Saturday, August 2, 2014

CA Death Penalty system takes a lifetime - District Judge rules it unconstitutional

Aug. 2, 2014.
Today's visit was very good! Kerry is strong and has a great heart; even after 19 years on the Row she hasn't given in to despair! We talked about how it will be when she comes home, that made us smile!




Raymond Reyes, Kerry Lyn Dalton, Victoria Thorpe
Visiting Aug. 10, 2014


California's Death Penalty Is Unconstitutional, But The AG Won't Give It Up

SAN FRANCISCO — Aug 21, 2014, 7:20 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's attorney general said Thursday she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state's death penalty unconstitutional.
The announcement by Attorney General Kamala Harris came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles ruled last month that the state's death penalty takes too long to carry out, and that the unpredictable delays are arbitrary and unfair.
Harris, however, said the amount of time it takes to execute an inmate in California ensures inmates receive due process.
Continue reading the entire article here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/21/california-to-appeal-death-penalty_n_5698479.html?utm_hp_ref=crime




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The U.S.A. continues to experiment with executions

News article link:  

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/arizona-inmate-joseph-wood-execution



Arizona DeathChamber

Arizona inmate dead two hours after execution began
07/23/14 07:11 PM    By Tracy Connor
 Arizona execution took nearly two hours on Wednesday, and the prisoner’s lawyers said he gasped and snorted for an hour.
The execution of Joseph Wood — which Arizona carried out with a lethal-injection it had never before tried — is certain to fan the debate over how U.S. states carry out the death penalty.
Midway through the execution, defense attorneys asked a judge to stop the execution of Joseph Wood and order prison officials to try to resuscitate him. But before the court acted, he was pronounced dead.
“The execution commenced at 1:52 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC) - Florence. He was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m,” a statement Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said.
The statement did not say what problems the execution team had encountered, but Wood’s lawyers painted a macabre picture.
“He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” lawyers wrote in their request for an emergency stay of execution.
Wood — who was condemned to die for fatally shooting his girlfriend and her father in 1989 — had challenged the execution on the grounds that the state was violating the First Amendment by keeping the source of the lethal-injection drugs secret.
An appeals panel agreed with him, but the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the stay of execution. The Arizona Supreme Court briefly delayed the execution on Wednesday morning, but ultimately gave the state the green light.
Wood, 55, was scheduled to be killed with a combination of midazolam and hydromorphone, the same drugs used in an Ohio execution in which the inmate seemed to struggle for air and took 25 minutes to die.
His execution date had been put on hold several times as the case wound its way through last-minute appeals. One of those decisions was notable for a dissent in which the chief judge of a federal appeals court said the guillotine would be better than lethal injection for executions.


Here's a youtube song for Mr Woods:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOWlP5Vfyfc&list=RDzOWlP5Vfyfc#t=279

 Julia Dillon Photography


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Process Is A Violation Of Humanity

The process, not just the execution methods, are a violation to humanity; both to the person we  are sentencing to Death, and to ourselves.
As citizens approving of capital punishment we diminish human life's value and we diminish our own personal humanity by participating in a very cruel process and the unnecessary taking of a life. We become the predator.
 

That may sound too harsh to some, but what do you call it when a captured person who has been rendered defenseless is ceremoniously killed?
What is your definition of confined captivity for years on end facing the promise to be executed?

It doesn't even sound like something we would participate in.
We were all guilty of just such acts when Joseph Wood, Clayton Lockett, Dennis McGuire were killed over the last several months. We are guilty either by agreeing with and upholding the present Death Penalty system, or we are guilty if we stand by in silence as this continues.
There are about 3,200 more human beings living on U.S.A. death rows.

What will you do about it today?  

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/opinion/A-Lifetime-on-Californias-Death-Row.html?_r=0

 "The state’s death-penalty system is “so plagued by inordinate and unpredictable delay,” wrote United States District Judge Cormac Carney, that it violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment."
"States including Florida, Alabama and North Carolina have responded to similar delays by moving to streamline death-row appeals. But speed is not the point if it comes at the expense of accuracy. As Judge Carney said, “death is a punishment different in kind from any other,” and so requires more careful scrutiny than any other.


"That extra scrutiny is “vitally important,” the judge pointed out: Half of California’s death sentences that were reviewed by a federal court were eventually vacated."



The cost is too high and a waste of our dollars:


"Capital punishment was ruled unconstitutional by the state's Supreme Court in 1976, but was reinstated by the state legislature the following year. Since then, 13 inmates have been executed in California, most recently Clarence Ray Allen in 2006. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that the state spent $308 million on each execution."


Recent California Ruling Document:

http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Jones%20v.%20Chappell.pdf

Case No.: CV 09-02158-CJC 
ORDER DECLARING 
CALIFORNIA’S DEATH PENALTY 
SYSTEM UNCONSTITUTIONAL 
AND VACATING PETITIONER’S 
DEATH SENTENCE 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:    CORMAC J. CARNEY       July 16,2014

On April 7, 1995, Petitioner Ernest Dewayne Jones was condemned to death by the 
State of California. Nearly two decades later, Mr. Jones remains on California’s Death 
Row, awaiting his execution, but with complete uncertainty as to when, or even whether, 
it will ever come. Mr. Jones is not alone. Since 1978, when the current death penalty 
system was adopted by California voters, over 900 people have been sentenced to death 
for their crimes.
p. 1

Of course, the Court’s conclusion should not be understood to suggest that the
post-conviction review process should be curtailed in favor of speed over accuracy.
Indeed, it bears noting that in more than half of all cases in which the federal courts have
reviewed a California inmate’s death sentence on habeas review, the inmate has been
granted relief from the death sentence. See Appendix A. The post-conviction review
process is, therefore, vitally important. It serves both the inmate’s interest in not being
improperly executed, as well as the State’s interest in ensuring that it does not improperly
execute any individual. Nevertheless, the Court holds that where the State permits the
post-conviction review process to become so inordinately and unnecessarily delayed that
only an arbitrarily selected few of those sentenced to death are executed, the State’s
process violates the Eight Amendment. Fundamental principles of due process and just
punishment demand that any punishment, let alone the ultimate one of execution, be
timely and rationally carried out.
p. 26

It has resulted in a system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones
like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an
individual will actually be executed. And it has resulted in a system that serves no
penological purpose. Such a system is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court hereby
VACATES Mr. Jones’s death sentence.
 DATED: July 16, 2014
 __________________________________
 CORMAC J. CARNEY
 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
p.29


Not a partisan issue:

"The George W. Bush-appointed judge disagreed with the common perception that executions have been thwarted by death penalty opponents outside the system, pointing out that the average inmate on Death Row waits three and a half years to get a court-appointed lawyer."

http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/top-stories/federal-judge-strikes-down-already-stalled-california-death-penalty-140717?news=853712



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Johnny Cash sings Shel Silverstein's song

"Johnny Cash - 25 Minutes To Go!"  This animated video is a bit playful with this serious subject, but we all need a sense of humor - especially when we're facing the Death Penalty - I think Kerry Lyn would get a kick out of this, and she loves Johnny Cash, as do I. He was performing the song to a group at Folsom prison, they seemed to enjoy it too. Enjoy! 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kerry Lyn Dalton and Victoria Ann Thorpe, Death Row visit

Kerry Lyn and Victoria ; April 26th, 2014. Below, 4/27/14, I had another wonderful visit with my dear sister. 


Update on Kerry's case:
This June is Kerry's anniversary of 19 years living on CCWF Death Row - and yet her case has never been reviewed - no appeal after 19 years.
I ask those of you who believe the system has fail-safe checks in place to think about how this can happen.
Her case record is open to public access, find the status here:


http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=0&doc_id=1927876&doc_no=S178504


If you are newly aware of Kerry Lyn's case, there are many details on the earlier posts of this blog - ones you won't find anywhere else. Please take time to look through the posts.

A quick synopsis:
What began as a missing person's claim Autumn of 1988, grew into unsubstantiated rumors of murder (fanned by the San Diego Metropolitan Homicide Task Force, who were under pressure to solve a serial murder case).
O
ver 6 1/2 years later, Kerry was on trial with out any one even declared deceased! 
With out any physical evidence: No Body, No Blood, No Weapon, No Crime Scene, Kerry Lyn was convicted on hearsay and snitch testimony February 1995. She was given a Death sentence after the penalty phase (which commenced 5 days later and ended in 4 days).


To this day there are no forensics to question, to prove any murder or even a crime.

Kerry has continually maintained her innocence, charged in May 1992 (the claims she confessed were reported by Richard L. Cooksey, eventual lead investigator on the case, prosecuting attorney Jeff Dusek's investigator. Mr. Cooksey took the stand 5 times during Dalton's trial, to "correct" witnesses testimonies, give his theories, and to state a snitch told him there was a confession.)


Because of the frustrations with waiting for the system to correct this wrongful conviction, and believing totally in my sister's innocence, I published the trial transcripts for the public to see in the book CAGES. You can see for yourself, read the exact trial, and help us make the wheels of justice turn - they have been at a standstill for too long! 
Please help us gain Kerry Lyn her life back!! Please help me bring my sister home...Write me for more info, get involved with the case, contact officials in California, support our efforts on Kerry's behalf.

SALE! to honor Kerry Lyn's 19 years surviving Death Row, we have lowered the cost of CAGES to just $14.50 per copy!

You can purchase copies here: 



https://victoriaannthorpe.com/Page_2.html    (click the PayPal button)

Or Kindle version for just $9.95! 
http://www.amazon.com/Cages-Victoria-Thorpe-ebook/dp/B00ADF4OYU/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1401574077&sr=8-1&keywords=Victoria+Ann+Thorpe


Two of our favorite songs: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmNLx7cGtfs

Monday, April 14, 2014