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Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

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Convicted murderer Rodney Reed is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 20, but Gov. Greg Abbott has the power to stop it.
As it stands, there’s no indication that Abbott will. He has only stopped one execution since becoming governor 5 years ago.
Reed was sentenced to death in 1998, after being convicted of the brutal 1996 rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman from central Texas, Stacey Stites. And though the governor has yet to weigh in on this specific case, he supports capital punishment, as do most voters in the state. According to a June 2018 poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, fully three-fourths of Texans strongly or somewhat support the death penalty.
But the question at hand has nothing to do with the death penalty, per se. Granting a reprieve would simply be the right thing to do — and a necessary precaution against the doubts that would linger, if Reed is executed as scheduled.
Reed has consistently maintained his innocence, and legitimate questions …

Florida executes Johnny Shane Kormondy

Johnny Shane Kormondy
Johnny Shane Kormondy
A Pensacola man convicted of murder and rape was executed at Florida State Prison in Starke on Thursday.

Johnny Shane Kormondy was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison, shortly after the lethal injection was administered.

The execution was delayed by two hours by a late appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that was eventually denied.

According to McKinley Lewis, Florida Department of Corrections press secretary, about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, death row inmate Johnny Shane Kormondy had his last meal, which included fried alligator tail, fried shrimp, fried okra, vanilla ice cream, a cream soda, hashbrowns and fried eggs.

Johnny Shane Kormondy, 42, had been sentenced to die of lethal injection for the 1993 murder of Gary McAdams.

Kormondy and 2 accomplices assailed McAdams and his wife as the couple were returning from a high school reunion.

The trio forced their way into the couple's home, pulled the phone cords from the walls, sexually assaulted McAdams' wife multiple times and shot McAdams in the back of the head.

Kormondy - who allegedly was the mastermind behind the attack - was convicted and sentenced to death in 1994. He was granted a retrial in 1997 because of an error during his original trial. A new jury convicted Kormondy in 1999, and he was again sentenced to death.

The 2 co-defendants in the case, Curtis Buffkin and Johnny Hazen, currently are serving life sentences for their roles in the crime.

Kormondy becomes the 21st inmate executed under Gov. Rick Scott, tying him with former Gov. Jeb Bush for the most executions since the death penalty was reinstated in Florida in 1979.

Kormondy becomes the 1st condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Florida and the 90th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1979; only Texas (518), Oklahoma (111), and Virginia (110) have executed more individuals since the death penalty was re-legalized in the USA on July 2, 1976.

Kormondy becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1397th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.

Sources: Pensacola News Journal, Agencies, Rick Halperin, January 15, 2015

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