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Questionable Death Row Cases.

Discussion in 'Courtroom' started by Cousin Dupree, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    I'm starting this thread as a place to bring questionable Death Row convictions. Please be mature in how you respond to each other. Many DP cases can involve prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering by LE, lying witness', personal vendettas, or other things depending on the case. Taking testimony and evidence presented at trial is not enough. What was not presented is often the most damning evidence for the truth.

    This HAS happened before and will continue to happen. I personally disagree with the DP for these reasons. However, in some cases like Jodi Arias' I see the death penalty as valid. The problem is that Jodi's case was a slam dunk, while other cases may appear to be slam dunks but turn out not to be.

    Here's one case that was brought up in the Darlie Routier thread. http://www.uis.edu/illinoisinnocenceproject/cases/exonorees/jrharper/

    On October 13, 1997, Julie Rea-Harper’s 10-year old son, Joel, was brutally stabbed to death in the middle of the night by an intruder. The crime shocked the small town of Lawrenceville, Illinois.


    [​IMG]

    In June of 2000, Bill Clutter, a criminal defense investigator with capital experience was contacted by Indiana criminal defense attorney Katheryn Leil. The attorney explained that her client, Julie Rea-Harper, a Ph.D. student at the University of Indiana, was about to be indicted by a grand jury in Illinois for the murder of her 10-year-old son. She said that Julie had been the sole focus of a police investigation over a three-year period since the crime occurred despite the fact that Julie described in detail an intruder who randomly targeted her home and her child. Her son Joel was slain with a knife that had come from her kitchen. Awakened at 4 a.m. by Joel’s haunting scream, Julie survived a vicious attack by a man she encountered in Joel’s room. Startled by her entry, the murderer dropped the knife and fled.


    Hearing Julie’s description of the assailant and the details of the crime for the first time, Clutter told Leil that Joel’s murder sounded like the work of a child serial killer who had recently been arrested for a similar crime in Texas. The description of the intruder, and the modis operandi, said Clutter, fit the description of a confessed child serial killer named Tommy Lynn Sells. On New Years Eve of 1999, Sells broke into the home of a Del Rio Texas family at 4:30 a.m. and brutally stabbed to death 13 year-old Kaylene Harris while the rest of the family slept through the attack. Another child, 10 year-old Krystal Surles had her throat slashed, but survived the attack and provided police with a description of the assailant, leading to the arrest of Sells, who is now serving a death sentence in Texas for that crime....


    Do you know of any cases that are questionable and should be re-looked at? I started a thread on the CNN series Death Row Stories as well. Maybe the mods will combine all three threads here.
     
    misssasska, Lily, Ladyslug and 5 others like this.
  2. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member




    This case has a lot of hinky things surrounding it.
     
    Ladyslug likes this.
  3. Uno2Much

    Uno2Much Bronze Member

    This man's conviction was overturned after nearly 25 years on death row. The prosecution has decided not to retry the case, but it's a good example of a questionable DP case.


    California inmate released after 25 years on death row
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — Apr 19, 2018, 8:05 PM ET

    Benavides, who had been on death row since June 1993, was freed after the state Supreme Court ruled last month that false medical testimony was presented at his trial.

    Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/california-inmate-released-25-years-death-row-54597139
     
    Whatsnext, Lily, Ladyslug and 4 others like this.
  4. Uno2Much

    Uno2Much Bronze Member

    LOCKED UP
    What did Kevin Cooper do, how many murders is he convicted of and how long has he been on death row?

    By Phoebe Cooke
    18th June 2018, 9:28 am
    Updated: 18th June 2018, 3:13 pm

    <snip>

    Douglas and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and her friend Christopher Hughes, 11, were massacred to death.

    Cooper was said to have been hiding out in a vacant house 125 yards away in the two days before the crime.

    [.....]
    Cooper admitted to hiding out nearby but has always denied committing the murders.

    He was convicted of four counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder and sentenced to death.

    [.....]
    Cooper has been on death row for 33 years, after he was locked up in 1985.
    [.....]
    A number of arguments appear to support Cooper's claims of innocence.

    These included the fact that the sole survivor, eight-year-old Josh Ryen, told a social worker that the murders were committed by three or four white men - something backed by social worker Donald Gamundoy.

    Meanwhile Judge Fletcher pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the evidence found, including those of the T-shirt blood stains that had brought about Cooper's conviction.

    [​IMG]

    Read more: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6558891/kevin-cooper-murders-convicted-death-row/
     
    ima.grandma, Whatsnext, Lily and 2 others like this.
  5. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row

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


    Executed But Possibly Innocent
    There is no way to tell how many of the more than 1,470 people executed since 1976 may also have been innocent. Courts do not generally entertain claims of innocence when the defendant is dead. Defense attorneys move on to other cases where clients' lives can still be saved. Some cases with strong evidence of innocence include:
    be saved. Some cases with strong evidence of innocence include:

    Carlos DeLuna: Texas — Conviction: 1983, Executed: 1989
    Ruben Cantu: Texas — Conviction: 1985, Executed: 1993
    Larry Griffin: Missouri — Conviction: 1981, Executed: 1995
    Joseph O'Dell: Virginia — Conviction: 1986, Executed: 1997
    David Spence: Texas — Conviction: 1984, Executed: 1997
    Leo Jones: Florida — Conviction: 1981, Executed: 1998
    Gary Graham: Texas — Conviction: 1981, Executed: 2000
    Claude Jones: Texas — Conviction: 1989, Executed: 2000
    Cameron Willingham: Texas — Conviction: 1992, Executed: 2004
    Troy Davis: Georgia — Conviction: 1991, Executed: 2011
    Lester Bower: Texas — Conviction: 1984, Executed: 2015
    Brian Terrell: Georgia — Conviction: 1995, Executed: 2015
    Richard Masterson: Texas — Conviction: 2002, Executed: 2016
    Robert Pruett: Texas — Conviction: 2002, Executed: 2017
    Carlton Michael Gary: Georgia — Conviction: 1986, Executed: 2018

    https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executed-possibly-innocent
     
  6. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

  7. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    This is the story of Clarence Brandley who was obviously railroaded to death row. Even though the state fought like hell to kill him despite it being proven he was innocent, he was eventually set free. At one point Brandley asked for a dismissal of charges because his defense proved he was innocent. According to law any changes to evidence had to be submitted within thirty days of the trial, so based on that technicality the judge ordered a rescheduling of the death.

    https://tcadp.org/2018/09/10/texas-death-row-exoneree-clarence-brandley-has-passed-away/

    Texas death row exoneree Clarence Brandley has passed away
    September 10, 2018

    Clarence Brandley, who spent nine years on death row in Texas before his exoneration in 1990, passed away on September 2, 2018 at the age of 66. He came within six days of being executed for a crime he did not commit.


    Brandley, who was African-American, was convicted by an all-white jury in Montgomery County in 1981 (an earlier trial, also involving an all-white jury, was declared a mistrial). He was sentenced to death for the 1980 rape and murder of 16-year-old Cheryl Dee Fergeson, a young white woman, despite the fact that no physical evidence tied him to the crime. His conviction rested primarily on the word of several white janitors he worked with at Conroe High School.


    Brandley was one of the first individuals to be exonerated and released from death row in Texas. There have been 13 total death row exonerations here (163 nationwide). He never received compensation from the State for the decade of his life he lost to wrongful incarceration....
     
    Lily and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  8. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    I can't see which case this is - maybe the link has broken
     
    Whatsnext and Cousin Dupree like this.
  9. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    Interesting treatment of the Darlie Routier case, above. I don't think they quite got all the facts right.

    Anyways, I was wondering how familiar everyone is with the Linda Carty case?
     
    Cousin Dupree likes this.
  10. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    It was linked a long time ago, so it's probably broken.
     
    Whatsnext likes this.
  11. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    We have a thread about Darlie Routier. I'm not personally familiar with the Linda Carty case.
     
    Whatsnext likes this.
  12. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    Yeah.. I love talking about the Darlie Routier case. I've just come back to it, after some time.

    I started in the innocent camp and I'm now in the guilty camp.. but still unsure. It's really hard to tell with all the misinformation. Everyone misquotes the facts. Right now I have someone from the 'innocent' camp who claims to be trained in forensics sending me all the crime scene and courtroom stuff. They claim the physical evidence supports her innocence.

    I had sort of looked through the court transcripts but gave up. Also wasn't sure about the errors though apparently they've been corrected.
     
    Whatsnext and Cousin Dupree like this.
  13. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    The Linda Carty case is interesting. Some people support her innocence. Of course, she claims innocence. It hasn't received as much publicity as a case like Darlie's, but similar in that they claim - seemingly with some validity - that the defence lawyer was inept and there was an unfair trial which did not present all evidence/missed important defense material.

    Just glad I'm not there!
     
    Kimster, Whatsnext and Cousin Dupree like this.
  14. Nagatha Christie

    Nagatha Christie Well-Known Member

    I recently watched a documentary on linda carty and I feel she is a guilty , remorseless and manipulative person. I will go back and rewatch the documentary as well as other video about the case.
    Here is the documentary that i watched. It was made by a British production team that does an amazing variety of fascinating slices of life called Real Stories.
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=british+woman+death+row&app=desktop
     
    misssasska, Kimster and Cousin Dupree like this.
  15. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I need to watch that documentary on Linda Carty. I know zip about that case.
     
    Cousin Dupree likes this.
  16. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    Yeah, so interesting that few people do.. and that when you see her speak it's very much the same tone as Darlie

    I have someone sending me their analysis of the Darlie evidence .. someone, like me, with some training in forensics, and she makes some interesting points about the blood evidence and Darlie's wounds

    Namely that the nightshirt shows blood pooling at the back of the neck, the pillow has bloodstains that were ignored, and the tiny likelihood that anyone who self-inflicts wounds uses their non-dominant hand (for both neck and forearm, and bruising).

    Yet, in the first prison interview Darlie claims she told Damon
    to hold on and he said "ok, Mommy" which is either extremely unlikely given his lungs were filling with blood, or it means that he could have screamed.

    Most mysterious case I know of, that one.
     
    Kimster, Whatsnext and Cousin Dupree like this.
  17. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    I watched the Linda Carty video and it's definitely a case that needs to be reassessed.
     
    Whatsnext and kdg411 like this.
  18. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    Which case was it?
     
    Cousin Dupree likes this.
  19. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    Where's the Darlie Routier thread?

    I can't find it.. though I seem to remember commenting on it awhile back.

    I'm completely obsessed.. again
     
    Whatsnext and Cousin Dupree like this.
  20. misssasska

    misssasska Active Member

    Ok, on Linda Carty

    This is the 'On Death Row' documentary, in which they interview one of the co-accused.

     
    Cousin Dupree likes this.

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