11/29/13

Amanda Hein of Pennsylvania faces death penalty - accused of giving birth in a sports bar bathroom

Prosecutors in eastern Pennsylvania plan to seek the death penalty in the trial of a woman accused of giving birth in a sports bar bathroom, wrapping the newborn in a plastic bag and hiding him in a toilet tank.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Wednesday that 27-year-old Amanda Hein of Allentown deserves to be executed because she killed a child.

A cleaning crew found the baby's body in the toilet on Aug. 19 at Starters Pub in Bethlehem, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia. A coroner concluded the boy was born alive.

Her public defender, Michael Corriere, said he expected that prosecutors would seek the death penalty. He didn't comment further. (Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

An autopsy found the baby was born alive, the Northampton County coroner said.
In an interview with police, the 26-year-old Allentown woman admitted giving birth to the baby boy in the restroom a night earlier, wrapping him in a plastic bag from a garbage container and placing him in the toilet tank, court documents said.
District Attorney John Morganelli said Hein was watching a pay-per-view wrestling event with several other people when she complained of back pain and excused herself.
One of the men told police she was gone for a long time before returning to the table, getting her purse and going outside to smoke. The man said he saw that she was bleeding and asked if she needed to go to the hospital, but she told him she didn't have insurance and he dropped her off at her house.
Hein told police that no one else knew she was pregnant or that she had given birth in the bathroom, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Parents who do not wish to raise a newborn child can anonymously turn the baby over to any hospital in Pennsylvania.

11/15/13

Union College to Host Former Death Row Inmate

Union College to Host Former Death Row Inmate 
After 33 months on death row for killing her infant son, Sabring Butler was exonerated.
Barbourville, KY (PRWEB) November 14, 2013
Next week, the Union College community will hear from the only woman in the United States to be exonerated from death row.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Sabrina Butler, who was released from death row after a long and horrific battle, will be on campus as part of the “Kentucky Exoneree Tour,” sponsored by the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.
Butler will be speaking at noon in the Patridge Conference Room inside the Patridge Campus Center. This event is free and open to the public.
According to the national Death Penalty Information Center, a national non-profit organization providing information about capital punishment, Butler is the only female to have been exonerated from death row. Her story is “one any young parent can relate to,” said the Rev. David Miller, Union College minister, who scheduled the event.
On April 12, 1989, Butler found her nine-month-old son unresponsive and not breathing, according to a report by The National Registry of Exonerations. After trying to revive him through CPR, she took him to the hospital where he died, the report says.
The bruises on the infant's chest from Butler's attempts to revive him were incorrectly identified as a result of child abuse, according to the ACLU of Kentucky.
The following day, Butler was charged with capital murder. She was convicted and later sentenced to die by lethal injection, according to The National Registry of Exonerations report.
Butler's conviction was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1992 (Butler v. State, 608 So.2d 314 (Miss. 1992)), and she was acquitted in 1995 after her retrial, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Butler had spent more than 33 months on death row, according to the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
It was ultimately determined that Butler's son died from a kidney illness, according to the Kentucky ACLU.
She will be on campus to share her experience as a death row inmate and speak about her stance against the death penalty. A representative from the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will present a copy of her book, Exonerated: The Sabrina Butler Story, to a member of the audience as a door prize.
For more information about the event, contact Miller at 606-546-1291. For more information about Butler and her story, visit her website at http://sabrinabulter.webs.com.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11335735.htm


Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/13/11/p4082486/union-college-to-host-former-death-row-inmate#ixzz2kjAgOIAc

11/10/13

My Conversation With Isaac Zamora Washington Spree Killer

He’s compiling a compendium of his victim’s last statements and he remembers every word. He will never forget those words or those voices. Nor will he ever forget the other voices, those that commanded him, on that fateful day and for years preceding, to kill.

Isaac Zamora is responsible for the Washington spree killings of 2008. “I had no malice in my heart. I wanted only to kill the demons and save my family and everyone else,.” said Zamora from the Western State Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. He shot and killed six people on that day, including a lifelong neighbor and a local sheriff’s deputy he had had run-ins with before.

Isaac Zamora has been battling demons in his head for years. They tell him his neighbors hate him, they are out to kill him, that in fact, the world is out to destroy him and those he loves. The voices were clear and the instructions were simple. He must kill the demons on earth to protect his loved ones and the world. He had no choice, the voices told him. If he did not fight the demonic spirits, he would be left alone to be devoured. He was not afraid. God had told him he would provide him with all he needed. He would be doing the world a great service.

September 08, 2008 started out like any other day. He headed out of the house with no weapons, no deadly agenda. His pockets contained only a pocket knife and some spare change.

Isaac wandered aimlessly in and out of the neighborhood streets and the patches of thicket. Some houses he would go into and find empty or filled with construction materials.  Some were furnished but held no inhabitants. After wandering into a gun enthusiast’s home and finding three guns and a plethora of ammo,; he was sure God had indeed given him what he needed. “I loaded the guns and went outside to test fire them. Once I started shooting I just didn’t stop,.” explained Zamora.

His first stop was the home of a lifelong neighbor, Chester Rose. Isaac had gone into Mr. Rose’s house and found it empty. He began to look around for survival items when Mr. Rose entered the room and asked him what he was doing. Isaac explained about the demons and what was happening but felt Mr. Rose was being deceitful. That is when he shot him.  “He looked down and said you shot me.” He shot Mr. Rose in the stomach straight from the hip. “He used to wave to me all the time. I’ve known him for over 20 years.”

Shortly after Mr. Rose was shot Skagit County Deputy Sheriff Anne Jackson showed up to investigate after speaking with Zamora’s mother. “I opened the door and she was standing there. I shot her and she fell.” Isaac and Deputy Jackson exchanged gun fire until Isaac overwhelmed her. “I walked over to her and fired again.”

I asked Isaac what Deputy Jackson said before he pulled the trigger but he wouldn’t tell me. Instead, he plans to tell the deputy’s family in a handwritten letter of apology. “I just want to help give the families closure, if I can.” he explained.

After those first deaths Isaac describes a feeling of victory. The war had begun and he was its courageous leader. “I felt older somehow, wiser, stronger. I was on a mission from God.”
He spoke about how killing made him feel; “I’m not going to cry. Crying is not for grown men with only their own life to deal with. I love my family but have no kids of my own so I personally don’t feel responsible for anything but my life. I’m not trying to be callous or uncaring but my life here or out is going to be very difficult and that’s no kidding.”

Isaac jumped into an empty truck and drove aimlessly until he zoned in on the home of Fred and Julie Binchus. He drove the truck into the garage door and when Mr. Binchus came out to investigate he shot him in the hip. Fred Binchus ran toward the woods and Isaac then fired again hitting him in the back. He turned to Mrs. Binchus as she arrived home from work. He walked up to her as she was exiting her truck and fired on her. “I feel a lot of guilt now about Julie Binchus. I feel horrendous. She was always nice to me. She always waved when she saw me walking the neighborhood. She was probably a good woman with a lot to live for,.” Isaac told me. “The look on her faceshe was so confused. She smiled at me.”


According to state records Isaac and his family asked for help several times before he finally snapped. So many times, he says, he couldn’t count them on both hands. In fact, Isaac had kept an appointment with his therapist the day before he went on the shooting rampage. “She just asked the wrong questions,.” he said quietly.

When Isaac left the Binchus home he continued his quest to save the world, stabbing a 61- year- old neighbor twice when his rifle jammed. He arrived at an area that was under construction and came upon two construction workers David Radcliffe, 58, and Greg Gillum, 38. “The first guy looked at me and said hello. He had a quizzical look on his face, like he thought I was there to work. I shot him and then the other man.”

Demons don’t kill easily, however. They rise. They manipulate the limbs of dead bodies and give chase. Isaac saw the dead limbs of Mr. Radcliffe rising and saw one dead eye begin to turn his way. He picked up a skill saw and opened the body, then ran it across the seeking, roaming eyes until he felt the demon was defeated and then moved on.

Voices of celebrities both dead and alive, voices of political figures, angels, demons, friends and family all rang over and over in his head commanding him to kill. Kill or die. Kill or watch your family destroyed in the most horrific of ways. Kill or doom the world to an unholy death.

And kill he did. After the construction workers he jumped in the stolen truck and drove down the interstate shooting and killing a passing motorist, Leroy Lange, before firing on a motorcyclist and hitting him in the arm. Two state troopers in unmarked vehicles spotted Zamora and began pursuit. Pulling off the Interstate he shot one of the state troopers, Troy Giddings, in the arm before finally feeling safe, his mission complete and driving to the police department.

The hero’s welcome that Isaac expected did not happen. He sits now in the Washington State Hospital waiting to get well so they can ship him to a penitentiary. He’s back on the medications he was prescribed for schizophrenia, bipolarity, severe psychosis and personality disorders.

“Why did I have to lose my mind?” he constantly asks through teary eyes, “Why me? I never wanted to hurt anyone. Why couldn’t anyone figure it out? I know I deserve punishment. I’m willing to take my punishment. I will be in this hospital for the rest of my life or until I get well enough to go to prison. I just want people to know. I never wanted to do this. Never.”

The voices have subsided, leaving only one,; his own.

“I think of what I have done and those people every single day. I hear their last words over and over. I asked for help but, I guess, no one knew how to help me.”

11/3/13

Dane Abdools Challenge to The Timely Justice Act

I am beginning to feel the squeeze. Florida is scaring me. They have a blood lust almost on the scale of Texas and California. Not only do they seek to execute but execute quickly and I almost wonder if it is because they are afraid someone will catch a mistake.

They scare me now more so than ever before. I have felt scared for Tiffany Cole on Florida death row. I had a long standing friendship with Tiffany Cole for many years. While this girl is anything but innocent, she doesn’t deserve to die. She was another instance of little girl lost, as Dawn Schiller (the infamous porn star John Holmes’s teen concubine) has said – a throw away teen. Those girls always find themselves mixed up in some terrible situation because no one ever taught them how to stay out of one.

Tiffany and the state of Florida have been in a long, bloody battle of appeals for many years now. Tiffany has a crazy, erratic Aunt who threatened me and ranted about incoherent nonsense on a pretty regular basis. She began to stalk me and harass me on social networks. I have since ended my relationship with Tiffany but still worry about her.

While Tiffany is special to me and I don’t believe she should die for her crimes, it isn’t her that concerns me most in Florida.

My biggest fear is that Florida will execute Dane Abdool. The Timely Justice Act has me scared shitless.
 The Timely Justice Act is designed to significantly expedite executions by statutorily mandating the Florida governor sign “death warrants” on every death sentenced prisoner who has completed his/her first round of state and federal appeals within 30 days. Under this new law at least 125 Florida death row prisoners, including Dane and Tiffany, become immediately “death warrant eligible” as of July 1, 2013, with all 125+ executions to be scheduled within 6 months.

The Florida Supreme Court took a lovely little summer vacation while my stomach knotted up and I developed a chronic nervous cramp in my gut.

Dane’s appeal I wrote about this summer, when he was being shuffled all over the state, was an appeal of the Timely Justice Act, which for all intents and purposes, is unconstitutional. The actual challenge to the act can be found here. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/159604367/Challenge-to-Timely-Justice-Act

Dane and I became friends almost 4 years ago when we began correspondence about newsletters and penpal programs. I helped him find the things he needed and we began to get to know each other. Most often, when I receive inmate mail, it is in request for something vital.

I try my best to get these people what they need. Sometimes it’s a book or toiletries, sometimes they ask for help for their family on the outside or for a penpal. More often than not, I don’t hear from them again until a new need arises. Albeit this is the nature of my work, it is required because of the sheer amount of mail.

Every now and again, something special will happen. A spark ignites, a connection is made and a friendship happens. Throughout the years of work as an inmate liaison, I have only experienced this a few times. Dane is one of those cases.

Dane’s case called to me from the very beginning. I was in shock that he was convicted at all, much less at such a young age. I saw, at first glance, a scared little boy. He shouldn’t be there. What happened was never meant to happen. It was all a terrible, careless, waste of two young lives.

Over these years I have grown closer to Dane than many people I see every day. He has shared his life with me and I with him. I know in my heart that he is no ruthless killer but only an exhibition in the devastation of reckless youth.

This man has so much left to give the world, if even from behind bars. There is so much he can provide to make up for the pain and suffering he has caused. I know this because Dane has helped me see inside myself at some very difficult times in my life. He’s helped me find strength and perseverance when I had none.

So, still I wait. Wait for Florida to say they can kill this beautiful soul for killing another. It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

Mexico May Have a Female Vengeance Killer Making Rounds


Mexico probes possible female vengeance killer - Yahoo News

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Mexican prosecutors say they are looking into claims that a woman who killed two bus drivers last week in this northern border city was seeking revenge for alleged sexual abuse of female passengers.

The claims made over the weekend in an email from the self-styled "bus driver hunter" echoed deeply in Ciudad Juarez, which has a grim history of sexual violence against women aboard buses.

A woman wearing a blond wig — or dyed hair — boarded one of the school bus-style vehicles that serve as transport in Ciudad Juarez on Wednesday morning. She approached the driver, took out a pistol, shot him in the head and left the bus. The next day, apparently the same woman did exactly the same thing to another driver on the same route.

Over the weekend, media outlets began receiving emails from the address "Diana the hunter of bus drivers."

"I myself and other women have suffered in silence but we can't stay quiet anymore," the email said. "We were victims of sexual violence by the drivers on the night shift on the routes to the maquilas," a reference to the border assembly plants that employ many residents in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. "I am the instrument of vengeance for several women."

The newspaper Diario de Juarez reported that a witness quoted the killer as telling the second victim, "You guys think you're real bad, don't you?" before shooting him.

Authorities have not verified the authenticity of the email, or of a Facebook page set up under a similar name Aug. 31.

But Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutors' office, said Monday that the vigilante claim is considered one of the working hypotheses in the crimes. There was no apparent robbery involved in the killings.

"Now that we have the email in the case file, it indicates that this could have been someone who had a run-in with a driver or one of his relatives," Sandoval said.

The government announced it will put undercover police aboard some buses and conduct weapons searches to prevent further killings, and said a citywide search for the suspect is already on.

"We have a police sketch of the suspect and we are looking for her," municipal police spokesman Adrian Sanchez said.

Many of the women murdered during a string of more than 100 eerily similar women's killings in Ciudad Juarez in the 1990s and early 2000s disappeared after boarding buses. Their bodies were often found weeks or months later, raped, strangled and dumped in the desert or vacant lots.

Several bus drivers were arrested in connection with those killings, but the cases against them always appeared weak, or their confessions coerced. One driver had his conviction overturned, and his co-defendant, another bus driver, died in prison before sentencing.

The head of the Chihuahua Women's Human Rights Center, Lucha Castro, said that perhaps the killer "or someone close to her suffered some abuse by one of these guys."

"It's a fact that there are sexual abuse cases on the bus routes, but it's no greater than women disappearing from the streets in downtown, in human trafficking rings," Castro said.

But, she added, like the still-unresolved identities of most of the 1990s killers, "The most tragic thing is that the public may never know what the truth is."

___

Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report

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