Posts Tagged ‘Death Penalty’

  • Death Row Debbie’s’ conviction due in part because of detective lying under oath
  • Judge decided to believe police officer over mom of four-year-old son
  • Milke would have been the first woman executed in Arizona since the 1930s
  • Prosecutors failed to disclose lead detective, who claimed he obtained a confession, had past misconduct issues

An Arizona mother who had spent 22 years on death row after being found guilty of murdering her four-year-old son is set to be released.

Debra Jean Milke’s guilty verdict was overturned earlier this year – but now prosecutors have failed to file an expected appeal meaning she will be released in just weeks.

Known as Death Row Debbie, 48-year-old Debra Jean Milke’s was found guilty in 1989 for the gruesome slaying of her toddler son Christopher who was shot three times in the back of the head and dumped in the desert.

Debra Jean Milke has been on Arizona's death row for nearly 20 years for plotting her 4-year-old son's murder
Ready for release: Debra Jean Milke, above, had her murder conviction overturned after spending more than 20 years on death row for the killing of her 4-year-old son, Christopher, below, in December 1989
Christopher, 4, was reported missing on December 2, 1989

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE written and published by MailOnline

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Marked for death: Brett Hartman claims he had nothing to do with the brutal 1997 murder of Winda Snipes in Akron, Ohio

Pictured: Bret Hartman Akron, Ohio Death Row Inmate set to die tonight

Ohio is set to execute a man on Tuesday who claims he is innocent of stabbing a woman 138 times, slitting her throat and cutting off her hands.

Brett Hartman, a convicted killer who admitted to having sex with Winda Snipes early on the morning of Sept. 9, 1997 at her Akron apartment, claims that when he went back to Snipes’ apartment later that day, found her mutilated body and panicked before trying to clean up the mess and calling 911.

While Hartman still maintains his innocence, he has been found guilty by numerous courts over the years.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal by Hartman on Monday.

Reports indicate that the convicted killer asked the high court on his appeal that he be allowed to renew arguments that his original attorneys did a bad job presenting evidence that could have led a jury to spare him.

Hartman came within about a week of execution in 2009 before federal courts allowed him to pursue an innocence claim. The claim failed before he had a new date set last year. That date was eventually postponed due to a federal lawsuit over Ohio’s execution policy.

Three separate efforts for clemency on Hartman’s part have been denied by the Ohio Parole Board, which cited the brutality of the Snipes’ slaying and the “overwhelming evidence” of Hartman’s guilt.

A long held argument by Hartman’s attorneys has been that crucial evidence from the crime scene and Snipes’ body both have never been tested. The argument essentially raises questions about Hartman’s innocence.

According to the AP, the evidence includes fingerprints allegedly found on a clock and a mop handle. Hartman also argues the evidence could implicate an alternate suspect.

The AP further reports that Hartman’s attorneys say their clients behavior in prison has been exemplary and shows he is a changed man. They cite his devotion to religious studies, his development as an artist and community service projects in prison.

Hartman would be the 49th inmate put to death since Ohio resumed executions in 1999.

The death row inmate slept for about three hours early Tuesday, spoke on the phone with a friend, then visited with an aunt, a sister and another friend Tuesday morning, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith told reporters.

He ate most of his last meal Monday, including steak, baked potato and fried shrimp, then declined breakfast Tuesday, Smith said.

Source: Ibtimes

 

Photo of Ronald Post who is currently sitting in Ohio’s death-row

NOTE: The article posted below was written and published by Huffingtonpost in September, 2012. However, an updated article written and published by Dailymail.co.uk on November 9, 2012, which is titled “Doctor says 400lb death-row inmate is to fat to receive lethal injection” – can be found by Clicking here.

11/09/12, COLUMBUS, OHIO — A condemned Ohio inmate who weighs at least 480 pounds wants his upcoming execution delayed, saying his weight could lead to a “torturous and lingering death.”

 

Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, said his weight, vein access, scar tissue and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems. He’s also so big that the execution gurney might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in federal court papers filed Friday.

“Indeed, given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death,” the filing said.

 

Post, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz in Elyria.

A spokeswoman for the prisons department had no comment on the pending litigation.

Inmates’ weight has come up previously in death penalty cases in Ohio and elsewhere.

 

In 2008, federal courts rejected arguments by condemned double-killer Richard Cooey that he was too obese to die by injection. Cooey’s attorneys had argued that prison food and limited opportunities to exercise contributed to a weight problem that would make it difficult for the execution team to find a viable vein for lethal injection.

 

Cooey, who was 5-foot-7 and weighed 267 pounds, was executed Oct. 14, 2008.

In 2007, it took Ohio executioners about two hours to insert IVs into the veins of condemned inmate Christopher Newton, who weighed about 265 pounds. A prison spokeswoman at the time said his size was an issue.

 

In 1994 in Washington state, a federal judge upheld the conviction of Mitchell Rupe, but agreed with Rupe’s contention that at more than 400 pounds, he was too heavy to hang because of the risk of decapitation. Rupe argued that hanging would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

 

After numerous court rulings and a third trial, Rupe was eventually sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2006.

Ohio executes inmates with a single dose of pentobarbital, usually injected through the arms.

Medical personnel have had a hard time inserting IVs into Post’s arms, according to the court filing. Four years ago, an Ohio State University medical center nurse needed three attempts to insert an IV into Post’s left arm, the lawyers wrote.

 

Post has tried losing weight, but knee and back problems have made it difficult to exercise, according to his court filing.

 

Post’s request for gastric bypass surgery has been denied, he’s been encouraged not to walk because he’s at risk for falling, and severe depression has contributed to his inability to limit how much he eats, his filing said.

While at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, Post “used that prison’s exercise bike until it broke under his weight,” according to the filing.

 

Source: Huffingtonpost

Is a certain area of Route 8 a Burial Ground for a Serial Killer(s)?

November 14, 2006, a hunter discovered skeletal remains of a woman in Litchfield just off of route 8 near exit 41 on the northbound side of the highway. Weeks later the victim was identified as 22 year old Jessica Muskus of Waterbury, She was originally reported as missing in Waterbury on Aug. 2, 2004.

This area of Route 8 has been no stranger to homicide and mystery. Eighteen years ago about a mile from where Muskus was found, the body of Karen Everett 24, was found off of Valley Road in Harwinton, near the highway in October of 1988. Months later in almost the same spot the body of Mildred Alvarado, 30 was found in January of 1989. Both victims were known to have engaged in prostitution, drugs and had been strangled. Some theories point to the same individual in both of those killings. In 1993 Evelyn Bettencourt was located near the Valley Road area and was shot to death. An individual was eventually convicted for her murder however, he is not a suspect in the deaths of Everett and Alvarado. In 1994, the body of Olga Maria Cornieles-Ubiera, 32, was found off Route 262 in Thomaston, approximately eight miles south from the Valley Street area. She had no history of drug use or prostitution and Police have never indicated whether they think her murder was related to the homicides of Everett and Alvarado.

One common thread between the four murdered women is that they are all from Waterbury. There are also two additional women from Waterbury that are missing. Then 37 year old Bernadine Paul has been missing since 2000 and Marilyn Mendez Gonzalez who was 26 years old at the time has not been seen since 2003. There is no indication that these two disappearances are linked to any of the above murders.

Perhaps the most bizarre murder in this area happened at a now closed rest area in Litchfield not far from the other victims. In 1986, the arms and torso of 26 year old transient Jack Franklin Andrews were found wrapped in quilts and garbage bags. His head, legs and genitalia were never located. His murder is still unsolved, and police have theorized that he may have been the victim of a serial killer. His murder is not believed be related to any of the other homicides in the area. Convicted serial killer Richard W. Rogers has been considered a person of interest in the Andrew’s case. Rogers had been convicted of the murders of two men in New Jersey and a suspect in ones in Florida and Pennsylvania as well.

UPDATE – Convicted rapist/murderer Stephen Hayes has confessed in a letter to an anonymous individual that he is responsible for 17 murders of women in New England. Hayes is currently on Death Row for the 2007 Cheshire Home Invasion murders of Jennifer Hawke Petit and her two daughters Haley and Michaela. Many in Law Enforcement are not taking these claims seriously, as Hayes is known to be a pathological liar. However, Hayes lived in the town of Winsted for much of his life which is off of route 8.