Day: March 21, 2012

Mississippi – William Mitchell – execution Last 24h

March 22, 2012 Execution of William Mitchell
7:00 p.m. News Briefing 

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today conducted the mandated execution of state inmate William Mitchell. Inmate Mitchell was pronounced dead at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. MDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps said during a press conference following the execution that the evening signified the close of the William Mitchell case. Mitchell was sentenced to death in 1998 for the crime of capital murder of Ms. Patty Milliken in Harrison County, Miss.

“The State of Mississippi – Department of Corrections has carried out a court order issued by the state Supreme Court. The role of the MDOC is to see that the order of the court is carried out with decorum,” said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps. “Through the course of nearly 17 years, death row inmate William Mitchell was afforded his day in court and in the finality, his conviction was upheld all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the second time this week, the cause of justice has been championed.”

“I ask that you join me in prayer for the family of Ms. Patty Milliken. The entire MDOC family hopes you may now embark on the process of healing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you as you continue life’s journey,” said Epps.
Epps concluded his comments by commending Deputy Commissioner of Institutions/Parchman Penitentiary Superintendent Emmitt Sparkman and the entire Mississippi State Penitentiary security staff for their professionalism during the process.

William Mitchell was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m. Thursday after a lethal injection

Asked whether he wanted to say anything before the chemicals were pumped into his veins, Mitchell emphatically said, “No.”

Dressed in a red jumpsuit, wearing black-and-white sneakers, Mitchell appeared to lick his lips, took a deep breath and exhaled and then yawned. Moments later he closed his eyes and officials pronounced him dead.

Two members of Milliken’s family — son, Williams Burns; and a sister, Rosemary Riley — witnessed the execution.

Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement that he would not halt the execution.

“After reviewing the case of William Mitchell and the crime he committed, I will not stand in the way of the scheduled execution. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Patty Milliken, who fell victim to this horrible act of violence,” Bryant said in the statement.

Mitchell’s body will be turned over to his sister Gerolyn Mitchell and Brinson Funeral Home in Cleveland, Miss.

March 22, 2012 Scheduled Execution of William Mitchell
4:45 p.m. News Briefing
Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today briefed
members of the news media of death row Inmate William Mitchell’s activities from 2:00 p.m.
to approximately 4:45 p.m., including telephone calls and visits.
Inmate Mitchell’s Collect Telephone Calls
 Today, Thursday, March 22, 2012
Two calls: Janine Woodard (friend)
One call: Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Two calls: Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
One call: David Voisin (attorney)
Update to Inmate Mitchell’s Visits
 Family visitors left Unit 17 at 3:00 p.m.
 Attorneys Glenn Swartzfager and Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams visited with Inmate
Mitchell from 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
 His spiritual advisor, MDOC Chaplain Imam William Sabree, left Unit 17 at 4:00 p.m.
Activities of Inmate Mitchell:
 Inmate Mitchell ate very little of his last meal,
 Inmate Mitchell does not want to take a shower.
 He has requested a sedative. (Diazepam 5 ml)
 Inmate Mitchell remains under observation. Officers have observed Inmate Mitchell as
still being talkative.
The United States Supreme Court has denied William Mitchell’s
certiorari petition and application for stay of execution.

update march 22, 5.05 pm  source :

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the execution of a convicted killer, and Mississippi officials were expected to put him to death by lethal injection on Thursday evening.

William Mitchell, 61, was convicted in the Nov. 21, 1995, slaying of Patty Milliken.

Milliken, 38, disappeared after walking out of the Majik Mart convenience store in Biloxi where she worked to have a cigarette with Mitchell.

Milliken’s body was found the next day under a bridge.

She had been “strangled, beaten, sexually assaulted and repeatedly run over by a vehicle,” according to court records.

Mitchell was convicted of capital murder in 1998.

Earlier on Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, denied Mitchell’s request for a stay.

uptade march 22  source : MDOC  press release pdf 

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) will hold three news briefings today related to events surrounding the Thursday, March 22, 2012 scheduled execution of death row Inmate William Mitchell, MDOC #31271.

The following is an update on Inmate Mitchell’s recent visits and telephone calls, activities, last meal to be served, and the official list of execution witnesses.

Approved visitation list:
Anthony Mitchell (brother)
Marie Dunn (sister)
Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)
Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Imam William Sabree (MDOC Chaplain)
Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams (attorney)

Visits with Inmate William Mitchell
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams (attorney)

Visits today, thus far:
Anthony Mitchell (brother)
Marie Dunn (sister)
Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)

Activities of Mitchell
Inmate Mitchell was transferred from Unit 29 to Unit 17 on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
This morning, at Unit 17, for breakfast at 5:07a.m., Inmate Mitchell was offered potatoes with beef gravy, 2 biscuits, dry cereal, milk and coffee. Inmate Mitchell did eat all of the breakfast.

Inmate Mitchell was offered lunch today but chose to not eat.

Inmate Mitchell has access to a telephone to place unlimited collect calls to persons on his approved telephone list. He will have access today, March 22th until 5:00 p.m.

Approved Telephone List
Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)
Janine Woodard (friend)
David Voisin (attorney)
Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)

Inmate Mitchell’s Collect Telephone Calls
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
One call: Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
One call: David Voisin (attorney)
Five calls: Janine Woodard (friend)
One call: Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
One call: Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)

Today, March 22, 2012
Thus far today:
Two calls: Janine Woodard (friend)
One call: Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Two calls: Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
One call: David Voisin (attorney)

According to the MDOC correctional officers that are posted outside his cell, Inmate Mitchell is observed to be talkative.

Mitchell’s Remains
Inmate Mitchell has requested that his body be released to Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter), by Brinson Funeral Home in Cleveland, Miss.

Last Meal
Inmate Mitchell requested the following as his last meal: big plate of fried shrimp and oysters together, big strawberry shake, cup of ranch dressing, 2 fried chicken breasts and a coke.

Execution Witnesses
Spiritual Advisor(s) for the condemned Inmate Mitchell requested no spiritual advisor witness the execution.
Member(s) of the condemned’s family Inmate Mitchell requested no family member witness the execution.
Attorney(s) for the condemned Glenn Swartzfager and Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams
Member(s) of the victims’ family William Burns (son of Patty Milliken)
Rosemary Riley (sister of Patty Milliken)
Sheriffs Sheriff James Haywood, Sunflower County
John Miller, Chief, Biloxi Police Department
Members of the Media Ryan L. Nave, Jackson Free Press
Doug Walker Wineki, WLOX News
Jack Elliott Jr., Associated Press

update March 22, 9.50 am CDT source :

Mitchell’s execution is set for 6 p.m. local time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. If carried out, it will be the third execution this year in Mississippi and the eleventh in the nation.

update March 21, 2012 – 3:09 pm  source :

JACKSON, Miss. — Inmate William Mitchell was moved to a holding cell next to the execution chamber at the Parchman state prison shortly after Larry Matthew Puckett was put to death Tuesday night, according to Department of Corrections officials.

Barring a reprieve, Mitchell will be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Mitchell was convicted of capital murder in Harrison County in 1998.

On Tuesday, Mitchell asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution. There had been no ruling issued by the court Wednesday.

Mitchell‘s petition cites issues already dismissed by Mississippi and other federal courts — ineffective counsel during trial, his sentencing hearing and various appeals.

Mitchell argued the Mississippi courts denied his right to due process by failing to address his “well-pled challenge” to his lawyers’ inadequate representation. He said the courts just ignored the issue by saying it had already been adjudicated elsewhere.

On Wednesday, in documents filed with the Supreme Court, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said issues raised by Mitchell have been addressed by other courts and should be rejected.

Hood said Mitchell’s ineffective counsel claim “is simply an attempt to relitigate the merits of these claims.” Hood said Mitchell has no evidence to show how his attorney’s actions, if different, would have changed the outcome of his trial.

“The merits of the claims were addressed, on the merits, by either the state or federal courts in this case,” Hood said in court documents.

Jim Craig of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a nonprofit law office, does not represent Mitchell but has handled other death penalty appeals in Mississippi.

Earlier this week, Craig said Mitchell went through the post-conviction proceedings as if he was just representing himself. Craig said Mitchell has a long history of mental illness and that was never considered in the normal course of his appeals.

According to court records, Mitchell, as a young adult, served in the Army but by the 1990s, he had a long criminal record and had spent much of his adult life behind bars. He was charged twice with beating women in 1973. In 1974, he was charged with killing a family friend and stabbing her daughter.

read the case 

Justice for Trayvon Martin National March and Rally, March 26, 2012 4:00 pm !

march 23,

WASHINGTON — President Obama did not mention race even as he addressed it on Friday, instead letting his person and his words say it all: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

Weighing in for the first time on the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot and killed a month ago in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer, Mr. Obama in powerfully personal terms deplored the “tragedy” and, as a parent, expressed sympathy for the boy’s mother and father.

“I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids,” Mr. Obama said. “Every parent in America,” he added, “should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”

While speaking movingly from his perspective as the father of two girls, one a teenager, Mr. Obama notably made no reference to the racial context that has made the killing of Trayvon and the gunman’s claim of self-defense a rallying point for African-Americans. Since Mr. Obama first began campaigning to be “president of all the people,” as his advisers would put it when pressed on racial issues, he has been generally reluctant to talk about race. And after his historic election as the first black president, Mr. Obama learned the hard way about the pitfalls of the chief executive opining on law enforcement matters involving civil rights.

source : New york time  read here.

This is not a case of death row, but a case of injustice and tragedy.

Trayvon Martin was killed.

In the moments before Martin was shot, he was on his cellphone talking to his girlfriend.

“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” the girl told ABC News. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”

Law enforcement officials in Sanford, Fla., investigating last month’s shooting of an unarmed black teen by self-appointed neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman say they may have missed a possible racist remark made by Zimmerman to a 911 operator seconds before he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

read the case, video on : Huffington post

Uptade march, 22  source CNN

Sanford, Florida (CNN) — After a no-confidence vote and demands for his resignation, pressure mounted Thursday on the police chief of the Florida city where unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was killed.

Sanford city commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday night in favor of a nonbinding measure of no confidence against Police Chief Bill Lee. It was not immediately clear what impact, if any, that would have.

City Manager Norton Bonaparte said Thursday that he would like an independent review of police action in the wake of the shooting.

NAACP President Ben Jealous, however, was more forthright. Parents, he said, don’t feel their children will be safe with Lee heading the police department.

“He needs to go right now,’ Jealous said.

Meanwhile, the uproar over Martin’s death continued to grow with another rally planned Thursday night at a Sanford church. The Rev. Al Sharpton was slated to lead that rally before news of his mother’s death.

Martin was fatally shot February 26 while walking to the house of his father’s fiancee in Sanford after a trip to a convenience store. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader, said he shot the teen in self-defense.

Zimmerman has not been arrested. A police report describes him as a white male; his family says he is Hispanic.

Public outrage over the shooting and police response reverberted well beyond Sanford, a racially mixed Orlando suburb.

Demonstrators crowded New York’s Union Square Wednesday night, in a protest attended by Martin’s parents. Many wore hoodies and carried Skittles, the type of clothing Martin was wearing and the candy he purchased from a convenience store the night he was killed.

CNN videos about Trayvon Martin : watch here

Lawmakers, Advocates Want End To Death Penalty In Md.

march. 20 source : CBS Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS, Md.  — The end of the death penalty in Maryland. That’s what some lawmakers and advocates are hoping to accomplish by the end of this legislative session.

Derek Valcourt explains they’ve got some hurdles to clear first.

They made their case to a House committee Tuesday but it’s a Senate committee that could give them the most resistance. Supporters say they are one vote shy of getting out of a Senate committee to the full floor, where they say they have enough votes in both chambers to pass it.

Erricka Bridgeford says justice for the 2007 murder of her brother won’t come by lethal injection.

“It’s not justice to me to have another dead body in place of my brother’s dead body,” Bridgeford said.

She’s one of several advocates calling on lawmakers to repeal Maryland’s death penalty. She’s joined by the NAACP, which points to the outrage over the September execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis as proof that attitudes toward the death penalty are changing.

“It’s a known fact that racism exists. We know that our system is not foolproof, so in that sense of the word, we need to move forward at this time not to have another Troy Davis,” said Gerald Stansbury, NAACP.

Read the full article and video click here

In 2000 Illinois discovered we had 13 innocent men on death row waiting to be executed

And when I say innocent I don’t mean they got off because of a technicality or something like that. I mean they were truly innocent of the crimes they were scheduled to be put to death for. Think Illinois is the only state this kind of stuff happens in ?


source :

from Innocence Project, u can find exonerations by state (289)

TEXAS – Court Ruling Could Affect Texas Death Row Cases

march, 21   source :

Death row inmate Jesse Joe Hernandez, set to be executed next week for the 2001 death of a 10-month-old boy in Dallas, is hoping that a ruling Tuesday from the U.S. Supreme Court could give him another chance to prove that the tragedy was not entirely his fault.

The nation’s highest court ruled that the failure of initial state habeas lawyers to argue that their client’s trial counsel was ineffective should not prevent the defendant from making that argument later on. Lawyers across the country, including those for at least two Texas death row inmates, were eagerly awaiting the court’s ruling in the Martinez v. Ryancase out of Arizona, which could expand appeals access for inmates.

A procedural default will not bar a federal habeas court from hearing those claims if, in the initial-review collateral proceeding, there was no counsel or counsel in the proceeding was ineffective,” the court majority held.

Habeas lawyers investigate issues that could or should have been raised during a defendant’s original trial.

Brad Levenson, director of the Texas Office of Capital Writs, filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of Hernandez,arguing that his March 28 execution should be stayed, in part, because of the court’s ruling.

Although the ruling applies to federal courts, Levenson said, Texas’ highest criminal court should take its cue from the nation’s highest court and hear Hernandez’s claims.

Hernandez was convicted in 2002 for the death of a child who lived in the home where he lived at the time. Hernandez admitted he hit the child, who was rushed to the hospital, where he was put into a medically induced coma and then died after he was removed from life support.

In a writ filed Tuesday with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Hernandez argues that his actions did not directly cause the child’s death. Instead, an expert who recently reviewed the medical records concluded that the hospital gave the child a lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital and that he was pulled from life support too soon.

There’s no way to tell at end of day whether he would have survived,” Levenson said. “Our expert said there’s a very real probability the child could have lived.”

Levenson said Hernandez’s trial lawyers and his initial appeals lawyers were ineffective because they failed to do further investigation and hire their own experts to find out why the child died. Levenson, who took the case only three weeks ago, hired a doctor who reviewed the medical records and determined that the little boy had not been diagnosed as brain-dead before he was removed from life support and that he was given toxic doses of pentobarbital.

It’s not to say that Mr. Hernandez is not guilty of a crime, but he’s not guilty of capital murder,” Levenson said.

Current law, though, could prohibit Hernandez from arguing that because his original trial lawyers were ineffective by not further investigating the cause of death that he should get a new trial. Those kinds of claims must be raised from the beginning of the appeals process to be valid later on. And Hernandez’s previous habeas lawyers did not argue that he was inadequately represented.

Levenson said that even though Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling applies to claims made in federal court — not state writs like the one he filed — the same principle ought to apply.

We’re saying the state courts should also take a look at these claims for the same reason the Supreme Court would take a look at them,” he said.

The ruling could also be a boon for death row inmate Rob Will, who was convicted in 2002 of fatally shooting a Harris County sheriff’s deputy. Will says that the man he was with that night was the real shooter and that he is innocent.

In January, U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison denied Will’s pleas for a new trial but wrote that he lamented doing so because of “disturbing uncertainties” raised about his guilt.

Will is hoping the court’s ruling in Martinez will allow him to argue that he should get a new trial because both his trial lawyer and his state-appointed habeas lawyer were ineffective when they failed to track down several witnesses who have testified that the other man confessed to the killing.

Don’t revive capital punishment debate

march 21. source

It is completely understandable that when we, as a society, are faced with a monstrous crime, we ponder capital punishment.

Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson, Robert Pickton and now those accused of murdering young Tori Stafford – who hasn’t considered that the world would be a better place if such people were put to death ?

In our well-placed horror and anger, we forget how many innocent people have been put to death, or how many innocent people sat on death row for decades before being cleared.

Those who argue for reinstating the death penalty say that it should be reserved for only those cases where guilt is absolute and the crime merits the penalty. But that has been the justification throughout history – and, as we know, our barometer of what merits the ultimate penalty has changed over time.

Some history books say the first execution in Canada, on Jan. 19, 1649, was a 16-year-old girl found guilty of theft.

Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas were the last prisoners to suffer execution in Canada, in 1962.

Turpin was a small-time thief who shot a policeman while fleeing a restaurant robbery.

w was a black man convicted of killing an FBI informant despite lingering questions over his guilt and mental impairment. Both had little previous violence in their history.

Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976, and, while there have been calls to bring it back, polls suggest that many Canadians continue to believe that the death penalty is simply too “final” to leave in the hands of a fallible justice system subject to politics and prejudice.

Even the “tough-on-crime” Conservatives are reluctant to start the debate again.

And that, for once, is a good thing.

William Mitchell asks US Supreme Court to stop his execution scheduled for Thursday

march, 20 source :

JACKSON, Miss. — William Mitchell has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution now scheduled for Thursday at the state prison in Parchman.

In documents filed Tuesday, the death row inmate said his previous attorneys didn’t do a good job and the Mississippi courts have refused to give him a hearing and an expert to prove his “intellectual disability.”

The Supreme Court had not ruled on his motion Tuesday.

Mitchell, now 61, had been out of prison on parole for less than a year for a 1975 murder when he was charged with raping and killing 38-year-old Patty Milliken.

In documents filed Tuesday with the court, Mitchell says his previous attorneys didn’t do a good job and the Mississippi courts have refused to give him a hearing and an expert to prove his “intellectual disability.”

Milliken disappeared on Nov. 21, 1995, after walking out of the Majik Mart convenience store where she worked in Biloxi to have a cigarette with Mitchell. Her body was found the next day under a bridge. She had been “strangled, beaten, sexually assaulted, and repeatedly run over by a vehicle,” according to court records.

Mitchell was convicted of capital murder in Harrison County in 1998.

Mitchell argues the Mississippi Supreme Court twice refused to consider his ineffective counsel claims stemming from actions by his lawyers during the penalty phase of his trial and during his post-conviction petitions.

He said at no time did his attorneys try to develop evidence of his “intellectual disability” when evidence was available or could be available if he was given a psychological evaluation.

In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence — or a possible constitutional issue — that could persuade a court to order a new trial.

Similar arguments from Mitchell were turned down in the federalcourts last year.


   Us. Surpeme Court
No. 11A882
William Gerald Mitchell, aka William Jerald Mitchell, Applicant
Linked with 11-9373
Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Mississippi
  Case Nos.: (2012-DR-00277)
~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mar 20 2012 Application (11A882) for a stay of execution of sentence of death, submitted to Justice Scalia.

~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:
J. Cliff Johnson II. Pigott & Johnson (601)-354-2121
775 N. Congress Street
P.O. Box 22725
Jackson, MS  39225-2725
Party name: William Gerald Mitchell, aka William Jerald Mitchell
Attorneys for Respondent:
Marvin L. White Jr. Assistant Attorney General (601) 359-3680
450 High Street
P.O. Box 220
Jackson, MS  39205
Party name: Mississippi

Arizona Supreme Court approves executions of 2 more death-row inmates

march, 20 source :

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the executions of two more death-row inmates, one for the brutal rape and murder of a Phoenix woman and the other for killing a Tucson college student after robbing him.

Samuel Villegas Lopez, 49, is scheduled to be executed on May 16. Thomas Arnold Kemp, 63, is set for execution on April 26. If both executions are carried out, and if the state can carry out three other executions on its radar screen, Arizona would be on pace to match its busiest year for executions in state history.

The most inmates Arizona has executed in a given year since establishing the death penalty in 1910 was seven inmates in 1999.

Arizona has executed two inmates so far this year — Robert Henry Moormann on Feb. 29 and Robert Charles Towery on March 8. It could schedule three more on top of Lopez’s and Kemp’s executions, putting the state on pace to execute seven men this year.

The state executed four inmates last year.

Lopez was convicted for raping, robbing and stabbing 59-year-old Estafana Holmes to death in her Phoenix apartment on Oct. 29, 1986, after what court records described as a “terrible and prolonged struggle.”

Police later found a half-naked Holmes with three major stab wounds to her head, one on her face, and 23 in her left breast and upper chest. The 5-foot-2-inch, 125-pound woman had been blindfolded and gagged with her own clothing, and her throat had been slit.

Semen found on her body matched Lopez’s after he was arrested in a separate rape less than a week later.

Holmes’ apartment was in complete disarray, and blood was splattered on walls in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. In a 1993 ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court upholding Lopez’s death sentence, the justices wrote that the state of the apartment and Holmes’ body showed “a terrific struggle for life” and called the killing a “grisly and ultimately fatal nightmare.”

“Obviously, the victim endured great physical and mental suffering over a relatively protracted period of time while she struggled for her life,” they wrote.

Lopez argued to the court that he didn’t deserve the death penalty because he said he didn’t torture Holmes, that none of the wounds he gave her were inflicted solely to cause pain, and that he “simply continued to stab the victim until she died.”

In a later unsuccessful appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Lopez argued that he deserved a sentence of life in prison rather than the death penalty. He said that he had ineffective attorneys who failed to present during trial a psychiatric expert who had hypothesized that Lopez was suffering from “pathological intoxication” at the time of the killing.

Pathological intoxication is considered a rare condition in which a person exhibits sudden and unpredictable behavior shortly after drinking a very small amount of alcohol.

Kemp, the other inmate approved for execution, was sentenced to death for kidnapping 25-year-old Hector Soto Juarez from outside his Tucson apartment on July 11, 1992, and robbing him before taking him into a desert area, forcing him to undress and shooting him twice in the head.

Juarez had just left his apartment to get food when Kemp and Jeffery Logan spotted him. They held him at gunpoint and used his debit card to withdraw $200 before driving him to the Silverbell Mine area near Marana, where Kemp killed Juarez.

The two men then went to Flagstaff, where they kidnapped a married couple traveling from California to Kansas and made them drive to Durango, Colo., where Kemp raped the man in a hotel room. Later, Kemp and Logan forced the couple to drive to Denver, where they escaped. Logan soon after separated from Kemp and called police about Juarez’s murder.

Logan led police to Juarez’s body, and Kemp was arrested.

Kemp has argued that his conviction was unfair because then-prosecutor Kenneth Peasley repeatedly told jurors that Kemp’s homosexuality was behind Juarez’s kidnapping and murder, and that the jury hadn’t been properly vetted for their feelings about gay men.

Kemp addressed the court during his sentencing trial when he was supposed to explain why he didn’t deserve the death penalty. Instead, Kemp said Juarez was in the country illegally and was “beneath my contempt,” and expressed contempt for Juarez, Logan, Peasley and reporters who had written about his case.

“I don’t show any mercy, and I am certainly not here to plead for mercy,” he said. “I spit on the law and all those who serve it.”