Discussion:
death penalty news----FLA., OHIO, TENN., MO.
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Rick Halperin
2017-08-25 14:28:50 UTC
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August 25



FLORIDA----execution

Florida carries out 1st execution in 18 months with new drug



Florida executed its 1st death row prisoner in 18 months on Thursday with a new
drug never before used in the United States, the Department of Corrections
said.

Inmate Mark Asay died at 6:22 p.m. after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt
the lethal injection.

He was convicted in 1988 of killing 2 men -- Robert Lee Booker and Robert
McDowell -- in downtown Jacksonville in a crime authorities said was racially
motivated.

The 53-year-old man was put to death at the penitentiary in Jacksonville.

Prosecutors said Asay called Booker, who was black, a racial epithet before
fatally shooting him. They say he killed McDowell, who was dressed as a woman
during the shooting, after soliciting him for sex.

Asay admitted to killing McDowell, but not Booker.

The state executed Asay using a new drug protocol, which included etomidate
instead of midazolam for sedation. A paralytic was then administered before
another drug stopped Asay's heart.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked the Florida Supreme Court this month
to reject an appeal from Asay regarding the use of the new lethal injection
formula. The court rejected defense arguments that the new combination would
cause too much pain.

Asay's execution was the 1st in Florida since the U.S. Supreme Court in January
2016 struck down a state law that allowed judges to designate death sentences
for defendants instead of jurors in a murder case. Florida has since replaced
it with a law that requires a unanimous jury vote to impose the death penalty.

(source: United Press International)

*****************

State negotiating with death row inmate



The state is negotiating with Lesly Jean-Phillipe, who is on death row for the
2009 murder of his wife.

Jean-Phillipe went to his wife Elkie's home on Jacksonville's Southside, posing
as a pizza deliveryman, and stabbed her to death.

He was convicted in 2011 of murder, and a jury voted 12-0 to recommend the
death penalty.

The direct appeal was denied, but defense lawyers filed a motion to throw out
the conviction and sentence, saying Jean-Phillippe got ineffective counsel at
trial.

A new defense motion asks for Jean-Philippe to be resentenced to life in
prison.

There's a hearing Friday and the order indicates there are ongoing and "active"
negotiations with his lawyers that would result in a life sentence in exchange
for him giving up any future appeals.

(source: news4jax.com)

***********************

Fewer face death penalty 8 months into term of Hillsborough State Attorney
Andrew Warren



State Attorney Andrew Warren has said that he will review each of the 24
pending death penalty cases he inherited when he took office in January. So
far, he has withdrawn pursuit of capital punishment in 5 cases. In 2 others, 1
inherited and 1 new, he has said prosecutors will seek death sentences. 17
cases await review. During his campaign and after he was elected, Warren
repeatedly summarized his death penalty philosophy by saying it should be
applied "fairly and consistently and rarely."



2 years ago, a college sophomore named Nicole Nachtman was marched past cameras
into a county jail, accused of murdering her mother and step-father at their
Carrollwood home.

Prosecutors called the shootings "heinous, atrocious and cruel" and declared
that Nachtman acted in a "cold, calculated and premeditated manner."

They announced their intent to seek the death penalty.

Then, last month, the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office quietly took capital
punishment off the table.

What changed? The state attorney.

Andrew Warren has withdrawn pursuit of the death penalty in 5 of 24 cases he
inherited when he took over the office in January, after voters ousted longtime
state attorney Mark Ober. A 6th defendant avoided death row with a guilty plea.

17 of the cases await review.

Only once, so far, has Warren affirmed the prior administration's decision to
seek death, although he also elected to seek it once in a more recent case.

"These decisions are the most serious and sobering decisions you make as state
attorney," he said. "And it's different academically than it is when you're
sitting in a chair as the one to make the decision."

Warren promised a reserved approach to capital punishment when he ran last
year.

Quietly, he has been delivering on that promise.

----

He's a father. He's Jewish. He's a prosecutor. Along the way, all of those
things have helped to shape his views, he said.

During the campaign and after he was elected, Warren summarized his death
penalty philosophy by saying it should be applied "fairly and consistently and
rarely."

The threat of capital punishment should not be used to coerce guilty pleas, he
said in a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times. He spoke of seeking death
only if defendants exhibit what the Supreme Court has called "a consciousness
of guilt materially more depraved."

Before he decides anything, there's a review before the State Attorney's
Office's homicide committee. The group, in existence years before Warren's
tenure, meets weekly for several hours. A dozen or more senior prosecutors hear
from investigators and victim families.

They weigh in on the appropriateness of the death penalty, and then it's
Warren's call whether to proceed.

"I don't make decisions in the room frequently," he said. "I want time away
from the office where I can reflect on everything I'm supposed to before making
those decisions."

He is reluctant to talk about specific cases.

Defendants showed signs of mental illness in at least 3 of the 5 cases where
Warren backed off the death penalty, court records show.

Witnesses said Nachtman spoke of "screaming voices" in her head before the
killings of her mother and step-father. She awaits trial and, if convicted,
faces a life sentence.

The prosecutions unfold against the backdrop of a capital punishment system
that has changed dramatically in just the last 2 years.

Florida used to be one of the only states in the nation where juries could
recommend a death sentence with a mere 7-5 majority. That changed when the
state Supreme Court required a unanimous decision.

Rick Terrana, a Tampa attorney who has defended clients in capital cases, said
he thinks the court ruling influences the state's decision on whether to seek
death.

"I can tell you, a 12-0 recommendation is a hell of a lot more difficult than
7-5 recommendation," he said.

In three decades, Terrana has seen the use of capital punishment wane as the
high courts have introduced more restrictions.

"When I first started," he said, "every murder case was a death penalty case,
with few exceptions."

----

Behind every case is the reality that capital punishment, in Florida and
elsewhere, may take decades to achieve.

Attorneys know it. Many victims do, too. It's why some of them are fine with a
life sentence.

Rick Miller of Tampa has waited almost 3 years to see the man accused of
killing his daughter, Olivia, sent to prison.

"It doesn't really matter to me because he's never going to see the light of
day," Miller said.

Angel Perez still awaits trial for the fatal shootings in Tampa of Olivia
Miller, Brittany Snyder and Jorge Gort on Dec. 6, 2014. His case is one of
those in which Warren ended the pursuit of the death penalty.

"With the death penalty, he'll probably be on there as long as I'm alive,"
Miller said. "I think he's got a better chance of living on death row than if
they give him life in prison."

Still, for some, the mere existence of a death sentence acknowledges the
magnitude of their loss.

"I'm for the death penalty. I most definitely want that," said Ruth Wachholtz,
mother of Michael Wachholtz.

Her son and Jason Galehouse, both 26, were drugged, used as sex slaves,
tortured and murdered in 2003.

One killer, Scott Paul Schweickert, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life.
He has agreed to testify against a 2nd defendant, Steven Lorenzo, who faces
death if convicted.

It took more than a decade to bring murder charges against Lorenzo, who was
convicted in federal court of giving nine men, including Wachholtz and
Galehouse, a date rape drug with the intent to commit violence.

That's the one pending case from the prior state attorney that Warren has
already decided merits a death sentence, though he continues to review the
other 17.

It's the case that matters most to Ruth Wachholtz.

"Even if he's accused and charged and sentenced and sits in a cell for 20
years, at least it has been proven and at least there is a death penalty
against him," she said.

"The wheels of justice move very slowly. And as long as they keep moving, I can
handle the long, long wait."

----

DEATH PENALTY ON THE TABLE

Since taking office 8 months ago, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren
affirmed the prior state attorney's plan to seek the death penalty in one case
and, with input from staff, raised it anew in another.

Steven Lorenzo, 58, is accused of torturing and murdering Jason Galehouse and
Michael Wachholtz, both 26, in December of 2003. The state says Lorenzo and
Scott Schweickert lured them to Lorenzo's home in Seminole Heights, drugged
them, and killed them. Both are serving federal prison sentences for drug
convictions stemming from the case. Last year, Schweickert pleaded guilty to a
murder charge and agreed to testify against Lorenzo in exchange for a life
sentence.

Keith Davis, 43, is accused of stabbing to death nurse William Leslie McGoff,
53, during a 2016 robbery at McGoff's home in the Wellswood area of Tampa. This
was the first death case to be filed after Warren took office.

DEATH PENALTY WITHDRAWN

Warren withdrew plans to seek the death penalty in these 5 cases, though it was
sought under the term of the former state attorney, Mark Ober.

Carlos Rivas, 54, was sentenced to life in prison in April for beating to death
Darryl Brown, 58, at the University Oakwood Apartments in 2012. Rivas had a
history of mental illness. Lawrence Bongiovanni, 24, was sentenced to life for
the brutal 2013 stabbing of Kenneth Redding, a Riverview store clerk.
Bongiovanni had a history of mental illness.

Jose Gonzalez, 51, was sentenced to life for the 2014 rape and murder of
21-year-old Meaghan Casady in Riverview.

Angel Perez, 25, still awaits trial in the fatal 2014 Tampa shootings of Olivia
Miller, Brittany Snyder and Jorge Gort. Questions of his mental competency have
dogged the case.

Nicole Nachtman, 23, is awaiting trial for the 2015 shootings of her mother and
step-father, Myriam and Robert Dienes.

The death penalty was also withdrawn in an appellate case:

Khalid Pasha, 73, had twice been sentenced to death when the Florida Supreme
Court overturned his sentence earlier this year. Neither jury was unanimous in
the penalty. Warren's office said it would not seek death.

DEATH PENALTY UNDER REVIEW

These defendants in Hillsborough County murder cases still face possible death
sentences but Warren is in the process of reviewing their cases.

Washington Beltran, 23, is accused in the 2013 stabbing death of Wilkin Baker,
27, behind a Brandon storage facility. Questions about Beltran's mental health
led to his treatment in a state hospital.

Marisol Best, 32, is accused of fatally shooting her in-laws, Virgil and
Shirley Best, while the couple prayed one night in 2015 inside their Riverview
home.

Jason Burnett, 41, is accused in the fatal shootings of Nell Mason, 52, and her
roommate, Fern Giddings, 56, during a 2013 home invasion robbery in the Citrus
Park area.

Keith Dukes, 51, is accused of stabbing and shooting his wife, Michelle, in
front of their 3 daughters in 2015 in Riverview.

Landrick Edwards, 27, is accused in the 2013 robbery and shooting of John M.
Dooley, 56, a Tampa cab driver. Competency issues sent Edwards to a state
hospital, but his trial is set for later this month.

Alfred Fennie, 55, is already on death row for the 1991 murder of Mary Shearin
in Hernando County. In 2015, he was charged with the murder of Jamie C. Duncan,
who was killed, days before Shearin, while walking home from work in Tampa.

Austin Hamilton, 27, is accused of beating his girlfriend's infant son, Sincere
Williams, to death after the baby urinated on Hamilton during a diaper change.

Kimwana Hamilton, 41, is accused in a 2016 shooting rampage in east Tampa that
killed Nisha Carson, 24, and Alfonso Igles, 47.

Ricky Hathorn, 48, is accused in the 2016 beating deaths of a homeless couple,
Tommy Skeens, 52, and Lara Kuchar, 45, in an abandoned car wash near the
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Kuchar was also raped.

Michael Herald, 50, is accused of killing John Engelhart, 76, and his wife,
Nancy Engelhart, 73, in a shed on their Dover property, days after the couple
hired him to work as a handyman.

Michael Keetley, 46, is accused in the shotgun slayings of brothers Juan and
Sergio Guitron and the attempted murders of 4 others on Thanksgiving 2010 in
Ruskin.

Jonathan Kendrick, 26, is accused of breaking into the east Tampa home of
78-year-old Loretta Jackson in 2015, beating her with a vacuum cleaner and
suffocating her with a pillow.

Charles Martinez, 27, is accused of stabbing Lindsey Greene, 25, and Jennifer
Kalb, 23, inside a Brandon townhouse in 2013 before setting their bodies on
fire.

Elisamuel Pacheco, 28, is accused of sexually abusing and beating to death
Jaslene Bryan, his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter. Attorneys have questioned
Pacheco's competency.

Granville Ritchie, 38, is accused of the 2014 rape and murder of 9-year-old
Felecia Williams in a Temple Terrace apartment. Her body was left in waters
near the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

James Ware, 58, is accused of the 2015 stabbing death of his girlfriend, Denise
Cogmon, 60, in her Tampa home.

Darryl Williams, 51, is accused of shooting Tiffany James in front of their
twin 7-year-old daughters on Halloween night 2015 outside her Brandon
apartment.

(source: Tampa Bay Times)

****************

Luis Toledo's attorneys ask to sequester jury in death penalty trial



Attorneys for Luis Toledo, who is accused of killing his wife and her 2
children, are asking that the jury be sequestered for Toledo's upcoming death
penalty trial.

Toledo, 33, is charged with 2nd-degree murder in the killing of his wife,
28-year-old Yessenia Suarez, and 2 counts of 1st-degree murder in the deaths of
her children, Thalia, 9, and Michael, 8. If convicted of killing either of the
children, Toledo could face the death penalty.

The mother and children were reported missing Oct. 23, 2013, from their home at
317 Covent Gardens Place. Their bodies have not been found.

The hearing on the defense motion to sequester the jury, which means removing
them from public contact during the trial, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday
before Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2 in St. Augustine for the
long-delayed trial which is expected to last several weeks.

The trial was originally planned for DeLand. But Toledo???s attorneys argued at
a prior hearing that he could not receive a fair trial in Volusia County
because of the extensive media coverage the case has received. Prosecutors
opposed the move but Zambrano granted the defense request.

(source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal)








OHIO----impending execution

A Condemned Ohio killer of 2 wants September execution delayed----A condemned
killer of 2 people scheduled to die in less than a month is challenging Ohio's
lethal injection method as well as the constitutionality of the state's death
penalty law.

Death row inmate Gary Otte is also waiting to see whether Gov. John Kasich will
spare him by granting clemency.

Otte was sentenced to die for the Feb. 12, 1992, killing of Robert Wasikowski
and the Feb. 13, 1992, killing of Sharon Kostura. Both slayings took place in
Parma in suburban Cleveland.

Authorities say Otte asked to come inside Wasikowski's apartment to use the
phone and then shot the 61-year-old and stole about $400.

The next day, Otte forced his way into the apartment of the 45-year-old Kostura
in the same building, shot her, then stole $45 and her car keys.

In federal court, Otte's attorneys argue that the state hasn't shown it can
ensure inmates are rendered so deeply unconscious during lethal injection that
they won't suffer serious pain.

The lawyers say observations by an expert witness during an Ohio execution last
month showed executioners didn't carry out a "sufficient consciousness check"
after the 1st drug, midazolam, was administered.

"As the situation stands now, because of the inadequate and unreliable
consciousness checks, there is a sure or very likely significant and
substantial risk that Mr. Otte will suffer pain during the execution," his
attorneys said.

Otte, 45, is scheduled to die Sept. 13. The state is expected to oppose the
request.

In a separate appeal, Otte is asking a Cleveland-area judge to declare the
death penalty unconstitutional in his case because he was under 21 at the time
of the crime. He also wants a delay while he argues the point.

Otte's attorneys base their request on a ruling this month by a Kentucky court,
which said executing inmates under 21 at the time of their crime amounts to
cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously outlawed
the execution of anyone under 18 at the time of the crime.

As "the result of Mr. Otte's youth, immaturity, and under-developed mind, he is
not an offender with the type of extreme moral culpability" deserving of
execution, his attorneys wrote in a filing with Cuyahoga County court this
week.

Ronald Phillips, a convicted child killer from Akron who was 19 at the time of
his crime, unsuccessfully argued the same point in federal court earlier this
summer. Phillips was executed July 26.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors say Otte purposely waited until just weeks before
his execution to make his argument, knowing a delay would be necessary. He
could have raised the issue years earlier, they say.

"The untimeliness of Otte's last-minute claim alone warrants denial of his
request for a stay," Christopher Schroeder, assistant Cuyahoga County
prosecuting attorney, said in a Tuesday court filing.

The Ohio Parole Board in February denied Otte's clemency request. A spokesman
for Kasich, a Republican, said there wasn't a date yet for the governor's
decision.

(source: Associated Press)

****************************

Serial killer's brain scans could play role in death penalty decision



A convicted serial killer whose resentencing is expected to begin in November
will undergo brain scans before then.

Earlier this month, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker
granted a request by Anthony Kirkland???s attorneys for images of his brain,
including MRI and PET scans.

The reasons are not yet clear, although his attorneys, Norm Aubin and Perry
Ancona, will argue that the death penalty should not be imposed.

Last month, Aubin and Ancona said they'd recently found reports by 2 experts
that contained "information helpful to the defense that requires further
investigation." The reports were in 1 of 26 boxes of documents they'd received
as part of the case.

A hearing surrounding the tests is set for Oct. 5.

Kirkland, 48, was in Dinkelacker's courtroom Thursday as his attorneys argued
several motions. A psychologist was scheduled to interview Kirkland after the
hearing at the Hamilton County jail, where he was being held temporarily.

Kirkland is serving 2 life sentences at the Chillicothe Correctional
Institution. He was sentenced to death in 2010, but last year the Ohio Supreme
Court ordered a new mitigation and sentencing hearing.

In all, Kirkland has been convicted of killing 5 women and girls and burning
their bodies.

Kirkland was found guilty in 2010 of killing Casonya "Sharee" Crawford, 14, and
Esme Kenney, 13. Before the trial began, he pleaded guilty in the deaths of
Kimya Rolison, 25, and Mary Jo Newton, 45.

Those killings happened between 2006 and 2009. He also killed a woman in 1987 -
for spurning his sexual advances, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty and
served 16 years in prison.

Also Thursday, Dinkelacker approved a request by the Hamilton County Sheriff's
Office to place a "stun cuff" around Kirkland's ankle during the resentencing.

The device works like a remotely operated taser, Deputy Emily Rose testified.
It would be used to control him, if necessary.

Any time Kirkland leaves his cell at the jail, Rose said, shackles are used and
2 guards escort him.

Dinkelacker said "it's common sense to believe Mr. Kirkland could pose a danger
to" deputies, attorneys, jurors and the public.

A jury will be selected for the resentencing, which is set to begin Nov. 9.
Dinkelacker will ultimately decide whether to impose a death sentence.

(source: cincinnati.com)








TENNESSEE:

Holly Bobo case: Death row inmates in West Tennessee



It's been over 10 years since someone was sentenced to death in rural West
Tennessee.

David Jordan was sentenced to death by lethal injection by a Madison County
jury in 2006. His conviction is the most recent in West Tennessee, outside
Shelby County, since Farris Morris in the mid-90s.

Jordan was convicted in September 2006 of killing his wife, Donna Reed Jordan,
David Gordon and Jerry Wayne Hopper at the Tennessee Department of
Transportation maintenance garage. He was also convicted of 2 counts of
1st-degree murder after injuring 2 other TDOT employees on Jan. 11, 2005.

On Sept. 11, a trial in Hardin County will reopen the issue of the death
penalty in West Tennessee, leaving 15 people to decide if Zach Adams will walk
free, spend life in prison - with or without parole - or be put to death by
lethal injection.

Prosecutors for the state filed a motion with the court to seek the death
penalty, which has led to special questioning on individual potential jurors'
beliefs on capital punishment in Tennessee, and will mean special instructions
for the jury once they determine whether Adams is guilty or innocent in the
kidnapping, rape and murder of 20-year-old Holly Lynn Bobo.

Adams' case is being prosecuted by special appointed attorney Jennifer Nichols
from the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

Nichols has been part of prosecuting several death penalty cases in Shelby
County, including Sedrick Clayton, James Hawkins, Clarence Nesbitt, Andrew
Thomas and Leonard Young.

If convicted in Bobo's death and sentenced to the death penalty by the jury,
Adams will be housed in Tennessee's maximum security prison under Tennessee
Department of Correction supervision.

TDOC spokeswoman Alison Randgaard said all inmates sentenced to death are
considered maximum security inmates and are kept in segregated housing, meaning
male inmates are kept on death row at Riverbend Maximum Security. The only
female inmate on death row is housed at the Tennessee Prison for Women.

Inmates on death row are allowed only to interact with other death row inmates,
Randagaard said. Some are allowed to hold jobs and attend programs while
incarcerated, have regular visitation, and eat with other inmates in their
housing unit.

Tennessee's death penalty has been used since 1978, after a 6-year span when
the death penalty was declared unconstitutional, between 1972 and 1978. Prior
to 1972, electrocution was the primary execution method. Only 6 people have
been executed in the state of Tennessee in the past 39 years.

Now, inmates sentenced to death are executed by lethal injection, specifically
penobarbital, under a single drug protocol. The single drug protocol means only
1 drug is injected during an execution by death penalty regulations.

Final jury selection in the Holly Bobo case is scheduled for Sept. 9 in
Savannah.

(source: The Jackson Sun)








MISSOURI:

Gov. Greitens: Take Down Missouri's Racist Death Penalty Statutes!



This past Tuesday, well over 150 years since the end of the Civil War, a
powerful, well-connected, well-to-do Southern white man, Missouri Governor Eric
Greitens, exercised his law-given authority to stay the execution of Marcellus
Williams, a poor black man. The reprieve was issued hours before the scheduled
pumping of caustic chemicals by state officials into Williams's body.

Convicted by a nearly all-white jury (there was 1 black juror) of killing a
white woman, Williams was tried in St. Louis County, a jurisdiction writer
Rebecca McCray observes is known for the "ease with which prosecutors exclude
black jurors in capital trials." Putting aside the pernicious use of race in
denying Williams a true jury of his peers, and also, the tenuous evidence
admitted against him - and the grave, grave questions lingering about his guilt
- it is critical to understand: Williams was exponentially more likely to
receive a death sentence solely because of race, particularly the race of the
victim. This long-acknowledged abomination in American death penalty
jurisprudence was cowardly acquiesced to by the United States Supreme Court in
1987, in McClesky v. Kemp, a case New York University School of Law professor
and celebrated Supreme Court lawyer Anthony G. Amsterdam called, "the Dred
Scott decision of our time."

Williams's stay of execution, which Greitens granted for "a board of inquiry"
to examine DNA test results and additional evidence Williams's lawyers assert
demonstrate his innocence, is temporary. St. Louis county prosecutor Bob
McCullough, another white man, the same prosecutor who failed to indict (white)
police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, argues
"there was ample other evidence to convict Williams and 'zero possibility of
[Williams's] innocence.'"

But morally, in keeping with his core beliefs - and irrespective of the
nitty-gritty merits of Williams's innocence claim - Governor Greitens, a former
Navy Seal and a man of honor, must commute, to life without the possibility of
parole, Williams's death sentence. Demonstrating consciousness and character
desperately lacking in politics today, Greitens must declare a moratorium on
the death penalty in Missouri and commute the death sentences of all the
state's condemned inmates - not just Williams's.

Why? Because of the same logic of fairness and equality undergirding the
statement of Admiral John Richardson, the country's top naval officer, right
after the violence in Charlottesville; Richardson declared "the Navy will
forever stand against intolerance and hatred." Echoing Richardson on the day
white nationalists rallied in Virginia, Governor Greitens took to twitter,
typing: "The hate, racism, and violence on display in Charlottesville is
terrible. We must come together. Americans are better than this."

Admiral Richardson and Governor Greitens are right, Americans are "better than
this." But, by "this," I also include as Greitens, Richardson, and the rest of
civilized society must, the unacceptable racial bias that persists in capital
punishment - an ignominious bloody stain running far deeper, and with more
tragic results in the frayed fabric of our country, than what we saw in
Charlottesville. Indeed, the history of the death penalty in America is hewn
from the hell of slavery, subjugation, and the suffering of black people. In an
essay in the formidable new book "Policing the Black Man," legendary civil
rights attorney Bryan Stevenson writes: "The decline of lynching in America
relied heavily on the increased use of capital punishment following court
trials and accelerated, unreliable legal process in state courts. The death
penalty's roots are clearly linked to the legacy of lynching."

A week after the recent ugliness in Charlottesville, popular Protestant pastor
and president of North Carolina's NAACP, Rev. William J. Barber II, posted to
his widely followed twitter account: "Pull down the racist statutes, not just
the Confederate statues." While some immediately questioned if, like many
1st-year law students, Barber had committed a scrivener's error, a subsequent
column in Durham's daily newspaper, The Herald-Sun, made clear, he had not.

Speaking at Peace Missionary Baptist Church, Barber is reported to have said:
"If you just pull down the statue but you do not pull down the statutes, the
laws that support them, we still have issues." The Herald-Sun observed: "Barber
admitted that politicians were quick to say the events in Charlottesville were
horrible but the root of racism goes much deeper. Solving that problem in
America is going to be a long struggle . . . . It will take more than removing
offensive symbols. Laws will have to be changed."

Racist death penalty statutes must be the first to go. Exercising meaningful,
impactful leadership, Governor Greitens can and should, start with Missouri's.

(source: Stephen Cooper, City Watch)
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