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…

Judge says Texas death row inmate's sentence should be reduced due to false evidence at trial

Jury box
Paul Storey's case had been granted another review less than one week before he was scheduled to be executed. 

A Tarrant County judge has recommended that a death row inmate’s sentence be changed to life without parole after reviewing evidence that there was false evidence introduced at his trial.

Paul Storey was sentenced to death in September 2008 for the 2006 murder of Jonas Cherry, the assistant manager at a miniature golf course near Fort Worth that Storey and another man were robbing. 

Storey was set for execution in April 2017, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted Storey’s execution less than a week before it was set to take place. His defense attorneys accused prosecutors of lying to jurors during his original trial. The state’s highest criminal court sent the case back to the Tarrant County trial court to review those claims.

According to court documents, a prosecutor told the jury during Storey’s 2008 trial that “it should go without saying that all of [Jonas Cherry’s] family and everyone who loved him believe the death penalty was appropriate.” But Cherry’s parents, Glenn and Judith, say that was a lie.

“We do not want to see another family having to suffer through losing a child and family member,” the Cherrys said in a letter to the governor about Storey's case. “Due to our ethical and spiritual values we are opposed to the death penalty.”

Judge Everett Young wrote Tuesday that “had this evidence been disclosed, there is a reasonable probability” that the jury would have decided differently. 

Those omissions amounted to several constitutional violations, Young said.

The case now returns to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which has final say over Storey’s case.

Source: Texas Tribune, Emma Platoff, May 9, 2018


⚑ | 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’