Archive for

April, 2013



Mississippi Set to Execute Man Despite Untested DNA Evidence

Willie Jerome Manning, a Mississippi death row inmate who was convicted of the 1992 abduction and murders of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller, two Mississippi State University students, is set to be executed on May 7th despite his plea that DNA testing could prove that he is innocent. Although Manning was convicted on circumstantial evidence and no physical evidence has ever linked him to the crime, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on Thursday that there is “overwhelming evidence of guilt,” and therefore, DNA testing is not needed.

Justice Leslie King, one of the four judges who sided with Manning, found it especially disturbing that hairs that were found in one of the victim’s car were analyzed only to the extent that they were found to be from a black person and that the prosecution linked this evidence to Manning because he is black. “Should a DNA test demonstrate that the African-American hairs found in Miller’s car did not belong to Manning, then the infirmity in the prosecution’s emphasis on the importance of this evidence would be exposed. And it would certainly raise reasonable questions regarding Manning’s guilt,” said King.

The Innocence Project has created a petition calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay Manning’s  execution and order the DNA testing that will definitively prove his guilt or innocence. Please add your name here!

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Stay Lifted for Warren Hill Despite Intellectual Disability and New Evidence

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 in Atkins v. Virginia that people with an intellectual disability are to be excluded from execution because of their reduced culpability, a federal appeals court has ignored that ruling and denied Warren Lee Hill’s petition for the court to consider new evidence that points to his intellectual disability, thus lifting his stay of execution.

Hill, a Georgia death row inmate with an IQ of only 70, came within 30 minutes of being executed this February when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted him a stay of execution to review new affidavits by doctors who changed their minds about his mental capacity. The state court of appeals also issued a stay to allow more time to consider a challenge to Georgia’s lethal injection protocol. Hill was also issued a stay for the same reason just 90 minutes before he was to be executed last July.

The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 vote yesterday that the affidavits of three doctors who originally examined Hill in 2000 testifying that he was not intellectually disabled but who now have changed their diagnoses, are not enough for the court to reconsider his case. Unfortunately, Georgia is the only state that requires defendants to prove their intellectual disability beyond a reasonable doubt, which experts argue is a nearly impossible standard to meet. Yet as Brian Krammer, Hill’s lawyer, points out, “the new evidence shows that every mental health expert ever to examine him finds that Mr. Hill has mental retardation and is thus ineligible for execution according to the constitution of the United States.”

Astonishingly, the two judges that ruled that the doctors’ changed opinions were not new evidence argued that it would be a dangerous precedent to reopen cases just because previous witnesses decide to change their testimony. The lone dissenting judge, Rosemary Barkett, thought such procedural arguments were ridiculous. “The idea that courts are not permitted to acknowledge that a mistake has been made which would bar an execution is quite incredible for a country that not only prides itself on having the quintessential system of justice but attempts to export it to the world as a model of fairness,” Barkett wrote.

Hill’s case has garnered much attention over the years and people such as former President Jimmy Carter have called for his sentence to be commuted. The family of Joseph Handspike, the victim in the case, has even expressed concern about Hill’s mental condition and said that they do not wish for him to be executed but would rather he receive a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

It is outrageous that Hill’s execution will proceed despite the overwhelming evidence that it is in violation of the Constitution and goes against the wishes of the victim’s family. How is this justice?

(Photo courtesy of Birmingham Business Journal)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Timothy McKinney’s Third Capital Trial Ends in Another Hung Jury

Timothy McKinney’s third capital trial began last week in Shelby County for the 1997 murder of Donald Williams, an off-duty Memphis police officer. The jury began deliberation yesterday and moments ago they came back and told the court that they were deadlocked. The judge has declared a mistrial.

The same thing happened at McKinney’s second trial exactly one year ago. Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee declared a mistrial after jurors said they could not reach a unanimous decision. Their final vote was 11-1 for guilty of first degree murder.

In 2010, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals granted McKinney a new trial after determining that his representation at trial created “cumulative prejudice of such magnitude” that his right to a fair proceeding was prejudiced. The court stated, “there is reasonable probability that, absent their deficiencies, the outcome of both the guilt phase and the sentencing phase of the trial would have been different. The nature and extent of counsel’s deficiencies rendered the entire proceeding fundamentally unfair.”

McKinney has remained in jail without bond for the past year awaiting this third trial. It is unclear whether the state will seek a fourth trial.

For more background on this troubling case, check out this great article that recently appeared in The Nation.

(photo of Timothy McKinney (right) and defense attorney Gerald Skahan (left) by The Commercial Appeal‘s Alan Spearman)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Ray Krone Shares Story in Chattanooga and Cleveland

With our presentation set to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga on Monday evening, Ray Krone and I were watching the clock as people continued to stream into the lecture hall. In a room that seats 180, we were up to about 250 folks crowding into the room. Chairs were brought in and with people lining the walls, the presentation finally began. The following evening on the campus of Lee University in Cleveland, TN, sixty students, professors, and  others packed another lecture hall to hear from Ray.

This is the kind of reception that Tennesseans are giving to death row exonerees who have been traveling the state with TADP this spring.  Citizens are eager to understand how innocent people are sent to death row and are appalled when they learn of all the problems with the current system that lead to such wrongful convictions–problems that are not being addressed.  In total, Tennessee has released three individuals from death row when the charges against them were dropped or they were found not guilty in a new trial.  A fourth man, Ndume Olatushani, was released in June 2012 when he took an Alford plea. This plea meant that Ndume agreed that it was in his best interest to plead guilty to a lesser charge, but only if he could maintain his total innocence at the same time, as he had from the beginning of his ordeal. With the Alford plea, Ndume walked out the doors of the Shelby County jail that day after serving 28 years (20 on Tennessee’s death row) for a crime the overwhelming evidence shows he didn’t commit.

The more Tennesseans learn about just how broken our system is, the more concerned they are about the continued use of the death penalty. We have a few more engagements with these exonerees planned for this spring and are now scheduling more for the fall.

Just as in Maryland which recently repealed its death penalty, the voices of these exonerees are changing the conversation about the death penalty and will only continue to do so as more and more citizens hear their stories.  Thanks to all who attended these events, and we will keep you posted on future opportunities to hear from these exonerees who are living testaments to why we must end the death penalty.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Another Successful Justice Day

Yesterday TADP staff and 27 supporters gathered at the Capitol for our annual Justice Day on the Hill. We spoke with over 20 state senators and representatives about our concerns and why Tennessee does not need the death penalty. Our meetings went well, and we were able to answer questions, provide information, and encourage our lawmakers to give serious thought to our flawed system.

Among those who participated were Paul House and Ndume Olatushani, two former Tennessee death row inmates who were wrongfully convicted. We also had murder victims’ family members with us as well, who shared their concerns about the death penalty and explained why they don’t believe it serves their families’ needs. Marc Hyden, an organizer with Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a project of Equal Justice USA, also joined us to talk about why death penalty repeal is an issue that more and more conservatives are supporting.

Thank you to all of you who participated!

(Photo of TADP Executive Director Stacy Rector conducting a lobby training at the start of Justice Day)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as soul trouble. Albeit the erectile malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.