FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

Florida Governor Rick Scott continues death penalty fight with State Attorney Aramis Ayala

Rick Scott, left, Aramis Ayala
Scott gives Orange/Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala's office until Dec. 11 to provide answers about seeking the death penalty in the Emerita Mapp case.

Gov. Rick Scott's office demanded that Orange/Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala provide a series of answers about the pursuit of the death penalty in a case involving an April murder in Kissimmee.

In a Monday letter, Scott's general counsel said Ayala failed to "file a timely notice of intent" to seek the death penalty against Emerita Mapp, who had been charged with 1st-degree murder in the stabbing death of Zackery Ganoe.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a notice to seek the death penalty was filed by Ayala's office in October after a panel of seven attorneys in her office recommended the death penalty.

Ayala's decision to form the panel came after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Ayala was wrong in refusing to pursue the death penalty. After the verdict, Ayala said she would comply with the ruling.

But Scott's general counsel, Daniel Nordby, insisted in a 3-page letter to Ayala on Monday that she her office had failed to file notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Mapp.

"As you should have been aware, Florida law required a notice of intent to seek the death penalty to be filed within 45 days from the date of Mapp's arraignment," Nordby said. "Inexplicably, the notice was not filed until Oct. 31, 2017 - well beyond the 45-day deadline and more than 35 days after you acknowledged your 'responsibility to follow the law.' on Sept. 1."

Nordby charges that Ayala knew the deadline had lapsed, but "knowingly" filed the notice.

"This suggests negligence - and, at worst, willful disregard - in the faithful performance of the duties of your constitutional office."

He outlined several steps her office needed to take before Dec. 11, including:

-- The procedures of the death penalty review panel, the number of cases reviewed and the number of cases that have resulted in an unanimous decision to seek the death penalty;

-- The date on which the panel unanimously recommended the death penalty in the case against Emerita Mapp and the date State Attorney Ayala accepted that recommendation; and

-- Explanation of State Attorney Ayala's decision to refuse State Attorney King's offer of assistance in developing a procedure to review cases for death penalty consideration.

Eryka Washington, a spokeswoman for Ayala's office, said Scott's letter was received Monday afternoon. She said a comment will be forthcoming once it is reviewed.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, December 5, 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!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Amnesty International Once Again Highlights Shocking Justice System in Iran

Maria Exposto: Can she avoid execution?

Ohio man with execution set for July 18 blames killing on ‘homosexual panic’