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11 -  General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Leon Taylor - MO - 11/19/14

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 18, 2014, 08:27:13 AM

No. 14A528

Title: Leon Taylor, Applicant v. Donald Roper, Warden
Linked with 14-7135
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Case Nos.: (14-3315)

~~~Date~~~  ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 18 2014 Application (14A528) for a stay of execution of sentence of death, submitted to Justice Alito.

12 -  General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Leon Taylor - MO - 9/10/14

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 18, 2014, 07:51:54 AM

Appeal Pending for Missouri Man Awaiting Execution

BONNE TERRE, Mo. — Nov 18, 2014, 10:42 AM

Associated Press

Attorneys for Missouri inmate Leon Taylor have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, citing several concerns that led to the death sentence for the convicted killer.

Taylor is scheduled to die early Wednesday for killing gas station attendant Robert Newton in Independence in 1994. Taylor would be the ninth man put to death in Missouri this year.

The appeal notes that Taylor's original jury deadlocked and a judge sentenced him to death. When that was thrown out, an all-white jury gave Taylor, who is black, the death sentence.

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that only a jury could impose a death sentence. Taylor's lawyers argued in Tuesday's appeal that the original jury did not.

13 -  General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Leon Taylor - MO - 11/19/14

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 18, 2014, 07:32:02 AM

Execution date nears for Missouri man

Jim Salter 9:42 p.m. CST November 17, 2014

ST. LOUIS –  Attorneys for a Missouri man scheduled to be executed this week are asking the courts and Gov. Nixon to spare his life, alleging that race played a role in his death sentence.

Leon Taylor, 56, is scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing gas station attendant Robert Newton during a robbery in 1994 in the Kansas City suburb of Independence. He would be the ninth man put to death in Missouri this year and the 11th since November 2013.

Taylor's lawyers have asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to grant a stay and have requested clemency from Nixon.

Taylor is black; Newton was white. The jury at Taylor's trial deadlocked on sentencing, and a judge imposed death. Later, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered a new sentencing hearing because of inflammatory comments made by a prosecutor.

An all-white jury was chosen and sentenced Taylor to death.

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that only a jury — and not a judge — could impose a death sentence. While a jury did eventually impose the death sentence for Taylor, his lawyers argued that the original jury did not, so his sentence should be commuted to life in prison without parole.

The lawyers contend that following a Missouri Supreme Court ruling, the state commuted to life in prison without parole the sentence of every other Missouri death row inmate sentenced by a judge except Taylor. Attorney Elizabeth Carlyle contends Taylor is essentially penalized for successfully appealing his first conviction.

"We can't think of anything much more unfair than that," she said.  :P Poor Loser  :P

In addition to the racial concerns, the clemency petition cites abuse Taylor suffered as a child, saying his mother began giving him alcohol when he was 5. The petition says he became addicted to alcohol and drugs.

The petition was supported by 17 former and current state lawmakers and by black clergy members who cited Taylor's growth in Christianity while in prison.

"He's really a dramatically different person than he was when he did this crime," Carlyle said.

According to court records, Taylor, his half-brother and half-sister decided to rob a gas station on April 14, 1994. Newton was at the station with his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

Taylor entered the store, drew a gun and told Newton, 53, to put $400 in a money bag. Newton complied and the half-brother, Willie Owens, took the money to the car.

Taylor ordered Newton and the child to a back room. Newton pleaded for Taylor not to shoot him in front of the little girl, but Taylor shot him in the head. He tried to kill the girl but the gun jammed. He locked her in the room and the trio drove away.

"It's always bad when you have a murder, but when you have a child involved, its worse," said Michael Hunt, an assistant Jackson County prosecutor who prosecuted the case.

Taylor was arrested a week later after police responded to a tips hotline call.

14 -  General Death Penalty / Scheduled Executions / Rodney Berget - SD - 5/3-9/15

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 17, 2014, 11:16:22 AM

May execution scheduled in South Dakota for Rodney Berget

SIOUX FALLS | A man ordered to die for his role in killing a South Dakota prison guard has been scheduled to be executed in May.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says a judge issued a warrant of execution for Rodney Berget that calls for him to die by lethal injection sometime between Sunday, May 3, and Saturday, May 9.

Second Circuit Judge Bradley Zell issued the warrant on Berget, who was already serving life in prison for attempted murder and rape of a convenience store clerk in Sturgis.

Berget is scheduled to be executed between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., during the week of Sunday, May 3, 2015, through Saturday, May 9, 2015, inclusive, at a specific time and date to be selected by the penitentiary warden.

The exact day and hour will be released within forty-eight hours of the execution.

Witnesses to the execution could include the attorney general, the trial judge, the state’s attorney and sheriff of the county where the crime was committed, representatives of the victims, at least one member of the news media and a number of reputable adult citizens to be determined by the warden.

Another inmate charged in Johnson's death, Eric Robert, was executed in 2012.

A third inmate, Michael Nordman, helped the pair attempt to escape. He was sentenced to life in prison for his role.

15 -  General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Leon Taylor - MO - 11/19/14

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 17, 2014, 07:25:24 AM

Changed or not, execution looms for Missouri inmate Leon Taylor

November 14, 2014 by Mike Lear

The attorney for the man Missouri is scheduled to execute next week told Missourinet he is a changed man, but one of the men that prosecuted him remains confident the death sentence is just.

It’s been more than 20 years since Leon Taylor fatally shot Robert Newton, the attendant of an Independence service station that Taylor had just robbed.

After killing Newton, Taylor attempted to shoot Taylor’s then-eight-year-old stepdaughter as well, but the gun didn’t fire, and he left her with Newton’s body.

Taylor is sentenced to die by lethal injection early Wednesday morning at the prison at Bonne Terre.

Attorney Elizabeth Unger Carlyle has represented Taylor since 2003. She said he is a “dramatically” different man from the one he was on April 14, 1994.

“He has become a real force for good and a force for God at the Potosi Correctional Center,” said Carlyle.

She said a petition for clemency transmitted this week to the office of Governor Jay Nixon includes statements from people inside and outside the prison about his influence, and letters from pastoral groups and current and former legislators urging the governor to commute his sentence.

The Governor’s office’s policy is to not offer comment on pending applications for clemency, and Nixon has only granted clemency one in his six years as governor.

Carlyle knows the governor’s track record regarding clemency, which includes denying it for men executed since November of last year.

She believes the one time Nixon granted clemency, in the case of Richard Clay who also committed a murder in Missouri in 1994, he based that decision on a number of factors, “including the activities of the person in prison.”

Carlyle knows skepticism is common toward people sentenced to death who claim to find religion and change for the better, but she believes Taylor is legitimate.

“One of the things Leon does is he’s a songwriter and he writes and records his own praise songs,” said Carlyle. “I think if you listen to them you can see that they come from his heart and I think that’s where his heart is.”

Taylor wrote a letter of apology and a poem for Newton’s widow, Astrid Newton Martin. Martin said in the 2012 documentary Potosi: God in Death Row, that she has forgiven Taylor.

“It took me … I think 17, almost 18 years to finally realize I need to forgive and I did,” Martin said in the film. “I can honestly say I forgive him if he really means what he said in the letter.”

“You did some horrible stuff to me and for a long time I could not forgive you,” Martin said of Taylor, “especially knowing you were trying to hurt my little girl.”

Martin’s daughter, now nearly 30, has declined recent requests for media interviews. The film includes a recording of what she had to say in a 1995 radio interview.

“I have never had so many nightmares,” she said then. “The best thing in my life was destroyed. Now I too feel like dying … it’s lonely out here with no dad. It is dumb for the best, sweetest and kindest man and dad to be killed over a lousy $450. I think Leon Taylor should get the death penalty.”

Taylor’s relatives that were with him the night of the murder said he later said of the little girl that he, “should have choked the bitch.”

The attempt Taylor made to kill her is one of the “aggravating factors” Michael Hunt and the rest of the prosecution team presented when it asked for the death penalty.

“Reasons why this is different than any other case,” Hunt told Missourinet in describing aggravating factors. “Essentially what you want to have are … egregious factors why this [case] is different.”

Hunt is still with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office. He said the case stuck with him.

“The one thing you don’t ever forget is that little girl,” he told Missourinet. “It’s just so horrendous to hear her version of standing there, holding her stepfather’s hand as he is shot and killed, as he is pleading for his life, and then after he has been shot in the head, to have her describe how he turns that gun on her and pulls that trigger … that’s a horrendous act and it’s a horrendous act for her to have to relive and tell the jury.”

Hunt said he respects the beliefs of those who, for varying reasons, don’t want to see Taylor executed next week.

“When you start down this path on our side there has to be a comfort level that this is the appropriate punishment, because there’s no way that I could sit there as the prosecutor and ask that jury to sentence him to death unless I was comfortable with it,” Hunt said. “I was then and I am now.”

Taylor has also declined recent interview requests, but he is featured in that documentary.  In it, he talked about growing up with an alcoholic mother and having to raise his brothers and sisters.

“The men who were supposed to be my role models, they weren’t. They were women beaters and alcoholics themselves, so that’s basically what I grew up around,” said Taylor.

At the time he reacted to the news that Missouri might soon resume carrying out executions, saying, “I’m not worried about that.”

Taylor continued, “If my number comes up during that time, I’m fine. I’m good. I’m ready.”

Well Leon your real change will take place just after midnight on 11/19...when you turn to worm food.

16 -  General Death Penalty / Executed Offenders (Graveyard) / Re: Chadwick Banks - FL - 11/13/2014 - Executed

Started by turboprinz - Last post by deeg on: November 15, 2014, 09:03:46 PM

A murderer who unequivocally took responsibility for his actions.


17 -  General Death Penalty / Ohio Death Penalty News / Re: Ohio Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857 - Last post by turboprinz on: November 15, 2014, 01:37:33 AM

November 13 2014

Ohio's Supreme Court put an execution date on hold for the state's youngest death row inmate.

19-year-old Austin Myers is appealing his death sentence. He was one of two men who choked, stabbed, and shot Justin Back to death in Waynesville in January. The pair dumped the navy recruit's body in Preble County. The other man, Timothy Mosely, pleaded guilty and testified against Myers. A judge sentenced Mosely Nov. 12, to life in prison without parole.

19 -  General Death Penalty / Scheduled Executions / Derrick Dewayne Charles - TX - 5/12/15

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 14, 2014, 10:36:04 AM

On July 2, 2002, Charles was visiting his girlfriend's home when he attacked and strangled Obie Lee Bennett, 77, a man who lived at the residence. When Charles' girlfriend, Myiesha Bennett, 15, and her mother, Brenda Bennett, 44, arrived back home, Charles sexually assaulted the mother, bound both of them and placed ligatures on them, resulting in their deaths.

Charles was sentenced to death in Harris County in May 2003.

Texas has already 10 lined up for 2015.  8)

20 -  General Death Penalty / Stays of Execution / Re: Leon Taylor - MO - 11/19/14

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper - Last post by Grinning Grim Reaper on: November 14, 2014, 06:52:33 AM

Federal panel denies stay to Missouri inmate scheduled to die

 A 3-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a stay of execution to the Missouri inmate scheduled to die by lethal injection next week.

 Leon Taylor’s attorney says his death sentence should be commuted to life in prison because that is what happened with other inmates who had been sentenced to death by a judge, after a jury could not agree on their penalties. Instead, Taylor’s case had been sent to a second jury who did agree on a death sentence. The attorney says that creates a unique circumstance for him and that he should be treated like all the other inmates who were in that situation.

 She also challenges his death sentence because the second jury was made up of all white jurors. The first jury had four black members.

 The panel’s decision to deny him a stay is expected to be appealed. A request for clemency for Taylor has also been sent to Governor Nixon’s office.

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