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on: November 18, 2011, 07:58:24 AM 31 General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Gary Haugen - Oregon - New Competency Hearing September 27, 2011

State DOC makes changes to execution procedure

At least three medical professionals will participate in the planned lethal injection execution of Gary Haugen, according to new procedures adopted Thursday by the state Department of Corrections.

The action came on the heels of criticism of the prison agency's existing rule on capital punishment and its lack of clarity about whether those who insert the needles will have medical training and experience in performing such tasks.

Jeanine Hohn, a spokeswoman for the Corrections Department, said Thursday that the new amendment to the rule should answer concerns and questions raised by anti-death penalty activists, prison inmates and the media.

"We feel like the rule should provide assurances to the public and to the inmates that DOC is prepared to carry out the execution in a way that does not subject the inmate to significant pain and suffering," she said.

The rule amendment specifies that "at least two qualified medical professionals" will prepare and insert intravenous lines to deliver the three-drug lethal injection.

It also says that another medical professional will supervise the IV team and oversee the inserting of the needles.

In carrying out their duties, the IV/medical team "will seek to ensure that no unnecessary pain or suffering is caused to the condemned inmate by the IV procedures," it says.

Four anti-death penalty groups submitted a petition to Gov. John Kitzhaber Nov. 7 asking him to indefinitely delay the planned execution of Haugen, a twice-convicted murderer who is tentatively scheduled to be executed Dec. 6.

The activists implored Kitzhaber to declare a moratorium on any executions until completion of a comprehensive review of the death penalty system in Oregon.

A spokesman for Kitzhaber has said the governor will not comment on the petition until pending court proceedings in the case conclude.

In their petition, activists raised various concerns about the death penalty and Oregon's execution procedures. They asserted, in part, that the DOC's capital punishment rule failed to clearly say whether those responsible for preparing the drugs and inserting the needles would be medically experienced to perform such duties.

Hohn said Thursday's adoption of the amended rule followed several months of work on it by corrections officials. The amendment was signed Thursday by Mitch Morrow, deputy director of the DOC.

The amended rule doesn't address other concerns death penalty opponents have raised about Oregon's execution process.

For example, activists contended in their recent petition to Kitzhaber that the use of three drugs instead of one "creates an unacceptable risk of a botched execution."

The amended rule indicates that the department is sticking with the three-drug protocol.

Tweaking of the state's execution procedures comes as the Oregon Supreme Court considers a separate request to block the looming execution and order a new mental competency hearing for Haugen.

Haugen has waived his future appeals and repeatedly sought execution, citing his contempt for the legal system and for his dreary existence on death row.

on: November 18, 2011, 07:35:35 AM 32 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Paul Ezra Rhodes - ID - 11/18/11

From a live blog on the Rhoades execution...

8:25am-The execution was delayed because of legal paperwork filed in Idaho's 4th district court. A judge was reviewing the claim. The execution is back on but 55 minutes behind the original schedule. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden will explain more detail of the claim after the execution is complere. Check back for more updates.

on: November 17, 2011, 11:17:17 PM 33 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Paul Ezra Rhodes - ID - 11/18/11

Rhoades enters final hours of life

The Idaho Maximum Security Institute is dark on a wet Thursday night. The two large fields in front of the guard station are surrounded with makeshift fencing. The field on one side of the prison access road will be for protesters who support the death penalty. The field on the other side of the road will be for those who are against the death penalty.

Death row inmate Paul Ezra Rhoades is now on his own. His last visitors left the prison at 8:30 Thursday night. He can now only have his legal team and his spiritual adviser nearby. Both have now heard that the United States Supreme Court has refused to intervene on his behalf. The only thing that can happen now that would postpone the execution is Governor Butch Otter. There have been pleas on the Governor's Facebook page to show mercy to the man who killed two women and three men in eastern Idaho. There have also been posts that encourage the Governor to carry out the rule of law.

Rhoades' defense team has also posted a video on YouTube. In it they detail Rhoades' troubled childhood. They recount his drug addiction that they say ultimately led to his homicidal behavior. They also ask for the governor to intervene.

Friday's schedule will start with a briefing by the prison warden at 6 AM. The witnesses will be moved into place at 7:15 AM. Paul Ezra Rhoades will be moved from his cell at 7:20. By 8 AM the warden will read the death warrant. He'll ask if Rhoades  has a final statement and he'll check to see if there are any reasons the execution should not proceed. At 8:10 AM they will administer the chemicals to carry out lethal injection. The coroner will enter the execution chamber at 8:30 AM to confirm the inmate's passing. Then a briefing of the media will follow.

"There have been pleas on the Governor's Facebook page to show mercy to the man who killed two women and three men in eastern Idaho." I'm confused. Didn't Rhoades only kill 3 people, 2 women and a young man? That's what I've read in all the other articles, anyway.

A second article with more info:

-- For his last meal, Rhoades was offered hot dogs, sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup, onions, relish, baked beans, veggie sticks, ranch dressing, fruit with gelatin and strawberry ice cream cups -- the same meal offered to all Idaho Maximum Security inmates Thursday night.

-- He was able to have family visitors until 8:30 p.m. and make calls until 9 p.m. His attorney, Oliver Loewy, and his spiritual adviser could be with him until 6 a.m. The adviser asked IDOC to not identify him.

-- All but one of the other Death Row inmates signed a card for Rhoades.

-- Rhoades’ body will be cremated. His remains will be given to his attorney.

-- Representatives from all three of the victims’ families will attend the execution. IDOC is not disclosing their identities.

-- Rhoades’ mother will attend the execution.

-- Rhoades' health is fair, his demeanor anxious and lucid.

-- In recent days Rhoades has been watching TV, reading and doing artwork. He has been talkative while meeting with family, his attorney, his spiritual adviser and with the correctional officers who are monitoring him.

GO IDAHO! I'm getting up early for this one.  ;)

on: November 17, 2011, 02:17:16 PM 34 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Paul Ezra Rhodes - ID - 11/18/11

Idaho Department of Corrections says media, public witnesses can't view full execution

Thursday Nov. 17, 2011

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Correction says it will not allow media witnesses to view the entire execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades, and two separate groups are protesting the policy.

Rhoades is scheduled to die by lethal injection Friday, making him the first person to be executed under Idaho's new lethal injection guidelines in 17 years.

Prison officials say to maintain Rhoades' dignity, they won't allow witnesses to view him being restrained or having the IVs inserted. They also said changing the procedure now could be disruptive.

But a group of Idaho news organizations say that policy conflicts with a 2002 federal court ruling that found the public, through the media, must be allowed to view executions in their entirety. The news organizations have asked the state to reconsider.

In a separate effort, the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho is also protesting the restricted access. The ACLU contends that if the execution can't be carried out in compliance with federal court rulings, it must be postponed.

Rhoades was sentenced to death for the 1987 kidnappings and murders of 34-year-old Idaho Falls teacher Susan Michelbacher and 21-year-old newlywed and Blackfoot convenience store clerk Stacy Dawn Baldwin. He was also sentenced to life in prison for the 1987 murder of 20-year-old Idaho Falls convenience store clerk Nolan Haddon.

The Associated Press first learned late last week that the Department of Correction intended to restrict witness viewing to after the IVs were inserted. The organization asked department director Brent Reinke to allow the media to view the entire execution process. On Tuesday, Correction Department spokesman Jeff Ray said the state had considered the request but decided against it.

"The procedures were developed so that we would preserve the dignity of the offender," Ray said in an email to the AP. "After discussing the matter with Director Reinke and legal counsel we have chosen to follow the procedures as they are written."

The AP then joined with the Idaho Press Club, the Newspaper Association of Idaho, the Idaho State Broadcasters Association, The Post Register, the Blackfoot Morning News, the Idaho State Journal, the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho Press-Tribune and the Lewiston Morning Tribune to formally urge the department to reconsider. In a letter to Reinke and state attorneys, the news organizations' attorney, Charles Brown, pointed out that the public holds a First Amendment right to view all aspects of the execution.

Brown noted a 9th U.S. Circuit Court ruling arising out of a lawsuit between the First Amendment Coalition and Jeanne Woodford, the warden of San Quentin prison in California. The federal appeals court found that allowing the public to view executions, through the media, plays a significant role in the function of capital punishment.

"To determine whether lethal injection executions are fairly and humanely administered, or whether they ever can be, citizens must have reliable information about the 'initial procedures' which are invasive, possibly painful and may give rise to serious complications," the 9th Circuit wrote in that opinion.

Wednesday evening, Reinke sent a formal response, again declining to allow the media witnesses to view the full execution.

"The changes you requested at this late hour to IDOC's execution procedures would have a potentially disruptive effect on the entire process. Among other things, it could compromise the anonymity of members of IDOC's execution team," Reinke wrote in the email.

The director said his department was aware of the 9th Circuit's ruling but contended it was based on facts unique to California.

"In the months to come we shall review every aspect of Friday's execution. As we do, we shall welcome your clients' input on how we can improve this process," Reinke wrote.

The 9th Circuit ruling addressed California prison officials' concerns that allowing viewing of the entire execution in that state would allow reporters to figure out the identity of execution teams. In that case, the court found that surgical garb including facemasks could effectively conceal the identities of the team, and the judges noted that even if media witnesses were kept out of the room until the execution team left the area, a condemned inmate could easily reveal their identities by giving their names in his final statement.

In its separate effort, the ACLU of Idaho sent a letter to the Idaho Department of Correction on Tuesday citing the same 9th Circuit case. The letter said the "initial procedures," such as bringing a condemned inmate into a death chamber, strapping him or her down and inserting IVs, are "inextricably intertwined with the process of putting the condemned inmate to death."

In the letter, ACLU of Idaho staff attorney Lea Cooper called on the department to postpone all executions until they can "be brought in line with existing federal law."

"The First Amendment rights of prisoners and of the public cannot be sacrificed at the whim of IDOC or any persons involved in administering executions," the ACLU wrote.

It was unclear late Wednesday whether the ACLU or the news organizations planned to take further action, such as a filing a lawsuit, to challenge the Correction Department's policy.

"To preserve the dignity of the offender"... Whaat? He's a convicted murderer who callously killed 3 people. He doesn't deserve any dignity. The victims are the ones who truly deserve dignity.  >:(

on: November 16, 2011, 04:38:29 PM 35 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Guadelupe Esparza TX - 11/16/11

Killer of 7-year-old San Antonio girl executed

Wednesday Nov. 16, 2011

HUNTSVILLE, Texas—A convicted sex offender has been executed for slipping into a San Antonio apartment in the middle of the night, snatching a 7-year-old girl and raping and strangling her.

Guadalupe Esparza, 46, was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. CST Wednesday from a lethal injection.

Esparza's appeals were exhausted and there were no last-day efforts to spare him.

The battered body of Alyssa Maria Vasquez was found in some weeds near her home hours after she was reported missing in June 1999. A baby-sitter who discovered her gone identified Esparza as visiting the residence earlier that night. The child's mother told authorities Esparza had been calling her even though she'd given him the brush-off.

DNA evidence linked him to the slaying.

on: November 15, 2011, 11:19:36 PM 36 Across the Globe / World Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Vietnam Death Penalty-News

Lethal injection to pilot in 5 localities next year

Posted: Nov. 16, 2011

After completing necessary preparations, Vietnam will switch from firing squad to lethal injection for executions in January 2012, said Major General Ta Xuan Binh, deputy head of the Criminal Verdict Execution and Judicial Assistance Police General Department.

The lethal injection application will pilot in fives provinces and cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nghe An, Dak Lak and Son La, the official said.

One of the first steps preparations is a training course that was opened in Hospital 198 in Hanoi yesterday, for police officers and soldiers who will be in charge of performing the lethal injection on death row prisoners, Binh said.

The Ministry of Public Security has also submitted a plan for execution by lethal injection to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval, Binh said.

The plan’s goal is to build facilities, provide equipment, and train personnel for 66 execution centers, 63 of which will be managed by local police departments, while the other 3 are to be controlled by the Defense Ministry.

The project is expected to be completed in 2015, but the first five centers will be made available for the selected localities in December.

The execution chamber will have a bed to which the prisoner will be strapped and injected with the lethal drugs by an automatic machine. Prison officials will monitor the death through a heart monitor.

Three drugs will be used: sodium thiopental, to anesthetize the condemned;, pancuronium bromide, to paralyze the nervous system and muscles;, and potassium chloride, to stop the heart.

The application of lethal injection for executions has been twice delayed due to a lack necessary facilities and personnel.

It was first expected to be carried out on July 1, when the Law on Execution of Criminal Verdicts was passed, but was postponed until November 1 and then again until next January.

Around 360 prisoners are currently on death row, mostly in HCMC, Hanoi, Nghe An, and Son La.

The death penalty is given for 29 different crimes including murder, armed robbery, treason, drug trafficking, sexual abuse of children, and economic crimes, such as embezzling VND500 million (US$24,000) or more of state property. But, in practice, it is mostly given only for drug trafficking and murder.

on: November 10, 2011, 03:27:34 PM 37 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Reginald Brooks - OH - 11/15/2011

Gov. John Kasich denies clemency for East Cleveland man scheduled for execution

Thursday Nov. 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Governor John Kasich today denied the clemency request of an East Cleveland man who is scheduled to be executed next week for murdering his three sons in 1982 while they slept.

Reginald Brooks shot and killed his three sons — Niarchos, 11; Vaughn, 15; and Reginald Jr., 17 — two days after his wife served him with divorce papers.

Brooks, 66, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday November 15.

The Ohio Parole Board last month unanimously recommended that Kasich, a Republican, deny Brooks' clemency request.

Brooks’ lawyers asked for mercy because they say he is severely mentally ill, and because the trial court’s conviction was based on incomplete information about his mental illness.

Brooks’ mental issues, however, did not prevent him from carefully plotting his sons’ murders, the Parole Board said, adding that Brooks has shown no remorse.

“He committed the offense at an advantageous time, knowing that his wife would be working and he would be alone with his sons,” the board said in its report. “He shot his sons in their sleep when they would not be likely to challenge him or cause a disturbance, and turned up a radio to cover the sounds of the gunshots.”

on: November 09, 2011, 11:24:49 PM 38 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Re: Lonnie Franklin Jr. - Alleged Cali "Grim Sleeper" Serial Killer Arrested

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think all those pictures above (on the previous page) are of women who have yet to be identified - as in, police are looking for them to see if they might be currently unknown victims of the Grim Sleeper serial killer. I don't think they are confirmed victims (though I imagine that some photos above might be of some of the victims recently linked to Franklin); they are some of the 40-something women whose pictures were found in Franklin's possession that have yet to be identifed.
My hope is that these women can be located soon and found safe, so their families can get answers. I am sure they are greatly missed.  :-* This is surely a very sad but intriguing case. I agree with Granny B's question of why did it have to take so many victims for him to be caught.

on: October 20, 2011, 04:48:25 PM 39 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Christopher Thomas Johnson - Alabama Death Row - 10/20/2011

US man executed for 6-month-old son's slaying
(AP) – 12 minutes ago 

ATMORE, Alabama (AP) — A man in the state of Alabama has been executed for killing his infant son in February 2005.

Authorities say Christopher Johnson was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. local time Thursday after receiving a lethal injection at Holman prison. The 38-year-old man, when asked if he had any last words, said only: "Game over."

Johnson was convicted in the death of his 6-month-old son, Elias Ocean Johnson, at their home. He testified that he killed and suffocated his son because he hated his wife and didn't want to be near her.

Johnson was the sixth person executed in Alabama this year and the fourth to die since the state changed one of the drugs in its lethal injection from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital — owing to a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental.

on: October 20, 2011, 04:04:10 PM 40 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Christopher Thomas Johnson - Alabama Death Row - 10/20/2011

Death row inmate Christopher Johnson eats last meal 2 hours before scheduled execution

Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 4:31 PM
HOLMAN PRISON, Alabama -- Approximately two hours before his scheduled execution at 6 p.m., Christopher Thomas Johnson ate his last meal, according to Brian Corbett, spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Johnson was convicted of killing his 6-month-old son, Elias Ocean Johnson, at the family's home in Atmore in February, 2005.

He has been on death row at Holman Prison since February 2007, said Corbett.

For breakfast on what was scheduled to be his final day, Johnson had eggs, grits, and biscuits, then skipped lunch in lieu of the Thursday dinner.

From food supplies available in the prison cafeteria, said Corbett, Johnson chose a turkey bologna sandwich with tomatoes and cheese, french fries, and an orange drink.

In a holding cell near the execution chamber, Johnson had extended visiting hours for the day, joined by his brother, Thomas Eugene Lagos, according to Corbett.

From a vending machine in the area, said Corbett, Johnson got a Reese's Cup, pretzels, and grape Sunkist drink.

As of 4 p.m., Johnson had not yet been visited by any spiritual advisor, said Corbett.

Since lethal injection became the mode of execution in 2002, replacing electrocution, said Corbett, 30 inmates have been executed in that manner.

Johnson would be the 31st.

So far in 2011, there have been five executions at Holman, said Corbett.

on: October 14, 2011, 12:59:05 PM 41 Off Topic / Off Topic- News / Re: Gone too soon.

Tomorrow is Bryan's birthday. He would have been 21. He was really looking forward to celebrating it, but now we have to celebrate without him. My aunt is putting something together to honor her son tomorrow; my family is helping as well. It is going to be difficult, but we'll try to smile anyway. Bryan was always smiling, after all. We all miss him so much. He's probably making everyone up there laugh, just like he did with people here on earth. ;)

on: October 14, 2011, 12:45:09 PM 42 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / Re: 8 dead, 1 wounded in southern California shooting; suspect arrested

Seal Beach shooting: D.A. to seek death penalty

Friday Oct. 14, 2011

SANTA ANA, California - Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the man they called a "methodical and merciless killer" who stormed through a salon and killed eight people.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Friday that Scott Dekraai has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Rackauckas choked up several times during an emotional news conference while stating the rampage was triggered by a long-running custody dispute that Dekraai had with his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. She was one of the people fatally wounded.

"In a selfish, cruel act of senseless violence, eight innocent people were murdered," Rackauckas said.

He said Dekraai, 41, arrived at Salon Meritage in downtown Seal Beach on Wednesday carrying three weapons and dressed in body armor. At one point he stopped to reload before he continued killing people.

"For almost two minutes Dekraai shot victim after victim, executing people by shooting them in the head and chest," the district attorney said.

Rackauckas said the bloodbath was triggered by Dekraai's desire for revenge against his ex-wife, who Dekraai believed was interfering in the raising of their 8-year-old son.

"That little boy's a victim too," the prosecutor said. "His mother has been murdered, and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass-murderer. What kind of sick, twisted fatherly love might that be?"

Fournier had recently told friends and family and had stated in court documents that she feared for her safety as Dekraai became more and more unbalanced.

Dekraai suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from a 2007 tugboat accident that mangled his leg and left a colleague dead. His marriage to Fournier was falling apart as well. The court battle over their son was still raging the day before the shooting.

Several hundred attended a prayer service at a church across from the salon on Thursday night and more than 1,500 showed up with candles at a vigil in the parking lot of the shopping center where the salon stands. About a half-dozen therapy dogs, wearing green vests embroidered with names like Anise and Riley, moved through the crowd providing comfort to mourners.

The quaint, sun-splashed town of Seal Beach, with its Main Street of vintage shops, restaurants and boutiques, has had only had one homicide in the previous four years.

Image: The suspect, Scott Dekraai

on: October 13, 2011, 05:45:37 PM 43 General Crime / U.S. Crime Related News / 8 dead, 1 wounded in southern California shooting; suspect arrested

Hair salon shooting leaves 8 dead, 1 wounded in southern California

Thursday Oct. 13, 2011

SEAL BEACH, California (KABC) -- Seal Beach residents are still reeling after eight people were killed at a salon shooting, which is being called the deadliest shooting ever in Orange County.

Authorities responded to Salon Meritage on the 500 block of Pacific Coast Highway at 1:21 p.m yesterday Wednesday Oct. 12. Six victims were declared dead at the scene. Three people were hospitalized in critical condition; two died at the hospital.

A ninth victim remained in critical condition at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Thursday.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, Seal Beach Police released identities of the Salon Meritage murder victims.

Buzzo, Victoria Ann (7/21/1957) age 54
Caouette, David (7/14/1947) age 64
Elody, Laura Lee (10/01/1965) age 46
Fannin, Randy Lee (12/11/1948) age 62
Fast, Michelle Daschbach (5/21/1964) age 47
Fournier, Michelle Marie (3/03/1963) age 48
Kondas, Lucia Bernice (2/19/1946) age 65
Wilson, Christy Lynn (6/05/1964)  age 47

The victims' identities were confirmed by the Orange County Coroner's Office and the next of kin contacted.

The ninth victim in critical condition was identified by friends and neighbors as 73-year-old Hattie Stretz.

The suspect, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai of Huntington Beach, was arrested about a half-mile from the scene Wednesday as he was driving his white Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Witnesses said Dekraai told police he had a knife in each pocket and three weapons in his truck. A witness said Dekraai had ammunition in his cargo pants.

During the arrest, officers opened up Dekraai's button-down shirt and found that he was wearing body armor, according to witnesses.

Authorities are still trying to determine a motive, but some witnesses told Eyewitness News that Dekraai and his ex-wife, salon employee Michelle Fournier Dekraai, were involved in a custody battle over their 7-year-old son.

"Scott Dekraai's demeanor throughout this case has been controlled and he never gave any indication that he housed the potential for such destruction and carnage," said Fournier's attorney, John Cate. "Dominic is also a victim and, by one act of a desperate man, has been deprived of both a mother and a father."

According to court documents obtained by Eyewitness News, Michelle Fournier described him as physically abusive and unstable during their marriage.

Additional court documents also show that Scott Dekraai had a restraining order against him that was filed by his stepfather.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Seal Beach Police announced a joint news conference with Orange County District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday to give further details of the shooting.

"By far, this is the greatest tragedy that Seal Beach has ever experienced," said Sgt. Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department. "There will be some grieving time for us, but our mission at this point in time is make sure we get a successful prosecution on this subject for the deaths that occurred, as well as to really comfort the families of the victims."

The salon was packed at the time of the shooting, but some people were able to make it out OK.

"Much of it was luck for many people. Some hid and some left, obviously ran out of one of the exits. We were able to secure a number of witnesses who were in the salon at the time, and we're pursuing those witnesses and their vital information for the prosecution," said Bowles.

Seal Beach resident Debbie Mendoza learned Thursday morning that her neighbor and good friend was one of the victims killed in the shooting rampage.

"That's what I think everybody in our community is trying to cope with is the 'why,'" said Mendoza.

Grieving community members dropped off a steady stream of flowers, cards and stuffed animals throughout the day. A candlelight vigil will be held for the victims at the salon Thursday night.

"Michelle was a good mom. She was in a terrible situation, that's all," said Michelle Fournier Dekraai's friend, Susan Davenport.

Davenport was too distraught to say anything else after finding out that her friend was likely the intended target and was killed.

"I can't stop crying. I barely slept last night," said Mary Sterns, who knows Randy Fannin, the owner of Salon Meritage.

"He was just the greatest guy you'd ever want to meet," Sterns said, adding that when she heard what happened on the news, she instinctively knew Fanin had been one of the victims.

"I knew that he would have been one of them, because I knew he would try to do something, and I heard that he did," Sterns said.

Friends say Fannin began his business 20 years ago and designed the entire salon.

Eyewitness News spoke with a nearby business owner who ran into the salon shortly after the shooting. He described the scene as gruesome and said five people had locked themselves into back rooms in the salon to avoid being shot.

That business owner also said he saw Fannin on the ground near the salon's entrance with his wife at his side trying to administer CPR, but unfortunately, she was not successful.

Neighbors still can't believe that Dekraai, a person they viewed as a nice guy, would go on a deadly shooting spree.

"I'm still in shock. I cannot believe it. He's the nicest guy. He's super-nice. My daughter loves him. He's just the most caring neighbor," said Stephanie Malchow.

Dekraai had moved to his Huntington Beach home three years ago with his son. His neighbors said they were aware that his first marriage ended badly, but they thought he was happily building a new life.

"I've never even heard him speak really bad about the ex-wife. I mean, when it'd come up, I guess he would say he didn't feel like she was a nice person," said Malchow.

Dekraai and ex-wife Fournier divorced in March 2007, a month after a tugboat accident occurred in which Dekraai's leg was severely injured, causing him to walk with a limp.

Neighbors are concerned about the impact of the tragedy on Dekraai's son.

"My heart really goes out to Dominic, his son, because he's a cute little boy, and I'm just thinking I don't know what's going to happen to Dominic from this point forward," said Rivera.

I only live about 5 miles away from Seal Beach... This is so tragic. A good friend of mine told me today that 2 of his co-workers were thought to be victims, though I am unsure of their names. This is horrifying. I feel so bad for the little boy. His dad wanted custody of him, but this was not the way to go about getting it. Violence is never the answer. He wanted custody of his son but the only custody he'll get now is being "in custody". And now the boy has lost both his parents for good. The ex-wife of the suspect, Michelle Fournier, apparently lived just blocks away from me. I have no words. :'(

on: October 04, 2011, 12:53:51 PM 44 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Shaun Windsor KY DR Seeking to End Appeals in 2003 Double Murder

Supreme Court rejects Shawn Windsor case

Tuesday Oct. 4, 2011

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a Kentucky death row inmate who wanted to hasten his execution.

The high court's decision on Monday does not mean that 47-year-old Shawn William Windsor will be immediately executed.

Windsor pleaded guilty in 2006 to killing his estranged wife and son in Louisville and asked for a death sentence.

Kentucky is under an injunction barring executions unrelated to Windsor's case. Also, the state lacks a supply of sodium thiopental, a key drug used in a lethal injection.

The decision came in an appeal over whether Windsor could fire his attorneys and waive his appeals.

Windsor's attorneys in the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office did not immediately return a message seeking comment Monday.

on: September 21, 2011, 10:44:00 PM 45 General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Derrick O'Neal Mason - AL - Sept 22, 2011

Alabama governor rejects inmate's clemency request

Wednesday Sept. 21, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) — Alabama's governor has turned down a last-minute request for clemency from an Alabama death row inmate scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Thursday evening at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Bentley said in a brief statement Wednesday that he saw no reason to overturn the decision of the jury that found Derrick Mason guilty and recommended that he be executed. Mason is scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Thursday for the March 24, 1994 shooting death of Huntsville convenience store clerk Angela Cagle.

Mason, now 37, is accused of shooting 25-year-old Cagle twice in the face during an early morning robbery.

Mason is waiting to hear from a last-minute appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court challenging the competency of his counsel during the sentencing phase of his trial.

Mason's plea to Bentley included a letter from retired Madison County Circuit Court Judge Loyd Little, who sentenced Mason to death. Little said he now realizes the death sentence was not appropriate when compared to other cases.

Mason's attorney, Brian Esser said Little's change of heart concerning the death sentence is reason to stop the execution.

"Critics have said that Judge Little is anti-death penalty. It is not that he is anti-death penalty. He is anti-death penalty in this case where death is not warranted," Esser said in a statement released by his New York office.

Esser said Mason has personally written to Bentley and told the governor he has changed his life around. Mason was 19 at the time Cagle was killed.

Court records show that Cagle was working as a clerk in a Majik Mart convenience store at about 3 a.m. when she was shot to death during a robbery. Her body was found lying across a desk in the convenience store's storeroom.

Mason was accused of shooting Cagle at close range after ordering her to take her clothes off.

Mason would be the fifth person executed in Alabama this year and the third to die in the state's death chamber since the state changed the first drug used in its execution cocktail from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital.

The change was made because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental.

Wow, Alabama is on a roll this year... Four executions carried out this year so far. I'm hoping that Mason will indeed be the 5th to die. Angela Cagle and her family and friends deserve justice.

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