Arizona Justice: The very strange case of Patrick Bearup

Arizona Justice: The very strange case of Patrick  Bearup

Fact-based reporting

by Rob Roman

research by Amanda Chen

dancing bears 2

 

In the midst of the Jodi Arias trial, people tend to forget that this case is happening in the state of Arizona. There are 18 states without the Death Penalty and there are 32 states plus the Federal Government that have the Death Penalty. The Federal Government, mostly due to acts of international and domestic terrorism, has dramatically increased the qualifications for and the use of the Death Penalty.

 

Among the states with the Death Penalty, there are states that rarely use it, there are states that use it, but are reluctant to carry out executions, and there are states that actively use and carry out the death penalty. Texas is a very prominent user and enforcer of the D.P., so is Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma, and, of course, Arizona.

 

STATES WITH THE DEATH PENALTY (32) ·
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
WyomingALSO
– U.S. Gov’t
– U.S. Military
STATES WITHOUT THE DEATH PENALTY (18) (YEAR ABOLISHED IN PARENTHESES)
Alaska (1957)
Connecticut** (2012)
Hawaii (1957)
Illinois (2011)
Iowa (1965)
Maine (1887)
Maryland*** (2013)
Massachusetts (1984)
Michigan (1846)
Minnesota (1911)
New Jersey (2007)
New Mexico* (2009)
New York (2007)#
North Dakota (1973)
Rhode Island (1984)^
Vermont (1964)
West Virginia (1965)
Wisconsin (1853)ALSO
Dist. of Columbia (1981)

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/states-and-without-death-penalty

 

constitution

Furman vs. Georgia was the landmark 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision making the Death Penalty as practiced unconstitutional and saved the lives of the Manson family, for one. The decision paved the way for Capital punishment, formerly used for crimes like rape, to be used only for 1st degree murder. The decision caused all states using the Death Penalty to employ some sort of guidelines to narrow the types of cases which could qualify for the Death Penalty and make these qualifications uniform and fair.

The idea was to prevent prosecutors from using too much discretion to be able to unfairly target any particular individual with the Death Penalty. Many states used statutory guidelines called “aggravating circumstances” or “special circumstances”. For example, O.J. Simpson was charged with murder with the special circumstances of “lying in wait” and “multiple murders” (Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson). The prosecutor made the decision to take the D.P. off the table for the football star and celebrity, even though the crime qualified for this penalty in California.

Most states have similar aggravating circumstances such as the murder of a child, multiple murders, prior violent felonies, conspiracy, murder for monetary gain, or the murder of a police officer. Arizona has all these aggravators, but they have added more and more to the list until now, many people believe there is almost no murder that cannot qualify for the Death Penalty if the prosecutor chooses to use it. This seems to go against the entire purpose of Furman vs. Georgia.

mahatma-gandhi-quotes-036

The Arizona statutes now have 14 aggravating circumstances to qualify a defendant for the death penalty.

  1. Prior offense for which a sentence of life imprisonment or death was imposable.
  2. Prior serious offense even if committed at the same time as the murder.
  3. In the commission of the offense the defendant knowingly created a grave risk of death to another person besides the murdered person.
  4. The defendant procured the commission of the offense by payment, or promise of payment, of anything of pecuniary value (conspiracy).
  5. The defendant committed the offense as consideration for the receipt, or in expectation of the receipt, of anything of pecuniary value (murder for hire).
  6. The defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner.
  7. The defendant committed the offense while in custody, or on parole for a violent offense.
  8. Multiple murders.
  9. Murder of a child or unborn child or a person over the age of seventy.
  10. Murder of a Police Officer.
  11. Murder as part of or to join a street gang or syndicate.
  12. Murder of a witness or Police informant.
  13. Cold and Calculated.
  14. Use of a stun gun during the murder.

This caused some public defenders in Arizona to make this statement:

“Two public defenders in Arizona’s Maricopa County contend that the state’s death penalty law is unconstitutional because its aggravating factors allow for a death sentence in virtually every first-degree murder case.”

The statute, they argue in the motion filed in February, “has no method of meaningfully distinguishing the few cases in which death is deserved from the many cases in which it is not.” The New York Times mentions the motion in a story about less culpable defendants who draw harsher sentences than co-defendants.”

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/pds_argue_arizonas_death_penalty_law_is_unconstitutional_because_it_is_indi/

20140802texas-race-death-sentence

Most of Arizona’s 14 aggravating circumstances are the same as most other Death Penalty states. The use of a stun gun (Number 14) doesn’t seem to make too much sense. “Cold and Calculated” sounds good, but the interpretation of exactly what that means could cause problems. Numbers 2 and 3 are unique to Arizona.

Number 2, like most states, provides that a prior violent felony can qualify a murderer for the death penalty. But in Arizona, that “prior” violent felony can be committed at the same time as the murder. This means that if the defendant is not guilty of the murder, then they might also be not guilty of another felony committed during the murder. So there is then a scenario in which an innocent person can be found both guilty of the murder AND qualify for the Death Penalty. Arizona has used this aggravator to impose the Death Penalty on defendants whose crimes would not normally qualify at all.

Number 3 seems reasonable, that a defendant who created a grave risk of death to another person besides the murdered person qualifies for the Death Penalty. This aggravator however, also seems to be wide open to interpretation.

heinous

The gold standard in Arizona, though, is number 6, the “especially heinous, cruel and depraved” aggravator. This aggravator has 3 “prongs”. There can be a finding of any combination of the three. The prong that is the most wide- open to interpretation is the Cruelty prong. As a matter of fact, 6 of the 8 most recently executed prisoners in Arizona had “especially cruel” as one aggravating factor.

That is the aggravating factor used in two out of three of the most recent Death Penalty cases in Arizona, Jodi Arias and Marissa DeVault. Cruelty stands out in Arizona as being applicable to almost any murder. There is no “especially” in “especially cruel”. According to the statute and the jury instructions, the prosecution has to show that the victim suffered, either mentally or physically, and the defendant knew they would suffer.

Why is this a problem? The problem is that almost every murder victim suffers. Even people who die a natural death suffer. There is nothing in the statute or jury instructions which make the distinction of extreme, extraordinary, or above average suffering, it is simply any suffering at all. On this basis, not just most murders but most natural deaths, even death by lethal injection, fit this definition. The Arizona aggravating circumstance, as written and as explained in the jury instructions, can be made to fit almost any murder. Defense attorneys have claimed this, Kirk Nurmi filed an appeal on this basis in the Jodi Arias case, and we have claimed this here at SpotightOnLaw.

So between this cruelty aggravator, the 14 Arizona Death Penalty Aggravators, and the other 3 strange aggravating circumstances, it seems clear that Arizona has a scheme to make any murder fit the Death Penalty qualifications if they want it to, thus violating at least the spirit of Furman vs. Georgia.

Maricopa County Prosecutor Juan Martinez even tried, unsuccessfully, in State vs. Miller to make execution style murders fit under the especially cruel aggravator.

More than this, the actions of Arizona prosecutors show that they target specific individuals with the Death Penalty, while not invoking the Death Penalty for other defendants whose crimes are as bad or much worse than those targeted.

 

Robert Towery - Executed March 8, 2012
Robert Towery – Executed March 8, 2012

SpotlightOnLaw showed the large disparity between the punishment of Robert Towery (Death), and his accomplice, Randy Barker (10 years) in the strangulation murder of retired philanthropist Mark Jones. We also showed the large disparity in the punishment between Richard Dale Stokley (Death) and his accomplice, Randy Brazeal (20 years), in the rape and murder of two 13 year-old girls.

Mandey Meyers, 13. Raped and murdered by Dale Stokely and Randy Brazeal.
Mandey Meyers, 13. Raped and murdered by Dale Stokely and Randy Brazeal.
Mary Snyder, 13. Raped and murdered by Randy Brazeal.
Mary Snyder, 13. Raped and murdered by Randy Brazeal.
Randy Brazeal, released back into society July 2011
Randy Brazeal, released back into society July 2011

Sometimes it’s necessary to give a sweetheart deal to one of the defendants in a murder case in order to get needed testimony and evidence against the other(s). We saw this with the Manson family, as first Susan Atkins and then Linda Kasabian, were given sweetheart deals in exchange for testimony that would help convict the other Manson defendants.

Usually, you have the least culpable defendant testify against the more culpable defendants. Randy Barker was Robert Towery’s accomplice, but Towery is the one who strangled the victim to death. Linda Kasabian was with the Manson murderers, but she was the designated driver and she did not participate in the actual killings. But in Arizona, they needlessly give co-defendants a sweetheart deal in order to get the Death Penalty for the other.

In the case of Robert Towery, Robert knew Mark Jones and devised the home invasion robbery. Robert Towery was the one who strangled the 68 year-old victim to death. While Towery was executed, his accomplice received 10 years and is now living among us. Towery was a meth. addict and had been severely abused as a child. It was prosecutor Juan Martinez who prevented Towery’s sentence from being commuted to life by falsely claiming there was no evidence of childhood abuse and falsely claiming that Towery injected the victim with battery acid (a claim that had been disproved 20 years earlier). It was Juan Martinez who made sure Towery was executed 6 days after his commutation hearing. Robert Towery was the more culpable of the two, yet the disparity in sentencing was massive.

In the case of Richard Dale Stokley, the opposite occurred. Two young girls were kidnapped, raped and murdered. Stokley couldn’t live with his guilt and went to the police the next day and confessed. Randy Brazeal knew the sister of one of the 13 year-old girls. He devised the kidnapping, rapes and murders. It was his car and entirely his plan. Most of the evidence pointed at him and he raped both girls.

Richard Stokely, executed December, 5, 2012.
Richard Stokely, executed December, 5, 2012.

Richard Stokley was more or less just along for the ride. But Randy Brazeal claimed that Richard Stokley was the mastermind of the murders. He made a deal to testify against Stokely before DNA tests came back showing Brazeal had raped both girls. As a result, Stokley was sentenced to death and executed in 2012. Brazeal served 20 years. Brazeal was released in 2011 and was recently arrested (July 2014) in Arkansas for “urinating on Horseshoe Lake City Hall”.

http://www.kpho.com/story/26096822/convicted-murderer-urinates-on-city-hall

http://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/stokley-richard.htm

Similarly, Daniel Wayne Cook was sentenced to death in 1988 and executed in 2012. He and an accomplice, John Matzke, brutally murdered Matzke’s 26 year-old roommate and a 16 year-old co-worker. The murders included sodomy, torture, strangulation, purposely prolonging the murders and the burning of the victims genitals with cigarettes. John Matzke, received only 20 years for these heinous murders and is reported to be living in Tucson, Arizona, under an assumed name. We could not even find a photo of Matzke, who’s identity has been carefully hidden by prosecutors. Did prosecutors really need to give these sweetheart deals in order to convict their accomplices? Not really, but they needed them in order to achieve the Death Penalty for their accomplices.

Without the Death Penalty being involved, all these murderers would likely still be behind bars. Arizona prosecutors didn’t seem to mind that equally culpable or even more culpable defendants were allowed to plead to 2nd degree murder and get relatively short sentences, as long as one of the defendants got the Death Penalty. Sure, it’s great for the prosecution that one of the defendants was sentenced to death, but the other vicious and dangerous murderers were released out into the public.

Patrick Bearup. Sentenced to death on February 5, 2007, for the Februeary 2002 slaying, with 3 accomplices, of Mark Mathes.
Patrick Bearup. Sentenced to death on February 5, 2007, for the February 2002 slaying, with 3 accomplices, of Mark Mathes.

It didn’t seem to matter either, to Arizona prosecutors, if the more culpable defendant got a sweetheart deal as long as somebody was made to pay and sit on Death Row. This leads us to the very strange case of Patrick Bearup.

Four “skinheads” were arrested for the murder of Mark Mathes. Mathes was the roommate of Jessica Nelson, who thought Mathes had stolen $200 from her room. She called her “skinhead” friends and the four murdered the roommate. They were soon arrested as suspects in the murder.

 

 

Deadheads
Deadheads

 

Skinheads
Skinheads

“One of those defendants was Patrick Bearup, who helped three co-defendants in the murder of a man they accused of stealing $200 from his roommate. By all accounts, the Times says, Bearup was not directly involved in the killing, though he did help dispose of the body and severed one of the victim’s fingers to retrieve a ring. Bearup was the only defendant in the Maricopa County case to receive the death penalty. The three others, including a defendant who shot the victim, accepted plea deals and avoided execution.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/us/in-many-capital-cases-less-culpable-defendants-receive-death-penalty.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

Patrick Bearup
Patrick Bearup

Patrick Bearup didn’t beat the victim nearly to death with a baseball bat, he was not in the car that concealed the victim in the trunk. He didn’t shoot him twice with a shotgun, and he didn’t throw him over a cliff. His co-defendants did. Yet they all were allowed to plead guilty to 2nd degree murder while Patrick Bearup was sentenced to death.

Not coincidentally, Patrick Bearup is the son of Tom Bearup, a man who worked for Maricopa County and was Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s right hand man.

That is, until they had a big falling out. In fact, Tom Bearup was a born and bred local who gave support and legitimacy to Sheriff Joe, a transplant from Massachusetts . Tom Bearup rationalized Joe’s eccentricities to co-workers and assured the others that Sheriff Joe was a good leader. It wasn’t long before they had a falling out and became enemies.

Tom Bearup
Tom Bearup

Tom Bearup didn’t like how Joe Arpaio was making lots of money on the side selling pink underwear to the public (mimicking the pink underwear he forces all prisoners, men and women, to wear) and diverting the money to his personal “posse”. Tom Bearup started sounding the alarm that Sheriff Joe had crossed the line from eccentricity to being a very dangerous person. He clashed with Arpaio over the wrongful death of Scott Norberg, which cost the county 8.25 million dollars. Tom stopped supporting Sheriff Joe, claiming Joe had “turned into a monster”.

 

sheriff-joe-arpaio-pink-boxers brt

“In 1992, Arpaio, a longtime DEA agent, was elected sheriff in Maricopa County, the largest in Arizona, which includes Phoenix and its suburbs. Bearup was raised in Phoenix, and besides having been a police officer in and mayor of Soldotna, he was a longtime Republican operative. He worked with the Reagan administration, and was once nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to South Korea. His reputation and connections helped Arpaio secure his position.

After Arpaio was elected, Bearup became an executive officer in the new sheriff’s office. He was Arpaio’s right hand man, the buffer between underlings and the big guy. He managed the sheriff’s publicity and media relations—no small task for a lawman obsessed with seeing himself on television. In the process, Bearup helped forge Arpaio’s mythic persona—that of “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” a title later made famous by a January 1996 profile in Penthouse magazine (and also the title of Arpaio’s 1996 book).

Arpaio is known for many things: his “Tent City” jail, constructed of Korean War-era tents on concrete in a city that’s temperature reaches more than 110 degrees (43.,3 degrees C.) for long stretches; male, female, and juvenile chain gangs; dressing inmates in stripes and feeding them green bologna; and, not least of all, inmates dying in his jails. In 1997 Amnesty International issued a condemnation of many of these practices.

 

Joe Arpaio - "America's Toughest Sheriff" - according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Joe Arpaio – “America’s Toughest Sheriff” – according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“I’m so embarrassed that I’ve ever had the relationship I had with Joe Arpaio, because I helped him get to where he’s at,” Bearup tells Kelley. “I think a lot of it was my credibility that got him to where he’s at, because people trusted me when I told them about him. ‘Don’t worry about that, he’s a little bit eccentric, but his heart is in the right place. He wants to do the right thing.’ And I know there was something in my heart that said maybe there’s something wrong there… the guy’s a little wacky in some areas…He became a monster. And that monster is not anything that I could be with.”

Bearup ended up running against Arpaio after leaving the MCSO. His opposition to Joe earned him retaliation in the form of wiretaps and being tailed by undercover deputies. Bearup and his wife Adele eventually gave up on Arizona, heading north to Alaska, and freedom from fear.

adult-grateful-dead-green-dancing-bear-costume

But there’s another, sadder part to Bearup’s life, his son Patrick’s involvement with neo-Nazi skinheads here in Sand Land and with the brutal 2002 skinhead slaying of 40-year-old Mark Mathes. Papa Bearup contends his son is innocent, but his son was convicted for his part in the killing, which according to testimony involved Patrick cutting Mathes’ ring finger off while Mathes was still alive. Patrick is currently the only one on death row for the murder, though all parties agree he did not strike any of the fatal blows in Mathes’ beating death. Two others involved copped pleas. Ringleader Sean Gaines is still awaiting trial.

I’ve read about Patrick’s story before, and though he may not deserve to be on death row, it’s hard to feel any sympathy for him. Bearup’s die-hard belief in his son’s innocence seems borne of a father’s willful blindness more than reality.”

 

http://www.arpaio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=272&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=&sid=85a2a3c4a6e37a07075946fcfe8b449b

http://www.arpaio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=947

 

June, 1996

scott-norberg-lt-2 (1)

Scott Norberg was a local football star who got drunk and got in trouble with the law.

Amnesty International believes Scott Norberg was shocked multiple times with a stun-gun while he was handcuffed and forced into a face-down position. He was then transported to a restraint chair and strapped in with a towel over his face. He was surrounded by a gaggle of Corrections Officers.

After some time working on him, they quickly dispersed, laughing. Norberg wasn’t moving. There were allegations that the scene was washed down and evidence destroyed. After he was found dead, detention officers accused Norberg of attacking them.

Settlement $8.25 million dollars.

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1999-01-14/news/the-8-million-victim/full/

 

patrick bearup

Bearup, Patrick

With three accomplices charged with beating a man half to death with a baseball bat, throwing him in the trunk of a car, cutting off his finger, shooting him twice with a shotgun and throwing him off a cliff.

“The three men got out of their vehicles and approached the Mathes home. Gaines carried a loaded shotgun, Johnson had an aluminum baseball bat, and Bearup had a folding knife with a nine- or ten-inch blade. They advanced across the backyard toward Mark, who was sitting on the rear patio with Nelson.

Bearup, Johnson, and Gaines surrounded Mark. Johnson attacked Mark with the baseball bat, striking him in the head and upper torso as many as twenty-five times. Bearup maintained his location throughout the assault, preventing Mark from leaving.

The witnesses disagreed about whether Mark was alive following the beating. Nelson was certain that Mark was killed on the patio, while Johnson claimed that Mark was still conscious and groaning. After the attack, Johnson and Bearup dragged Mark to one of the cars and stuffed him in the trunk. Bearup kicked Mark’s head to make him fit into the trunk.

The four perpetrators got into two vehicles – Bearup and Nelson in Bearup’s car and Johnson and Gaines in the vehicle containing Mark’s body – and drove to an isolated area near Crown King. Johnson testified that he heard Mark mumbling and moaning in the trunk during the drive.

When the cars stopped on Crown King Road, Bearup pulled Mark from the trunk. Gaines and Nelson stripped him to make the body more difficult to identify. Nelson was unsuccessfully attempting to remove Mark’s ring when Bearup approached and cut off the finger with a pair of wire clippers. Mark was then thrown over the guardrail and, as he lay in the ravine below, Gaines shot him twice.”

http://murderpedia.org/male.B/b/bearup-patrick.htm

 

“Mr. Bearup’s case was one of 135 pending capital cases in Maricopa County in 2006, more than the combined number of cases in the next three jurisdictions at the top of the list: Los Angeles County, California and Clark County, Nevada., each with 36; and Harris County, Texas, with 17”

 

“The highest number of pending cases was 149 death penalty cases.” This is in Maricopa County alone.

http://www.omlaw.com/uploads/publications/2012-04%20-%20LAH%20-%20ARTICLES%20%20Capital%20Case%20Crisis%20in%20Maricopa%20County%20Arizona%20and%20A%20Response%20From%20the%20%20(4).pdf

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/2011__Year__End.pdf

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/pending_death_penalty_cases_weigh_against_maricopa_county/

 

Is it just a coincidence that the least culpable of 4 perpetrators of a horrendous crime sits on death row when the 3 people most responsible and who caused the death of the victim directly got sweetheart deals?

What kind of justice is this? All three should have gotten life sentences.

 

charles-manson

Well, you might say, Patrick Bearup was the leader who, like Charles Manson, didn’t get his hands dirty. However, it’s undisputed that Sean Gaines was the leader of the gang.

 

The 3 others will all be up for parole between 2019 and 2028 and could be out of prison and living in your neighborhood in 5 to 14 years.

 

Sean Gaines, 22, Jessica Nelson, 27, Patrick Bearup, 26, and Jeremy Johnson, 20, were arrested by Phoenix police on September 10 and 11, 2003 on charges of the murder of Mark Mathes.

 

jessica nelson

Jessica Nelson (14 years) –

Instigated the murder of her roommate. Mark Mathes, accusing him of stealing $200 and calling her skinhead friends, asking them to exact revenge

 

Eligible for parole 2019

 

jeremy johnson

Jeremy Johnson (14 years) –

Beat Mark Mathes nearly to death with a baseball bat, tossed him in a trunk and helped throw him off a cliff.

 

Eligible for parole 2019

 

sean gaines

Sean Gaines (25 years) –

Blasted Mark Mathes twice with a shotgun, and helped throw him off a cliff.

 

Eligible for parole 2028

 

bearup

Patrick Bearup

– Helped stuff Mathes into the trunk of a car and cut off Mathes’ ring finger to retrieve a ring.

 

Sentenced to Death

 

To his credit, Sean Gaines is reported to have denounced racism and his skinhead association, saying,  “I’m tired of living a lie. They can kill me, but at least they kill me with all of this off my shoulders.”

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2008/spring/the-transformation

 

Jessica Nelson and Sean Gaines.
Jessica Nelson and Sean Gaines.
Sean Gaines
Sean Gaines

 

 

“Superior Court Judge Warren Granville chastised the County Attorney’s Office at the time over the disparity in sentencing in the Mathes affair. “Granville was not pleased that Bearup was the only defendant facing the death penalty.”

 

dancing_bear_serbian-in-bulgaria

 

 

“He wrote in a 2007 minute entry:

The County Attorney, as the law allows, made a unilateral decision not to withdraw the death notice for Mr. Bearup, a defendant who, even under the State’s theory of the case, did not cause the physical death of Mr. Mathis.[sic] Under the State’s theory of the case, Mr. Bearup acted only as support for Mr. Johnson as he baseball batted Mr. Mathis [sic] to death or to near death, and helped drag Mr. Mathis [sic] to a car trunk and the desert. Under the State’s theory, Mr. Bearup’s act of cutting off Mr. Mathis’ [sic] ring finger while cruel and heinous, was not a cause of the death.”

“Granville further noted:

“This Court, nonetheless, finds that Mr. Bearup’s death penalty sentence for Count 1 was not justified in the context of the relative responsibility of the co-defendants whom the County Attorney chose to withdraw the notices of death and reduce their sentencing range. It is the County Attorney’s motto that `let justice be done.’ This, of course, coincides with a prosecutor’s unique ethical responsibility. This Court finds that justice was not done for Mr. Bearup in Count 1.”

 

“Patrick Bearup was no angel, by all accounts. I know his father was upset when I said in my 2008 column that I figured Bearup probably deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison. But to face execution, when the ringleader and the main protagonists cheat death? That’s more than a little whack.”

“Which is why I regard the death penalty as an obscene joke, one that should be banned. The Mathes murder is but one example. There are a plethora of cases just like it, where justice is a card sharp’s game. But they receive little or no attention.”

The jurists and attorneys involved are all playing their assigned roles. I wouldn’t argue that they shouldn’t.

But if Bearup is executed while those more responsible for Mathes’ slaying live on with the hope of eventual release, that just further proves that capital punishment should be abolished, because our criminal justice system is not capable of meting out such draconian judgments equitably.”

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2010/12/sean_gaines_gets_25_years_in_s.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/us/in-many-capital-cases-less-culpable-defendants-receive-death-penalty.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

 

Protesting Arizona corruption
Protesting Arizona corruption
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

So, is there some kind of connection between the large number of Arizona wrongful convictions, the lack of the use of good forensic science, the tight budgeting of law enforcement in Arizona, the targeted use of the death penalty, more culpable defendants getting sweetheart deals, the secret deals and unexplained deaths in the jails of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the omnipresence of corruption in Maricopa County, the checkered history of prosecutor Juan Martinez, and the Jodi Arias case?

 

Or are these all mere coincidences?

 

spotlighonlaw

At SpotLightOnLaw, we have been trying to demonstrate to you that there is such a connection. Please take a look at our past articles (especially “Spotlight on Juan Martinez”, “What’s Going On in Arizona, Maricopa?”, “Stranger than Fiction – The real Sheriff Joe” “The Executives and the Executed” and “Spotlight on Dr. Kevin Horn”)

 

It seems as if Arizona likes to run things on the cheap, ignore and avoid a lot of forensic science, target certain people with the Death Penalty, make a lot of under the table money with schemes such as taking the meat out of all prisoners meals, “video visitation” at 65 cents per minute – no more face to face visits allowed, and the sale of pink underwear, and corruption just seems to permeate all areas of their “justice system”. We all know the Jodi Arias case could have been settled long ago, but instead it goes on ad infinitum, along with the suffering of the Alexander family.

http://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2014/11/10/sheriff-joe-phases-out-in-person-visits/

 

Letter from Patrick Bearup (click to enlarge)
Letter from Patrick Bearup (click to enlarge)

Even though there is effectively zero evidence remaining against Deborah Milke in the shooting death of her young son, the D.A. still refuses to drop the charges against her after she wrongfully spent 23 years on Death Row. They cannot admit they were wrong and will not accept responsibility for the egregious error.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/20131206mcso-to-allow-video-jail-visits-price.html

 

Why is the state more capricious about who lives and who dies than most murderers?
Why is the state more capricious about who lives and who dies than most murderers?

Whether the Jodi Arias case is as it appears to most people, or the truth of it has been carefully hidden, we do have her case to thank for shining a spotlight onto the very odd occurrences, the very strange case of Patrick Bearup as well as all the other really strange goings on which many people have helped to uncover in Maricopa County, Arizona.

 

Do YOU concur?

i-dont-know

Comments from all perspectives are welcome.

You can also comment on our FB page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotlight-On-Law/189870931203328

 

dancing-bears-fleece-blanket

Interesting sources about the article above:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2024664/They-said-monster-Casanova-Meet-woman-married-man-death-row.html

https://www.facebook.com/FreePatrickBearup/photos/a.444896288941973.1073741826.340851069346496/444896292275306/?type=1&theater

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Milk and Cookies for the “Crusher” of Candy Crush

Milk and Cookies for the

“Crusher” of Candy Crush !

Opinion by Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

candy crush

Lisa LaSalle, a Canadian blogger, fired the first shot across the bow in the battle of the upcoming 2nd penalty phase in the Jodi Arias trial with her article called “The Infamous Trial of Candy Crush”. Lisa’s article was a very well written and intelligent summary of many of the problems Jodi Arias supporters and others see in the first phases of the trial.

This shot must have made quite a splash, because JustDaTruth, a well-known advocate for the prosecution fired back with a scathing article, called “Crushing the Candy Crush”. In this article, the author, who prefers to remain anonymous,  gave factual reasons and logical arguments for he believes the Candy Crush article was off base.

cookies-and-milk-cookies-367297_593_552In this article, we will be replying to the Crusher of Candy Crush, and we will not fire back. We will simply serve him or her milk and cookies, better known as food for thought, This culinary response is based on facts, logic, and reasoning.

These are the first articles we have read from Lisa LaSalle and from JustDaTruth. We were impressed with both articles as civil dialogue and a healthy exchange of ideas. Links to both articles are shared below. We highly encourage and recommend  that you read both of these articles to get some real insight into the major arguments from both sides.

Dear JustDaTruth,

justdatruthSome of your points were very good and interesting, but we find fault with some of your arguments. Your points are highlighted and below them are our responses:

One major point:

We disagree with the verdict of 1st degree premeditated murder. We do not find fault with the jury on that verdict. We are saying that what was presented to the jury was not the truth.

Why Try to Plead to 2nd Degree When Arias Claims it was Self-Defense?

Jodi is responsible for Travis’ death, regardless of whether it was self-defense, heat of passion, or murder. She knows this and she was willing to take a 20 year sentence for that responsibility and to avoid making this so public with a trial. However, she is not willing to take a life sentence or allow the state to execute her for a domestic homicide with no prior offenses, which has no business being a death penalty case in the first place.

“Jury Bias”

jury 8“Death qualified jury” means that no one who is totally opposed to the death penalty should be allowed to serve. That’s a whole lot of people. This is why the State of Arizona prosecutors like almost every murder trial to qualify for the Death Penalty. This means there are more people on the jury who will sympathize with the prosecution and be more willing to convict. This deprives Arias of some jurors who will understand the rights of the accused, including some who are especially empathetic and understanding of both domestic violence and some of the less understood causes of violence in our society.

(Please see new discarded jury questions for Jodi Arias….)

The Defense Attorneys “Are Not Public Defenders”

All Arizona defendants in a capital crime MUST, by statute, have two attorneys. A mitigation specialist is now required. Nurmi and Willmott ARE public defenders no matter where they work now. They are under constraints of a budget when presenting a defense. They cannot advocate for the defendant in any way outside the courtroom. sweetLawyers who are strictly public defenders also clear their schedule for a major trial and are very busy at other times, just like private defense attorneys.

Niether Nurmi nor Willmott can compete in terms of trial experience with Martinez’ 25 years prosecuting cases and influencing juries in court. If you look at his trial history, you can see that winning the conviction trumps the truth and ethical considerations, in spite of his having convicted some really bad blokes.

(Please see Spotlight on Juan Martinez, State vs. Falater, State vs. Grant. You might also want to watch Martinez’ testimony at Robert Towery’s Commutation hearing on Youtube. Look at the defenses’ response and the testimony of Towery’s sisters. There’s something about this Martinez, there really is.)

Death Penalty

Arias is death penalty eligible meaning her crime qualifies her for the death penalty. But does it really? No one in America has faced the death penalty with similar facts. This is because of Arizona’s F(6) aggravator cruelty prong which can qualify almost any homicide for the DP. Three other women stabbed their partners to death in AZ in 2008. One shot their partner to death, and two ran them over with cars. None of these women, or any of the scores of men who killed their partners in 2008, or any other years, besides one man who chased down and stabbed his wife to death outside his home in front of witnesses, faced the DP in Arizona.

cookies and milk bffsTraditionally Non-Sequestered Jury in AZ.

If we always rely solely on precedent, we ignore the realities of an ever-changing society. The new reality, according to Alan Dershowitz, the very experienced appellate attorney and Harvard law Professor, recommended by Fox News, is that no one can expect a fair trial in a high profile murder case in this day and age. He went on to say that even judges and governors can be affected by ratings motivated sensationalism and the “lynch mobs” they create.

(Please see Heroes, Zeros ans Geniuses in the Jodi Arias Case)

Judge Stephens Controlled the Court Room

Judge Sherry is not experienced in capital cases and this was her first. What’s the reason? The court in AZ is jammed with capital murder trials, so they need more and more judges to preside over them. Judge Stephens was afraid to make the tough decisions for fear of political backlash and appellate review and she was not in control of her courtroom. Had a cell phone gone off during Martinez’ closing statement instead of Nurmi’s, do you think that Judge Stephens would have admonished the court instead of just giving a blank stare? The idea that Arias’ family said or did anything inappropriate in the courtroom is a flat-out lie, there’s no evidence of that at all and they are as just as about far away from the jury as you can get.

The Alexander family did in fact purposely make eye contact and conducted non-verbal communication with jury members. It’s not their fault, they were never told they cannot do this. This is entirely different than emotional reactions when they were looking straight ahead instead of to their left. This is forbidden in most court rooms throughout the US. Did you see this principle being clearly demonstrated in the Zimmerman trial? The Martin family members were stoned-faced throughout the trial, and they left when they felt they could not keep their emotions in check.

Evidence of this non-verbal communication is clear in many trial videos. Family members can be seen making direct eye contact with jurors. This communication revealed itself when one juror went directly up to the Alexanders and apologized for the failure to achieve a death verdict. If Sherry had no bias, how do you explain her emotions when the jury could not come to a unanimous agreement? Failure to reach a unanimous decision happens all the time, so what was that emotion about?

Electronic Devices Are Not a Problem

It’s just too easy to go on Facebook or Twitter, etc. and see things about the trial without meaning to do so. If these comments and reports are all one-sided, the juror then is aware of overwhelming public sentiment, and may feel compelled to act in support of that sentiment, which is the main argument for sequestration. (Please see New Discarded Juror Questions….)

Your statement “What exactly was out there that was patently false, that the juror’s might have been influenced by?” – You really can’t be serious by asking this, can you? Where would we begin?

Lisa Daidone: Stalking Evidence

Lisa Daidone hardly knew Jodi, had rarely been around her and only spoke of one incident when Jodi showed up at Travis’ home. She depended primarily on the word of Travis Alexander, who was derisive of Jodi to his friends while talking to Jodi for hours and having sex with her late at night between and after dates with Lisa Daidone. Did YOU watch the trial? Please tell me  who else testified with a first-hand story about Jodi’s “stalking behavior”?

cuteDeanna Reid didn’t testify that Jodi hid behind a Christmas tree or crawled through the doggy door. Deana Reid, Travis ex-girlfriend, showed up at Travis’ home one week when Travis was away on business. She claimed that Travis asked her to walk his dog, Napolean. Deanna went over to Travis’ home and was surprised to see Jodi Arias there. She claims that Travis had no knowledge that Jodi was there. Is this true? Jodi didn’t hide behind a Christmas tree then. Instead, she was baking and she offered Deanna some chocolate chip cookies. Deanna’s described Jodi’s behavior to the jury as like a “Stepford Wife”. Damned if you do serve cookies, and damned if you don’t and just hide behind the tree .

LaViolette Was Not Balanced / Fair To Travis

As far as Travis being afraid of Jodi, he did not report any incident, he did not change his locks, he did not change his garage code, and he did not even lock his front door. He did not stop answering the booty call. This is why LaViolette was saying that Travis’ actions did not mimic his words when he said he was in fear of Jodi.

Alyce LaViolette is one of this country’s foremost experts in domestic violence. She isn’t a “shopped for” witness. With over 30 years experienced directly dealing with both the victims and the perpetrators of domestic violence, she’s a wish-list witness. Her testimony is that Travis Alexander’s behaviors as reported by Jodi Arias and as objectively supported by independent evidence, were derisive and abusive throughout the relationship. They fit a pattern she recognized. LaViolette stands by her testimony to this day.

(Please see Spotlight on Domestic Violence)

Samuels Cheated for Jodi

Psychologist Dr. Samuels did not think that Jodi needed to be re-tested because whether she is a witness to a murder or a participant in a killing, the trauma she experienced is the same trauma experience. Therefore the idea that she needed to re-tested is a ludicrous technicality. PTSD victims have different symptoms and different ways of compensating, depending on their personalities, etc. Since you feel Jodi Arias does not suffer from PTSD, can either you or DeMarte explain the extra symptoms in her testing not accounted for by either BPD or PD non-specified (NOS), yet do account for PTSD? We are patiently awaiting your answer……

Offering Books to Prisoners

thinking man

Offering books to prisoners, to put it bluntly, don’t mean sh*t.
This is just nitpicking by Martinez.

Arias was tested by 3 psychologists in all and the findings of 2 were reviewed by a 4th psychologist. Yes, there were four Psychologists altogether. You may hear from the 4th Psychologist at the 2nd penalty phase. The sole dissenting opinion about the diagnoses came from Dr. DeMarte, a novice.

How do you know the prosecution did not “shop” for Dr. DeMarte, as they did with Ray Krone, who spent 10 years in prison and 2 years on death row on shopped for false expert testimony?

(Please see What’s going on in Arizona, Maricopa part 1 and 2)

Jodi Lied to Her Parents

What Jodi’s parents said about her, that was not brought into evidence at trial, was that Jodi did not CONFIDE in her parents. This is much different than saying she lied to them all the time. She hardly spoke with them. Jodi did not share the details of her life with her parents. This is understandable as she was shown little affection or love. If you think a good idea as a parent of a 14 year-old is to call the police because your daughter is growing some pot seeds in Mom’s Tupperware on the roof, then God bless you. Experimentation is the basic job description of teens and if your own parents are not on your side and loyal to you, God help you. Who throws their own child to the wolves and doesn’t even provide legal help for a daughter accused of murder? Fortunately people can change. Jodi has changed and her parents have changed.

The Defense Agreed with DeMarte

The defense did not “buy” Borderline Personality Disorder. They had already stated Personality Disorder NOS (Non-Specified). The defense adopted both BPD and the 1st degree premeditated guilty verdict at the time of the 1st penalty phase because that is what threy believed the jury accepted. At that point in the trial, you have to argue the facts that the jury most likely believes, not your own.

Martinez Destroyed Defense Witnesses

thinking man 2With both LaViolette and Samuels, Martinez did little damage to their testimony and the objective facts they presented. What Martinez is so experienced at is discrediting the source of the information. Samuels is nothing more than a Messy Marvin and a pervert aching to touch Jodi’s naughty parts. LaViolette is a kooky liberal lesbian who believes that even Snow White is a battered woman.

Defense Expert’s False Claims

There were no experts who claimed or tried to demonstrate that Jodi acted in self-defense or that it was a sudden heat-of-passion homicide. The experts presented merely provided evidence and testimony which demonstrated that it was a possibility, and that’s all they needed to do.

Gas Can Evidence Proves Premeditation

ccspresskitThe amount of gas purchased at Tesoro was 25 + gallons. The capacity of 2 gas cans and the Ford Escort gas tank is 25 + gallons. It was not proven that Jodi had 3 gas cans at Tesoro, nor was it proven that she did not return the third gas can to Wal-Mart. It was merely proven that a clerk, who testified that a SKU number is spelled S-K-E-W, did not find a record of return in the places that she searched.

Talk about skewed testimony! The defense had no opportunity to adequately investigate and respond to this claim.

Back Stabbing and George Barwood

A note about George Barwood.

George is a UK resident. He has painstakingly compiled many facts and ideas about the Jodi Arias case on a Wikispace. George is active in helping advocating for the accused in wrongful conviction cases and he has worked on issues such as reducing domestic violence and abolition of the death penalty.

George is attacked as “not an expert” and not from the United States and therefore not qualified to give his opinion. This is the typical Martinez tactic of attacking the source rather than the information. Since George Barwood, as posters  say, is not an  expert, then you don’t need to be an expert to refute his ideas. So how about attacking his ideas and opinions with some of your own, instead of trying to cop out and attack him personally? Hmmmm?

The questions surrounding the tight pattern of wounds on Travis’ back have been contemplated by many people with the autopsy photos and a sense of reasoning. It is not only George Barwood’s theory, but agreement among many people, including, believe it or not, Juan Martinez.

Many people on the defense side of this trial have vastly differing beliefs about what the verdicts should be as well as having vastly different theories. This includes ideas from George Barwood, a meticulous collector of facts, and two articles by Richard Speights, on how the knife attack can be defensive in nature and a theory about the gun being first. Various others with varying degrees of experience and common sense, have also come to similar conclusions.

It was Juan Martinez himself, demonstrating using the court reporter as victim, who showed that a person can be stabbed from a variety of angles and positions. Juan used both sides of the same argument to make his points many times during the trial.

Travis autopsy diagramIf you stabbed a person in the back from in front, the sharp edge could still be facing downward depending on how you grasped the knife. Most of the stab wounds are diagonal. How can a stab wound to the back be an inch or more deep when they were all stopped by the ribs and spine? – Only due to the decomposition / bloating of the body.

Use of Felony Murder Charge

If the prosecution was so positive it was a premeditated murder and only Jodi was involved, then there’s no need for the 1st degree felony murder charge. You stated that under felony murder if a fight breaks out and a person is killed, if it’s the victim’s house, it’s first degree felony murder and if it’s at the perpetrator’s home, it’s not.

This is what you said. Think about it. That’s ludicrous.

This is why felony murder and domestic violence don’t mix. The added charge of felony murder means that the prosecution does not believe the gun was last (Gun first is the only reasonable explanation for felony murder). The felony murder charge can also mean that the prosecution doesn’t believe that only Arias was involved in the crime (felony murder charges are often used when accomplices are involved) and/or that this was a pre-mediated murder (felony murder charges are used when the murder is not pre-meditated).

In any case, this doesn’t bode well for a fair trial, because the jury believed all of these ideas.

This is just an advanced version of Martinez’ trick questions akin to “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”. A good example of this is “Did you cry when you were stabbing him?”. How clever! Both trails of yes and no choices mean you beat your wife, you stabbed him and you are going to the execution chamber.

Sex Evidence Used for Distraction

cookies and milkThe sex evidence was not used for distraction or to win over a horny juror. The sex evidence was crucial in showing Travis’ carefully hidden character and why it was possible that he suddenly could fly into a severe and violent rage. This was a hidden relationship with hidden activities, hidden conflicts, and alleged hidden violence. Without that sex evidence, no jury could ever believe what Jodi was saying about Travis, an ordained elder in the LDS Church. The sex evidence was not aimed at “trashing Travis”

(Please see An Open Letter to Wendy Murphy)

“Humiliation / Battery” of Victim’s Family

Perhaps this is just your perception because of your viewpoint. There is no real evidence that Jodi lied under oath about Travis. There is no basis to claim that she has done anything at the trial or publicly during the trial or since that “batters” or “humiliates” the Alexander family. This is begging for sympathy for Travis, which by the way we ALL have, but not when evaluating the facts.

As a matter of fact, Jodi Arias sided with the prosecution against her own attorney in arguing to clear the court for the playing of the sex tape.

If you insist that your allegations of “humiliation and battery” are true, please supply specific examples. Travis’ lifestyle and behavior were objectively proven, independently of Jodi’s testimony, to be abusive and demeaning throughout the relationship. In fact, he was abusive to Lisa Daidone and Mimi as well. Deanna was all for living with Napoleon, not so much with Travis.

Oh Holy Night

Both Lisa LaSalle and JustDaTruth are correct. Sheriff Joe has not done anything negative towards Jodi Arias, in fact he has done some good things for her (allowing her interviews, supplying her with excellent protection during the trial, allowing her participation in a talent contest at Christmas time). Regardless of how anyone feels about the other policies of Sheriff Joe, he has been generally good to Jodi Arias.

Lisa laSalleLisa LaSalle’s paragraph about Oh Holy Night (the song Jodi sang in Estrella Jail to win the Christmas talent contest) wasn’t about Sheriff Joe, it was about how so-called “haters” love to hate Jodi and love to wish her cruelties and suffering even at Christmas time.

This hating of a complete stranger continues, even though Jodi Arias is in custody and will face life in prison or execution for her acts.
…….As if somehow this is not enough.
Relax. Let justice run its course. Listen to both sides of the story, follow the 2nd penalty phase and enjoy some milk and cookies!

Lisa LaSalle’s Article:

http://www.allthingscrimeblog.com/2013/12/18/the-infamous-trial-of-candy-crush/

JustDaTruth’s Article:

http://justdatruth2012.blogspot.com/2013/12/jodi-arias-crushing-candy-crush-blog.html

George Barwood’s sites about the Arias case:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JodiAriasOpen/489720477813066/?notif_t=group_comment_reply

http://jodi-arias.wikispaces.com/

What’s Going On in Arizona, Maricopa (part 1)

Fact based reporting

By Rob Roman

The State of Arizona is suing the U.S. Government      The U.S. Government is suing the State of Arizona      Juan Martinez is accusing Maricopa police of hiding evidence       Judges are suing Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe      Sheriff Joe is indicting County officials      County Officials are suing Maricopa County      The U.S. Government is suing Sheriff Joe      The ACLU is suing Sheriff Joe      Prisoners are suing Maricopa County     Juan Martinez is accusing the police of obstruction of justice      Juan Martinez is fighting with Judge Janet Barton

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What’s going on in Arizona, MaricopaCounty?

(part 1)

azOverview

In order to fully understand the Jodi Arias trial, we must look at the context in which the trial is taking place. Arizona has long been a very conservative “red” state. The conservatives hold sway over Maricopa county and they want to show the rest of America how justice is served. They want to show they can keep the cost of government low and the services effective.

They want to show they can bring criminals to justice and lock them away from the public while staying on a tight budget. Politics are fierce as the leaders fight against the U.S. Justice Department in such areas as law enforcement and immigration. There is tremendous pressure under this system for those in high offices to produce results and advance the conservative causes of their political leaders.

cactusThis is especially true in law enforcement. Certain crimes fit a political agenda. Certain crimes get a lot of play in the media. Law enforcement is pressured to solve the case and make an arrest. The Maricopa Attorney’s Office is then pressured to bring the case to trial and get a conviction.

This works splendidly until there comes a case where there isn’t enough solid evidence to get a conviction. Then the pressure is directed downward, from the CountyD.A. to the prosecutors involved to the detectives, to the forensic technicians, to the cop on the beat. There is an agenda driven push in high profile cases to make an arrest quickly. Once the arrest is made, there is a concerted effort to get a conviction and make it stick.

Of course, these occurrences are not particular to Arizona or conservative states. There are many reasons why suspects can be wrongly convicted. But for the County prosecutors, pressure from above or even self-imposed pressure to get the arrest and the conviction seems to be a primary cause of faulty prosecutions.

justice projectThe Justice Project

Most people have heard of “the Innocence Project” and other agencies like this. They investigate questionable convictions and pursue justice for the wrongfully convicted. In many cases, DNA evidence is re-examined. This can only be a small percentage of cases. There are many more convicts serving time who were wrongly convicted with no DNA involved. It is generally agreed there are many more prisoners who are not guilty of the crime(s) charged.

Organizations like The Justice Project were created to provide assistance and resources to clients who might not be able to afford or have access to such services. The Justice Project has been operating in Arizona since 1998 to help overturn wrongful convictions. The Justice Project “examines claims of innocence and manifest injustice, and provides legal representation for inmates believed to have been failed by the criminal justice system.”

lady-justice “Nearly all of the exoneration cases in the registry’s report came about because of public attention or the efforts of innocence projects. The states with the most exonerations – California, Texas, Illinois and New York each has more than 100 cases.”

University of Michigan Law Professor Samuel Gross said the courts should be more willing to reverse course and overturn previous rulings. “We need to be more ready to acknowledge mistakes were made,” Gross said. “Change in attitude is more important than any policy.” “We don’t think we’ve scratched the surface in wrongful convictions,” Gross said. “This is a tiny number.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/21/11756575-researchers-more-than-2000-false-convictions-in-past-23-years?lite

In the span of 25 years, eight death row convicts have been exonerated in Arizona. These are only the 1st degree murder convictions resulting in death sentences. This is a problem because it is especially the death row convictions which should be beyond a reasonable doubt. Below are some of the recent Arizona exonerations:

RobisonJamesPC

James Robison **** Aquitted

Convicted: 1977 **** Exonerated: 1993**** (16 years in prison)

“ArizonaRepublic reporter Don Bolles was fatally injured on June 2, 1976 when a six-stick dynamite bomb attached to the vehicle was detonated by remote control.

John Harvey Adamson, confessed to planting the bomb in Bolles’ car. Adamson pleaded guilty and implicated his friend, James Robison, as the one who pushed the button on the remote control device. The sole evidence was Adamson’s word. Robison was acquitted by a jury after three trials.

Here a guilty party implicated his friend because he wanted to make a deal with the prosecutors or because he wanted to limit his culpability in the crime. There was no other evidence to substantiate his claim.

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3588

Robert Charles Cruz **** Acquitted

Convicted: 1981 **** Exonerated: 1995 **** (14 years in prison)

In this case, there seems to be a concerted effort to convict Cruz on the top charge, even though it appears evident that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to get or sustain a conviction. Cruz had mafia connections, which were improperly admitted into evidence and were prejudicial to the jury. At his fourth trial on the same charges, the Supreme Court found a violation because four Hispanic jurors were excluded solely due to their race. A special prosecutor assigned to Cruz’s fifth trial was caught bribing two inmates to testify against Cruz. The jury acquitted Cruz and stated they did not believe the prosecutor’s new “star witness”.

http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3139

David Wayne Grannis **** Acquitted

Convicted 1991 **** Exonerated 1996 **** (5 years in prison)

The defendant admitted he was at the scene but claimed he fled before the murder. Here again, a defendant facing the death penalty feels the pressure and implicates another in order to make a deal and reduce his own culpability. Evidence having no connection to the crime was improperly admitted and was prejudicial to the defendant. There was no physical evidence whatever to corroborate the other defendant’s claim. http://www.victimsofthestate.org /AZ/

Christopher McCrimmon **** Acquitted

Convicted 1993 **** Exonerated 1997 **** (4 years in prison)

In this case, there seems to have not been enough evidence to convict. A”witness” is found among convicts willing to give information to prevent a 25 year jail term. A police investigator committed perjury and a judge even coerced a reluctant juror to find the defendant guilty.

http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3424

raykrone

Ray Krone **** Charges Dismissed

Convicted 1992 **** Exonerated  2002 **** (10 years in prison)

Defense attorneys for the defendant claimed Maricopa County “obtained the conviction and death sentence… by prosecutorial misconduct, the use of altered and manufactured evidence, expert shopping, a refusal to adequately investigate… through the concealment and destruction of evidence, through perjured documents and statements, and through the unfairly prejudicial inflammation of public opinion.”

“Among other deficient acts, the crime lab failed to test and/or analyze “hair, blood and fingerprints” that when examined years after Krone’s second conviction, excluded him and implicated another person in Ancona’s murder.”

In this case, again, there seems to be not enough evidence to convict. The public was inflamed against the defendant. The investigation was predicated on saving money and time. Tremendous media and political pressure came to bear on the prosecution. There was an inadequate investigation and evidence manipulation. Perjured documents and statements were also used in the attempt to get this conviction.

“Expert shopping” means that there were a number of witnesses the prosecution hired who found fault with the prosecution’s theory of the crime. The prosecution continued seeking experts until they found the one who would say what they wanted.

http://justicedenied.org/issue/issue_32/krone_jd32.pdf

prion000Lemuel Prion **** Charges dismissed

Convicted 1999 **** Exonerated 2003 **** (4 years in prison)

According to the Supreme Court, “There was no physical evidence identifying Prion as the killer,” and the trial court abused its discretion in not allowing the defense to submit evidence that a third party, John Mazure, was the actual killer.

Prion’s conviction was based largely on the testimony of Troy Olson, who identified Prion as the man who was with Vicari on the night of her murder. However, when police first showed Olson photographs of Prion, Olson could not identify Prion. This information was not admitted into evidence.

In this case there seems to be an effort by both the prosecutor and the judge to allow a man to testify as an eye witness even though they knew there was a serious problem with the testimony of this witness.

Debra-Milkedebra milke 2

Debra Jean Milke **** Charges dismissed or reduced to time served ?

Year convicted 1990 **** Year exonerated ? **** (23 years in prison)

Debra Jean Milke is a German immigrant convicted of the murder of her 4 year-old son Christopher Conan Milke in 1990. On March 14, 2013, Milke’s conviction was overturned on March 14, 2013 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

debra milke 3“The Debra Milke case out of Maricopa County, Arizona caused a stir earlier this year when the 9th Circuit threw out Milkie’s conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct.”

“The Court handed down a biting critique of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for its failure to disclose evidence that the lead detective in Milke’s case had a long and sordid history of misconduct, including lying under oath and accepting sexual favors for leniency.”

Milke’s alleged confession to Armondo Saldate, was the only direct evidence linking Milke to the crime. The only evidence was Saldate’s word. Saldate had been implicated in the past for lying under oath and other serious violations The prosecution withheld this evidence from the defense.

debra milke“Milke’s roommate, Jim Styers, had Milke’s permission to take Christopher to allegedly see Santa Claus at a shopping mall. Styers and an accomplice took Chrisopher out to the desert and shot him. Styers and an accomplice have both been convicted of the murder and are currently on death row in Arizona. Nether has testified against Milke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debra_Milke

http://www.prosecutorialaccountability.com/az-milkes-lawyer-says-maricopa-county-attorneys-office-ought-to-be-recused-from-retrial/

There is a significantly higher amount of faulty convictions when there is a higher amount of media attention, political pressure, or a focus on a particular case because of a political agenda. In these cases, more than one tactic is usually applied to get and hold onto a conviction. Different offices will coordinate and cooperate to achieve the conviction.

The reasons for these faulty convictions fall under the following categories:

Other Defendants and Suspects

-Forced or manufactured confessions  (Milke)

-Defendants implicating others

to lessen their culpability and / or make a deal  (Robison, Milke, Granis)

-Inadequate investigation of other suspects

Improper Evidence                                                                                                                  

Improperly admitting evidence more prejudicial to the client than probative (Cruz, Granis) Alltered and / or manufactured evidence (Krone)                                                                     Concealment and destruction of evidence (Krone)                                                               Failure to collect or test crime scene evidence (Krone)                                                             Not allowing exculpatory evidence to be admitted into trial (Milke, Prion)

Misconduct by Witnesses and Prosecutors

Lying by the prosecutor (Arias – Alleged)                                                                                Perjury by prosecution witnesses (Milke, McCrimmon, Arias – alleged)                                   Manufactured “witnesses” (McCrimmon)                                                                         Shopping for experts (Krone)                                                                                               Witness intimidation (Arias – alleged)

Improper Police investigators and technical evidence

Perjured documents and statements  (Krone, Arias – alleged)                                     Incomplete testing (Krone, Arias – alleged)

Faulty testing and investigation (Krone)

Incomplete investigation (Arias – alleged)

Problems with Judges and juries

Judge makes a bad ruling                                                                                                           Judge fails to make a ruling (Arias – alleged)                                                                                   Judge uses coercion (McCrimmon)                                                                                             Jury problem at selection (Cruz)                                                                                                       Jury problem during the trial (Arias – alleged)                                                                             Media bias affects jury (Krone, Arias – alleged)

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-list-those-freed-death-row

The current District Attorney is pressured to hold onto the conviction and death sentence of Debra Milke even though there is no credible evidence of her guilt. The D.A. wanted to limit embarrassment and the liability of his office by insisting on retrying a case that is unlikely to be winnable. Refusing to take responsibility for past wrongs in this case shows a clear conflict of interest. The continued prosecution of Debra Milke is clearly politically motivated and not in the interest of justice.

grand jury 2Prosecutors, in order to secure a quick arrest and trial will also deliver false or incomplete testimony to a Grand Jury. They will make an arrest without probable cause. The prosecution will depend on wresting the needed evidence out of the defendant after they are under arrest. This is especially true in Arizona when an upstanding Mormon or a child is the victim of a violent crime.

2005GrandJuryThere are other ways of gaining an advantage used by prosecutors over defense attorneys. This includes withholding evidence, offering a mile-long list of witnesses, most of whom will never be called, and delivering witness lists to the defense just days before the trial. The prosecution also uses last minute surprises, evidence dumps and massive paperwork dumps to overwhelm the defense attorneys prior to trial.

In a harsh political climate such as Arizona, all these factors pushing towards faulty convictions are attenuated. In Arizona, they fight amongst themselves. Prosecutors fight against judges, the County, the legislature, and law enforcement. We only need to look at the latest headlines in Maricopa County to see the political outfighting, infighting and constant scandals to see this is fertile ground for the misapplication of justice.

Please see What’s going on in Arizona, Maricopa County (Part 2)

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The Executives and the Executed (part 2)

The Executives and the Executed (part 2)

Meet Arizona’s Recently Executed Death Row Prisoners

Fact Based Reporting

by Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

The Arizona Executive Board of Clemency

can reduce sentences for any prisoner convicted of a felony. For death sentences, it’s almost impossible. For doing such things as reducing a 7 year sentence to a 5 year sentence, here is what a popular Arizona newspaper says:
symington 4“Statistically, if you are convicted of a felony in Arizona, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than granted clemency by the governor. Excluding the cases of inmates nearing the end of a terminal illness, Governor Jan Brewer is on track to grant the fewest clemency cases in more than two decades – even when a judge and unanimous board recommend a shorter sentence.
Recent board members interviewed by The Arizona Republic believe clemency will be granted even less frequently in the future.
Indeed, (Governor Jan) Brewer’s decision to replace three of the five clemency-board members at once last month (April, 2012) has led to legal and political turmoil: Departing board members say they were ousted for voting to grant clemency; and attorneys for an inmate scheduled to be executed Wednesday will be in Maricopa County Sperior Court on Monday, seeking a court order to nullify the appointments, arguing that they violated state laws. If the court agrees, it would invalidate dozens of board decisions from the past three weeks and could stall the clemency process.”
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/04/12/20120412arizona-prison-clemency.html#ixzz2i8iEj2RK
Jane hull(web)-150Less than four months later, two of the new members resigned after having controversies with the longstanding board members. This is motly about the shorter term felony sentences. For the prisoners facing an execution: forgetaboutit!
images (1)The other controversy revolves around the drugs used to execute prisoners. More and more companies are refusing to supply the drugs for the purpose of taking as life. States have had to change theit drug protocols and they have even shown a willingness to “improvise” if needed.
jan brewer 5These are the last   7 prisoners executed in Arizona from 2012 – 2013. A quick look at these brief but interesting histories tells us something about how the death penalty works and does not work in Arizona.

So let’s take a look at the Arizona’s most recently executed prisoners:

Robert Henry Moormann

moormann 1Crime: January 13, 1984

Sentenced to Death: May 7, 1985

Executed: February 29, 2012

This man went on a trip from Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada, no problem with that. He stopped at several hotels along the way, no problem with that. He took a female companion with him, no problem there. The female was eight years old and he didn’t know her. That’s a BIG problem.
3 aggravating circumstances:
Prior conviction punishable by life imprisonment
Pecuniary gain
Especially heinous, cruel, or depraved (all three prongs)
 motelMoormann was incarcerated and his mother would make the three hour drive to see him from time to time. He was granted a temporary 3 day humanitarian release to visit his ailing mother. While visiting his mother at a hotel within eyesight of the prison, he smothered her with a pillow and dismembered her body. He tried to hide the body parts at various places around town, including at the prison. There was a BIG problem there, too.
And this was the end of humanitarian releases for violent convicts.
moorman 2There were issues of mental incompetence and he was found to be mentally retarded by an IQ test administered when he was in grade school. There were also reports that his mother had sexually abused him throughout his life.
Just before he was put to death, Robert Henry Moormann used his last words to apologize to his family and to the family of the eight-year-old girl he kidnapped and molested in 1972. He said: “I hope this brings closure and they can start healing now”.
“I just hope that they will forgive me in time.”
Most states use a 3-drug combination for lethal injections:
1)      An Anesthetic (either Pentobarbital or, formerly, Sodium Thiopental),
2)      Pancuronium Bromide (a paralytic agent, also called Pavulon),
3)       Potassium Chloride (stops the heart and causes death).
Moormann became the unintended first recipient of Arizona’s new single drug protocol, a lethal dose of an anesthetic. This occurred because it was discovered on Monday that one of the three drugs had expired. Moormann was given only two days notice of how he would be put to death instead of the usual 7 day notice.
Moorman is considered to be severely mentally handicapped. He was probably not completely sure of what was happening to him. The U.S. Supreme Court refused his request for a stay of execution just 2 hours before he was put to death.

Robert Towery

robert-towery

Crime: September 4, 1991

Sentenced to Death: November 20, 1992

Executed: March 8, 2012

This man robbed a 6 year-old man, injected him with a veterinary syringe filled with an unknown liquid, then strangled him to death with a zip tie.
4 aggravating circumstances:
Prior convictions for offenses involving the threat of violence
Prior convictions for which life imprisonment was impossible
Pecuniary gain
Especially heinous, cruel or depraved (cruelty prong only)
towery 2Also known as “Chewey”, Robert was usually high on meth. He enjoyed mayhem and made use of strong arm robberies to finance his lifestyle.  During one robbery, he targeted a well known philanthropist named Mark Jones who financed the college education of hard-working graduate students. He had even lent Robert Towery some money in the past and gave him advice about starting a business.
With an accomplice, Towery tied up and injected him with a substance before strangling him with a plastic zip tie. This substance was rumored to be battery acid, giving him the name of “the Battery Acid Killer”. However, it was found at trial that neither the syringe nor the victim’s body had any traces of battery acid.
Most of the evidence against Towery, including the idea about battery acid, came from his accomplice who served only 10 years for 2nd degree murder.
towery sisAt his commutation hearing before the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, a prosecutor again brought up the battery acid rumor. He also explained that Towery’s mitigating claims of severe child abuse were unfounded and a phony plea for mercy. These were lies told by Juan Martinez to secure a death sentence. At this same meeting were Towery’s two sisters, who each explained in vivid detail the horrendous abuse endured by Towery. He often protected his two sisters by taking beatings that were meant for his sisters.
PHP4F5395C5EB2AARobert Towery in his last words, apologized to his family and to the victim’s family and friends. He regretted having made so many mistakes in his life and continuing to go in the wrong direction.
Remeber that Towery had injected his victim with a liquid filled syringe? Curiously, the execution team took an unusually long time finding a vein and stuck him many times, finally arranging injection portals in both his arm and his groin. The one hour delay was not attributed to the struggle to find a vein but to ‘extra time Towery spent with his lawyer and a minister’.
Towery cried before being injected, but this was attributed to his emotions about his family. His final words were “potato, potato, potato”, perhaps a reference to his last visits with his family ot to his childhood with his two sisters. Robert’s final words were “I would like to apologize to Mark’s family and friends for what I did to them. I would like to apologize to my family,” Towery said. “So many times in my life I went left when I should have gone right and I went right when I should have gone left. It was mistake after mistake after mistake.” “I love my family”. “Potato, potato, potato”.

Thomas Arnold Kemp

kemp 1

Crime: July 11, 1992

Sentenced to Death: July 9, 1993

Executed: April 25, 2012

This man with an accomplice killed an illegal immigrant named Hector Juarez and left him naked in the desert.
3 aggravating circumstances:
Prior convictions for offenses involving the threat of violence
Pecuniary gain
Especially heinous, cruel or depraved (cruelty prong only)
Kemp and his accomplice abducted their victim from his community college. They forced him to withdraw $200.00 for his bank account and drove him into the desert. They forced him to remove his clothes and then Kemp shot him twice in the head.
After the murder, the two kidnapped a couple in Durango, Colorado and sexually assaulted the man. They separated and his accomplice was arrested after contacting the Police about the murder.
kemp 2He did admit to having regret and remorse about the incident. He was remorseful that he had become too good of friends with his accomplice to summon up the will to kill him, too. He stated he very much regretted not killing his accomplice, who was the only witness to the murder.
Kemp stated that his victim was not legal to be in the U.S. and so was “beneath my contempt.” He further stated “If more of them wound up dead, the rest of them would soon learn to stay in Mexico, where they belong”.
az_kemp_thomasKemp refused to ask for mercy and refused to appear before the Arizona Board of
Executive Clemency. He told the judge and the court at sentencing that the victim was in the United States illegally and did not deserve to live. He told the judge “I spit on the law and all those who serve it.”
Kemp also had something to say to the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. In a handwritten note, he said, “I, Thomas Kemp, state that I decline to seek executive clemency due to the futility of that process. In light of the board’s history of consistently denying requests for commutations, my impression is that a hearing in my case would be nothing short of a dog and pony show.”
In that regard, he was exactly right. Perhaps it’s easier to have a death sentence commuted to life than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. More than likely, after anyone meets with this board, the needle is going into you, and in one hell of a hurry, too. His final words were “I regret nothing”.

 

Samuel Lopez

samuel lopez 2

Crime: October 29, 1986

Sentenced to Death: June 25, 1987

Executed: June 27, 2012

This man raped and murdered a 59 year-old woman, a grandmother and poor seamstress who lived alone.

1 aggravating circumstance:
Prior conviction involving violence
(struck on appeal because the past violent conviction was for “resisting arrest”)
Especially heinous, cruel, or depraved (all 3 prongs of the aggravator)
samuel lopezShe was found by the police in her home half-naked, gagged and blindfolded. There were 3 stabs to her head, one to her face, and twenty three stab wounds to her left breast and chest. Her throat had been slit. There was blood all throughout the home, especially in the bedroom, the bathroom, and the kitchen. The victim had been raped and he was caught in a separate rape case less than a week later, matching his DNA and tying him to the murder case.
The Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, had previously dismissed two members of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, and substituted her own members.  Lopez’s attorneys successfully won a delay in execution by arguing that the new members of the board had not received their training at the time of the scheduled hearing. The court ordered a temporary stay of execution, while the new board members received their mandatory 4 week training, like that was going to make any difference.
Lopez then sought a second stay arguing that Republican Governor Jan Brewer had appointed “political cronies” to the board, making a fair hearing impossible, which was rejected by the state Supreme Court.
In earlier executions, witnesses only saw the prisoner after the catheters had been inserted.
Samuel LopezHis execution was the first in which witnesses will watch, via closed-circuit TV, the insertion of the catheters that deliver the fatal drug pentobarbital. Attorneys for inmates in prior executions condemned the practice of inserting catheters into the prisoners’ groins. Officials said the executioners had found it difficult to find suitable veins in the arms and legs.
Prior to Lopez’s execution, witnesses only saw the condemned inmate at the time the of the injection. Lopez’s execution was the first time Arizona set up a closed-circuit TV camera so witnesses could view the insertion of the catheters into the arm, leg, or groin. In light of what happened to Robert Towery, maybe this is for the best.
Daniel Wayne Cook

az_cook_d

Crime: July 19, 1987

Sentenced to Death: August 8, 1988

Executed: August 8, 2012

With an accomplice, this man beat, tortured and killed one of his roommates in an argument over money and then beat, sodomized and killed a second friend because he walked in on the scene.
3 aggravating circumstances:
Especially heinous, cruel, or depraved (all 3 prongs of the aggravator)
Multiple homicides
Pecuniary gain
Carlos Froyan Cruz-Ramos was tortured by Cook and his accomplice, John Matzke. He was tied to a chair and then stabbed and beaten with a metal pipe for a few hours. They also burned his genitals with cigarettes. Finally, they crushed his throat with the metal pipe.
When Kevin Swaney arrived on the scene, he was forced to view the scene and the body. Swaney was tied to the same chair. He was beaten, sodomized, and then strangled to death with a bed sheet.
cookedCook’s accomplice, John Matzke, furnished the prosecution with much of the evidence. The acquaintance served just 20 years for the two brutal murders, and he’s free today.
daniel_cookCook won a stay of execution in April 2011 when the U.S Supreme Court explored claims of ineffective assistance of counsel during both the trial and appeals. There were claims of child sexual abuse by family members and a foster care worker that were never presented for mitigation. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, and the execution was rescheduled.
Cook’s last words were: “I’d like to say sorry to the victim’s family. I know that’s not enough . . .  . . . Where am I? To my lawyers, thank you. Red Robin, yum. I’m done. I love you”.

Richard Dale Stokley

stokley000

Crime: July 8, 1991

Sentenced to Death: July 14, 1992

Executed: December 5, 2012

This man, with an accomplice, abducted two 13 year old girls at a county fair. The two kidnapped, raped and murdered the young girls and threw them down a mine shaft.
3 aggravating circumstances,
Especially heinous, cruel or depraved (all 3 prongs)
Multiple murders
Age of victims (under 15)
richard-stokely-crimetickerAfter the rapes, they decided to kill them for fear of being caught. They each strangled one of the girls to death. According to his accomplice, Stokley made sure the girls were dead by repeatedly stomping on their bodies and stabbing each girl in the right eye.
Stokley turned himself in and confessed to the murders. Even so, Stokley’s accomplice turned State’s evidence against Stokley. The accomplice served just 20 years for the two rapes and murders, and he’s free today.
Stokely did say he was sorry for the victims and their families. He did not meet with the Arizona Executive Board of Clemency, and he declined to ask for mercy of the board which has the power to delay his execution or commute his sentence to life in prison.  A clemency request would be futile because the board hadn’t shown mercy to other death-row inmates, he told the board in a handwritten letter. ‘I don’t want to put anyone through that, especially since I’m convinced that … it’s pointless,’ he wrote. ‘I reckon I know how to die, and if it’s my time, I’ll go without fanfare.’
Stokley has said he thought his life was worth saving, that he knew he had made ‘grave and irreversible errors’ and that he was sorry he ‘was mixed up in these awful events that brought me to this’.
stokely 2On his execution day, Stokley had plenty of time to socialize and joke with the execution team as they spent 52 minutes trying to find veins that could be used to administer the drug pentobarbital. “I grew up a long time ago,” Stokley said. “I do wish I could die doing something meaningful, you know. This seems like such a waste.”
When Stokley was asked if he had any final words, he simply responded, “Nah.” He refused to look at the victims family members and said nothing at his execution.

Next in line for execution in Arizona:

Edward Schad

schad 1

Crime: August 1, 1978

Sentenced to Death: December 27, 1979

Executed: October 9, 2013

 

This man was convicted for the 1978 murder of Lorimer Grove, 74, an Arizonan on his way to WashingtonState.
Grove was driving his Cadillac when Schad allegedly hitched a ride or asked him to stop for help. Grove was strangled to death. Schad was AWOL from the Army and was found in New Yorrk driving Grove’s Cadillac, with the victim’s ID in his wallet, and having made purchases with the victim’s credit card. Schad had served time for second degree murder in the strangling death of a fellow Army member. He claimed it was an accident during rough sex.
3 aggravating circumstances:
Prior conviction punishable by life imprisonment
Prior conviction involving violence
Pecuniary gain
Schad has consistently denied murdering the victim. He admitted that he was a thief and he had stolen cars before, but he claimed he had not hurt anyone he stole from.
Schad, at 71 years-old, was the oldest man on Arizona’s death row. He had spent 35 years behind bars. There was a stay of execution, while the appeals court determined if Schad’s attorney had failed to bring up Schad’s mental illness as a mitigating factor.
Schad’s attorney also brought up the issue of whether it was impossible to get a stay or commutation to life in prison from the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. He charged that the Governor’s office had improperly influenced the Clemency Board to refuse any requests for postponements or leniency.
schad000The lawyer also demanded to know what drugs were going to be used and for the court to make the state reveal the source of the drugs. The state was very reluctant to comply and only complied in part.
“A U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix ordered the state to reveal the source of the drugs – the state begrudgingly complied in part – but she did not stop the execution.”
Schad’s execution was stayed in March by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow time for appeals. The appeals were denied and Schad was executed October 9th at 10:00 AM.

Robert Jones

robert jones

Crime: May – August, 1996

Sentenced to Death: February 17, 2000

Executed: October 23, 2013

 

This man was served with six death sentences by the court, one for each of his victims.
scan0019fm1Robert Jones is a Texan who was just released from prison when he teamed up with an accomplice to rob a smoke shop in Tuscon. Five people were shot and two of them died of their wounds. Two weeks later, Jones and his accomplice tried to rob the Firefighter’s Union Hall in Tuscon, shooting and killing four people.
5 aggravating circumstances and 42 felony counts:
Convicted of other offenses for which life sentence or death penalty imposable
Convicted of other “serious” offenses
Pecuniary gain
On parole at time of offense
Multiple homicides
The killings were mostly execution-style. Robert Jones seemed to enjoy shooting people in the head even more than the robberies. Jones and his accomplice, Scott Nordstrom were turned in by Nordstrom’s brother, David, the getaway driver in their burglaries.
jones 1Robert Jones was first jailed in 1972. The murders were committed in 1984. He has served 26 years on death row in Arizona. His accomplice, Scoot Nordstrom, remains on death row. It seems that Scott Nordstrom’s execution date will also arrive in 2013.
Jones’ execution date is set for October 23, 2013.

Let’s compare to Jodi Arias

jodi arias jail

Crime: June 4, 2008
Sentenced to Death:
Executed:
This woman committed a domestic homicide. She shot her ex-boyfriend, stabbed him 16 (not 27 and not 29) times and slit his throat during a violent altercation. She has a long term mental illness and had been mentally and emotionally abused by the victim. Arias also was possibly sexually and physically abused by an ordained elder in the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) in a secretive sexual relationship.
1 Aggravating circumstance
Especially heinous, cruel or depraved (cruelty prong only of the aggravator)
No prior convictions. In the four years prior to meeting the victim and over five years after, has shown no signs of violence, instability, or rage.
It’s true that most women who murder do not rob, rape, or torture their victims, and most are domestic violence homicides. It is also true that most women who murder do so in either self-defense, out of fear, or to protect children. Many times in self-defense, the murder is disproportional to the attack (overkill). This is most often because the woman is reacting to prior acts of violence committed against her, or due to the woman’s smaller size and inexperience at committing violence and in processing the inevitable adrenaline rush.

We will continue to update the list of the executed as Arizona cranks up their execution machine in the months to come.  Will Arizona become more like California, which has rarely used it’s execution powers and now faces a proposition on the ballot to eliminate executions? Maybe Arizona will remain like Texas, Alabama and Ohio, where it’s full steam ahead on executions. Only time will tell.

Sources: http://www.azcentral.com  www.murderpedia.org

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/pending_death_penalty_cases_weigh_against_maricopa_county/

http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/74/CCTF/FinalRpt092007.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/jan-brewer-arizona-execution_n_1610924.html

 

 

A poem about the Jodi Arias Trial

May 2013

Rob Roman

Harmonious Opposites:

juan martinez gentleman jodi arias interview

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is truly the trial of the century.trial century

She’s a young pacifist with a long term, stable, and loving relationship. Gentle as a lamb, she butchers a successful businessman. Next, she kindles a new love interest, watches a scary movie, then goes out to Chilli’s for a business meeting. She sees the police at the door and just gets in the car.

police carShe hunts for paper, does some yoga, sings some songs, and preens her hair during a 4 hour interrogation. She smiles for her mug shot and thinks getting booked is an interesting learning experience. The camera is with her every step of the way.

cameraShe sends flowers to the victim’s grandmother and goes to his memorial service. She calls the homicide Detective happily offering her assistance. She is wild and messy and spontaneous. She’s ditsy, appearing shallow.ja

She is shy in crowds but incredibly social and intense one to one. She is trying to grow spiritually. She is strong but slight of build. She’s got Barbie blonde hair and breast implants. She is smart and articulate. She comes from humble origins.

princessShe’s Princess Grace of Monaco, a refined artist in a crude environment.

The victim is a Mormon church elder.

mormon jesusThe requirements are more than strict and the church rules his life. He’s successful, traveling the country, tremendously social and popular. He also comes from humble origins. He is trying to self-actualize and develop in his business and religious communities.

travis 1He’s a clothes horse and anal-retentive neat-nick. He’s kind and considerate while running multiple girl-friends.

successPower, success and ego corrupt him as he scales the social and financial ladders. He’s got biceps like cannonballs and legs like a sumo wrestler.

eddie snell travis alexanderHe’s Eddie Snell from Alabama, a crude showman in a refined environment.

They find each other and “open the gap”. It’s a snowy combustible mix inside the bell jar. Breaking the rules, if it’s wrong, they don’t want to be right. He allegedly leads her into an anal sex only relationship.

bell jarShe claims he has propensities of pedophilia. She has Spiderman powers and pink thongs. He has magic underwear. She writes in her journal about his “three soft kisses” while he talks about “tying her to a tree and sticking it up her ass all the way”.

spidey underwearIs he physically and emotionally abusive? Or is she corrupting, conniving and smothering? He’s pulling her up while she’s pushing him down? She takes artistic photos of him worthy of a Calvin Klein Ad. He takes crude photos of her Backside not worthy of Hustler Magazine. She calls him “my inspiration” while he calls her a “3 holed wonder”travis shower small.3 hole

south parkmormon loveShe’s looking for love and a family. He’s looking for a thousand ways to screw before you die. He won’t get that from good Mormon ladies. Her hope is to be a good Mormon lady, but she loves him so she cannot be one and cannot have him. 20 super-sized bottles of KY later (and you can believe that’s what was on the kitchen table that started the hiking fight), there’s blood in the water and a horrendous killing caught on camera.

mormonsWas she really trying to protect their external reputations, appearances and their secret internal life, or is she just a pathological liar with no feelings for anyone but herself? Are the victim’s family and Flores losing their minds……?

jodifingerIs she just another maniac like Ted Bundy with absolutely no conscience or was she cornered like a kitten by the T-Dogg, washed in adrenaline and turned into a cyclone of anxiety-amnesiac Neanderthal self-survival?

No matter if she tried to kill him or he tried to kill her, now she is being pursued by a macho Latino genius who really does want to kill her. Every day, he is masterfully ushering her farther and farther down a surreal vortex. Each day her team pushes back as she’s pushed further and further down the long, dark corridor to the execution chamber.

jodi arias courtIn her court, she has seemingly morphed into a bright, and articulate princess. Her emotional maturity has ripened and the GED lady seems more intelligent than many college graduates. The prosecutor thinks linearly and only in black and white. She thinks in 5 dimensions and 64 colors.

images (1)It’s an F’ing bullfight. Some days, you don’t know which is the bull and which is the matador. Deadly serious, he’s sprinkling one-liners from My Cousin Vinnie into his relentless death house cadence. She’s saying “Oh crap!…. I think I killed somebody”.

bullfight 2The prior capital case defendant, he broke that young lady on the stand, quickly sending her grieving to death row. Everyone knows she’s Wendi. She poisoned her terminally ill husband then beat him with a barstool and stabbed him to death for money.

wendi andriano largejodi arias large 3The new defendant is mirroring the case prior. Did you see it? Jodi used Wendi’s words “It’s because of my wrong choices”, and mimicked her actions on the witness stand. Juan is having déjà vous. This new trial is sickening and naturally raw contemporaneously.

Prior, Wendi was also a young woman, a bottle colored blonde with two young children. The resemblance is shockingly similar to Jodi on the stand. Juan showed zero mercy, and rightly so. Wendi was the easier kill. This is a man who has always done his homework on-time.

bullNow, it’s Juan and Jodi. They are harmonious opposites. It’s an opera like dance of death. It’s the soft-spoken, cavitating kitten against the raging pit-bull. He is killing the defense case exactly as Travis was killed. It has 19 knife wounds already.

There’s blood on the courtroom floor. Is it dead already? Only the jury knows. Will there be a coup de grace? When will it be? Deep inside Juan’s case is a built-in old fashioned patriarchal spanking and a Mormon sermon to boot.

Do you know what happens when you lie??

Basically, you are condemned to hell!!!

downloadmediaNumerous and sundry Vinnie Pelicans and Nancy Drewberries cheer and scream for the kill. Biased media cheerleaders can’t ever grasp the real story here. It’s a rare ancient recipe of fine art and pop culture. Maybe the bigger story here just will not sell.

And to top it off the whole trial may depend on the existence of a soft rope

or a match of shell casings

or the number of steps to delete an image

or a blue plastic gas can from Walmart.

gas canbuttons zippersLethal gas cans or lethal injection? Is it buttons or zippers, Juan?

Do you think it’s easy for Juan? Your Dad was too strict.

You missed a rare example of his true compassion.

No compassion for Travis? You are diseased.

Nothing but hate for Jodi? You haven’t evolved nearly enough.

There’s much more to this picture than meets the eye.

This here is one super sized global morality play.

Is it about Travis and Jodi?

Or is it really about you and me?

Bud, you cannot make this stuff up.

Don’t cha know?

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There’s a startling secret nobody knows about …

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003 (1)

…hidden deep within the final enigmatic photo.

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jodi hand lg

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

5:30 PM Mesa, Arizona

Great potential suddenly swirled down the drain,

Leaking out onto two bathroom Matts.

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dave hallstop bullying large

stop bullying largedave hall small

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