9/27/10

Execution of woman jars norm - Spokesman.com - Sept. 26, 2010

Execution of woman jars norm - Spokesman.com - Sept. 26, 2010




Lewis’ death sentence was only the 12th carried out against a woman prisoner in the 34 years since capital punishment was restored as a sentencing option. In that same period, 1,214 men have been put to death.

9/25/10

Some Bizarre Death Penalty Laws


Author: Broden & Mickelsen


Recently I had a Federal judge reject my attempts to keep a client on death row from being executed. I was appointed to represent the defendant after he had lost his trial; lost his appeal in state court; and lost his attempt to convince the trial judge to find his case constitutionally flawed pursuant to a "writ of habeas corpus." I was appointed, as Federal law provides, to represent him in relation to his final "appeals" to Federal court.

After I was appointed to represent him I asked the judge to let me have investigators and the funds to thoroughly review his case. Eventually the court agreed to let me do this. The evidence of guilt was overwhelming but the investigation revealed that the trial attorneys had failed to put on hardly any evidence in the phase of the trial in which the jury is supposed to hear all the evidence relevant to the question of whether he should live or die. The Supreme Court has made it increasingly clear over the years that it is unconstitutional in this day and age to execute someone unless the jury is provided a complete overview of the defendant's life. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yet this clearly did not happen in this case. Easy answer right? Just retry the defendant on the question of whether he should be executed. Wrong!


The problem is I did not find out all of this information until it is too late. The law provides that if an allegation is made that the trial lawyers failed to do something it has to be raised in the first state writ of habeas corpus. If it wasn't raised then it may never be considered again. Why wasn't the evidence presented in the first state writ of habeas corpus? The defendant had a lawyer didn't he? Yes, but one that worse than having no lawyer at all. The trial court appointed a lawyer who had just graduated from law school and had no experience in death penalty litigation. It appears she simply had no idea what she was supposed to do because she raised no meaningful issues in the state writ of habeas corpus. Well, in that case the courts should just allow the defendant another chance to file a state writ of habeas corpus right? Wrong again. The courts are afraid that if the failures or inadequacies of state habeas counsel could result in "do overs" the death penalties appeals really would never come to an end. So if state habeas counsel drops the ball, to bad, so sad," for the defendant.

Consider the upshot of all this for a moment. The defendant is guilty. As a practical matter the only question is whether he should spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed. The Supreme Court says no automatic death penalty. The jury must here all relevant evidence about the defendant before it can make such a momentous decision. The court appoints the defendant a lawyer who fails to put even a fraction of all the relevant evidence before the jury. The first appeals lawyer can't do anything about it, even if he knew about it, because the law says in the first appeal the lawyer can only talk about things that were before the court at trial and the whole point is the trial lawyer did not place any of this information before the court. The court then appoints an inexperienced lawyer who has no idea what she is supposed to do to prepare and file a state habeas petition. She does no investigation and thus makes no mention of the failure of the first attorneys to present any of this evidence. Then the courts appoint the defendant a new attorney and tell that attorney that he is limited to carrying forward the frivolous claims of the first habeas attorney. When he informs the court of all the important evidence the jury never heard, the court then responds, "the defendant failed to raise these issues in the first habeas corpus and thus cannot raise them now." Really? The nearly retarded defendant with a fourth grade education on death row? He didn't do anything but sit in his cell. The courts initially failed to appoint competent attorneys for the defendant. The attorneys that the court assigned to the defendant failed him and the public, who would like to believe that before people are executed, the jury that imposed the death sentence was making an informed decision. In reality, the courts are far more responsible for the failure of this evidence to presented to the jury than the defendant himself. In fairness to the judges the law provides for this "Catch 22," but sometimes the law promotes more injustice than justice.

About the Author

Mr. Broden is board certified in the area of criminal law and his practice is limited to criminal defense work. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating available. He was voted by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" in criminal defense in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Although he handles all types of criminal cases, Mr. Broden specializes in complex, criminal cases in federal court at both the trial and appellate level.



Mr. Mickelsen is board certified in criminal law, a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a board member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a member of the Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and a member of the Dallas County Bar Association. Mr. Mickelsen is "AV" rated by Martindale Hubbell, an independent evaluation which identifies a lawyer with "very high to preeminent legal ability". He was also voted by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" in criminal defense in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He is currently a member of the board of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association. Mr. Mickelsen is a member of the adjunct faculty at Southern Methodist University Law School where he teaches trial advocacy. More about



Broden & Mickelsen - Criminal Defense Lawyers

9/24/10

Teresa Lewis execution: 'I watched a woman die': One witness' first-hand account | Mail Online

Teresa Lewis execution: 'I watched a woman die': One witness' first-hand account Mail Online

Here is a woman who was at the execution of Teresa Lewis decribing the ordeal.

Is Execution by Lethal Injection Painful?


Guest Author: Broden &Mickelsen


The Supreme Court heard arguments with respect to execution by lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Lethal injection has become the standard method of execution in the United States, Nevada being the only exception by relying on the electric chair.

Almost all jurisdictions which employ lethal injection rely on a "three drug cocktail." First a drug is administered that renders the condemned prisoner unconscious; second, a drug is administered that paralyzes the prisoner; and third, road salt is injected into the blood stream to stop the heart.

If the inmate is unconscious when the last drug is administered he or she will feel no pain. The concern arises form the fact that the first drug will wear off and the inmate will be conscious when the third drug is administered. In this eventuality the condemned man or woman will experience a horrible, excruciating death. Apparently the possibility of waking up is not remote. There is some anecdotal evidence this has actually happened in executions. Even with a trained anesthesiologist present it is not uncommon for people to awake while under the surgion's knife, (although due to the effect of another drug, they rarely have any recollection of the event), and executions are not conducted by medically trained individuals. Nor is the drug used to induce unconsciousness intended to have a long term effect such as the drugs administered during a surgery. The point is often made that there is no purpose to paralyzing the condemned prisoner so if there were not a tacit awareness that he or she might be conscious when the third drug is administered. Ostensibly the purpose of the second drug is to prevent "death throes." In most states it is illegal to put animals "put down" by this method. The way animals are generally "put asleep" today is by overdosing them with barbiturates and this is the method for which most opponents of the "three drug cocktail" advocate.

There is little chance that the Supreme Court will deem the "three drug cocktail" unconstitutional. Several of the justices will note that the framers of the constitution, who did not consider execution by hanging to be cruel and unusual, would hardly have deemed lethal injection cruel. They will also note the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment; it does not guarantee that executions must be painless. Finally, the Court will express concern that if the current procedure is considered cruel and unusual any procedure supplanting it will also be subject to a similar attack due to the inherent difficulty in guaranteeing a painless death. By late summer the execution chambers in Texas will be busy again and the current lethal injection protocol is here to stay for the time being.

About the Author

Mr. Broden is board certified in the area of criminal law and his practice is limited to criminal defense work. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating available. He was voted by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" in criminal defense in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Although he handles all types of criminal cases, Mr. Broden specializes in complex, criminal cases in federal court at both the trial and appellate level.



Mr. Mickelsen is board certified in criminal law, a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a board member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a member of the Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and a member of the Dallas County Bar Association. Mr. Mickelsen is "AV" rated by Martindale Hubbell, an independent evaluation which identifies a lawyer with "very high to preeminent legal ability". He was also voted by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" in criminal defense in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He is currently a member of the board of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association. Mr. Mickelsen is a member of the adjunct faculty at Southern Methodist University Law School where he teaches trial advocacy. More about



Broden & Mickelsen - Criminal Defense Lawyers

Teresa Lewis is Executed; What Made Her Case So Interesting? - Law Blog - WSJ

Teresa Lewis is Executed; What Made Her Case So Interesting? - Law Blog - WSJ

The above is a Wall Street Journal article on Teresa Lewis now that she has been executed.

Keep this in mind.

They killed Teresa in YOUR name. As an American citizen, we allow the government to kill people as a form of punishment for killing people.

If your adverse to having your blessing insinuated with every legal murder committed in the country it is time to make your objections heard.

Do not stand around silently and allow murders to be carried out in your name.

9/20/10

Confessions of an American Black Widow

The Confessions of an American Black Widow
Gregg Olsen

Sharon Lynn Fuller Douglas Nelson Harrelson was a bad bitch.
She slinked her way through man after man after man with wild abandon. Some she married, some she slept with but only one did she love.

Marriage to Sharon was a way out. A way out of her claustrophobicly religious parents house. A way out of a dull marriage with a pastor and long days spent chatting with church ladies. A way out of debt. A way out of a hum drum life as a wife and mother.

Marriage was also a means to an end for Sharon. A means to new cars and gold jewlry and $100,000 mountain homes.

Seperate from all that was sex. Thats right ladies and gents- S.E.X.  Sex was a way out of the boredom and a way to prove to herself and everyone else that she was hot, that she was desirable, that she was needed and wanted. She was Sher.

Once Sher figured out how to use both to her advantage there simply was no stopping her.

I loved, loved loved this book. I'm a true crime nut. I read them all. I find them at Goodwill and yard sales. I dig them out of bins and pull them out of peoples closets. I'll read them from 1955 or 2011. It doesnt matter to me. It's the story.

This book is more than true crime. It is a story. It reads like a thriller. You can see it in your head like an episode of  CSI. I had trouble puting it down and frankly Im finished with it and I wanna pick it back up.

You just cant get over Sharon's audacity, her impudence, her BALLS. Every man she tosses in the hay is somehow madly smitten with her. They all told their friends about her kisses, her smile, her AHEM...

One in particular, Gary Starr Adams, became more to her than any other. Together they killed two of her husbands and collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance money and languished away long hours in her Colorado mountain  "Round House" mansion.

But, like all fairy tales, hers came to an end.
Except hers isnt happily ever after.

Greed and sex were as much her undoing as it was her beginning.

This book left me feeling sorry for Sher. Her parents screwed her mind up and at early age and she never had the knowledge or inclination to fix it.

Sharon is in the LaVista Correctional Facility in Pueblo, Colorado where she will remain until she is at least 85 years old. Her hot, rugged mountain man lover, Gary Starr Adams is locked away in his portion of Colorado.

Still in love with Sher.
Two women's death row cases share similarities | Richmond Times-Dispatch
Marilyn Kay Plantz, executed in 2001 by the state of Oklahoma, persuaded her younger lover and his pal to kill her husband for insurance money and stood by as they brutally did so.
Marilyn’s case is almost exactly like Teresa Lewis’ case. Marilyn and her coconspirators are now dead by electrocution. Teresa's coconspiritors committed suicide in prison and she is awaiting her upcoming execution September 23, 2010.
Laplanz boy William Bryson, Marilyn Plantz 18 year old lover she asked to kill her husband.









Marilyn and Teresa

9/19/10

La. Supreme Court rules in favor of judge in Antoinette Frank case | wwltv.com | WWLTV.com News

La. Supreme Court rules in favor of judge in Antoinette Frank case wwltv.com WWLTV.com News

This article tells of some of the many mistakes made in Antoinette Franks trial. She, however, has always stated to me that while she wants the mistakes known, she is guilty and ready to pay the price for the crimes she committed.

9/18/10

Death Row and the Pussy Pass « A Voice for Men

This article stands for itself really. I decided to post it here because it is obvious this guy really, truly believes in his opinion. He makes some good points and he is coming from a good place.

I respect what he says but disagree.

Oh boy do I disagree.

Akira Daily News!

Akira Daily News!

According to this news release the Govenor will not be commuting Teresa Lewsis sentence.
She will be executed.

Is the Death Penalty a Deterrent?


Guest Blogger: Broden & Mickelsen


The most common justification I hear for the death penalty is that it deters crime. When I consider the hundreds of death penalty cases with which I am familiar, and the dozen or so which I have worked on personally, I am always puzzled by this position. I ask myself, "Have the people that advocate this proposition taken a close look at death penalty defendants?"

Most death penalty defendants are guilty, and in my opinion, most defendants committed their crime as a result of three common factors. First, they are anti-social. In other words, they have an inability to relate normally to fellow human beings. They hold themselves in low regard and hold their fellow man in equally low regard. Second, they have low intelligence. Intelligent anti-social people engage in fraud or selfish business practices. Anti-social people of low intelligence rob a convenient store clerk for a $100 and then kill him unnecessarily because they give no value to his life. Third, the vast majority of death penalty defendants themselves have been the victims of horrendus human behavior in the form of parental abuse or something similar. This may have something to do with why the defendant is anti-social, and generally reinforces the idea in this low intellectually functioning individual that it is better to be the victimizer rather than the victim.

Given these commonalities, it is unlikely that any such individual will be deterred by the death penalty. First, they are simply to ignorant to be aware of such penalties. Second, until immediately confronted with their own death so that their instinctual will to live is invoked, they hold their own lives in low regard and think that the death penalty will be preferable to a lengthy prison sentence. Third, they usually commit their crimes in an angry state of passion, (often partially drug induced), and do not engage in any rational process when it would be necessary for them to do so in order for them to be deterred.

While it appears logical that the death penalty is not a good deterrent empirical evidence does not support the argument that the death penalty deters murder. In the United States there is no reduction in the murder rate of States which impose the death penalty in comparison to those States which do not. Some countries which impose the death penalty have low murder rates, but many countries which do not have even lower murder rates. Some argue that if the United States imposed the death penalty freely and often, for example, for every murder, then one would see a deterrent effect, but this is like arguing if "fishes were wishes." The US Constitution, as interpreted, prevents the automatic imposition of the death penalty, and given the startling number of DNA exonerations, there is no real public support for thousands of executions annually.

Although deterrence is a weak argument in support of the death penalty, rational people can argue that the death penalty serves as a mechanism for the venting of the societal spleen. In other words, one can make a case that some crimes or so horrible that if the death penalty is not imposed societal frustration may build to such an extent that whatever evils may be associated with the death penalty are outweighed by the benefit of this venting. Although I disagree with this analysis, and believe that the imposition of the death penalty cheapens a society's appreciation of the sacredness of life, I suggest this cost/benefit argument so that the overall issue may be discussed more intelligently.

About the Author

Mr. Broden is board certified in the area of criminal law and his practice is limited to criminal defense work. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating available. He was voted by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" in criminal defense in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Although he handles all types of criminal cases, Mr. Broden specializes in complex, criminal cases in federal court at both the trial and appellate level.



Mr. Mickelsen is board certified in criminal law, a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a board member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a member of the Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and a member of the Dallas County Bar Association. Mr. Mickelsen is "AV" rated by Martindale Hubbell, an independent evaluation which identifies a lawyer with "very high to preeminent legal ability". He was also voted by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" in criminal defense in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He is currently a member of the board of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association.



Mr. Mickelsen is a member of the adjunct faculty at Southern Methodist University Law School where he teaches trial advocacy.

More about
Broden & Mickelsen - Criminal Defense Lawyers

9/17/10

Her name is Teresa Lewis, she is the only woman on death row at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, and her appeals have all but expired. If she is executed, she will become another glaring example of the unfairness of our death penalty system.- John Grisham


 Teresa Lewis_2 teresa lewis
Teresa Now and Then
Death Penalty News: On death row, Teresa Lewis pleads for her life

Well, we decided that Gaile Owens in TN could receive clemency because she was not the actual murderer but a conspirator (among other reasons). We freed Mary Winkler all together and gave her the chance to live it up working at a dry cleaner in McMinnville, TN and she actually KILLED her hubs.

But here we all sit staring at each other once again. Twiddling our thumbs and playing grab ass while Teresa Lewis awaits her September 23 execution date.

She conspired to have a hit man kill her husband and step son for insurance money. The actual hit men received life sentences but Virginia is about to kill Teresa.
First woman in Virginia in 100 years.

Hm…

Kay, seriously. Here’s the facts folks:

She is bordering on mentally retarded.
She is not the murderer.
The actual murderer was given life.
Her coconspirators have actually admitted to being the mastermind and manipulating her. (I believe his exact words were "I was looking for some ugly, dumbass married chick that I could talk into offing her ol' man so I could get the cash to get outta here.)

SO…
All that being said- Governor  Robert F. McDonnell (R) needs to get off his ass and commute this woman.

http://www.saveteresalewis.org/

9/16/10

Will Convicted Child-Killer Debra Milke Win New Trial? We're Betting She Will - Phoenix News - Valley Fever

 debra

Will Convicted Child-Killer Debra Milke Win New Trial? We're Betting She Will - Phoenix News - Valley Fever

This whole situation with Debra Mile is exactly the type of thing I’m always bitching about. Why do you think I stand up here on my soap box all day pissing and moaning?

Debra was a single mom almost two decades ago. She took help where and when she could get it, like so many other single moms have to do.

She had a roommate that offered to take her kid to see Santa at the local mall. Instead he took him out to the desert and killed him.

Fast forward to when she reports her son missing.

Phoenix police detective Armando Saldate takes her into an interrogation room, comes out hours later saying she confessed to the murder. No tape, no other officers present, nothing.

She is convicted on it. No I’m not shitting you.

She has been sitting in death row for two decades now waiting for a new trial. Let’s hope she gets it. We owe her at least that.

9/14/10

My daughters and I watched Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale last night.

My 11 year old wasnt real impressed. She bailed out about half way through and started reading the Vampire Diaries. Go figure.

The 9 year old however was amazed. She fell right into the Barbie-licious world of fashion and Flairies and friendship and fun. She was glued to the set. She made me pause it so she could pee.

She has claimed from the age of four that she was going to be a vet when she grows up. She loved Barbies poodle Sequin, and after watching one of the special features on the DVD- I Can Be a Fashion Designer-she promptly decided she would design pet fashions and have a corner of her vets office dedicated to pet fashions.

I was quite entralled myself, Im not ashamed to say. All things girlie and glittery appeal to me on some level and watching my daughter so tickled with the doll I grew up loving made me wonder.

What happened to the Barbie in all of us chicks? Even if you were the type to trap barbie in a Tonka truck and have her clearing the back 40 she still had a certain mystique. Barbie could do anything. She still can.

What if the women I call my friends on death row had been given a Barbie when they were little? Instead of a slap in the mouth and a 1000 words or more on how they were useless everyday. Do you think if I wrote the prisons and asked if every one of them could have a Barbie, they would let me send them?

My daughter loved the movie. It brought a sliver of hope and dreams and excitement into her eyes that I hope I can keep alive all her life.

9/9/10

W.Va. State Police Ask for Dismissal of Lawsuit Related to Drug Informant's Murder

Valerie Friend was on the federal death row with Angela Johnson. According to Angelas last letter Valerie has been sent back home and after her last retrial has now been given 35 years for the murder she helped commit.

There are many people who believe that Valerie should never have been arrested for this in the first place. What do you think?

9/6/10

Execution Drug Running In Low Supply - Nashville News Story - WSMV Nashville

Execution Drug Running In Low Supply - Nashville News Story - WSMV Nashville

Wow...just wow.
My home state of Tennessee only has enough drugs on hand to kill one other person.
I'm actually speechless. This article details victims rights advocates raising hell because their offender may not be killed in time or on schedule or what not.

If your the type that wants to watch suffering in someone you believe deserves it, whats more satisfying than seeing him squirm while the state hunts up a new dope man?

Matthew Perkins Triple Murder

The man who committed these murders recruited my daughter into the Army. We had quite a bit of contact with him at the time. Can you ima...