Discussion:
death penalty news----TEXAS, GA., LA., ILL. USA
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Rick Halperin
2017-07-09 17:01:22 UTC
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July 9




TEXAS:

Convicted pedophile, serial killer is set to die by lethal injection in
Texas----October execution date scheduled for 'Tourniquet Killer,' Anthony
Allen Shore.


Anthony Allen Shore, age 55, is scheduled to die on October 18. Maria T.
Jackson, Criminal District Court Judge, Harris, TX, set the date for his
execution on Thursday. Shore has been dubbed the "Tourniquet Killer." Between
the 1980s and the 1990s, Houston's Hispanic females were strangled with
handmade tourniquets.

For almost 2 decades, gruesome murders he committed went unsolved. Shore's
unraveling happened when he sexually assaulted 2 girls, who were his relatives.
He was arrested. For sexually assaulting his 2 relatives, he accepted a plea
bargain arrangement that entailed giving up DNA and being placed on probation.

DNA collected, tested provided path to solving serial murder cold cases

That DNA collected and tested provided a much-needed break in solving the cold
cases. He was 41-years-old when he was arrested in 2003 and eventually
confessed to having committed the following murders:

1986, Laurie Tremblay, 14-years-old

1992, Maria del Carmen Estrada, 21-years-old

August 1994, Diana Rebollar, 9-years-old, and

July 1995, Dana Sanchez, 16-years-old

1 victim survived serial murderer following assault

The strength of the DNA test results tying him to the killing of Estrada led to
prosecutors take him to trial on the merits of the compelling DNA evidence. He
was tried and convicted of capital murder in the state's case against him. It
was the only murder committed by Shore that prosecutors sought and saw a
capital murder charge decided against him.

He was sentenced to death by a jury on October 21, 2004.

In addition to the assaults against 2 relatives and the serial murders, Shore
additionally sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl who survived the attack.
According to court records, Shore wore ill-fitting or loose clothing,
sunglasses, and surgical gloves. He masked his face with a bandana. Though he
used duct tape binding her hands and also wrapping her head, investigators said
escaped.

It was 2 years later, August 1994, when Shore kidnapped Rebollar not even a
block away from her house.

Houston victim advocate, Andy Kahan stated that there is a reason for having
the death penalty in Texas. He said Shore is a "poster child for why,"
according to the Houston Chronicle.

Killer appeals to U.S. Supreme Court on basis of 'brain damage'

Shore's attorney, K. Knox Nunnally, said there is an appeal, it is his killer
client's "last chance" plea before the United States Supreme Court. Though he
believes that there is the strength to his client's argument, he also
acknowledged that the "odds" are not favorable to Shore.

The appeal is premised on a traumatic brain injury, according to Nunnally, who
asserts his client's brain damage was sustained before Shore targeted and
murdered Hispanic females. He further stated that the injury might have altered
the killer's ability to distinguish between "right or wrong."

Kim Ogg is currently the Harris County District Attorney. Once Shore's
execution date was scheduled she described him as a "true" serial killer who
deserves capital punishment. She said he was predatory, his acts were brutal,
and the execution is "appropriate."

(source: blastingnews.com)






GEORGIA----female Mexican national may face death penalty

Ga. mother appears in court day after allegedly stabbing husband, 4 kids to
death


The day after she allegedly stabbed to death her husband and 4 of their
children, a Gwinnett County mother smiled for cameras, flashed the thumbs-up
sign, and told a judge she doesn't want a lawyer.

"I don't need an attorney," Isabel Martinez said Friday through an interpreter.
"My attorney is the people that we are fighting for ... It does not matter what
color you are because God loves us all."

But whether or not she has an attorney may not be up to Martinez.

Though her mental health has not been discussed publicly by law enforcement or
the court, the 33-year-old woman's bizarre behavior in court - and the very
nature of her alleged crimes - raises questions about whether she will be
deemed competent to stand trial, according to legal experts.

That's a determination to be made by forensic psychiatrists - the likely next
step in what is sure to be a long, complex process, attorneys observing the
case said Friday.

Martinez is accused of killing the 4 children and their father early Thursday
morning at the family's home in Loganville. A 5th child, a daughter, was also
attacked but survived and is now awake and talking in a hospital. Martinez was
taken into custody, interviewed and arrested later Thursday, charged with 5
counts of malice murder, 5 counts of murder and 6 charges of aggravated
assault.

Police have not released details about a possible motive or whether Martinez
confessed to the killings.

Her behavior in court Friday was erratic. She put her hands together as if she
was praying and had a smirk on her face, never appearing remorseful.

"I'm going to caution you to cut off the display for the cameras," Judge
Michael Thorpe told Martinez. "It's really not a good idea. Probably not to
your benefit. I can't physically stop you from doing it, but it ain't a good
idea."

The judge also advised Martinez against not obtaining an attorney, but she
adamantly shook her head. Her words that followed made little sense.

"It's just that for me, the hope are always going to be the people and my faith
... those are my friends, that's why I'm here," Martinez said. "It doesn't
matter here, anything else. I'm here representing the people (that are) humble
and hardworking. The people that suffer. The people that have a lot of charges
so that they understand that everything is possible with God."

Thorpe told Martinez her next court appearance will be July 20. Meanwhile, she
was being held without bond late Friday at the Gwinnett jail.

"We are concluded with you," the judge said. "You probably need to stop
talking."

Martinez has the right to represent herself, but only if she's competent to
make that decision, said Bob Rubin, a criminal defense attorney not involved
with the case.

"If she waives the right to counsel, the judge really has to explore whether
she's capable of making a knowing and voluntary waiver of (that) right," Rubin
said.

Based on the accusations against her and her behavior in court, former DeKalb
County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan said he would be surprised if the case
goes to trial.

"For a mother to kill her child is almost in itself criminally insane," said
Morgan, now a criminal defense lawyer. "I think it's very unlikely she stands
trial."

Determining whether she is mentally fit for trial is handled separately, in
civil court, Morgan said.

"If she's not competent to stand trial, (the state) will try very hard to make
her competent," said Marietta defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant, a former Cobb
County prosecutor.

Ultimately, it will come down to whether Martinez could tell the difference
between right and wrong, Merchant said.

Her legal status could also impact how she is prosecuted.

Immigration officials said Friday that Martinez illegally entered the U.S. from
Mexico. But because it was her 1st encounter with U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, it was unknown how long she has been in the country, said Bryan
Cox, a spokesman for the agency. Martinez told police her husband was also in
the U.S. illegally, Cox said.

Mexico could also get involved, especially if Gwinnett District Attorney Danny
Porter decides to pursue the death penalty, which Mexico opposes. A spokesman
for the Mexican consulate in Atlanta did not respond to a request for comment
Friday.

The victims have been identified as Martin Romero, 33, and the 4 siblings
killed were 2-year-old Axel, 4-year-old Dillan, 7-year-old Dacota and
10-year-old Isabela Martinez.

The children and their father were already dead when police arrived at the
family's mobile home on Emory Lane around 5 a.m. Thursday. Martinez had called
911 at 4:47 a.m. requesting help.

9-year-old Diana Romero was also stabbed and flown by helicopter to Children's
Healthcare of Atlanta, where she underwent emergency surgery and is expected to
remain for 2 or 3 weeks, according to a GoFundMe page set up by family members.
She was awake and talking Friday, police posted on Twitter.

"She is surrounded by loving family members who are helping care for her,"
police said.

In recent weeks, Martinez had been distraught over the death of her father in
Mexico, according to neighbors in the mobile home community.

On Thursday evening, neighbors gathered in front of the Martinez-Romero home to
pray. They lit candles, rested a wooden cross against the house, left pink and
blue teddy bears, and wrote notes on a large poster board.

"There are no words to express how much you and the kids will be missed. Even
though you are not here, you all will always be in our hearts!"

Funeral arrangements for the family had not been announced late Friday.
Donations from the online fundraising page will be used toward burial costs and
medical bills for the surviving child, a family member posted.

(source: readingeagle.com)






LOUISIANA:

Cursed by violence': St. Tammany double-murder suspect's brother on death row
for killing wife, son


When Jason M. Magee III, known to his family as Matt, was arrested last month
in the shooting deaths of his ex-wife and her boyfriend at her home near Pearl
River, the double homicide created a troubling sense of deja vu in St. Tammany
Parish's criminal justice community.

10 years earlier, his older brother, Jamie Magee, killed his estranged wife and
their youngest child, a 5-year-old boy, in a grisly crime that sent shock waves
through Mandeville's Tall Timbers subdivision.

The elder brother crashed repeatedly into Adrienne Magee's vehicle as she was
driving their 3 young children to ball practice on a late April afternoon in
2007, forcing her to plow through a fence and hit a tree as the children
screamed, according to a court transcript.

He shot his wife at point-blank range in the left temple with a 12-gauge
shotgun, according to the transcript, ignoring her plea, "Not in front of the
kids."

Then, when Zach tried to run away, he fired again, striking the little boy 1st
in the shoulder and then fatally in the head before firing into the vehicle and
wounding 1 of their 2 daughters, who were 7 and 8.

Jamie Magee, 40, is now on death row. A St. Tammany Parish jury that found him
guilty of 2 counts of 1st-degree murder in 2009 decided he should get the death
penalty for both murders in the last capital murder case to be tried in the
22nd Judicial District.

Matt Magee, 37, is being held without bail at the St. Tammany Parish Jail,
where he was booked June 20 on 2 counts of 1st-degree murder after eluding law
enforcement for most of the day. He was arrested while walking along Interstate
59 in the rain. "I'm the guy," he told officers.

Magee's ex-wife, 32-year-old Jennifer Magee, a registered nurse who divorced
her husband a year ago, was found dead of a gunshot wound with her boyfriend,
Donald Gros, a phlebotomist and EKG technician she had met while working at
Tulane Medical Center.

His mother, Donna Thiebaud, said the 2 had begun dating in October and "glowed"
when they were together.

Jennifer and her ex-husband, who worked for the St. Tammany Parish Public Works
Department, had 2 children, a girl and a boy. The children were not at their
mother's home when the shootings took place.

The parallels in the lives of the 2 brothers go beyond the fact that both were
accused of double homicides. The same year that Adrienne and Zach Magee died on
the street in Tall Timbers, Matt Magee was convicted of domestic abuse battery
for an incident involving a girlfriend, a fact that was mentioned in the death
penalty phase of his brother's trial.

The gun used to kill Adrienne and Zach came from Matt Magee's house, according
to testimony by the brothers' stepfather, Tommy Cooper.

And then there is the Magee family history, replete with incidents of abuse and
homicide.

Cooper described the 2 boys as having bad tempers, and their mother, Bonnie
Cooper, testified they had witnessed their father, James Magee Sr., choking
her. Jamie Magee, who lived with his father after the parents divorced,
witnessed more domestic violence in his father's 2nd marriage.

His defense attorney pointed to their father's behavior as a factor in Jamie
Magee's murderous rampage, citing a time that James Magee Sr. "lost it" because
he suspected his second wife of infidelity.

"On one occasion, he lost it. Very much as his son did," defense attorney
William Alford told the jury. "He did not kill anybody. He was lucky."

Alford also speculated about the root cause of the violence: "I'm a redneck.
I'm Scotch Irish. We Scotch Irish are mean people. ... I don't know if it's in
our genes or not."

But violence in the family didn't begin with James Magee Sr. According to
testimony, the boys' grandmother went to jail for killing her brother-in-law;
an uncle served time for a homicide. And their mother witnessed her own sister
shot to death by an estranged husband who then turned the weapon on himself.

"It seems that your family has been cursed by violence," Alford said to the
brothers' father on the witness stand.

"Yes sir," he replied.

"Do you have any idea why?"

"No sir," he said.

Bonnie Cooper agreed there was a "pattern of violence" in the family but was
also at a loss to explain it. "It just happened," she testified. "I don't
know."

She declined to comment on her younger son's arrest.

But the idea that exposure to violence as a child can lead to similar behavior
years later is one that domestic violence experts say has merit.

Kim Kirby, executive director of Safe Harbor, a St. Tammany shelter for women
and children who are survivors of domestic abuse, called domestic violence a
learned behavior. Children raised in abusive homes are four times more likely
to become perpetrators themselves, she said.

In the shelter, Kirby said, she's seen signs of problems with little boys
who've witnessed their fathers abuse their mothers. They'll pull their mother's
hair, slap her or not allow her to sleep. In homes with domestic violence, she
said, 70 % of children are either abused or neglected, in some cases because
their mother is focused on her own survival.

Louisiana is 2nd only to Alaska for incidents of domestic homicide, Kirby said.
Mariah Wineski, of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said that
St. Tammany's rate of domestic violence is on par with other parishes of
similar populations. For example, the 2-year average for 2015-16 was 0.82
incidents of violence per 100,000 residents in St. Tammany, compared with 0.86
for Lafayette Parish.

But, she said, Louisiana's domestic homicide rate is twice as high as the
national average.

"So although St. Tammany is on par with the rest of the state, the state as a
whole is not on par with the rest of the nation," she said in an email.

Domestic violence becomes more frequent and severe over time, Kirby said. But
the most dangerous time for victims is when they leave their abuser - 75 % of
domestic violence homicides happen at that point.

That was true for Adrienne Magee. She had left her husband 4 months before he
killed her, and in the lead-up to Jamie Magee's violent assault, he left
messages on her phone saying, "You die" and "Face the music, bitch," according
to the court transcript. He stalked her at the preschool where she worked as a
teacher and told one of his co-workers while drinking at a bar that he wanted
to "kill them all."

He told police he was angry because Magee wouldn't return his phone calls,
according to the court transcript. But others said he believed she had started
seeing someone else.

Adrienne Magee's cousin, with whom she and the children were living at the
time, declined to comment for this story, saying only that her family's concern
is for the surviving daughters; they are fearful that the latest eruption in
the Magee family will bring everything up again.

The family mourning Donald Gros wants to talk about their loved one's life, not
the Magees or the crime. Thiebaud described her son, Donald, as a teaser and
practical joker who loved animals and especially reptiles.

His 2 sons, ages 14 and 9, were the center of his world, she said. He had an
affinity for kids, she said, and although he was 6 feet 7 inches tall, he was
more than willing to sit on the floor and play tea-party with a 3-year-old
niece.

"He would do anything for anybody," Thiebaud said.

Jennifer Magee's brother referred a request for comment to their father, who
did not return a call.

Jennifer Magee graduated from nursing school in May 2015. She was an honor
graduate of Delgado Community College, according to her obituary, and worked
for Southeast Louisiana Home Health.

"She was the pearl of her family, a loving friend, a devoted mother, and a
caring registered nurse," the obituary said. "Known as a foodie and a trivia
master, Jennifer was a sweet and smart person taken too soon."

Jennifer Magee married her ex-husband in August 2008, the same year he was
convicted of domestic abuse. She left him 3 months after she graduated from
nursing school.

Her Facebook page has no postings past 2016, but earlier years include a
picture of her in cap and gown. "This has been the best day," she posted.
"Pinning this morning, nice award in recognition of my hard work," and an email
about a job interview at Tulane.

A post on her 6th wedding anniversary in 2014 said she was looking forward to
an evening "with the man who makes our wonderful life possible." The following
year, she posted a picture of Matt Magee painting their daughter's fingernails
pink. "Best daddy ever," Jennifer Magee posted.

"Yes he is!" Bonnie Cooper replied.

(source: New Orleans Advocate)






ILLINOIS:

William Martin, prosecutor in Richard Speck murder case, dies at 80


William Martin, the lead prosecutor of Chicago mass murderer Richard Speck, has
died at 80, according to his family.

The Speck case launched Martin - who continued to practice law in west suburban
Oak Park until he recently took ill - to prominence.

In 1966, the 24-year-old Speck fatally stabbed and strangled 8 nurses in a
South Side townhouse. Martin, an assistant Cook County state's attorney and
graduate of Fenwick High School, took the lead in the prosecution.

"In a way, it was the end of innocence," Martin told the Chicago Sun-Times in
1991. "In this case, 8 women asleep in a middle-class, crime-free, virtually
suburban neighborhood were subject to random violence from a killer who
basically came out of the night."

2 days after the murders, Speck tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists
in a seedy flophouse in the 600 block of West Madison - then Skid Row. Police
said the then-unidentified killer had a tattoo on his arm that read "Born To
Raise Hell." A Cook County Hospital surgeon recognized it when the bloodied
Speck was brought in on a gurney.

Martin secured a guilty verdict, aided by the testimony of the 1 nurse who
survived the attack, after less than an hour of jury deliberation.

Speck was sentenced to death, though the Illinois Supreme Court ultimately
overturned the sentence, leaving Speck with a life sentence. He died of a heart
attack in Joliet's Stateville Prison in 1991.

According to his son, Martin was personally against the death penalty. In
Speck's case, though, he thought the sentence was fitting.

"He told me that, in that situation, he supported the death penalty," his son,
Cook County Judge Marc Martin, told the Sun-Times Saturday. "We had long
conversations about it over the years, and I don't think [the death sentence]
tormented him in that case."

William Martin would eventually co-author a book about the case titled "The
Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked a Nation."

Though he was comfortable with Speck's initial sentence, Marc Martin said his
father "was really a liberal at heart."

"My dad got into the practice of law because he wanted to help people," he
said. "He'd tell me about feeling guilty for prosecuting someone for stealing a
loaf of bread."

William Martin left the state's attorney's office in 1969 to join the faculty
at Northwestern University's Law School.

For a short period of time in the early 1970s he went into private practice.
Until his death, he was a private practitioner specializing in attorney ethics
and criminal law.

William Martin lived in Oak Park for most of his life but was a resident of
Riverside at the time of his death.

Marc Martin - 1 of the attorneys who represented Richard "R.J." Vanecko after
he was charged with manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman - said his
father played a large role in his decision to pursue a law career.

"They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," he said.

Funeral arrangements for William Martin are pending.

(source: Chicago Sun Times)






USA:

Should Criminals With Mental Illness Face the Death Penalty?


On July 6, the state of Virginia executed William Morva. A convicted murderer,
he was diagnosed with delusional disorder after his trial.

But Morva's attorneys and mental health advocates say Democratic Gov. Terry
McAuliffe should have spared him.

Morva killed a hospital security guard and sheriff's deputy in 2005. He'd
escaped custody while waiting for a trial for attempted robbery.

After his trial, a psychiatrist diagnosed him with delusional disorder, a more
severe mental illness akin to schizophrenia that made him falsely believe,
among other things, that he had life-threatening gastrointestinal issues and
that a former presidential administration conspired with police to imprison
him, his attorneys said.

His lawyers argued that Morva escaped and killed the men because he was under
the delusion that he was going to die in jail.

Those who argued for Mova's clemency include 2 United Nations experts in human
rights and the slain sheriff deputy's daughter.

Criminals with severe mental illness don't usually get lenience when it comes
to the death penalty.

As The New York Times notes, they have to fit a narrow legal definition of
insanity, where they're "unaware of the punishment they are about to suffer and
why they are to suffer it." Not only do insanity defenses rarely work, but the
standard excludes most people with severe mental illness.

8 states were pushing laws to prohibit this group from facing execution earlier
this year.

It's important to avoid making blanket statements about people with mental
illnesses overall. About 1 in 5 Americans experiences mental illness, which
describes a range of diagnoses that our society often demonizes.

And people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime than to
perpetrate it. Furthermore, the 2 million people with mental illnesses booked
into jail every year are more likely to be nonviolent offenders, rather than
violent ones.

As the National Alliance on Mental Illness notes, "In a mental health crisis,
people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help."

Sadly, the death penalty appears to be this system's most logical end.

(source: Opinion, Emily Zak; care2com.)

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

Arguments close penalty phase of inmate's guard-slaying case


A federal prosecutor wants a jury to impose the death penalty against an
imprisoned gang murderer who killed a guard at a federal prison in
Pennsylvania.

But the defense attorney for 40-year-old inmate Jessie Con-ui says his client
is not a "monster" but a human being who will spend the rest of his life in
prison if the federal court jury in Scranton spares his life.

That jury heard closing arguments Thursday. They're scheduled to return Monday
to begin deliberating.

Prosecutors say Con-ui stabbed 34-year-old guard Eric Williams more than 200
times because he felt "disrespected" by a search of his cell at the federal
prison in Waymart in February 2013.

Con-ui was already serving time for a gang initiation killing and has a history
of drug trafficking, assaults and dangerous threats.

(source: Associated Press)






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