FEATURED POST

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

Image
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 …

Texas: Victim's parents make video plea to Abbott to spare their son’s murderer

Paul Storey
Paul Storey
What his jurors did not know after all the evidence was presented at his trial may have doomed death row inmate Paul Storey, according to a clemency petition filed Wednesday with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Storey, convicted in 2008 for the brutal execution-style murder of Jonas Cherry, is scheduled to die on April 12. Storey’s lawyers, his family, and Cherry’s parents are fighting to save Storey’s life.

Cherry begged for his life during the crime, which took place about 8:45 a.m. Oct. 16, 2006. Storey and Mark Porter stood over Cherry, who pleaded: “Please! I gave you what you want. Don’t hurt me.”

They refused and shot him twice in the head and twice in his legs. Cherry, who was approaching his first wedding anniversary, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Storey and Porter were convicted of capital murder, but only Storey got the death penalty. Porter got life without parole after making a deal with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.

If recent history is any guide, the chances that Storey’s request for mercy will be granted are slim.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has received 82 clemency applications in capital cases during the past five fiscal years and has recommended that none be granted. Neither Governor Rick Perry nor Greg Abbott have granted anyone clemency in a capital case during the past five fiscal years.

Texas also tends not to commute sentences for those convicted of crime. Out of the 551 commutation applications received during the past five fiscal years the board has recommended that four be granted and Abbott and Perry have granted none.

Perry and Abbott have not granted any emergency reprieves, conditional pardons, restorations of civil rights or pardons based on innocence during the past five years, despite the hundreds of applications received by the board during that same time period.

The pardons board has recommended that only a few applications be considered during the past five fiscal years.

Despite the daunting statistics, Storey’s advocates say they have hope that mercy will be granted in his case.

“Every case is unique and every case should be looked at that way,” said Mike Ware, one of the attorneys representing Storey. “Hopefully we can persuade the board and the governor to look at this case as a unique case. The reality is at this stage of the proceedings a clemency petition is just about the only thing a defendant can ask for.”

Storey’s attorneys argue in his clemency petition that almost no one associated with his case wanted him to be executed. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office offered Storey a life sentence which he refused and Glenn and Judy Cherry, the victim’s parents, have made a video and sent a letter to state and local officials asking that his life be spared.

Storey’s mother, Marilyn Shankle-Grant, said Storey told her that he would have had to admit to killing Cherry in order to be offered a life prison sentence and Storey maintained that he did not kill Cherry.

“Paul said he did not shoot Cherry in the head,” Shankle-Grant said.

Misrepresentations


Jonas Cherry
Jonas Cherry
According to the petition, the views of Cherry’s parents were misrepresented by prosecutors during the original trial.

The prosecution argued that all of Cherry’s family and everyone who loved him believe that the death penalty is appropriate, the petition said. According to Storey’s attorneys and advocates, that was not true then and that is not true now.

“Judith and Glenn Cherry did not want death for Mr. Storey,” the petition states. “Unknown to the jury and contrary to the state’s argument, they stood with the family members who pleaded for the jury to spare Mr. Storey’s life.”

Subsequent psychological testing also indicated that Storey was just barely functional intellectually.

A juror, Sven Berger, who deliberated on Storey’s case, signed affidavits stating that had he known that the parents of the victim did not want Storey to receive the death penalty or had he known about Storey’s diminished intellectual capacity, he would not have voted for the death penalty.

“I hope that everything works out for Paul,” Berger said during an interview. “I felt kind of guilty. I still feel kind of guilty. The trial has never left my mind completely. And lately, I’ve thought about it a lot more.”

Source: Star-Telegram, Mitch Mitchell, March 24, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas executes Justen Hall

4th Tennessee death row inmate selects electric chair

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

Indian couple stoned to death for marrying outside caste

Utah: Death Row Inmate Ron Lafferty Dies Of Natural Causes

'Texas 7' Member Patrick Murphy Granted Another Stay of Execution

Missouri: Female accused of drowning son to face death penalty

What Quentin Smith's Sentencing Says About The Death Penalty In Ohio

Grand jury indicts man on capital murder for El Paso attack

Iran: Man Hanged at Shiraz Prison, Man Hanged at Borujerd Prison