Showing posts from November 20, 2011
The latest letter from Shonda Johnson was very typical of her. She talked more about the issues going on in my life than in her own. She is a very kind woman and this has always been my experience with her. She and I have been writing since 2002 and she has never failed to be honest, open and genuinely caring. Some very savvy and passionate law students have taken on her case and relentlessly pursued a second chance. She well deserves it as there are many, many holes in her case. This is another case where they have given a woman who was not even at the scene of the crime the death penalty. There is more than a reasonable doubt that she had anything to do with the crimes.  Shonda may very well be free one day. Her letters always mention what she dreams of doing with her sons when she is released and how she will go on to mentor other death row women and the public on capital punishment. She is very adamant that this time she has spent away from her family will not go to waste but and…
Guest Post from Softheart at forums.

You may want to write to one of the 50 women on death row in the USA,
because: many have been abused sexually, physically, and mentally all their lives. Added to
this is the often brutal, abusive, degrading, and inhuman treatment by prison guards and officials. 
A third of the women surveyed said that corrections officers watch them when they use the
toilet, shower or change clothes. Many women on death row live in almost complete isolation, which puts them at a serious risk of developing mental illness, or exacerbating existing mental
In Florida,Sunny Jacobs who was on death row there for 18 years before being exonerated and released, lost the use of her vocal cords for some time because of the complete isolation
of her imprisonment. (Unfortunately, her boy friend who was also exonerated had already been
executed). A guard who felt sorry for her gave her some money so she could get a bus away from the prison w…
Oregon governor blocks executions for rest of term -

Wow, just wow. I have so much respect for Oregon's Gov. He has stopped all executions during the remainder of his term saying
"It is time for Oregon to consider a different approach. I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am governor,"
This article from CNN details his decision.
Upcoming Texas Female Executions
2012 may be the final year for many of Texas's death row women. The cases of several of them are near the final review. Suzanne Margaret Basso, Linda Carty and Cathy Lynn Henderson may all draw their last breath next year.  Suzanne Basso is convicted of murdering an elderly, handicapped man. She met him at a church carnival and eventually got him moved in with her. She spent his social security checks and apparently abused him. Evidence shows a severe, extended beating and baths in Pine-Sol and bleach. She is described as an odd woman with a wild imagination. I have never written to her. She has been on death row since 1995. The Texas Supreme Court ruled not to review her appeals any further in 2010 and the D.A. announced intentions of seeking an execution date. Linda Carty's case is one of international reach. She is a British citizen convicted of killing a woman by tying a plastic bag around her head and putting her in a car trunk. The Brit…
Headed to the Row:
Accused Peach County Murderer Seeks Dismissal |

In June, 2009, Walker was accused of killing her aunt and cousin: 85-year-old Lillian Graves and 65-year-old daughter, Agnes Stewart. The pair were found stabbed to death in their Peach County home. Walker, age 54, allegedly stole her aunt's Jeep Cherokee and went through the women's purses to steal cash, credit cards and prescription drugs. Prosecutors say they plan to ask for the death penalty against her. Her lawyers are asking that she be released because her rights were violated. She was indicted in August 2009, and three months later, her attorney filed a request for a speedy trial. State law says that if two full court sessions are completed after that request, the suspect must be released.