Day: May 15, 2012

State pays for inmate bypass surgery, then executes him

May 15, source  :

Watch the video : click here

Robert Henry Moorman received bypass surgery three months before he was executed.

Robert Henry Moorman received bypass surgery three months before he was executed.





Lynette Barrett’s eyes well up with tears when she talks about her husband, Murray, and his struggle to survive.

“Nine years ago last December,” Barrett said is when she discovered Murray had liver failure. “He needs a new liver,” she said.

Unable to work and with no health insurance, the Barretts found themselves under a mountain of debt and with an even larger bill on the horizon.

“He’s had three hospital stays in the last year and each of them has been over $50,000. Without insurance, we had to have $100,000 up front before they’d even consider a transplant,” said Barrett.

To raise money, the Barretts and other families in similar situations have had to become creative. They’ve heldpancake breakfasts, auctions, car washes and accept donations on their blog.

Since 2010, the state indigent healthcare system has purged more than 100,000 people from its rolls. Families like the Barretts no longer qualify for state aid.

State leaders say helping them is a luxury they just can’t afford. But a CBS 5 investigation found cases where state dollars have gone to lifesaving operations in one of the unlikeliest places.

That place is death row. 

Every inmate here is awaiting execution and in a strange quirk of the law, some of these condemned inmates are receiving the kind of state-funded medical care being denied to law-abiding citizens who don’t have health insurance.

In 1984, Robert Moorman murdered his adoptive mother and chopped her up into pieces. But in November of last year, Moorman received a quintuple heart bypass surgery at the taxpayers’ expense. He was executed three months later.

Why does the state pay for healthcare for prison inmates?

“Because there’s no choice,” said Daniel Pachoda, who is the legal director for the Phoenix office of the ACLU.

He said he can’t explain what happened to Robert Moorman, but the requirements of the death penalty may help explain it.

“That is a quirk in the law that people have to be medically and physically competent before they’re allowed to be executed,” said Pachoda.

But according to Pachoda, it would be a mistake to think that all inmates get the same treatment.

The ACLU recently sued the state, citing dozens of cases where basic medical treatment or antibiotics would have saved the lives of inmates or spared them from serious illness.

Lynette Barrett says the Moorman case does not make any sense to her. 

“It’s really hard to see somebody they’re going to execute in three months…what was the point of the bypass?” she asked.

Department of Corrections officials could not discuss any specific inmate medical questions, but they did say medical professionals are the ones who make the decisions about healthcare for inmates. And they insist that all inmates receive the same constitutionally required medical care.

INNOCENCE: New Evidence That Texas May Have Executed an Innocent Man

source :

In one of the most comprehensive investigations ever undertaken about the execution of a possibly innocent defendant, Professor James Liebman and other researchers at Columbia University Law School have published a groundbreaking report on the case of Carlos DeLuna(pictured), who was executed in Texas in 1989.  This “Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution” is being published today (May 15) in Columbia’s Human Rights Law Review.  Prof. Liebman concluded DeLuna was innocent and was wrongly convicted “on the thinnest of evidence: a single, nighttime, cross-ethnic eyewitness identification and no corroborating forensics.” DeLuna maintained his innocence from the time of his arrest until his execution, claiming that the actual culprit was Carlos Hernandez, who looked so similar to DeLuna that friends and family had mistaken photos of the two men for each other. Prosecutors called Hernandez a “phantom” of DeLuna’s imagination, although Hernandez was known to police and prosecutors because of his history of violent crimes, including armed robberies and an arrest for a murder similar to the one for which DeLuna was executed. Liebman’s investigation found that Hernandez “spent years bragging around Corpus Christi that he, not his tocayo – his namesake and ‘twin’ – Carlos DeLuna, killed Wanda Lopez.”

The article is accompanied by a website at the Human Rights Law Review, which offers more information on DeLuna’s case, including maps, videos, timelines, and primary sources from the investigation.

(See M. McLaughlin, “Carlos De Luna Execution: Texas Put To Death An Innocent Man, Columbia University Team Says,”Huffington Post, May 15, 2012; J. Liebman, et al., “Los Tacayos Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution,” 43 Human Rights Law Review 349 (2012)).  See DPIC’s list of those Executed but Possibly Innocent and Studies.

ARIZONA – Arizona death-row inmate’s lawsuit heads to court – Samuel Villegas Lopez

May 14, 2012, Source :

Lawyers for an Arizona death-row inmate plan to argue the state’s clemency process is flawed as they make last-minute bids to stop his execution.

Attorneys for Samuel Villegas Lopez contend the execution should be delayed so new members of the state’s clemency board can be appointed. They are set to make their case Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Separate proceedings will be held Monday before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, where lawyers for Lopez will challenge the state’s execution procedures and contend he was denied effective legal representation.

Lopez is scheduled to be executed Wednesday at a state prison in Florence for the 1986 murder of 59-year-old Estefana Holmes. The Phoenix woman was raped, robbed and stabbed in what court papers described as a “terrible and prolonged struggle.”

Lopez would be the fourth person executed by Arizona this year.

His lawyers say Lopez deserves clemency because the trial judge was never told he had brain damage and a difficult childhood.

The Board of Executive Clemency took no action during a May 7 hearing for Lopez when a lawyer for the inmate walked out after challenging the validity of the proceeding.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Lopez two days later called the hearing a sham resulting from a revamping of the board’s makeup to avoid having clemency recommendations in high-profile cases land on the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer.

The lawsuit asked Superior Court Judge Joseph Kraemer to rule that Brewer’s recent appointments of three of the five members of the board were invalid. The suit cited alleged open meeting law violations by a committee that screen applicants.

“The three board members, rendered null and void by state statute, were equivalent to three empty chairs in the room,” Lopez’s attorneys wrote in a filing in the case.

As a result, Lopez has been denied his due-process right to have the board consider recommending that Brewer commute his death sentence to life in prison or grant him a reprieve delaying the execution, the lawsuit contends.

In court papers filed on behalf of Brewer and other state officials, state Solicitor General David Cole said clemency proceedings are legally a “matter of grace” that only entitle inmates to minimal due process.

On behalf of the state, Attorney General Kent Cattani also urged Kreamer to reject Lopez’s requests and said the inmate’s lawyers had an opportunity to present his case but chose not to do so.

Clemency is a political process decided by elected officials that is not subject to judicial review, Cattani said.

TEXAS – Bobby Lee Hines – Execution – june 6 2012 – DELAYED

Bobby Lee Hines Photo: TDCJ / HC

HOUSTON — A Texas death row inmate facing execution in three weeks for the slaying of a Dallas woman at her apartment more than 20 years ago has lost an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices, without comment, refused Monday to review the case of 39-year-old Bobby Lee Hines.

Hines is set for lethal injection June 6 for the 1991 murder of 26-year-old Michelle Wendy Haupt. She was found stabbed repeatedly with an ice pick and strangled.

Hines was 19 at the time of the slaying and was on probation for a burglary conviction. He was staying with the apartment complex maintenance man who lived next door to the victim and had access to all the keys in the development.


Update may 21, 2012  source :

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The execution of a man early next month for the slaying of a Dallas woman at her apartment more than 20 years ago has been delayed.

Dallas County prosecutors asked a judge to withdraw the June 6 execution date for 39-year-old Bobby Lee Hines because results of additional DNA testing in his case won’t be available by then. District Court Judge Don Adams in Dallas approved the request Friday.

Hines was convicted of the 1991 murder of 26-year-oldMichelle Wendy Haupt. She was stabbed with an ice pick and strangled.

Hines was 19 at the time and on probation for a burglary conviction. He was staying with the apartment complex maintenance man who lived next door to the victim and had access to all the keys in the development.

Docket Entries

on May 14, 2012

Petition DENIED. (orders list)

on April 18, 2012

Reply of petitioner Bobby Lee Hines filed. (Distributed)

on April 12, 2012

Brief of respondent Rick Thaler, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division in opposition filed.

on March 12, 2012

Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due April 13, 2012)


Bobby Lee Hines, Petitioner, represented byLydia M.V. Brandt

Rick Thaler, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent, represented by Tomee M. Heining


Facts of the  crime ( from Texas Attorney General)

On October 19, 1991, Mary Ann Linch went to the apartment of her friend Michelle Wendy Haupt in Carrollton, Texas, to spend the weekend. Linch brought with her a Marlboro cigarette carton in which only four packs remained. She had purchased the cigarettes at Brookshires’ in Corsicana and the carton contained a stamp showing “Brookshires’ Store” on the side. Linch left the carton at Haupt’s apartment when they left that evening to go to a nightclub. Linch had intended to return to Haupt’s, but instead spent the night with another friend.

Linch testified that when they went to the club, Haupt was wearing a gold sand-dollar charm necklace which she always wore. During the evening, Haupt became ill and another friend drove her back to her apartment. When he left, he testified that Haupt locked the door behind him.

Meanwhile, at Haupt’s apartment complex, Hines appeared uninvited at a party. When the hostess asked him who he was, he identified himself as the brother of the apartment manager. He told another guest that he was part of the maintenance crew at the complex. He pulled out a ring of keys and stated that he could get into any apartment that he wanted to at any time.

At about 6 a.m. on October 20, 1991, Haupt’s next-door neighbor heard a woman screaming. He could not determine the source of the screams, but his wife called the police. Two police officers were dispatched to the scene, but the screaming had ended before they arrived. After inspecting the premises, the officers could not determine where the screams had come from and they eventually left.

Two other residents in the apartment directly below Haupt’s also heard screaming loud enough to awaken them. One of the residents testified that he also heard other loud noises that sounded “like a bowling ball being dropped on Haupt’s floor.” He heard this noise at least 20 times. The screaming lasted for approximately 15 minutes.

The resident of an adjacent downstairs apartment also heard the screaming. Just before noon that morning, she and the other residents discussed what they had heard and became concerned for Haupt. Eventually, the apartment leasing manager was persuaded to check Haupt’s apartment. After knocking and receiving no answer, the manager opened the door and saw Haupt lying on the floor just inside the door. A stereo cord was tightly wrapped around her neck, her face was black, and she appeared to be dead.

Haupt was found dressed in only a robe and lying face up on the floor. There were puncture wounds to her chest area. The robe was stained with blood, but it had no holes to correspond with the puncture wounds to Haupt’s body, indicating the robe was placed on her body after the wounds were inflicted. Further, the belt to the robe was tied tighter than a person would normally tie it against her own body.

An object appearing to be an ice pick was found on the nearby couch. Hines’ palmprint was found inside Haupt’s apartment in what appeared to be blood, and his thumbprint was found on the inside of the front door. 

Later that same day, Hines was found to be in possession of Haupt’s gold sand-dollar charm. He had blood on some of his clothing and some other objects from Haupt’s apartment, including the Brookshires’ cigarette carton, were found under the couch where he had been sleeping. When Hines was arrested, he had a scratch under his right eye, scratches to the left side of his neck, and a scratch on his cheek. DNA testing conducted on a bloodstain found on Hines’ underwear indicated that the blood was consistent with Haupt’s blood. 

The Dallas County Chief Medical Examiner testified that the cause of Haupt’s death was strangulation and puncture wounds. Haupt had abrasions to her neck and jaw, contusions on her neck, and a fractured hyoid bone. She had about 18 puncture wounds. She had rectal tears with hemorrhaging. Barnard testified that the puncture wounds could have been made by the object found on the couch in Haupt’s apartment.


On October 21, 1991, Hines was indicted on charges of capital murder for intentionally and knowingly causing the death of Michelle Wendy Haupt by strangulation and stabbing, during the course of committing burglary of Haupt’s habitation, on October 20, 1991. Hines was convicted and sentenced to death on March 19, 1992. Hines’ motion for a new trial was denied on April 6, 1992. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Hines’ conviction and sentence on direct appeal on May 10, 1995. Hines’ petition for writ of habeas corpus in the state court was denied on February 24, 1999.

His federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in the federal court was denied on January 22, 2002. The district court also denied Hines a certificate of appealability (COA) on March 5, 2002. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals likewise denied COA on December 31, 2002, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied Hines’ petition for writ of certiorari on October 6, 2003.


Hines was arrested for car theft in 1984 at the age of twelve for which he received a year of juvenile probation. His probation was revoked and he was confined for three months in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC).

In 1986 he received ten-years of juvenile probation for burglary of a building, which was revoked in 1990. He was then confined in TYC for nine months.

In February 1986, Hines was placed on juvenile probation for getting into a school fight, and was committed to TYC for assault; He was confined 6 months and placed on probation, which he violated in 1987. His probation was revoked and he was confined for 6 months in TYC.

In January 1989, Hines was committed to TYC for attacking an elderly lady and burglarizing a church.

In June 1990, Hines received a 10-year prison sentence for a count each of burglary of a habitation and burglary of a building. Hines was placed on shock probation for 83 days, then released on 10-years probation.



June 22, 2003

No one deserves to die!

My name is Bobby Lee Hines, I am on Texas death row, I have been here for almost 12 years now and I first came here at the age of 19 years old. I am now into the last stage of my appeals.

I would like to take the time to say a few words, if you are willing to listen.

I often wonder if the people in the free world really understand that there’s two types of society? You have the free world society and the prison society.

When I was sentenced to death, it was because a jury was randomly picked out from the free world society and then given the power to make such a life and death decision! These people on the jury had no degree’s in psychology.  None that I remember were even a doctor of any kind!

The jury deciding I was or could be a threat to society is why I was sentenced to death, NOT because I was found guilty of a crime. There are two special issue questions the jury had to answer in the punishment phase that clearly show that! Here they are just as they were when given to the jury in my trail.

Special issue 1:  Do you find from the evidence that there is a “probability” beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Bobby Lee Hines would commit criminal acts of violence that constitute a continuing threat to society? jury answered YES

Special issue 2:  Taking into consideration all of the evidence, including the circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s character and background, and the personal moral culpability of the defendant, is there a sufficient mitigating circumstance or circumstances to warrant that a sentence of life imprisonment rather than a death sentence be imposed? jury answered NO

Would you for a moment reread this again and notice that the state is asking the jury to take a “guess” at the answers, because again they have “no” type of degrees  and just thought (guessed) that I might be a threat to society. Now in special issue 2, last sentence asking, if life imprisonment should be imposed, nowhere do they explain that there are two types of society. They weren’t given a way to make a clear decision but only a way to make only a guess!The jury had even asked the judge how much time would I have to do in prison on a life sentence if given one! And the judge said: “you don’t have to worry about that, that is no concern to you all!”

Now how could any jury be able to make such a drastic decision when they were denied information that they had asked for? This should have been the biggest part in deciding if one should live or die! Not only that, but the state allowed witnesses to lie in my trail on the stand in front of the jury. In short, I was charged with aggravated robbery at age 14, I had a trail and was acquitted-(not found guilty)of that charge. In my capital trail, then age 19, witness got up on the stand and stated that I was convicted of that aggravated robbery charge at age 14.  Me being only 19 years old at the time of my trail, I didn’t know anything about the law.  Ask yourself, “how much do you really know about the laws of the court system?” Even more so when you’re just looking back to a younger age of 19.  My lawyers didn’t object, and my appeal lawyers said that due to that , I waved my issue on appeal for it! This was no fault of my own, but the fault of the trail lawyers. The point here is, if the jury would have known that I was not guilty of that aggravated robbery charge at age 14, they may have or could have had a different opinion in the matter of deciding whether I was not a threat to society, or at least the prison society, and may have given me a life sentence rather than a death sentence.

I truly am not a threat to either the free world-or the prison society.

After all appeals are up, there is only one way to receive a life sentence. This is through what they call a clemency hearing. There has only been one clemency given since 1976 until now June 22, 2003.  In this time there has been some 315 executions, about 265 of them have been executed since I’ve been on death row.

The people deciding whether to recommend clemency to the governor don’t look at the facts that they should be looking at. If they would look and see that the trial court in my case used just 8 years of my past for the jury to decide that I would or could be a threat to society.  If they would look at my prison record over the past 11 years that I have been locked up on death row, they would clearly see that I’m not a threat to any society. Plus if they would take an over all count of cases that are in the “prison society” that have life sentences or 40,50 to 60 year sentences or more, looking into their prison records etc….then look at mine, they again would see that I would not in any way pose any type of threat to a prison society, and that I could in fact live in the prison society with a life sentence!

To prove my point to the fact, I spent some 8 plus years on a death row work program. Now the program was closed down due to an escape. Note that I had nothing to do with it.  But 8 plus years I lived being able to move around freely everyday, all day! Sixty (60) death row inmates on one wing with the cell doors opening up everyday, every hour on the hour, with only one “unarmed guard” working inside the wing, never feeling threatened,  and no one ever hurt guards.  I worked with and around 12 inch scissors, all types of shears and many different types of tools, working, living and functioning just as any other inmate would in any prison society. Again, I’m no threat to any society. I can and would live in the prison society with a life sentence if given the chance.

No one deserves to be strapped down to that gurney  to die!

I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me and what I’ve written. Any help or just input that you may have, please feel free to write to me at the address listed below! I’ll write more again soon!

Bobby Lee Hines

TEXAS – Steven Staley – execution STAYED

May 14, 2012 Source :

HOUSTON (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday stopped this week’s scheduled execution of a convicted killer whose mental health had become an issue in his appeals.

The state’s highest criminal court gave a reprieve to Steven Staley, 49, who was set for lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville for the 1989 shooting death of a Fort Worth restaurant manager during a botched robbery.

“This is great,” said Staley’s attorney, John Stickels. “I’m very happy.”

Prosecutors contended Staley was competent for execution, but Stickels in his appeal to the court said that was accomplished only because a state judge in Fort Worth improperly ordered Staley be given drugs to make him competent so the state of Texas could kill him.

The appeals court spent much of the ruling’s three pages recounting Staley’s case in the courts and only in a final paragraph specifically addressed the appeal, saying the court had determined the execution should be halted “pending further order by this court.”

It gave no reason. Justice Lawrence Meyers dissented from his eight colleagues but issued no dissenting opinion.

“I don’t know what’s next,” Stickels said. “It just orders the execution stayed and doesn’t order anything else. I’m not going to do anything until they tell me.”