOL.

The South African Constitutional Court voted unanimously in June 1996 that the death penalty should be abolished in this country and at the time it was thought that the building would be locked and forgotten.

However, the Minister of Correctional Services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqukula has ordered that the gallows be restored and opened to the public as a museum to preserve South Africa's history and give bereaved families a chance to make peace with their past.

The museum is to open in the first week of December.


on: November 09, 2011, 12:01:10 PM 28 Across the Globe / World Death Penalty Discussion / More Than 220 Indonesians Are Facing The DP In Saudi Arabia, Malaysia And China

Hundreds of Indonesians face death penalty in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and China

By BNO News

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) -- Indonesian officials on Tuesday confirmed that more than 220 citizens are facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and China for a number of crimes

Indonesia Migrant Workers Task Force spokesman Humphrey R. Djemat told the Antara news agency that there are currently 45 Indonesians facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, 148 Indonesians in Malaysia and 28 Indonesians in China.

Djemat made the announcement after a meeting between the minister of law and human rights, the coordinating minister of political, security and law affairs and the minister of foreign affairs. He also said that a law office has been set up in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in order to appoint lawyers to help Indonesians abroad.

Most of the Indonesians facing the death penalty have been linked to narcotics cases while others have been charged with murder and possession of firearms. In Saudi Arabia, however, some of the suspects are facing adultery and black magic cases.

Djemat expressed concern as information regarding the alleged criminal offenses of many Indonesian migrant workers is often made unavailable until their cases have already reached the courts. He insisted a memorandum of understanding should be signed in such countries in order to coordinate their legal cases.

One of the most media-covered cases this year was the execution of migrant worker Ruyati binti Satubi. She was executed on June 18 in Saudi Arabia after a court found her guilty of murdering the wife of a Saudi businessman. The Indonesian woman worked as a housekeeper and confessed to killing her employer after a fight.

Since January, government officials have tightened regulations regarding labor workers being sent out to Saudi Arabia by increasing requirements for possible employers. Among the new requirements is the need to include documents that prove the employers' good conduct, a house map, details and pictures of family members, opening communication access and offering a minimum wage of 11,000 reals ($2,900).


on: November 07, 2011, 12:25:41 PM 29 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / Lewis E. Lawes, A Man Who Knew About the Electric Chair

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 6, 2011, 5:02 pm

A Man Who Knew About the Electric Chair


Nobody killed more people, with more regret, than Lewis E. Lawes.

The warden of the Sing Sing Correctional Facility for 21 years, Lawes supervised the executions of 303 prisoners, all the while condemning the practice of capital punishment as barbaric, inequitable and futile.

As Hollywood’s favorite “fearless, fighting warden,” with a soft heart for his “boys,” Lawes was in charge of the prison through two turbulent decades, from the Jazz Age and the Great Depression to World War II.

“I shall ask for the abolition of the Penalty of Death,” he wrote in 1923, quoting Lafayette, “until I have the infallibility of human judgment demonstrated to me.”

Executions at the prison, in Ossining, N.Y., left Lawes physically ill, his trove of papers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice shows. Once, when a condemned man named Patrick Murphy pleaded for a strictly prohibited last drink of spirits, Lawes broke the rules to deliver a medicinal dose of bourbon. Murphy accepted it gratefully and then offered it back to the stricken Lawes, saying, “You need the shot more than I do, warden.”

But he was no pushover. “Hell,” he wrote in one of his many books, “Invisible Stripes,” “the only law in Sing Sing is Lawes.”

So with the United States Supreme Court now reviewing the Alabama case of the death row inmate Cory Maples, whose appeal got waylaid in the mail, and weeks after a lethal injection ended the life of Troy Davis still protesting his innocence in the killing of a Georgia police officer, it would hardly be amiss to summon Lawes (who died in 1947 at 63) as an expert witness on the subject of state-ordered death.

Barely one out of 80 killers actually paid with his life, Lawes liked to note. Where was the equity in that? And, he asked, “Did you ever see a rich man go the whole route through to the Death House? I don’t know of any.”

If the prospect of execution were a deterrent to killing, Lawes asked, how did Thomas Pallister, who helped build Sing Sing’s first death house, come to be convicted of murder and ordered to die there? (He cheated the chair by breaking out and escaping; he was later found dead with a bullet to the head.)

It was under Lawes that the world got its most sensational image of capital punishment: Ruth Snyder and her lover, Henry Judd Gray, went to the chair in 1928 for the killing of Snyder’s husband. A photographer for The Chicago Tribune, shooting for The Daily News with a miniature camera strapped to his ankle, snapped a grotesque shot of the hooded Snyder as the current shot through her.

Lawes, a dandyish warden who was known to enjoy a pre-dinner Scotch throughout Prohibition, practiced the redemption he preached. He was shaved each morning by a convicted killer who had slit a man’s throat, and he confidently put his 6-year-old daughter in the care of a convicted kidnapper. Of his household staff of 22, he assured his nervous wife, only two were murderers.

Born in 1883 in Elmira, N.Y., Lawes had worked as a guard at Clinton Prison in the Adirondack wilds of Dannemora, N.Y. His education as a penologist came at the feet of a wise old lifer who schooled him in the power of the club. “Carry it as a badge of authority,” he advised, “but never use it.”

He was eventually named to run a new youth reformatory in Orange County, N.Y., where he tamed his wayward charges with camaraderie and trust. When a movie company came through to shoot a silent western, Lawes had his boys serve as extras, putting them on horseback armed with rifles and pistols loaded with blanks. No one escaped.

So he was the obvious choice in 1919 when a scandal-battered Sing Sing, founded on the river in 1825 at the old Indian site of Sint Sinck, or “stone upon stone,” sought a progressive new warden and Gov. Alfred E. Smith turned to the 36-year-old Lawes with the words, “It’s yours, son.”

The first prisoner whose execution was overseen by Lawes — a week after he had taken charge of the prison in 1920 — was a 30-year-old semiliterate man named Vincenzo Esposito, who, in a drunken stupor, had fatally shot a couple during a robbery. After his electrocution, the other death row inmates could hear the whine of the saw cutting through his skull for an autopsy.

The more Lawes learned about capital punishment, the more it puzzled him. If the point was deterrence, why choose the relatively quick end of a sudden bolt of electricity instead of something more grisly? Why not stage executions in public? If criminals feared death, why did they have to be guarded against committing suicide? Why wasn’t murder on a rampage in the 12 states that had abolished the death penalty?

In a speech on the new medium of radio in 1923, Lawes explained his practical approach. Most prisoners were eventually set free, so what happened to them behind bars was crucial.

He prescribed music and theater for prisoners, exposure to sunshine, and competitive sports, particularly football. Sing Sing’s team was, of course, the Black Sheep. Lawes brought the Yankees in for exhibition games; a homer Babe Ruth hammered over the wall and the New York Central Railroad tracks could have been his greatest swat ever, some 600 or 700 feet.

Lawes clung to his opposition to executions through the fiendish case of Albert Henry Fish, a 65-year-old house painter sentenced to die for the 1928 abduction, murder and cannibalization of 10-year-old Grace Budd. Fish, who was found to have inserted 30 sewing needles into his abdomen, perhaps as self-punishment, was clearly out of his mind, Lawes thought, a pathetic creature whose death would solve nothing. Indeed, Fish went to the chair mumbling, “I don’t know why I’m here” and “This is a sad day for me.”

Lawes’s principles underwent their severest test in 1941 when three inmates tunneled out, killing a guard and an Ossining police officer during their getaway. One of the escapees was shot dead and the other two were soon recaptured and beaten before being convicted and sentenced to death.

Lawes submitted to a bristling inquisition and then announced his retirement.

He was under no illusion that his cause to abolish capital punishment was easy, he had told the General Federation of Women’s Clubs some years before, and he urged patience. “Don’t expect to do the impossible,” he told them. “It is slow work because civilization, if it is civilization we now have, is making very slow progress.”

Photos : 1. Lewis E. Lawes :-*

              2. A view to the execution chamber at Sing Sing, where Lewis E. Lawes, the warden from 1920 to 1941, saw to 303 executions, even as he denounced capital punishment. (Patrick Burns/The New York Times) :-*
              3. The electric chair at Sing Sing. (Patrick Burns/The New York Times) :-*


on: November 07, 2011, 12:04:02 PM 30 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Case Of Cesar Garcia-Soto : Judge Refuses To Throw Out DP, 2008 Child Murder

November 07, 2011

11/7/2011 6:59:00 AM

Judge refuses to throw out death penalty in fatal child abuse case

By Scott Orr
Contributing Reporter

PRESCOTT - A judge on Thursday denied a defense motion to dismiss the death penalty in a fatal child abuse trial because, the defense attorney argued, it is unsafe to go to the defendant's hometown in Mexico to find evidence that would help his case.

Cesar Garcia-Soto, now 29, was arrested in February 2008 and charged with first- and second-degree murder and two counts of child abuse in connection with the death of his 3-month-old son.

Sedona firefighters were called to his apartment on Sugarloaf in the Village of Oak Creek the night of Jan. 23, 2008, and discovered the child, Edwin Alejandro Garcia, was unconscious and not breathing. Garcia-Soto was the only adult at the apartment.

Edwin was taken to St. Joseph's hospital in Phoenix, where he died three weeks later.

Doctors said he had "highly suspicious" injuries: a fractured skull and pelvis, according to YCSO investigators, and a broken arm and several broken ribs that appeared to be a result of older incidents.

Deputies also arrested the child's mother, Gladys Yamileth Rodriguez-Paz, who was not home at the time of the 911 call, saying she could have acted to stop the abuse.

The couple's other two young children were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Rodriguez-Paz pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse in 2008 and was sentenced to a year in prison.

The motion addressed Thursday was filed in May 2009. In it, Garcia-Soto's attorney, John Napper, argues that, because this is a death-penalty case, he is obligated to undertake "an exhaustive investigation into the history and life of Mr. Garcia-Soto," but the fact that Garcia-Soto is a Mexican citizen means that would have to take place in Mexico.

"The United States State Department has issued a warning asking all American citizens not to travel to the portion of Mexico (Cuidad Juarez in Chihuahua) where Mr. Garcia-Soto was raised," Napper wrote.

He quoted American Bar Association guidelines stating that defense teams "must conduct in-person, face-to-face interviews" with key witnesses in capital cases.

Since the defense team cannot travel to Cuidad Juarez to accomplish those interviews, Napper said, he asked the court to preclude the state from seeking the death penalty or to delay the penalty phase of a trial if his client is found guilty.

In September, Deputy County Attorney Steve Young filed a response in which he said "counsel for the defendant is merely required to discover all reasonably available mitigating evidence," and that Napper did not cite any law that gives Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock the authority to dismiss the death penalty. Therefore, Young argued, the motion should be denied.

Thursday, in Hancock's court, Napper argued that they "have conducted as much of a mitigation investigation as we can within the confines of the U.S.," but that "the overwhelming majority needs to be done in the Republic of Mexico."

"Mr. Garcia-Soto's family is in the crosshairs of a cartel," he said, claiming that at least three members of the family have been kidnapped or killed.

"We are now on year four of this case, and by your logic, we may never get the mitigation from Juarez," Hancock said. "The problem we have here is that, in Arizona, the penalty phase (of a trial) shall begin immediately after the guilt phase.

"What you are asking is for the penalty phase to be indefinitely stayed. I don't see that as acceptable," she said.

Hancock did acknowledge that the theoretical discussion did assume Garcia-Soto would be found guilty, "but we haven't even gone to trial yet."

She said Napper's argument that his team could not collect all the mitigating evidence possible was a slippery slope: "Who is to say that if we don't have the money to travel somewhere" that wouldn't also be used in a similar argument, she asked.

"We must go forward with this case," she said, and denied both the motion to dismiss the death penalty and the motion to delay the penalty phase if Garcia-Soto is found guilty.

With that in mind, Napper said, he had informed his client that "I intend to call no witnesses during the penalty phase of this trial. None. The penalty phase will be non-existent because I refuse to participate in a farce."

Hancock adjourned court without commenting.

Photo : The murderer Cesar Garcia-Soto >:(

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