10 death row inmates in TN challenge electrocution law

10 death row inmates in TN challenge electrocution law

Posted: Sep 19, 2014 2:02 PM Friday, September 19, 2014 8:02 September 19, 2014 8:11 AM

By TRAVIS LOLLER
Associated PressNASHVILLE, TN (AP) – A Nashville judge has ruled that the 10 death row inmates already challenging the state’s lethal injection protocol may amend their lawsuit to include objections to the use of the electric chair.

The General Assembly passed a law earlier this year allowing prisoners to be electrocuted if the Department of Correction were unable to obtain the drug used for lethal injection.

Prior to that, prisoners could not be forced to die by the electric chair although they were allowed to choose electrocution under some circumstances.

The death row inmates claim the new law violates both the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions. Among other things, they claim it violates evolving standards of decency.

Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled on Wednesday that the inmates could amend their lawsuit.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

“Death penalty `patently unfair´: Sandusky Register

Death penalty ‘patently unfair’

Former death row inmates tell their stories in Sandusky appearance
Tom Jackson
Oct 24, 2013

In 1974, when the Chicago native decided to see the country and hitchhike across the country, he wore his hair cut short.

Somehow, Tibbs was convicted of murder and rape in connection with a case in Florida — even though the killer was described as a 5-foot-6 man with a large Afro. He spent time on Florida’s death row before being exonerated.

An audience of several dozen people crowded into a meeting room at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Sandusky to hear Tibbs’ story Tuesday night, and the stories of two other former inmates who faced execution, Joe D’Ambrosio and Damon Thibodeaux.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo sponsored the “One.for.Ten Tour” program on the death penalty, which stopped in several northern Ohio locations this week.

One.for.Ten is a series of short films, available on YouTube and elsewhere online. Filmmaker Will Francome served as the moderator, screening the films about the three former prisoners, who spoke after each film.

After Tibbs’ film, he got up and denounced the death penalty.

“I make no bones about it — I’m an abolitionist,” he said. “It is patently unfair. Everybody who commits a murder does not get the death penalty.”

“There have been no millionaires on death row that I know about,” said Tibbs, who said anyone convicted of killing a white person in Florida is 11 times more likely to get the death penalty than someone who kills anyone else.

D’Ambrosio was freed from Ohio’s prison system after spending more than 20 years on death row. A judge ruled that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped him win acquittal.

D’Ambrosio told the audience he had no criminal record and had served in the Army, rising to the rank of sergeant, before entering civilian life.

“If it could happen to me, it could happen to you,” he said.

Thibodeaux confessed to the murder of a teen girl, but was freed from prison after DNA evidence exonerated him.

He explained that after going 36 hours without sleep, he could not take it any longer after being questioned for hours. He told the detectives what they wanted to hear so they would leave him alone.

“I used to be one of those people who believed nobody would ever confess to something they didn’t do,” he said.

Thibodeaux described prison life as “hell on earth.”

“I missed sitting on my couch, just because I can,” he said. “A real bed and a pillow — we didn’t have those things.”

The trio urged members of the audience to work to abolish the death penalty.

“They’re killing in your name, because you allow it,” D’Ambrosio said.

New Death Warrant – FADP Update

FADP Update

NEW DEATH WARRANT

Governor Scott has signed a Death Warrant for Thomas Knight to be executed on Tuesday, December 3 at 6pm ET. Darius Kimbrough is scheduled to be executed on Nov. 12.

Florida has become “the worst of the worst” of Death Penalty states. Florida is now second only to Texas for the number of executions in 2013. Last year Florida led the nation in new death sentences (22).

 

Florida has the nation’s second largest Death Row with 405 men and women awaiting the executioner. In tragic irony, Florida leads the nation in exonerations of Death Row inmates (24).

 

Please TAKE ACTION!!!  Contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to convene the Board of Executive Clemency and commute the death sentences of Darius Kimbrough and Thomas Knight to Life in Prison Without Parole.

 

Tell Governor Scott to STOP SIGNING DEATH WARRANTS. Your calls and emails are counted.

 

Gov. Rick Scott – Phone: 850-488-7146 

 

Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

 

“Only in a society where state governments are intoxicated with the power to kill would you view a sentence of life imprisonment without parole as a lenient sentence.”Bryan Stevenson, Director of Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama 

 

Please support the Florida statewide coalition effort to end executions. “It is not about what those on Death Row may have done…it is about US and what WE do”.

 

Please “like” and share the FADP Facebook page.

Shine the light,

—Mark

 

Sent by:

Mark Elliott

Executive Director

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, fadp.org

P.O. Box 82943

Tampa, FL 33682

New Death Warrant: Gov. Rick Scott has ordered Darius Kimbrough be executed on Nov.2th: FADP wrote

Official photo of Florida Governor Rick Scott

Official photo of Florida Governor Rick Scott (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Death Warrant

Gov. Rick Scott has ordered Darius Kimbrough be killed on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6pm ET. Darius was sentenced to death for the 1991 killing of Denise Collins. William Happ is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, October 15 at 6pm ET. 

Several Florida Death Row inmates have filed suit to stop Florida from using a new execution drug (midazolam) in the 3 drug lethal injection series. Midazolam has never been used anywhere for homicide. FMI: Florida Death Row Inmates Challenge New Execution Drug. 

PLEASE TAKE ACTION: Public Domain Photo Contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to convene the Board of Executive Clemency to commute the death sentences of William Happ and Darius Kimbrough  to Life in Prison with No Parole.

Gov. Rick Scott – Phone: 850-488-7146

Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com 

The FADP Coalition needs your help! FADP has been working and holding events around the state with exonerated Death Row survivors, murder victims’ family members, human rights groups, civil rights groups, faith organizations, community organizations, legal groups, student groups, and many others. We have to do more. We simply don’t have the funds. We can’t do this without your help. We need your donations NOW for gas, food, printing, handouts, signs, banners, truck repairs, cell phone use, etc.

Juan Melendez of Witness to Innocence and exonerated Florida Death Row survivor will be traveling with me for the next 10 days in the Tampa Bay Area, Central, and South Florida. Event details soon. Please help us do this work.

Shine the light,

—Mark

Visit the FADP Facebook Page for more news and updates.

Sent by:

Mark Elliott

Executive Director

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, fadp.org

P.O. Box 82943

Tampa, FL 82943

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is a coalition of organizations and individuals united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida.

FADP works to build a strong, diverse, statewide grassroots movement which:

* Opposes executions

* Supports reforms aimed at reducing the application of the Death Penalty until it is abolished

* Protects the humanity of all persons impacted by the Death Penalty

* Educates Floridians about the Death Penalty

* Provides concrete action steps for individuals and groups

Death Row Ínmates Sue Angola Prison over “Extreme” Temperatures

Angola Prison -- Leadbelly in the foreground

Angola Prison — Leadbelly in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12608440-mmmain

English: "Gruesome Gertie," Louisian...

English: “Gruesome Gertie,” Louisiana electric chair, now on display within the Angola Prison Museum, Angola, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death row inmates sue Angola Prison over ‘extreme’ temperatures

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/06/death_row_inmates_sue_angola_p.html

Angola Prison Rodeo, April 20, 2013

Inmates sell their wares behind a chainlink fence at the Angola Prison Rodeo on April 20, 2013. (Photo by Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Lauren McGaughy, NOLA.com | The Times Picayune By Lauren McGaughy, NOLA.com | The Times Picayune
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on June 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM, updated June 11, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Email

Angola Prison News
Death row inmates sue Angola Prison over ‘extreme’ temperatures
Suspect in killing hangs himself in Angola prison cell
Angola 5 defendant gets new attorney
Advocacy Center petitions for access to Angola inmates, records
Angola’s ‘wolf dogs’ replace some human guards

All Stories | All Photos | All Videos

Three inmates on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary have filed suit in Baton Rouge federal court against jail officials for what they call “appalling and extreme conditions … as a result of extreme heat” in the facilities. The lawsuit requests that corrections officials work with the warden and jail staff to mitigate “extreme and unsafe” temperatures and humidity in the Death Row facility at the penitentiary, which is more commonly known as Angola Prison.

The lawsuit, filed Monday on behalf of the inmates by the Promise of Justice Initiative, says the conditions prisoners suffer each summer violate the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eight Amendment.

The defendants are Department of Public Safety and Corrections and specifically its Secretary James LeBlanc, Angola Prison Warden Burl Cain and Death Row Warden Angela Norwood. The plaintiffs are Death Row inmates Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code and James Magee.

According to the lawsuit documents, the heat index — or how hot “it feels” — on Death Row reached 195 degrees Fahrenheit on more than one occasion in the summer of 2011. Last summer, the index was above 126 degrees on 85 days between May and August, the suit said.

The Advocacy Center, a non-profit organization offering free legal advice, obtained the heat index information through a public records request after being alerted to the temperature concerns by inmates about two years ago. Additional information was added by inmate and visitor anecdotes.

The lawsuit states Angola’s new Death Row facility was constructed in 2008 and outfitted with duct work throughout to provide climate control. However, while visitation rooms, guard towers and offices are air-conditioned, the “tiers” occupied by inmates are only outfitted with fans that “merely blow hot air into Plaintiffs’ cells,” the suit said.

“During the summer, the bars of the cells are hot to the touch and the cinder block walls release additional heat,” according to the suit. Inmates choose to sleep on the concrete “because the floor is slightly cooler than their beds.”

Read article: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/06/death_row_inmates_sue_angola_p.html

William Van Poyck: A great Chance for him! Please, sign the Petition!

Will you please help save William Van Poyck? On the heels of new legislation in Florida to speed up executions, the governor has signed his death warrant. Billy was convicted under Florida’s felony-murder rule. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Bill’s lawyer wants to flood the Governor’s office with letters. He will send a form letter and can be modified by the individual. Is there anything you can do to help?

“It is both tragic and ironic that the state that sends the highest number of wrongfully convicted people to death row is considering speeding up executions,” said Mark Elliott, of the group Innocent on Death Row. “Speeding up executions virtually guarantees that innocent people will be executed.”.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/628/191/633/save-billys-life/?cid=FB_TAF

William Van Poyck – Please, Take Action for him

FADP Update

NEW DEATH WARRANT

Friends,

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a Death Warrant for William Van Poyck and has scheduled his execution for Wednesday, June 12th at 6pm ET. Billy Van Poyck is to be killed for the 1987 homicide of corrections officer Fred Griffis during a failed escape attempt.

Please TAKE ACTION!!! Contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to STOP SIGNING DEATH WARRANTS and VETO THE TIMELY JUSTICE ACT.

Gov. Rick Scott – Phone: 850-488-7146

Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

Please sign and share the petition of Juan Melendez to Gov. Rick Scott to VETO THE TIMELY JUSTICE ACT (HB7083). Juan was exonerated and released after almost 18 years on Florida’s Death Row.

In the face of the growing national movement away from executions and death sentences, Florida executions are set to forcibly speed up and the numbers to explode. Florida now accounts for more than a fourth of all new death sentences in the nation (22 of 78). It has degenerated into a killing contest among a few ambitious and powerful politicians in Tallahassee. It is not about justice, being smart and tough on crime, or wise use of taxpayer dollars…it’s about political posturing.

Our leadership has made NO mention of solving more of the 14,000 unsolved Florida homicides, boosting programs to effectively help murder victim’s families, or reviving successful crime prevention programs. These public safety programs and others have been cut back while a million dollars a week is blindly thrown at our failed government program for the Death Penalty with almost no accountability or oversight and absolutely no cost-benefit analysis. With the national record of 24 Death Row exonerations, no amount of executions will hide the fact that Florida’s Death Penalty is “the worst of the worst” of failed government programs.

Please support the Florida statewide coalition effort to end executions.

It is not about what those on Death Row may have done…it is about US and what WE do.

Please “like” and share the FADP Facebook page.

Shine the light,

—Mark

Sent by:

Mark Elliott

Executive Director

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, fadp.org

P.O. Box 82943

Tampa, FL 82943

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is a coalition of organizations and individuals united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida.

FADP works to build a strong, diverse, statewide grassroots movement which:

* Opposes executions

* Supports reforms aimed at reducing the application of the Death Penalty until it is abolished

* Protects the humanity of all persons impacted by the Death Penalty

* Educates Floridians about the Death Penalty

* Provides concrete action steps for individuals and groups

Death Penalty in Florida: Very urgent to act now!

牛裂き

牛裂き (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FADP Update

Friends,

The legislature has passed the very dangerous TIMELY JUSTICE ACT. It is now on Gov. Scott’s desk to be signed. Once signed, this bill will become law. Please contact Gov. Scott’s office and ask him to VETO THIS BILL.

Gov. Rick Scott: 850-488-7146

Email: rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

This law will limit appeals for ALL those under sentence of death. It also forces the Governor to sign their Death Warrants within 30 days after appeals are exhausted and clemency is denied. It demands that their executions take place within 180 days. Reports are that 13 prisoners are in this category today and another 80 have exhausted appeals and are awaiting clemency hearings. There are now over 400 people on Florida’s Death Row.

Gov. Rick Scott: 850-488-7146

Email: rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

Please say whatever you like. Here are some quick points:

Speeding up executions increases the risk of executing innocent people. 24 people have been exonerated long after being sentenced to death in Florida. Eight were under a death sentence longer than 10 years. For some it took 18 – 20 years to be exonerated and released. There has been one exoneration for every three executions in our state (24 exonerations and 75 executions).

This law surrenders powerful Executive Branch authority and gives it to the Legislative Branch. Florida’s governors would no longer decide which Death Warrants to sign, when to sign and when to schedule executions.

There is no need to rush these hasty and dangerous changes into law. For those sentenced to death in Florida, the average time from conviction to execution is almost 2 years less than the national average (13.2 yrs vs. 14.8 yrs). The Florida Supreme Court has formed a Commission to investigate the issues that prompted this bill. The report is due in September. Let’s get the facts before rushing risky life or death changes into law.

Please call or email ASAP – the Governor is making his decision now!

Please distribute and share this message widely.

—Mark

Sent by:

Mark Elliott

Executive Director

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, fadp.org

P.O. Box 82943

Tampa, FL 33682

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is a coalition of organizations and individuals united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida.

FADP works to build a strong, diverse, statewide grassroots movement which:

* Opposes executions

* Supports reforms aimed at reducing the application of the Death Penalty until it is abolished

* Protects the humanity of all persons impacted by the Death Penalty

* Educates Floridians about the Death Penalty

* Provides concrete action steps for individuals and groups

PAUL HOWELL: Rick Scott put a Hold on the Execution! Now here is a PETITION!

2013/3/12 Peacebuilders with Justice of Florida <noreply@list.signon.org>

Brothers and Sisters,

Rick Scott put a hold (temporary) on the execution of Paul Howell. Even the governor is having second thoughts!

Those of us on this path see the injustice of the legal system that sends so many to Death Row and later realizes it failed to prove its case. The failure is seen in the number of exonerations. Florida as more failures than any other state. People’s lives are taken whether by years in prison or the killing chamber.

We want to educate people because when people know the truth about the system, they will see the need to halt the death penalty until it has been studied. Many are working for this cause: here are some good people you might know who have worked to halt Florida’s executions. Joe Durocher was Public Defender for Orange County for 25 years. Rita Lucey, Miguel Rodriguez, Adele Azar-Rucqois and many others, more than 1000 others in fact have signed the petition.

But the man who knows the most is Mark Eliot who has devoted years of his life putting together the facts. To see details about the system, go to Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. There you will see statistics on race, the impact on families of the victims and on the families of the person accused of the crime. You can compare costs between life in prison and execution. You’ll find this and many other details at

www.fadp.org/

Then read our petition and stand with us. Send the petition to all your friends and colleagues, co-workers and neighbors. Encourage them not just to sign but to pass it on.

Here’s the link:

http://signon.org/sign/the-death-penalty-in?mailing_id=10132&source=s.icn.em.cr&r_by=5246414

Blessings on us all–
Penny Villegas and friends

http://crime.about.com/od/deathrow/ig/Florida-Death-Row-Inmates/Paul-Howell.htmhowell_p

Circle of Hope: Law will not change in time for death row inmate

Scooped by Circle of Hope
onto CIRCLE OF HOPE