I found this in some of Teresa Lewis's court appeals:

"Cognitive testing showed a Full Scale IQ of 72. Verbal IQ was 70, and Performance IQ was 79. This places the defendant in the borderline range of mental retardation (Borderline Intellectual Function)."

What does this mean? Does it mean that a retarded person is held as accountable for thier actions as a mentally capable person? I hope not. I dont like that idea. I have a cousin who I dearly love but who just isnt wrapped to tight. She once shop lifted about $300 worth of antiques from an auction house. The thought of her having to be held responsible for some of the things she does scares me.

A person with an IQ of 70 or lower is generally considered mentally retarded and ineligible for execution under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.


The pink mile: women on death row - Times Online

This is an article from the UK on Muncy, Pennsylvania prison.
Michelle Tharp, Beth Markman, Carolyn King etc.
It says in the article that it was the only US womens death row that would allow the reporter in.
The report she gives is far different from my personal experiene.

It is also mostly about the guards and prison staff. NOT the prisoners. In fact, they are hardly mentioned at all.


Kelley Cannon - Nashville

There is a new drama unfolding in my backyard.
She even shares my name.

Kelley Cannon in Nashville is accused of strangling her husband, James Cannon, a well-known Nashville attorney.

Ive been following this story closely and have linked the reports below.

In a nutshell, James Cannon was found by a housekeeper strangled and stuffed in a closet of his home in an influential Nashville suburb in late June. After his death Kelley is quoted in local papers giving a litany of rotten things her husband has said and done to her.

“drinking had become so terrible, he couldn't even get up to go to work before 12 or 1.”
When asked if she had any idea of who would've had motive to murder Jim, she provided a one-sentence answer: “Jim had a mantra, and his mantra was, 'If you want a friend, get a dog.' ”

We were a good family, except for his drinking.... So he was taking my pills [for my back injury], he was smoking pot and he was drinking—sneaking around me, drinking.”

“I stopped looking into whether or not he was having affairs because it wouldn’t matter to me anymore. I just didn’t care. I just wanted to be a mother and wife—that’s it.”

His friends and family however, say that she was the bad guy in the marriage.

They were divorcing and living separately at the time. He had custody of the couples three children. There was also a restraining order on her. Kelley had been arrested before James death for ramming his vehicle. She was trying to gain custody.

Police af´Čüdavits from the last few years of the Cannon marriage say she pushed Jim around, threatened him with a knife and led police on a short, high-speed chase after snatching her toddler away from her husband. She says that just isnt true.

She says she went by the house they had shared on the night he died. Doors were open and furniture thrown about. She called for her husband and there was no answer. He went to the childrens rooms and found them asleep so she gathered them up and took them to her apartment but never did see her husband. The housekeeper found him and the police went to Kelleys house to question her.

She was arrested for taking the children and violating a court order and the children were given to James uncle where they remain.

She was arrested for his murder and is awaiting trial on charges of first degree murder.


Dont forget to join in the discussions on the cases that interest you. Please leave comments and thought- Pro or Anti on the forums at Women of Death Row Forums. Unlike many capital punishment boards the folks there are respectful of each others opinions no matter what they are.

I also want to encourage theose of you who write and tell me about the books you have planned to write. I know a few of you really are serious and have fantastic book platforms. Here is my other blog that may help you make some money from home while you are plogging away on that book!

One last announcement:

Stay tuned for a cool give away here at Woman Condemned in the next few weeks.


Some exciting news from Michelle Byrom and her Lawyers yesterday.

Lots of new people are being summoned to appear at her hearing. IMPORTANT people that may finally put an end to her nearly 10 year ordeal.

Important people like the judge and sheriff because they are people who withheld information in the original trial. Plus information about two confessions from the other defendants stating Michelle's innocence and why they weren't entered into evidence.

Michelle's medical evidence was never entered either. A medical expert is now on hand to explain the wide spectrum of meds that she had been prescribed as well as the effects and origins of Munchausen Syndrom from which she has suffered for years.

This should be interesting.

She also talked about her cousin Ann and her wish for me to converse with her. I have written to her and she is a reader of this blog.

Michelle expressed deep pain over her brother. He wrote to her and gave her a few dollars- not nearly enough to cover the astronomical cost of her medication. She has a social security income that has been mostly kept from her since her incarceration. Her brother gave her these few dollars with a note saying that if he had the misguided idea to get himself into a mess like that he would never ask family for money.

Some family, if he'd take the time to read the official court documents and talk with Michelles lawyer he would find that his sister is in fact being railroaded.

Isnt that family loyalty for you.


I'm a little creeped out.

I've told you all before that I had written to Antoinette Franks brother Adam.
It was about two years ago, give or take a few months.
Antoinette encouraged it and I think it was because she decided to stop writing me.
I wrote an article about her and she found it and read it.
I received a letter from her a short time later asking me not to do that again. She stated that she preferred that everyone forget about her crimes.
While I'm sure that is true I don't think she realizes that cannot happen.

The article I wrote on her was unbiased. Solely the facts and I thought it turned out rather well. I mentioned her crimes and charges but also gave her defense. At any rate I believe that is why she stopped writing me.

I wrote to her brother Adam and he wrote back right away. It was a nice letter, conversational, informative. He answered questions and volunteered much information.

My life got busy and I let my letter writing (to Adam) slide in lieu of more pressing obligations to death row women. He sent a few more letters over the years but I was never able to write him back. I had the girls to attend to as well as my work as a writer.

I recently sent Antoinette a copy of the newsletter. I didn't hear from her back and I wasn't surprised but I did hear from Adam today.

Before I go into his letter I want to mention something. Has anyone read Jennifer Furios book "Team Killers"? In it she describes a few instances with male killers she has written to. One was Alton Coleman, the other Douglas Clark. She wrote of her years of writing them and the relationship she forged with each. She went on to tell how she learned just how tricky these mens minds work. After years of writing Alton he asked for her phone number to be better able to discuss his crimes and his life now. Once he got it and called her his manner was drastically different. He talked about her body and called her names. Expressed sexual fantasies about her and basically scared the shit out of her. Similar situation with Doug. After years of writing him he was a caller to a talk show she was featured on. Once he got air time he went on to tell the world how he felt he had to fill her head with stories because she was a needy house wife begging for his attention. Sneaky bastard. Ms. Furio also received a letter from an "associate" of Dougs for the sole purpose of letting her know that he has the ability to let people know about her and where she lives.

Fast forward to Adam today. I was surprised to see his letter was addressed to my current address. They had been forwarded from my old address which he had. I opened it to find a patronizing letter about how I could find time to write his sister but not him. How I could write a full manuscript and be published but couldn't find the time to dash him off a post card. At the very end of the letter he softens up. Telling me how proud he is of me and my accomplishments. He lavished me with compliments and asked me for my phone number so he could personally tell me how proud he is and hear my "sweet and gentle" voice.

Fat chance, buddy.

Alyssa Bustamante Update