Thursday, December 25, 2014

150 people exonerated from U.S. Death Rows - Wishing Death Row Residents Peace Today

Our family in 1965, I lovingly dedicate this song to my family, especially to Kerry Lyn. Merry Christmas Kerry! I love you!

Click on this link to listen:

Monday, December 8, 2014

149 People Have Been Exonerated from Our Own Death Rows

Eye Witness is NO Guarantee 

Former death row inmate Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman  were formally exonerated on November 21, 2014, in Ohio, after spending 39 years in prison. They are numbers 148 and 149 on the growing list of exonerees from U.S.A. Death Rows.

Article excerpt: When he dismissed Jackson’s case, Judge Richard McMonagle said, “Life is filled with small victories, and this is a big one.”

These cases relied heavily on eye-witness identification - the "eye-witness"  recanted just last year...

 Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in court that without an eyewitness there was not much of a case, he added "The state is conceding the obvious." 

Cleveland attorneys represented both men after the Ohio Innocence Project took up Jackson’s cause even though there was no DNA evidence. 

 Charges will likely be dismissed against the third convicted defendant in this case, Mr. Ajamu , who would then be # 150 of the exonerated.

Follow these links to read more details:

Death Penalty Information Center-

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 2014 Visit

Nov. 8, 2014 CCWF . Kerry and Victoria visit in the attorneys' room.
Update: Kerry Lyn looks great doesn't she! 19 1/2 years on CA Death Row and she continues to be the strongest person I know. It's very difficult to stay healthy on prison diet, she stays aware of her needs and works to stay well, we supplement the meals provided with what is available to purchase from approved vendors. Things like vitamins, toothpaste, olive oil, granola, pasta, dehydrated onions, lotion, etc, are staples for her nutrition. We are allowed to order her a box from a vendor once per quarter (every 3 months). She can have up to 30 lbs in the box, so that is limited. 

I am posting some ideas on how any of you can let Kerry know you're thinking of her this season of giving and family time. Please consider sending her a card, some stamps, stationary, or contributing to her "box" (we handle the order since she can only receive one.)

Ways to make Kerry's life a little brighter:

Letter or card - (be sure to hand write Kerry's address and don't forget to write out your return                                 name and address - otherwise the letter will be rejected. No stamps or any other                               writing on the envelopes, only the postage stamp is allowed.)
Kerry Lyn Dalton W42583

p.o. box 1508
Chowchilla CA, 93610-1508

If you send a postcard- you still must include a return address and a name.

Postage Stamps -  (so she can write you and others) be sure to write in your letter you have                                          enclosed stamps and how many. She can receive up to 40 stamps per envelope.
Stationary -          up to 20 blank post cards per envelope, up to 10 blank greeting cards per                                           envelope, sheets of blank stationary paper. Nothing can be hand made since                                     paint, tape, glue, glitter,etc are not allowed on your mail, but it can be printed                                     copies of your work. 
Photographs -       send her a photo of yourself, your family and friends, a scene of the season,                                       your pet, nature, or other sights you'd like to share. (no Polaroids, or layered                                     pics)

Gifting to her box - send contributions to us, indicate what you'd like it to go for or just to her                                           general needs; email for further details:                                                                                          (any amount accepted, every few                                   dollars adds to the gift)     
           We will include your name on the contributors and send you a copy of the invoice.

Items Kerry could use (we'll order for her Box) -
                                     Sweat pants, sweat shirt (usually no heat in her building) 
                                     Cd's (music can be therapeutic!)

                                     Herbs  (she prefers natural remedies to prescription drugs, the facility does                                      not provide homeopathic treatments. Kerry's system does not tolerate                                                synthetic medications well. )
                                     Other healthier food alternatives, toiletries, socks,...

Books -                        a good read is such a blessing!  The book orders must come from a Third                                          party dealer (Amazon is good and usually best prices), must be new, only                                            paper backs allowed.

                              Either send her a book you like or ask her if she has a title in mind.
                                      Some titles on her wish list are:
(GIFTED)                     A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

(GIFTED)                     The Gift, Ladinsky
(GIFTED)                     The Essential Jung, C.G. Jung / Anthony Storr
                                      Man's Search For Meaning, Victor Frankl
                                      Custer Died For Your Sins, Vine Deloria Jr.
                                      The Red Road To Wellbriety
                                      The Mastery of Love,      Don Ruiz Miguel         
                                      Long Walk to Freedom,      Nelson Mandela
(GIFTED)                     I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,    Maya Angelou
                                              (I'll add more soon.)  
Please let me know if you choose a book from this list so we don't duplicate, thank you.

Or just email me to pass a suggestion on or by me. I look forward to hearing from you and how we can support Kerry Lyn through another Christmas season on Death Row.

More to post soon.
Blessings and peace to you all from my family, and on behalf of Kerry!!!

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:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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

News article link:

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:

 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?

 "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:

Case No.: CV 09-02158-CJC 


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

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."