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on: January 14, 2012, 05:08:01 AM 16 Across the Globe / World Death Penalty Discussion / Kenya death penalty news


Al-Shabaab executes ‘Kenyan spy’

Nairobi (RBC) A man said to be a Kenyan fighting for the Al-Shabaab has been executed by the Somali militant group for alleged espionage.

The Kenya Defence Forces confirmed that the non-Somali Kenyan was stoned to death by the militants in Kismayu on Tuesday after he was convicted of aiding Kenyan troops identify their targets in Somalia.

“It is true, he was stoned to death. One of our people filmed the incident and sent us the pictures which are grisly,” military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir told the Nation.

According to reports in the Somali press, an Al-Shabaab court found the Kenyan fighter guilty of spying for the Kenyan troops fighting the militants in the war-torn nation.

The militants are said to have rounded up hundreds of Kismayu residents to come and witness the execution, a tactic they normally use to instil fear in the civilian population.

The victim is said to be one of the Kenyans secretly recruited from Nairobi’s Majengo area and smuggled into Somalia to fight alongside Al-Shabaab.

The Al-Shabaab jury accused him of leading Kenyan warplanes in bombarding their bases in Jilib, one of the numerous towns captured by Kenyans last year.

The insurgents had turned against three of their Kenyan fighters and placed them in custody for allegedly spying for Kenyan forces.

A report released in July last year by the United Nations monitoring group for Somalia and Eritrea reported that hundreds of impoverished Kenyan youths had been recruited into the militant group in recent years.

The report identified the Muslim Youth Centre based in Nairobi’s Pumwani estate as the coordinator of the recruitment.

“In the past, Al-Shabaab’s presence in Kenya has been concentrated primarily within the ethnic Somali community. But since 2009, the group has rapidly expanded its influence and membership to non-Somali Kenyan nationals,” it says.

Some of the non-Somali Kenyans said to be fighting inside Somalia include Juma Ayub Otit Were, Suleiman Irungu Mwangi “Karongo” also known as Habib, Mohamed Murithi and Ramadan Osao.

Last October, a non-Somali Kenyan, Elgiva Bwire, was jailed for life after confessing to carrying out 2 grenade attacks in Nairobi.

(source: Daily Nation)

on: January 05, 2012, 07:09:24 AM 17 Victims and Victim Related / Remembrance and Support / The passing of vikkiw47

With regret, I am passing along the unfortunate news of the passing of a long time off2dr member/participant vikkiw47 (her real name was Vicky J Wehling, of Shreveport, Louisiana).  I received an email this morning from Heidi Salazar of CNCP who said she actually passed back in November 2011 but just got the news herself. 

She was a very nice person and if I recall correctly, was in some way a victim of violent crime and was looking forward to the execution of the offender involved.

My thoughts to her family and friends.  :-*

on: January 01, 2012, 03:19:49 PM 18 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / Alternatives to current methods of execution.

I was thinking about other ways to execute offenders..  Perhaps we could:

1)  Drop offender from a helicopter over a mall parking lot (with no credit cards).

2)  Introduce him to his new family physician – Jack Kavorkian.

3)  Place him in general population bound and gagged, dressed in a tu tu, with a sign that says, “Come and get some.”

4)  Paint bullsey on back of offender and force him to walk naked through the Watts section of East Los Angelous.

5)  Take offender on a skydiving adventure, and let Sylar24 pack his chute.

6)  Drop offender off in Tejuana, Mexico and discreetly announce to the local drug cartel that “he squealed on you”..

7)  Insist offender is a Muslim, and place him in Frenchy’s gentle care.

8)  Force offender to climb Mt. Everest wearing nothing but a T-shirt that says, “Mountains Suck”..

9)  Force offender to marry “mammastalkin” from PTO.  (or any of `em for that matter).

10)  Drop offender off in Chinese airport with a suitcase full of heroin and NO PASSPORT.

Any other ideas?

on: September 08, 2011, 09:07:26 AM 19 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Death penalty on table in Vegas teen slaying case

Posted: Sep 08, 2011 11:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 08, 2011 11:49 AM EDT

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 19-year-old may face the death penalty in the kidnapping, rape, stabbing and burning of a high school sophomore whose body was discovered over the weekend in a vacant lot not far from her northwest Las Vegas home.

Prosecutor Christopher Lalli said Thursday that a Clark County district attorney panel will consider whether to seek capital punishment against Javier Righetti in the slaying of 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba.

Righetti made an initial appearance before a Las Vegas judge who set an Oct. 14 evidence hearing.

Righetti's lawyer, Tim O'Brien, says Righetti is on suicide watch at the Clark County jail. He's being held without bail.

Otremba was a student at Arbor View High School.

Her mother reported her missing Friday evening after Otremba text-messaged that she was walking home.

on: September 04, 2011, 07:38:06 AM 20 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Werner Herzog's Prison Documentary "Into the Abyss"

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2011 by Russ Fischer

Werner Herzog (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” “Grizzly Man”) explores the legacy of a triple homicide in Texas interviewing the victims’ families and those convicted for the crime including one man on death row, eight days before his execution.

Warning: this isn’t going to be quite the ideal easygoing Friday afternoon post. But when new info arrives on the latest documentary from Werner Herzog we’ve got to run with it, even if the subject matter is pretty dire. Specifically, Into the Abyss is a film about several death row inmates in the Texas prison system: three men convicted of murder, including one man who killed his girlfriend and her two mentally handicapped sons, and a woman convicted of kidnapping and murder. Werner Herzog talks to these people as well as to their families and victims, and by the looks of the three clips below, the result may be his most intense film in some time.

The TIFF YouTube channel today offered up three clips from Into the Abyss, and some images have come online as well. All together, this should give you quite a good idea of what the film represents. I can’t wait to see it, and expect I might walk away from the viewing with some altered attitude about the prison system.

Into the Abyss will play at TIFF next month, and be broadcast on Investigation Discovery.

on: August 26, 2011, 03:45:22 AM 21 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Self-described Mayport ‘monster’ indicted in prison slaying

A Jacksonville man who once described himself as the “monster” of Mayport after killing five people in 2003, then living with their corpses, has been indicted on a new charge of 1st-degree murder. He could face the death penalty he has avoided so far.

William H. Wells and another inmate at Florida State Prison were indicted in Bradford County Wednesday in the May 17 strangulation and stabbing death of 21-year-old inmate Xavier H. Rodriguez. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Wells and Wayne C. Doty, the other indicted inmate.

Wells pleaded guilty in 2004 to murdering his wife, her father and brother and two other people at his home in Mayport. After his wife was killed, the others were slain as they came to the mobile home. Wells stayed there with his then 4-year-old son for as long as a week, even duct taping doors closed in the residence where decaying bodies were found in 4 bedrooms, the Times-Union reported at the time.

The victims were all shot. Wells gave up after a 12-hour standoff and after turning his son over to police. He told hostage negotiators he worried the boy would be labeled the “son of a monster.”

The wishes of the victims’ families and concerns about Wells’ mental health played into the decision not to seek the death penalty then, former State Attorney Harry Shorstein said at the time. Wells was sentenced to five consecutive life terms.

Wells had initially asked to be executed but backed off.

While being held in a South Florida prison, he was convicted of an attempted murder behind bars and given a sixth life sentence, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Factors such as a suspect’s criminal history play into the decision to seek the death penalty, said spokesman Spencer Mann of the 8th Judicial Circuit in Gainesville that will prosecute Wells and Doty in Rodriguez’ slaying.

Wells, 35, and Doty, 38, are charged with killing Rodriguez at Florida State Prison, where Rodriguez was serving a 10-year sentence and had been transferred to one of the state’s most secure prisons for disciplinary reasons, the Sun reported.

Doty was sentenced to life in 1996 for a murder conviction in Hillsborough County.

(source: Florida Times-Union)

on: August 18, 2011, 08:21:21 AM 22 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Nation’s last public execution, 75 years ago, still haunts town

Kentucky banned the practice after reports of revelry

August 14, 2011|By Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press

 A crowd watched as a black hood was placed on Rainey Betheas head before his execution… (File/Associated Press)

OWENSBORO, Ky. - Bob Howe points to an overgrown, muddy patch of land in a cemetery in Owensboro, gesturing to where the grave of the last man publicly executed in the United States may be.

“I think it was over there,’’ said Howe, an 81-year-old lifelong Owensboro resident and retired county coroner. “I used to pass it on the way to school. That’s what I was told. It was over there somewhere.’’

The grave is anonymous and unmarked, like other places associated with Rainey Bethea’s hanging on Aug. 14, 1936. On the 75th anniversary of the execution, it is an event some in Owensboro would like history to remember differently.

Bethea, a farmhand and sometime criminal, went to the gallows near the banks of the Ohio River before a throng estimated at as many as 20,000. The execution drew national media coverage focused on a black man being executed by a white, female sheriff with the help of a professional hangman.

“It was not a carnival in the end,’’ insisted 85-year-old James Thompson, the son of then-sheriff Florence Thompson.

Still, Kentucky lawmakers cited the negative publicity surrounding Bethea’s hanging in ending public executions in the state in 1938. Kentucky was the last state to do so. Later, Governor Albert B. “Happy’’ Chandler expressed regret at having approved the repeal, saying: “Our streets are no longer safe.’’

By the time Bethea went to the gallows, most states had closed executions to the public and used the electric chair because hangings were “ghoulish events’’ said Deborah Denno, a Fordham University professor who studies the death penalty.

“There was a feeling that with the pain and botched hangings … it was inviting the worst in human behavior,’’ Denno said.

That’s certainly the way Bethea’s death was viewed nationally.

Headlines from across the country screamed the news. From Chicago - “Death Makes a Holiday: 20,000 Revel Over Hanging.’’ From Evansville, Ind. - “Ghostly Carnival Precedes Hanging.’’ From Louisville - “’Did You Ever See a Hanging?’ ‘I Did,’ Everyone in this Kentucky Throng can now Boast.’’ Newspapers described vendors selling hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks.

“Every bar was packed to the doors. Down the main street tipsy merrymakers rollicked all night. ‘Hanging parties’ were held in many a home,’’ Time magazine reported in an Aug. 24, 1936, article.

Sheriff Thompson consulted with a priest before deciding to go through with the hanging, the magazine said: “Nevertheless, soft-hearted Sheriff Thompson sighed: ‘I suppose I will spend the rest of my life forgetting - or trying to forget.’ ’’

“It was quite a burden on her,’’ her son said.

Bethea, convicted of rape, was 26 or 27 at the time (records listed only his year of birth, 1909), and he appears young and thin, wearing a cross on a chain around his neck, in a photo of his last meal.

Pictures taken the morning of the hanging show a large crowd - men and women, some holding children - standing in downtown Owensboro, some on the rooftops of brick buildings. They watched as the execution team put a black hood over Bethea’s head. Then, they saw Bethea fall through the trap door. Doctors pronounced him dead about 10 minutes later.

Perry Ryan, a Kentucky assistant attorney general who wrote a 1992 book on Bethea’s hanging, “The Last Public Execution in America,’’ said witnesses didn’t recall a rowdy atmosphere.

“I think it was an event they found to be kind of scary,’’ Ryan said. “They just stood there.’’

The crime for which Bethea was tried had played as big news in Owensboro: A wealthy, white, 70-year-old widow, Elza Edwards, was raped and strangled in her bed. After less than five minutes of deliberation, a jury convicted Bethea of rape.

Under the law at the time, the maximum penalty for a rape conviction was hanging in the county where the offense occurred.

Bethea’s hanging was handled by an execution team led by professional hangman Phil Hanna of Epworth, Ill. A former Louisville police officer pulled the trip lever.

Had Bethea been convicted of Edwards’s murder - prosecutors never pursued that charge - the sentence would have been a private execution in the electric chair at the state penitentiary. And since his death, executions have been done in private, following a precedent set by New York when it switched to the electric chair in 1898.

Bethea made a final request in a note to his sister, Ora Fladger, in Nichols, S.C.: to take possession of his remains and bury them with other family members. “So good by and paray that we will meet agin,’’ Bethea wrote. His remains were not sent east, and there is no record of why.

Bethea’s body went to a pauper’s grave in Rosehill Elmwood Cemetery in Owensboro, according to Howe, the retired coroner.

on: August 17, 2011, 09:24:39 AM 23 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Federal appeals court denies appeal of Tennessee death row inmate in 1986 stabbi

First Posted: August 17, 2011 - 11:53 am
Last Updated: August 17, 2011 - 11:53 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal appeals court has upheld the death penalty sentence for one of Tennessee's most well-known inmates, Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman (ah-BOO'-ah-LEE') (AHB'-dur-RAK'-mahn), who was convicted in a 1986 stabbing death of a drug dealer in Nashville.

In a 2-1 decision by a panel of judges, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in a majority opinion filed Wednesday denied Abdur'Rahman's claims that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have convinced jurors to give him a life sentence instead of the death penalty.

Abdur'Rahman, previously known as James Lee Jones, is known for his legal challenges to Tennessee's lethal injection procedure. He has said he was part of a group trying to cleanse the community of drug dealers when he fatally stabbed Patrick Daniels with a butcher knife and critically injured a woman.

on: August 16, 2011, 11:42:55 AM 24 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / State will seek death penalty in Cozzie case.

August 16, 2011 12:15 PM

Tom McLaughlin
Daily News

State Attorney Bill Eddins announced Tuesday that his office will seek the death penalty if it obtains a conviction in the murder case against Stephen Cozzie.

Cozzie, 22, of Seagrove Beach, is charged with the June 16 killing of Courtney Wilkes, a popular 15-year-old who was visiting the Seagrove Beach area with her Georgia family.

He is also charged with aggravated child abuse, armed kidnapping and sexual battery.

Police reports indicate Wilkes died from a blow or blows to the head and a friend of Cozzie’s told investigators Cozzie had bragged that he’d killed her with a stick.

At the time of Cozzie’s arrest, Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson called his actions “nothing more than pure evil.”

He said he wasn’t surprised by the State Attorney’s decision to seek the death penalty.

“It’s highly appropriate,” Adkinson said. “There’s a reason we maintain the death penalty. Cases like these are exactly why we do.”

A committee of senior State Attorney’s Office officials evaluates a homicide case when the death penalty is being considered. Eddins said cases that warrant a death penalty review are looked at for the “heinous atrocious and cruel” aspects of the crime.

“We also evaluate whether or not the crime occurred during the commission of another violent crime,” he said.

on: August 16, 2011, 11:19:59 AM 25 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Serbia appeals U.S. death sentence

Published: Aug. 16, 2011 at 10:33 AM

RENO, Nev., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The Serbian government has appealed to a U.S. court to spare the life of a Serbian citizen currently facing execution in Nevada, officials said.

The Serbian consulate said it was not informed about the arrest of Avram Nika as required by international law, and the Serbian government maintains such notification would have meant Nika could have received assistance that may have spared him the death penalty, Serbian news agency Tanjug reported Tuesday.

Such assistance should have been available to Nika because of his inability to speak English and his lack of familiarity with the U.S. legal system, Serbia's brief filed in a Reno court says.

"The failure to notify the consulate caused no mitigating evidence to be presented at his sentencing hearing, such as that he was a hard-working family man who came from poverty and was discriminated against because he is a member of a nomadic ethnic group known as Roma," the brief says.

Nika, 41, was convicted of the 1994 killing of a man who stopped to help him on a highway near Reno.

Washoe County Reno District Attorney Dick Gammick said there was no consulate to contact, as the former Yugoslavia where Nika was from "was falling apart at the time."

on: August 10, 2011, 03:44:03 AM 26 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Jury Recommends Death for Women in Murders of Husband, Kids

POMONA, Calif. (KTLA) -- Jurors have recommended the death penalty for a Rowland Heights woman convicted of killing her husband and two young sons.

Manling Tsang Williams

31-year old Manling Tsang Williams was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances on Nov. 4 by another jury in Pomona.

That jury failed to reach a decision on penalty, however, and the penalty phase of the case was retried.

On Tuesday, jurors returned a death penalty recommendation after five days of deliberation.

Williams was convicted of murdering her 27-year-old husband, Neal, and their sons, Ian, 3, and Devon, 7, in the family's Rowland Heights home on Aug. 8, 2007.

A medical examiner testified during the trial that Neal Williams had been slashed and stabbed more than 90 times with a Samurai sword.  The children were smothered with a pillow in their bunk beds.

Sentencing is set for September 23.,0,6757673.story

on: August 07, 2011, 05:22:13 AM 27 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / 25 Navy SEALs Dead In Afghan Chopper Crash

To my beloved Navy SEALS who have tragically lost their lives yesterday - God speed my friends.  Thank you so very much for all you have done for us all.  My thoughts and prayers are with your families who must be grieving, but also must be so very proud.

HOOYAH   :-*

on: July 29, 2011, 05:18:23 AM 28 Off Topic / Off Topic - Anything / Robert W. Jackson III, DE - Last words and such.

Jackson, 38, lifted his head when asked for his last words shortly after midnight. Searching the window between the execution chamber and witnesses, he asked if the two children of the victim, Elizabeth Girardi, were watching.

"Are the Girardis in there? Christopher and Claudia, if you are in there, I've never faulted you for your anger. I would have been mad myself," he said, going on to deny he killed their mother.

He suggested that his accomplice in the burglary, Anthony Lachette, was the killer.

"Tony's laughing his ass off right now because you're about to watch an innocent man die. This isn't justice," he said before putting his head back down and closing his eyes.

Last Meal:

At about 10:30 p.m. prison officials announced that Jackson was given a last meal that included steak, baked potato, potato skins, corn and soda.

on: July 23, 2011, 04:34:14 AM 29 Across the Globe / World Crime Related News / 91 dead in island massacre, bombing in Norway


Published Fri, Jul 22, 2011 09:50 AM
Modified Sat, Jul 23, 2011 07:07 AM

OSLO, Norway -- A Norwegian gunman disguised as a police officer beckoned his victims closer before shooting them one by one, claiming at least 84 lives, in a horrific killing spree on an idyllic island teeming with youths that has left this peaceful Nordic nation in mourning.

The island tragedy Friday unfolded hours after a massive explosion ripped through a high-rise building housing the prime minister's office, killing seven people in a scene some likened to the aftermath of 9/11.

The same man - a blonde-blue eyed Norwegian with reported Christian fundamentalist, anti-Muslim views - is suspected in both attacks. He has been preliminarily charged with acts of terrorism.

On the island of Utoya, panicked teens attending a Labour Party youth wing summer camp plunged into the water or played dead to avoid the assailant in the assault that may have lasted 30 minutes before a SWAT team arrived, police said.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said the twin attacks made Friday peacetime Norway's deadliest day.

"This is beyond comprehension. It's a nightmare. It's a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends," Stoltenberg told reporters Saturday. He said he would meet victims later in the day on Utoya.

The toll in both attacks reached 91 Saturday, and police said that could still rise as they search the waters around the island for more bodies. Acting Police Chief Roger Andresen said he did not how many people were still missing. The Oslo University hospital said it has so far received 11 wounded from the bombing and 16 people from the camp shooting.

The carnage began Friday afternoon in Oslo, when a bomb rocked the heart of Norway. About two hours later, the shootings began at a retreat for ruling Labour Party's youth-wing, according to a police official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway's police. The gunman used both automatic weapons and handguns, he said. It was not clear Saturday whether experts had succeeded in disarming a bomb that the official said had been left unexploded.

The blast in Oslo, Norway's capital and the city where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, left a square covered in twisted metal, shattered glass and documents expelled from surrounding buildings.

The dust-clogged scene after the blast reminded one visitor from New York of Sept. 11. People were "just covered in rubble," walking through "a fog of debris," said Ian Dutton, who was in a nearby hotel.

While survivors evacuated the buildings, including ones that house other government offices and Norway's leading newspaper, word came that someone had opened fire on an island about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Oslo.

Stoltenberg told reporters that he had spent many summers on Utoya - "my childhood paradise that yesterday was transformed into hell."

A SWAT team that had been put on alert after the bombing was dispatched to the island once the shooting began. Police official Johan Fredriksen said that means they may have taken 30 minutes to reach the island.

Survivors described a scene there of terror. Several people fled into the water to escape the rampage, and police said they were still searching the lake for bodies.

A 15-year-old camper named Elise who was on Utoya said she heard gunshots, but then saw a police officer and thought she was safe. Then he started shooting people right before her eyes.

"I saw many dead people," said Elise, whose father, Vidar Myhre, didn't want her to disclose her last name. "He first shot people on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water."

Elise said she hid behind the same rock that the killer was standing on. "I could hear his breathing from the top of the rock," she said.

She said it was impossible to say how many minutes passed while she was waiting for him to stop.

At a hotel in the village of Sundvollen, where survivors of the shooting were taken, 21-year-old Dana Berzingi wore pants stained with blood. He said the fake police officer ordered people to come closer, then pulled weapons and ammunition from a bag and started shooting.

Several victims "had pretended they were dead to survive," Berzingi said. But after shooting the victims with one gun, the gunman shot them again in the head with a shotgun, he said.

"I lost several friends," said Berzingi, who used the cell phone of one of those friends to call police.

Police arrested only one suspect and have said he is linked to both the shootings and the Oslo explosion. Though police did not release his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian. Faiq Barzingi, whose children survived the massacre, said his kids have identified the photo in media as the gunman.

Police said they were still searching the suspect's Oslo apartment Saturday. An AP reporter said officers were keeping a close watch outside while technicians worked inside. About a dozen people, including journalists and neighbors, were hovering outside, but were not allowed to get close to the building.

Andresen, the acting police chief, said the suspect was talking to police.

"He is clear on the point that he wants to explain himself," he told reporters at a news conference.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attack "is probably more Norway's Oklahoma City than it is Norway's World Trade Center." Domestic terrorists carried out the 1995 attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City, while foreign terrorists were responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Though the prime minister cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the gunman's motives, both attacks were in areas connected to the left-leaning Labour Party, which leads a coalition government. The youth camp, about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Oslo, is organized by the party's youth wing, and the prime minister had been scheduled to speak there Saturday.

Sponheim said a man was arrested in the shooting, and the suspect had been observed in Oslo before the explosion there. But he refused to confirm the suspect's identity as reported by Norwegian media.

Sponheim said the camp shooter "wore a sweater with a police sign on it. I can confirm that he wasn't a police employee and never has been."

Aerial images broadcast by Norway's TV2 showed members of a SWAT team dressed in black arriving at the island in boats and running up the dock. People who had stripped down to their underwear moved in the opposite direction, swimming away from the island toward the mainland, some using flotation devices.

The United States, European Union, NATO and the U.K., all quickly condemned the bombing, which Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague called "horrific" and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen deemed a "heinous act."

"It's a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring," President Barack Obama said.

Obama extended his condolences to Norway's people and offered U.S. assistance with the investigation. He said he remembered how warmly Norwegians treated him in Oslo when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

A U.S. counterterrorism official said the United States knew of no links to terrorist groups and early indications were the attack was domestic. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was being handled by Norway.

Nordstrom reported from Stockholm. Associated Press reporters Nils Myklebost Oslo, Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Matthew Lee and Rita Foley in Washington, Paisley Dodds in London, and Paul Schemm in Tripoli, Libya, contributed to this report.

on: July 22, 2011, 02:35:12 PM 30 General Death Penalty / U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Death Sentence for Taxi Driver Convicted of Murder - Leslie Small - Delaware

Posted: Jul 22, 2011 1:08 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 22, 2011 3:20 PM EDT
By Kye Parsons

GEORGETOWN, Del.- A taxi driver convicted of killing a 78-year-old woman in her Lewes home two years ago was sentenced to death Friday by a Sussex County Superior Court judge.

Fifty-two-year-old Leslie Small of Milton was found guilty by a jury in early April of two counts of first-degree murder, robbery, burglary and three counts of possession of a felony, in connection with the killing of June McCarson in November 2009. Her body was found in her home at the Donovan Smith Mobile Home Park.

In mid-April, the jury voted unanimously to recommend that the death penalty be imposed. Under Delaware law, Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes had the final say on Small's fate but had to give the jury's recommendation "serious weight" at sentencing.

"While no sentence can rectify the brutality of her death, justice was done for June McCarson today," Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden stated after learning that Small had been sentenced to death.

During Small's trial, his defense attorneys claimed that their client's repeated use of crack cocaine "took over his mind" during the attack. According to prosecutors, Small strangled McCarson and then stabbed her 20 times after being driven to a bank, hairdresser and drugstore.

Prosecutors said Small admitted to killing McCarson. Prosecutors also noted that crack cocaine use was not a legitimate defense for Small's actions.
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