[DP] Fwd: [TCADP-BOARD01] death penalty news----USA, TEXAS
Marie des Neiges Leonard
mariesnows99 at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 4 12:10:59 CST 2003
Rick Halperin <rhalperi at mail.smu.edu> wrote:To: TCADP-BOARD01
From: Rick Halperin
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 15:27:01 -0600 (Central Standard Time)
Subject: [TCADP-BOARD01] death penalty news----USA, TEXAS
NATIONAL COALITION TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY----PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: David Elliot, NCADP Communications Director
202-543-9577, ext. 16
cell phone: 202-607-7036
delliot at ncadp.org-----www.ncadp.org
8 EXECUTIONS SET FOR NEXT 16 DAYS, RAISING ISSUES OF MENTAL ILLNESS,
INEFFECTIVE LAWYERING, NCADP WARNS
Dec. 2, 2003 - 8 executions are scheduled to take place in the next 16
days, including the executions of at least 3 people with severe mental
illness and three people whose lawyers performed abysmally at trial. 5 are
scheduled during a 9-day period in Texas, and 2 are set for Dec. 10,
International Human Rights Day.
"The scheduled executions in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia
follow a disturbing but familiar pattern," said Brian Roberts, executive
director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. "At a
time when Americans are beginning to take a hard look at who is sentenced
to death, these states are failing to meet even the lowest constitutional
bar in carrying out executions. Simply put, people with severe mental
illness or ineffective lawyers should not be eligible for execution in any
humane and civilized society."
Among those scheduled for execution:
***Ivan Murphy, Dec. 4, Texas. Murphy, who is partly Native American, is
scheduled to be executed for the death of Lula Mae Denning of Grayson
County. Murphy was convicted with the help of coerced testimony from a
jailhouse informant who later recanted. At trial, Murphy's lawyer
neglected to call significant material witnesses, failed to hire
independent experts to challenge the prosecution's theory of forensic
evidence and failed to object when the prosecutor made highly prejudicial
comments regarding his client.
***Robbie Lyons, Dec. 5, North Carolina. Lyons, who is black, is scheduled
to be executed for the death of Stephen Stafford in Forsyth County. Lyons
suffers from bipolar disorder and anti-social personality disorder and
experienced horrific physical abuse as a child. In addition to enduring
frequent, violent beatings, he was regularly given alcohol beginning at
age 4, marijuana at age seven and crack cocaine at age 10.
***Kevin Zimmerman, Dec. 10, Texas. Zimmerman, who is white, is scheduled
for execution on International Human Rights Day for the murder of Leslie
Gilbert Hooks, Jr. in Jefferson County. He has a history of severe mental
health issues, including paranoid personality disorder, trauma due to a
skull fracture, an IQ that is close to mental retardation and a history of
child abuse, neglect and abandonment. In addition, he suffered from
abysmal legal representation; although diagnostic tests showed he was
incompetent to stand trial, his defense counsel never requested his mental
health records at trial.
***Eddie Albert Crawford, Dec. 10, Georgia. Crawford, who is white, also
is scheduled for execution on International Human Rights Day for the
murder of his 29-month-old niece. Crawford, who is a Vietnam veteran, was
diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline
personality disorder.P> His defense was denied adequate funding by the
state of Georgia to hire medical and other experts.
***James Edward Reid, Dec. 18, Virginia. Reid, who is black, is scheduled
to be executed for the murder of Annie Lester in Christianburg. Reid
suffers from longstanding epileptic seizures that resulted from a severe
brain injury sustained as a youth as a result of a car accident. Reid's
lawyer entered a plea of "no contest" in his client's behalf before
realizing the weakness of the prosecution's case and later failed to
aggressively pursue a defense based on the mitigating circumstances of
Also scheduled for execution in December are Richard Duncan, a gay white
man, set for Dec. 3 in Texas; Billy Vickers, a white man, set for Dec. 9
in Texas; and Bobby Lee Hines, a white man, set for Dec. 11 in Texas.
Last month, 2 executions in North Carolina and one in Georgia involved
people with severe mental illness. Just over ten percent of the
approximately 3,500 people on death rows in the United States suffer from
severe mental illness, and one out of every six people incarcerated in the
United States is said to be mentally ill, according to leading mental
health and human rights organizations.
As of Dec. 2, 62 people have been executed in the United States in 2003.
In 2002, a total of 71 people were executed in this country.
NCADP is urging its members and supporters to visit its Legislative Action
Center at www.ncadp.org to protest the 8 executions set between Dec. 3 and
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty was founded in 1976
and is the only fully-staffed national organization devoted specifically
to abolishing the death penalty. NCADP is comprised of more than 100
local, state, national and international affiliates.
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