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In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

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When it comes to the death penalty, guilt or innocence shouldn’t really matter to Christians.  

NASHVILLE — Until August, Tennessee had not put a prisoner to death in nearly a decade. Last Thursday, it performed its third execution in four months.
This was not a surprising turn of events. In each case, recourse to the courts had been exhausted. In each case Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, declined to intervene, though there were many r…

Motion requesting unanimous vote for death penalty denied by judge

Jury box
A Houston County Judge denied a motion to request prohibition of the death penalty without a unanimous jury vote.

Defense attorneys David Hogg and Robert Aaron Gartlan filed the motion May 3 for their client, Michael Allen Tharp. 

State’s Attorney Mark Jones filed a motion stating the Code of Alabama 1975 13A-5-46 (f) clearly sets forth that a jury recommendation of death must be based on a vote of at least 10 jurors and the verdict must be in writing specify the vote.

Judge Kevin Moulton denied the motion request for a unanimous vote for the death penalty Monday. 

Tharp’s jury trial is set to begin Aug. 27.

Tharp previously pleaded not guilty by mental disease. A mental evaluation was ordered, and in November 2017 Moulton issued an order finding Tharp competent to stand trial.

Houston County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Michael Allen Tharp on Dec. 14, 2012, two days after the slaying and robbery of his stepfather, 68-year-old Joseph Bernard Hendley.

The shooting happened at a mobile home in the 500 block of North Broad Street in Cowarts near an intersection with Jordan Avenue, not far from Tharp’s home. 

According to Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd, Hendley died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Source: Dothan Eagle, Michele Forehand, May 22, 2018


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

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