Discussion:
death penalty news----TEXAS, DEL., VA., N.C., GA., FLA., ALA.
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Rick Halperin
2017-05-10 13:30:44 UTC
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May 10



TEXAS----impending execution

Texas Gives Tilon Carter Execution Date of May 16, 2017

Tilon Lashon Carter is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, May
16, 2017, at the Walls Unit in the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville,
Texas. 37-year-old Tilon is convicted of the robbery and murder of 89-year-old
James Eldon Tomlin in Tarrant County, Texas. Tilon has spent the last 10 years
of his life on Texas' death row.

Tilon did not graduate from high school, dropping out after the 11th grade. He
worked as an auto mechanic and a roofer. Tilon was previously arrested for
robbing a couple at gunpoint and using the stolen money to pay off a drug debt.
While in prison, he led a riot. Tilon was also convicted of indecent exposure
and assault against his girlfriend.

On April 28, 2004, Tilon Carter and his 31-year-old girlfriend Leketha Allen
were discussing how they needed money. Allen's mother overhear them and
suggested that they rob James Tomlin, and elderly man who lived nearby and was
known to keep large quantities of cash in his house. Allen's mother then drove
them by the house, pointing it out.

Carter and Allen returned to James' home the next day, forcing their way inside
after James opened the door. Cater bound James' hands and feet tightly with
duct tape. Duct tape was also placed over his mouth. Carter and Allen then
searched home, discovering approximately $6,000 in cash.

James was discover the following day, lying face down in his hallway. A medical
examiner determined that he had been severely beaten, but that the cause of
death was asphyxiation. The evidence indicated that James was likely smothered
to death.

At his trial, Carter's ex-girlfriend and a cell mate testified that Carter had
boasted about Laketha and him killing an old man during a robbery. Carter was
convicted and sentenced to death.

Leketha was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. She is eligible for
parole this year.

Tilon Carter's execution had been scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2017. His
execution was stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals due to a technical
error; the trial court was a day late in notifying the Office of Capital and
Forensic Writs that an execution date had been set. According to the law, the
Office of Capital and Forensic Writs must be notified within 2 business days,
however, in Tilon's case, it was 3 days before they were notified. Since the
notification was late, the execution date was reset to Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of James Tomlin. Please pray
for peace and healing for the family of Tilon Carter. Please pray that if Tilon
is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for
any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Please
pray that Tilon will come to find peace through a personal relationship with
Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

(source: theforgivenessfoundation.org)






DELAWARE:

House lawmakers vote in favor of reinstating Delaware's death penalty


The Delaware State House of Representatives has voted in favor of legislation
that, if passed, would reinstate Delaware's death penalty.

On Tuesday, House lawmakers voted to revive the death penalty with 21 votes in
favor, 16 votes against, and 1 absent.

House Bill 125 revises Delaware's death penalty statute to ensure its
compliance with the U.S. Constitution, which would require that before a death
sentence can be imposed, a jury (unless the Defendant waives their right to
one) must first determine unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that at
least one statutory aggravating circumstance exists.

In an interview with Delaware 105.9's Rob Petree, Representative Steve Smyk,
the primary sponsor of the Bill, made it clear that the death penalty is "still
in the books," and this legislation is simply addressing what was deemed
unconstitutional by Delaware's Supreme Court.

"The Bill doesn't create the death penalty, that's actually still in the books,
but there's parts of Delaware's death penalty that have found to be
unconstitutional by a panel of our 5 chief justices, at only a margin of 3 to
2," said Rep. Smyk. "With that being said those issues, that 3 of our justices
did find problematic, are addressed in the Bill. So that way it can be used as
a tool for our criminal justice system. Those issues are the relationship
between a judge, a jury, and unanimity."

"What we know is that there are people in our society, a very small sliver of
our society, that are predators. Those individuals actually do pray on the
weakest and the most vulnerable of our society. Everytime Delaware, throughout
its history has put a reprieve on the death penalty, we've suffered terrible
terrible crimes," Rep. Smyk explained. "In 1958 when Delaware lifted the death
penalty there was a series of activities where victims had suffered tremendous
torture before they were actually killed by their assailant, and that brought
the public outcry to reinstate the death penalty back in 1961 or 1962. That is
what we're seeing today; we've had 2 executions of police officers in the
months since we've had our death penalty in Delaware found unconstitutional."

If implemented, House Bill 125 would revise Delaware's death penalty statute to
comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Hall v. Florida, interpreting
standards set forth in Atkins v. Virginia. This Act adopts the term
"intellectual disability" used by the United State Supreme Court.

The bill exited the House Judiciary Committee on May 3 by a vote of 7 to 4.

(source: delaware1059.com)






VIRGINIA----new execution date

Virginia sets July 6 execution of William Morva, who killed 2 people during
2006 escape


An execution date has been set - again - for William Charles Morva.

This time, however, the death sentence that Morva received in 2008 seems likely
to be enacted. In February, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Morva's
final appeal.

After a Tuesday conference call with state officials, Montgomery County Circuit
Court Judge Robert Turk scheduled Morva's execution for July 6.

Morva, a former Blacksburg resident now being held at Sussex I State Prison,
was convicted of 3 counts of capital murder for an August 2006 spree that began
with his escape from custody and included the murders of Derrick McFarland, a
security officer at Montgomery Regional Hospital, and Eric Sutphin, a corporal
with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Morva's 3rd murder conviction came
from killing 2 people in less than 3 years, a capital crime in Virginia.

Then 24, Morva was in jail for a series of robbery attempts when he reported
that he had injured himself in a fall in his cell. He was taken to the
hospital, where he was able to knock out the deputy guarding him and take the
deputy's gun. He then shot McFarland and ran from the hospital. A 37-hour
manhunt ensued with law enforcement officers stopping motorists and searching
their vehicles and Virginia Tech shutting down on its first day of classes.

Morva was near the Huckleberry Trail in Blacksburg when he encountered and shot
Sutphin, who was searching for the fugitive.

Hours later, Morva was located hiding in a ditch near where he'd killed Sutphin
and was arrested.

A long legal struggle began, with Morva's trial being moved to Abingdon after a
judge decided that too many people in Montgomery County had strong ties to the
case. Morva was found guilty and a jury recommended the death penalty.

Morva's immediate response to his sentence was to snap his fingers and mouth
"Don't worry" to friends who were crying in the court's spectator area.

His execution was scheduled and delayed as an appeals process lasted 9 years.

The bid for a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court was the final step of that
process. Now Morva's only hope to avoid execution may be last-minute
intervention by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who in April commuted a prisoner's
sentence from death to life in prison in a murder-for-hire case. McAuliffe said
he spared Ivan Teleguz not because he thought he was not guilty but because the
sentencing phase of his trial had been unfair, with jurors given false
information.

Virginia has executed 112 people since the death penalty was re-introduced in
1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Virginia and Oklahoma
are tied for 2nd place in the center's ranking of the number of executions by
states, surpassed only by Texas, which has killed 542 people in the same time
period.

The most recent execution in Virginia was in January, when Ricky Javon Gray
died by lethal injection for the 2006 murders of 2 sisters in Richmond during a
rampage that included killing their parents.

Virginia's executions are conducted at the Greenville Correctional Facility in
Jarratt.

(source: richmond.com)






NORTH CAROLINA:

Death Penalty Debate Picks Up Steam


North Carolina has not executed a condemned prisoner since Samuel Flippen was
put to death by lethal injection more than 10 years ago. Still, 16 convicted
murderers have been sent to death row since then.

Some 147 prisoners, 3 of them women, sit on North Carolina's death row,
awaiting a fate that might never come. All but 46 were convicted before 2001.

A court-ordered stay put a halt to executions in North Carolina. Litigation
over the lethal injection protocol has dragged on and is still pending. A stay
on executions has been continually in place since 2007.

This de facto moratorium, coupled with a decline in capital murder
prosecutions, has stoked the death penalty debate. Plus, a recent rush to carry
out executions in Arkansas has inflamed passions over this sensitive topic.

Opponents raise moral as well as practical arguments against the death penalty:
It costs too much, it is subject to bias, the risk of executing a wrongfully
convicted person is too high, and it violates constitutional provisions against
cruel and unusual punishment. Proponents of the death penalty, however, often
rely on emotionally powerful arguments about justice for victims who suffered
horrible deaths and their bereft families.

Capital convictions in North Carolina have declined.

For Jon Hardister, abolishing the death penalty just makes good common sense.
Hardister, 34, is a conservative Republican state representative from Guilford
County - and he's the House Majority Whip.

"It's actually more expensive to try to put somebody to death, or to try them,
for a capital case than it is to sentence them to life in prison without
parole," Hardister said.

Studies back up that claim.

Economist Philip Cook is a professor with Duke University's Sanford School of
Public Policy. He studied state data from 2005 to 2006 to determine what it
cost North Carolina to try murder cases capitally.

"My estimate for both the trial courts and the appellate process was $11
million a year extra because the death penalty was being applied," said Cook.

Those heightened costs apply across the board, to prosecutors, the defense, and
the courts.

The costs to the defense of a capital case are far higher than in a non-capital
case.

Tom Maher compared the costs to the defense of capital trials against murder
trials in which the death penalty was off the table. Maher is executive
director of the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, or IDS,
which was created by the General Assembly in 2000 to oversee public defender
offices and to represent defendants facing the death penalty.

"Kind of a rule of thumb, the average case that's declared capital costs 4
times what the average 1st-degree murder case that's not capital. And so you're
spending significantly more money and, you know, the outcomes are actually,
oddly, not that much different," said Maher.

According to a 2015 fiscal year study, IDS found that over an eight-year period
starting in 2007, the median cost of defending someone in a death penalty case
was more than $60,000. The cost for non-death-penalty cases was $14,920 - less
than 1/4 the cost - and more importantly, Maher said, having the death penalty
on the table didn't really affect the outcomes in plea deals.

"The number of people who plead guilty to 2nd-degree murder facing a capital
prosecution and the number who plead guilty to 2nd-degree murder facing a
non-capital prosecution are almost identical," said Maher.

Maher said he has tried to emphasize that point in meetings with District
Attorneys, arguing, like Republican Representative Jon Hardister, that pursuing
the death penalty just isn't fiscally sensible.

There has not been an execution in North Carolina since 2006.

Nobody knows better than Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman how
costly pursuing the death penalty can be for prosecutors' offices. Each case
gets 2 prosecutors plus their legal assistants, jury selection is long and
laborious and in addition to the guilt-innocence phase of the trial there's a
separate hearing on sentencing.

"Often that is all those prosecutors may be engaged in for three to four months
out of a year and so again, these are cases - and they should be, it is our
state's harshest punishment - but they are very resource intensive."

And for Freeman, a Democrat, it's clear that in Wake County there's a
diminishing return on that investment. Wake County juries declined to come back
with the death penalty in 7 straight capital cases.

The last one was the Nathan Holden trial in February. Holden was sentenced to
life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of
killing his former in-laws and of attempting to murder his ex-wife.

"Again and again in cases in recent years what we are seeing is that ultimately
the juries are not coming back with capital sentence verdicts," Freeman said.

Freeman said her office would be foolish not to acknowledge that trend and to
have it inform the decisions they make about declaring cases capital.

However, Freeman is not saying she would stop pursuing the death penalty in
appropriate cases.

"You know, as soon as a prosecutor is to say we've decided we wouldn't pursue
capital cases then there will be a case that the community and justice cries
out for the imposition of the most serious punishment under the law."

For Jim O'Neill, Timothy McVeigh's 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal
building in Oklahoma City is just such a case.

"What's the appropriate punishment for killing 20 children? Life? To me that
... is disproportionate," O'Neill said.

O'Neill is the Republican District Attorney in Forsyth County, a job he has
held since 2009. He was an assistant D.A. in that office for 13 years prior.

Every time O'Neill enters or exits his office in Winston-Salem he passes a
bulletin board adorned with photos and other mementos.

"And the reason I keep them out here is every morning I come in, I look at them
and every evening when I leave I look at them too," he explained.

The photos are of victims in capital murder cases his office has handled -
O'Neill recalls the victims' names and the tragic details from each of the
cases. Bira Gaye, the Senegalese cab driver, working multiple jobs to send
money to his homeland, shot in the back of his head; Robert Denning, an
elderly, homebound man, killed in a home invasion along with a woman, Anne
Magness, who, with her husband, Bill, was delivering food to Denning as a
volunteer with Meals on Wheels; and Matthew Harding, a high school student
working a summer job, who was robbed and shot coming out of the restaurant
where he worked, he was then thrown into the trunk of a car.

O'Neill also keeps a quotation from the Bible on that bulletin board and on the
wall inside his office. The quote comes from Genesis 9:6: "Whoso sheddeth man's
blood, by man shall his blood be shed: For in the image of God made he man."

For O'Neill, getting justice for these victims and their families means the
cost of prosecuting death penalty cases is beside the point. Also, O'Neill
pointed out, his office only pursues the death penalty in a small fraction of
murder cases.

"In a place like Forsyth where we average maybe 20 murders a year there might
be 1 case or 2 cases out of that 20 that is appropriate to be declared a
capital case," he said.

Juries in O'Neill's district have not shown the same reluctance to recommend
death in capital cases as have Wake County juries. In Forsyth County, juries
sent defendants to death row 3 times between 2008 and 2014.

The jury results in Forsyth County mirror statewide polling trends. A 2015 High
Point poll of 446 adults across the state found 63 % favored execution as a
punishment for the crime of murder.

In 2013, an Elon University poll found 61 % of respondents favored the death
penalty in murder cases - that from a telephone poll of 770 North Carolina
residents. In 2010, the conservative organization Civitas conducted a poll of
600 registered voters in North Carolina and found 71 % favored the death
penalty.

Despite the polls, prosecutors are seeking capital punishment less frequently
than in the past, not because of a decline in public support for the death
penalty but because they can.

Prior to 2001, state prosecutors were bound by law to seek the death penalty in
cases where at least one of several aggravating factors existed. Then the
legislature changed all that.

"When I first started here and you had a defendant that met the statutory
criteria to proceed capitally you had no choice you had to go forward. But in
2001 they gave prosecutors discretion and I think, obviously, what you saw was
a drastic reduction in the number of cases that were prosecuted capitally and
death verdicts that were coming back," Forsyth County D.A. Jim O'Neill said.

Once he determines a case is appropriate for the death penalty, O'Neill said he
sits down with victims' families and carefully discusses the options - he makes
sure they have the emotional fortitude to endure what could take years to
resolve.

"It's not something that's going to happen in a year or 2 years if you're
successful in terms of prosecuting it capitally but it will go on, of course,
with litigation for years and years to come," he said.

Ben Streett and his family had that conversation with a previous Forsyth County
D.A., Eric Saunders.

Streett's 2-year-old niece, Britnie Nichole Hutton, was murdered in 1994 by her
step-father Samuel Flippen.

"There was no question in our minds that this should have been a capital case
because you're talking about, again, a defenseless, little 2-year-old that was
beaten for over a 20-minute period of time before she finally died."

Street said his family's commitment to seeking the ultimate punishment for his
niece's killer never wavered, even though it would take a dozen years to
happen.

On August 18th, 2006, the state put Samuel Flippen to death by lethal injection
- the last execution to take place in North Carolina.

(source: WUNC news)






GEORGIA----impending execution

Georgia Gives JW Ledford Execution Date of May 16, 2017


JW Ledford, Jr., is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 7 pm
CDT, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.
45-year-old Ledford is convicted of the murder of 73-year-old Dr. Harry
Johnston, Jr., on January 31, 1992, in Murray County, Georgia. Ledford has
spent the last 24 years on death row in Georgia.

According to psychologist who examined JW Ledford, JW had a history substance
abuse that included the regular consumption of marijuana, whisky, and beer. JW
was also known to experiment with consuming acid, cocaine, and Quaaludes. JW
began using alcohol and drinking heavily at the age of 8. 2 years later, he
began using marijuana. He also used other drugs, such as speed and acid at a
young age, according to testimony from his childhood friends. JW's father was
also a drug dealer and dealt out of the house.

On January 31, 1992, JW Ledford, by his own confession, drank a 6-pack of beer,
smoked 10 joints, and possibly took some pills. Ledford further admitted that
he was really "messed up" and could not remember the drugs he took that day.
Ledford had lived next door to Dr. Harry Johnston, Jr., and his wife Antoinette
for most of his life.

Ledford confessed that he had asked Dr. Johnston to give him a ride to the
grocery store. They left the doctor's house around 2 pm. During the drive, Dr.
Johnston accused Ledford of stealing and turned the vehicle around. Once back
in the garage and out of the truck, Ledford alleges that Dr. Johnston smacked
Ledford, causing him to fall to the ground. Ledford then alleges that Dr.
Johnston pulled a knife from his belt and cut Ledford's hand. In response,
Ledford pulled out his own knife and "stuck" Dr. Johnston in the neck. Ledford
then continued to stab the doctor repeatedly. Ledford then dragged the body
away and covered it with tree branches.

Around mid-afternoon, Antoinette saw her husband drive off in his pick-up truck
with an unidentified person in the passenger seat. 15 to 20 minutes later,
Ledford knocked on the Johnston's front door. Antoinette answered. Ledford
asked if her husband was home. When Antoinette said he was not, Ledford left.
Ledford returned about 10 minutes later, asking that Dr. Johnston come over to
his house when he returned. Antoinette promised to give her husband the message
and Ledford left again.

Ledford returned about 10 minutes later, brandishing a knife that belonged to
Dr. Johnston. Ledford forced his way into the residence, placed the knife at
Antoinette's throat, threaten to kill her, and demanded that she give him all
of her money and guns. Antoinette went to the bedroom and gave Ledford all the
cash she had. While in the bedroom, Ledford saw a pistol on the nightstand and
took it. While walking towards the kitchen, Ledford saw and took a rifle, a
shotgun, and a 2nd pistol.

Ledford then returned to the bedroom with Antoinette, forced her onto the bed
and tied her up. He also again threatened to kill her and told her that he
needed money for drugs. Before leaving, Ledford cut the telephone cord, and
told Antoinette not to move for 10 minutes.

After Ledford left, Antoinette locked the front door and went to the kitchen
where she retrieved a knife and attempted to cut her bindings. From the living
room, she then observed Ledford leaving in her husband's truck, alone.
Antoinette began to worry for the safety of her husband and, around 3:45 pm,
Antoinette called the police.

Around 4:15 pm, Ledford was pulled over and arrested by the police. In addition
to driving the doctor's vehicle, the 2 pistols were recovered from the vehicle,
along with 2 knives. Ledford had already pawned the rifle and shotgun.

Around 6 pm, deceives arrived at the Johnston residence. In the garage, they
discovered a pool of blood, with a trail of blood that led to the body of Dr.
Johnston. Ledford gave a written confession to the police.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Harry Johnston. Please pray
for strength for the family of JW Ledford. Please pray that if JW is innocent,
lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for any other
reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray
that JW may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ, if he has not already.

(source: theforgivenessfoundation.org)






FLORIDA:

Are African-Americans 'grossly over-represented' on Florida's death
row?----PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter rates a claim about the makeup of inmates on
Florida's death row, and whether or not African-Americans are "grossly
over-represented."


With the recent statement by State Attorney Aramis Ayala that she wouldn't
pursue the death penalty in any case, debate heated up on both sides of the
death penalty argument, and that led to a state Senator to write an op-ed piece
that talked about racial differences when it comes to Florida's death row.

State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-District 11) from Orlando wrote this in the New
York Times:

"African-Americans are grossly overrepresented on Florida's death row."

Our partners at PolitiFact looked into Bracy's claim to see if it was accurate.
PolitiFact reporter Joshua Gillin says that Bracy's claim rates MOSTLY TRUE on
the Truth-O-Meter. Gillin says the numbers add up.

"When you look at it in terms of population, comparing statewide numbers and
death row numbers, the results are very different," said Gillin. "According to
2015 census data, African-Americans make up 17 % of Florida's population.
Compare that to Florida's death row, where the 371 African-American inmates
there account for 39 % of those on death row, which is quite a difference."

Gillin notes that the raw numbers don't really tell all of the story. "We
looked into what causes the disparity," said Gillin. "What we found when we
looked at the studies is that the difference in numbers comes about because of
why people are tried and sentenced for death, and it actually involves the race
of the victim. 72 % of executions in Florida were attributed to cases where the
victim was white. And as for the reverse? No white person has ever been
executed in Florida for killing a black person."

One other statistic comes through in the research, and that revolves around
gender. "There are way less women on Florida's death row than there are men,"
said Gillin. "Obviously, the state's population is more balanced when it comes
to men and women, so there is a disparity there, as well."

Overall, Sen. Bracy has the numbers in line to back him up, although there are
disparities, which leads to a MOSTLY TRUE rating on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter.

(source: mynews13.com)

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

Ayala Lawyers Rip Governor Over Death Penalty Dispute


Lawyers for Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala fired back Monday
against Gov. Rick Scott for shifting 23 death-penalty case to another
prosecutor, describing his actions as "baldly political."

The brief, filed in the Florida Supreme Court, was part of a series of legal
arguments filed by people on both sides of a dispute about whether Scott had
the authority to strip Ayala's office of death-penalty cases and shift them to
Ocala-area State Attorney Brad King.

Scott made the decision after Ayala said she would not seek the death penalty,
including in the case of alleged Orlando cop killer Markeith Loyd. Ayala, who
was elected last year in the circuit made up of Orange and Osceola counties,
challenged Scott in the Supreme Court, arguing she has broad legal discretion
in decisions about issues such as whether to pursue death sentences.

"Governor Rick Scott falsely claims that, as long as he has some reason for
removing a state attorney from any case, he can do so at any time, whether or
not the state attorney opposes removal," the brief said. "Scott ignores the
constitutional mandate that state attorneys 'shall' prosecute local cases."

The brief also said, "Importantly, nowhere in his opposition does Scott argue
that Ayala has somehow failed to do her job - and wisely so, because that
charge would be unfounded. Ayala did not refuse to prosecute capital cases or
pledge to seek lenient sentences for convicted killers. She was - and is -
zealously prosecuting crimes in her judicial circuit. Nor has Ayala refused to
listen to victims' families as she decides how to prosecute cases. Ayala has
honored all of her statutory obligations as state attorney, and will continue
to do so."

(source: WUSF news)






ALABAMA:

Death row inmate asks for hanging or firing squad; court says no


In his last-ditch appeal, condemned inmate Anthony Boyd asked the state of
Alabama to carry out his execution by either hanging him or putting him in
front of a firing squad.

But the federal appeals court in Atlanta on Tuesday rejected Boyd's request and
cleared the way for his execution by lethal injection.

Boyd had challenged Alabama's new lethal injection protocol, alleging it
violates his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment. Instead, he noted, legislatures in Utah and Oklahoma have approved
the firing squad, which has a good track record of "speed and certainty for the
condemned." In the alternative, hanging is an option that has been approved by
lawmakers in Delaware, New Hampshire and Washington. And Alabama is "fully
capable" of approving those execution methods as well, the appeal said.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling written by Judge Stanley
Marcus, said Alabama gives condemned prisoners the choice between 2 methods of
execution: lethal injection and electrocution.

Also, Marcus wrote, the law is clear. Inmates challenging a method of execution
must prove there is an alternative method of execution "that is feasible,
readily implemented and in fact significantly reduces the risk of pain posed by
the state's planned method of execution," he said.

"The Alabama legislature is free to choose any method of execution that it
deems appropriate, subject only to the constraints of the United States
Constitution," Marcus wrote.

"But Boyd has not alleged that either lethal injection in all forms or death by
electrocution poses and unconstitutional risk of pain," he noted. "Having
authorized 2 unchallenged methods of execution, Alabama is under no
constitutional obligation to experiment with execution by hanging or firing
squad."

Marcus added, "Notably, Boyd did not propose an alternative drug cocktail that
the state could use in his execution."

Boyd was sentenced to death in 1995 for the kidnapping and murder of Gregory
Huguley. On July 31, 1993, Boyd and 3 accomplices forced Huguley into a van at
gunpoint. They drove him to a park where, despite his repeated pleas for mercy
and promises to repay them, they doused him with gasoline and set him on fire.

(source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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

House Committee Votes to Shorten Death Penalty Appeals----The House Judiciary
Committee has approved a bill aimed at shortening the time of death penalty
appeals.


The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill aimed at shortening the time
of death penalty appeals.

The committee approved the bill Tuesday sending it to the House floor.

The legislation, which has already cleared the Senate, would require inmates to
raise claims of ineffective counsel and the same time as the inmate's direct
appeal claiming trial errors.

Sen. Cam Ward, an Alabaster Republican, said the current appeals process can
take decades and has been abused to drag out appeals. Ward says the bill is
based on Texas procedures.

Rep. Chris England, a Democrat from Tuscaloosa, argued that Alabama would have
executed an inmate who was later exonerated if the quicker process had been in
place.

Ray Hinton was released in 2015 after nearly 30 years on Alabama's death row.

(source: Associated Press)


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