Death Penalty

‘Polis hijacks justice’: Democrat loses fight to keep son’s killers on Death Row in Colorado

It was a foregone conclusion that Gov. Jared Polis would sign a bill this week repealing the death penalty in Colorado, but what he did next came as a gut-punch to Democratic state Sen. Rhonda Fields. After signing the legislation Monday, the governor, a Democrat, went a step further by commuting the sentences of the state’s three death row inmates to life in prison without the possibility of parole — including the two men convicted of killing Ms. Fields’ son Javad Fields and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe. For Ms. Fields, who for nine years has led the legislative battle against her fellow Democrats pushing to eliminate capital punishment in the state, said the commutations represented “the unthinkable bait and switch.” “In a stroke of a pen Gov Polis hijacks justice and undermines our criminal justice system,” Ms. Fields tweeted. The law goes into effect July 1, so it does not apply to inmates already convicted and sentenced to death, or even to those who have been charged with capital offenses. In that case, why commute the sentences? Mr. Polis said his decision was not based on evidence of “extraordinary change” in the three offenders: Sir Mario Owens and Robert Ray, who were convicted of murder in the 2005 deaths of Fields and Wolfe; and Nathan Dunlap, who carried out the 1993 Chuck E. Cheese massacre. “Rather, the commutations of these despicable and guilty individuals are consistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the state of Colorado and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the state of Colorado,” Mr. Polis said

Most of us here in sunny Colorado are furious about what Gov. Jared Polis (D) has done with respect to the death penalty here.  It’s so bad, that a Democrat State Senator, Rhonda Fields, is even pissed off.  Colorado used to be a purple state, politically.  But, now the extreme Boulder liberals control all three branches at the state capital in Denver.  And, this is what happens when Dems are in control.  They get rid of the death penalty and commute the sentences of duly convicted and sentenced (by the people) murderers, impose so-called “Red Flag” laws on law-abiding gun owners, raise taxes, and on and on.  Hopefully enough Coloradans will come to their senses and throw some of these Democrat legislators out on their butts in November.

Colorado House, in late-night vote, passes death penalty repeal – governor could sign bill Wednesday

Colorado House lawmakers on Tuesday voted to repeal the state’s death penalty after a lengthy 11-hour debate, clearing one of the last hurdles before the controversial bill becomes law. The vote from bleary-eyed lawmakers finally came around 4 a.m. after Republicans repeatedly tried to slow the process by making lengthy speeches or bringing unsuccessful amendments up for a vote. Republican Rep. Steve Humphrey spent nearly 40 minutes reading from the Bible. At one point, Republicans forced two hours of debate on whether voters, not lawmakers, should be able to decide whether capital punishment should be legalized in the state. “I’m not going to dodge the hard issues by sending them to the people,” Rep. Jeni Arndt, the sponsor of the repeal bill, said. “We are the people.” Among the Republicans that held up the vote was Rep Lori Saine. “One side of this assembly defended families and victims,” the Denver Post reported her saying. “One side defended criminals.” No Republicans supported the repeal. Democrats have a 17-vote advantage in the House. The bill, which cleared the Senate last month, needs one final vote from the House, which could happen as early as Wednesday. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has indicated he will sign it into law. This year marks the seventh time Colorado’s legislature has wrestled with the death penalty issue. When signed, the law would apply to offenses on or after July 1 and would not apply to the three men currently on Colorado’s death row. Only one person has been executed by the state of Colorado since the reintroduction of capital punishment in 1977. Gary Lee Davis, a convicted murderer and rapist, was executed by lethal injection in 1997

This is just awful…  And the arrogance of Democrat state Rep. Jeni Arndt to saying that she and her Dem colleagues are “the people.”  No, Ma’am.  You’re a representative of your district in Colorado.  You do NOT speak for all the people in the state.  She fears that such a vote on a ballot to repeal the death penalty would probably fail.  This is the kind of thing that happens when Dems are in control.  They raise taxes, take away your freedoms, and fight to protect criminals; not their victims.  Remember this come November..

Death penalty gets boost in three US states

Donald Trump’s upset presidential election win has dominated global headlines, but for those against capital punishment, Election Day offered other surprise: three states voted to reinstate or otherwise support the death penalty. The measures voted through in Oklahoma, Nebraska and California via referendum are not expected to spark a sharp rise in the number of executions, but activists say they are a step in the wrong direction.

Of course they do..  But, it’s definitely a step in the right direction for those three states!  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Texas gives Virginia lethal drug for execution next week

Texas prison officials are helping Virginia carry out a scheduled execution next week by providing that state with the lethal drug pentobarbital that corrections agencies nationwide have had difficulty obtaining. The disclosure, confirmed Friday by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, has surfaced in court documents in an Oklahoma death penalty case. Lawyers for Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossip also said in a federal court filing Thursday that Texas is “compounding or producing pentobarbital within its department for use in executions.” Texas prisons spokesman Jason Clark said the Texas agency gave Virginia three vials of the drug, but said the state does not have a license to manufacture its own pharmaceuticals. He said Virginia provided Texas with a backup pentobarbital supply in 2013.

HAHAHA!! Props to Texas for stepping up and helping other states carry out their executions. Outstanding! 🙂

Missouri executes man for 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of 15-year-old girl

A man who spent nearly 25 years on Missouri’s death row was executed Tuesday for the kidnapping, rape and stabbing death of a 15-year-old girl. Roderick Nunley, 50, became the sixth death row inmate to be put to death in Missouri this year. During the execution, his breathing became labored for a few seconds. He briefly opened his mouth before becoming still. He was pronounced dead at 9:09 p.m. CDT. “Despite openly admitting his guilt to the court, it has taken 25 years to get him to the execution chamber,” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement. “Nunley’s case offers a textbook example showing why society is so frustrated with a system that has become too cumbersome.” Ann Harrison’s disappearance and death haunted the Kansas City area in March 1989. She was waiting for a school bus on her driveway, 20 yards from her front door, when Nunley and Michael Taylor drove by in a stolen car and made the spur-of-the-moment decision to abduct her. Her body was found in the trunk of the abandoned car three days later. Both men were sentenced to death in 1991. Taylor was executed last year. Of 20 executions nationally in 2015, all but four have been in Missouri and Texas. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday denied a clemency request for Nunley, filed by death penalty opponents, asserting that racial bias played a role in the case because a prosecutor refused a plea deal that would have given Nunley life in prison without parole. Nunley was black, as was Taylor, while the victim was white. The U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile, denied several appeals from Nunley’s attorney, including one claiming that the death penalty amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Retired Kansas City detective Pete Edlund said the only thing cruel and unusual was how long Nunley and Taylor remained on death row. “They just take forever to do the deed,” Edlund told The Associated Press. “The delay in executing these two is just nuts because it didn’t have anything to do with their guilt. It was legal mumbo jumbo nonsense.” According to prosecutors, Nunley and Taylor binged on cocaine and stole a car in the pre-dawn hours of March 22, 1989. At one point, a police officer from neighboring Lee’s Summit chased the car but was called off by a supervisor when the stolen car crossed into Kansas City. Later that morning, the men were driving around Kansas City when they saw Ann, her school books and flute on the ground beside her. “They were just cruising and she’s out at the driveway waiting for the school bus,” Edlund said. The girl’s mother had stepped inside to get a younger daughter ready for school. When she heard the bus, she looked outside. The books and flute were still there, but Ann was gone. “She knew something was wrong,” Edlund said. Taylor and Nunley had grabbed the girl and taken her to Nunley’s mother’s home. She was raped and sodomized, then stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and neck. Taylor and Nunley put the girl’s body in the trunk of the stolen car, then abandoned it in a residential area. The body was found three days later. Edlund said the case was cracked months later when a man in jail for robbery — and seeking a $10,000 reward in the case — turned in Taylor and Nunley. Both men confessed, and some of Ann’s hair was found in carpeting at the home where the crime occurred. Edlund said Ann’s father was a former reserve officer with the Police Department, and her uncle was a Kansas City officer.

Another piece of garbage properly put down. Outstanding!! It’s hard to imagine that it took a quarter century for justice to finally be meted out. As many of you know, we tend to NOT do the whole crime blotter thing here at The Daily Buzz. There is the evening news for that sorta thing. That said, we sometimes post stories like this to illustrate, or address, a bigger point. In this case, it is just how broke our criminal justice system is. These two maggots did the crime, had their trials and appeals which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and even confessed right up front! Then, it takes over two DECADES to finally put them down?!? Seriously? Well, we’re glad to finally see Missouri showing leadership by doing the right thing and executing this disgusting animal for this horrific crime. Missouri is second only to Texas in the numbers of executions it has performed this year.

Saudi Arabia hiring executioners as beheadings rise

Saudi Arabia is advertising eight new openings for executioner jobs as beheadings in the country are soaring this year. The positions, posted online Monday by Saudi Arabia’s civil service ministry, state that no special qualifications are needed. The jobs also involve performing amputations for those convicted of lesser crimes, Reuters reports. An application form for the jobs classifies the positions as “religious functionaries” and that pay would be at the lower end of the scale. In Saudi Arabia, drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all crimes punishable by death, while amputation is a common punishment for theft, according to the AFP. A man beheaded Sunday was the 85th person this year to be executed in Saudi Arabia, compared to 88 executions in all of 2014, Human Rights Watch says. Saudi diplomats have speculated that the uptick in executions is because more judges have been appointed, allowing a backlog of cases to be heard, Reuters reports.

It’s hard to find good help these days!

Missouri executes man for 1998 killing over child support payments

A Missouri inmate was executed Tuesday night for killing a man in a fit of rage over child support payments 16 years ago. Andre Cole, 52, became the third convicted killer put to death this year in Missouri. His fate was sealed after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down several appeals, including one claiming Cole was mentally ill and unfit for execution. Also Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon refused a clemency petition that raised concerns about the fact that Cole, who was black, was convicted and sentenced by an all-white jury. Mike O’Connell, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections, said Cole was executed by lethal injection at 10:15 p.m. and pronounced dead nine minutes later. In the execution chamber, Cole nodded as relatives blew kisses his way. He chose not to make a final statement. He breathed deeply a few times as the drug was administered. Cole declined any sedatives prior to the execution. He also declined to order a last meal and instead received the day’s inmate tray, O’Connell said. Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement he hoped “that the sentence carried out tonight brings those forever impacted by this tragedy a sense of justice and a measure of closure.” Cole and his wife, Terri, were married for 11 years and had two children before divorcing in 1995. The couple fought about visitation and he was upset about child support payments, authorities said. By 1998, Cole was $3,000 behind in child support. Koster said Cole became angry when he learned that a payroll withholding order was issued to his employer, taking the money out of his check. “Before I give her another dime, I’ll kill (her),” Cole told co-workers, according to Koster. The first deduction appeared on his Aug. 21, 1998, paycheck. Hours later, Cole forced his way into his ex-wife’s home by throwing a tire jack through a glass door, Koster said. He was confronted by Anthony Curtis, a friend who was visiting. Andre Cole used a kitchen knife to repeatedly stab Curtis, then Terri Cole. Curtis died but Terri Cole survived. Cole fled the state but surrendered 33 days later. He claimed at trial that he did not bring a weapon into Terri Cole’s house and that Curtis initiated the attack with a knife. No relatives of Terri Cole or Anthony Curtis attended the execution. Andre Cole’s brother, DeAngelo Cole, 38, of Las Vegas, said the attack was out of character for his sibling. He called it a crime of passion. “It was a one-time thing,” DeAngelo Cole said. “He didn’t have a history of that kind of behavior.” Cole’s attorney, Joseph Luby, said Cole’s mental health deteriorated during the more than a decade he spent in prison. He said Cole was plagued by psychosis and constantly heard voices in his head. The courts were not convinced. Both the Missouri Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to halt the execution based on mental health concerns. The U.S. Supreme Court also turned away appeals based on Missouri’s secretive method of obtaining the execution drug pentobarbital and over how instructions were given to the jury. The jury itself was the source of the clemency request to Nixon. Advocates for Cole, including the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union and others, said his case was among many in which St. Louis County prosecutors unfairly prohibited black jurors from hearing a death penalty case involving a black suspect. All 12 jurors in Cole’s case were white. Kimber Edwards, who was scheduled for execution in May, was also convicted and sentenced by an all-white jury. The Missouri Supreme Court, without explanation, canceled the execution orders for Edwards earlier this month. Missouri tied Texas for the most executions in 2014 with 10. Missouri has now executed 15 men since November 2013.

Governor signs law making Utah only state to allow firing squad executions

Utah’s governor has signed a law that makes his state the only one to allow firing squads for carrying out executions if no lethal injection drugs are available. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill Monday. He has said he finds the method “a little bit gruesome,” but that it gives the state a fallback execution method. The measure’s approval illustrates the frustration of some states over bungled executions and shortages of lethal-injection drugs. Utah is one of several seeking new forms of capital punishment after a botched Oklahoma lethal injection last year.

Nice!  I wonder if other states will follow..  Something to keep an eye on..

Utah lawmakers vote to become only state to allow firing squad

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would make Utah the only state to allow firing squads for carrying out a death penalty if there is a shortage of execution drugs. The passage of the bill by the state Senate on Tuesday comes as states struggle to obtain lethal injection drugs amid a nationwide shortage. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, touted the measure as being a more humane form of execution. Ray argued that a team of trained marksmen is faster and more humane than the drawn-out deaths that have occurred in botched lethal injections. The bill gives Utah options, he said. “We would love to get the lethal injection worked out so we can continue with that but if not, now we have a backup plan,” Ray told The Associated Press.

Nice!   🙂

Utah House OKs firing-squad proposal

A hotly contested proposal that resurrects Utah’s use of firing squads to carry out executions narrowly passed a key vote Friday in the state’s Legislature after three missing lawmakers were summoned to break a tie vote. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 39-34 Friday morning to approve the measure, sending it to an uncertain fate in the state’s GOP-controlled Senate. Leaders in that chamber have thus far declined to say if they’ll support it, and Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert won’t say if he’ll sign it. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, a Republican from Sandy, again declined to tell reporters on Friday if he’d support it.