bryan stevenson

1st Alabama. execution since 2011 set for Thursday


July 20, 2013

This March 18, 2009 photo provided by the Alabama Dept. of Corrections shows inmate Andrew Reid Lackey. Alabama’s second execution in almost two years is scheduled for Thursday, July 25, 2013 at Holman Prison in Atmore, Ala.. Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Lackey asked the state to set his execution date, and Alabama has not taken action to stop it. Photo: Alabama Dept. Of Corrections

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  — Alabama’s second execution in almost two years is scheduled for Thursday at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Lackey asked the state to set his execution date, and has not taken action to stop it.

Lackey is scheduled to die by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore for the beating and shooting death of 80-year-old Charles Newman during a 2005 Halloween night robbery at Newnan’s home in Limestone County. Lackey is to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Lackey would be the first inmate executed in Alabama since Christopher T. Johnson of Escambia County received a lethal injection Oct. 20, 2011. He was the sixth inmate executed in 2011.

The state’s executions have been slowed partly because of a legal dispute over the drugs used in executions.

Lackey’s execution was set after he wrote a letter to the Alabama Supreme Court saying that he had “an odd request.”

“Please set me an execution date. I do not wish to pursue any further appeals for my death sentence,” Lackey said in the letter to the justices, according to court records. Lackey said he would not file any further appeals.

Court records show Lackey has taken no action to stop the execution.

In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Richard Anderson, Lackey says, “I do not know what else I can do. Will you please help me get an execution date.”

Court records show that Newman made an emergency phone call to the Athens Police Department on Halloween night 2005 in which he could be heard saying, “Don’t do that,” ”Leave me alone” and “What do you want.”

The police operator then heard the apparent assailant repeatedly ask, “Where’s the vault?” according to the records.

Bryan Stevenson, an attorney with the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, said both the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the trial court have ruled that the state can go ahead with Lackey’s execution.

Stevenson said he and other attorneys opposed to Lackey being executed and “have argued that he is mentally ill.”

“Our point is that he needs to be examined,” Stevenson said.

MULTIMEDIA 2013


Nancy Mullane, a reporter for KALW Radio in San Francisco, is one of the few reporters to visit California‘s death row at San Quentin Prison. In the block she visited, there were 500 inmates, in 4-by-10 foot cells, stacked five tiers high. The cells are about the size of a walk-in closet. Many of the inmates have been on death row for over 20 years. Inmates can shower every other day. One of the inmates she met with, Justin Helzer, had stabbed himself in both eyes. He later committed suicide. California has the largest death row in the country with 727 inmates. No one has been executed in 7 years. Listen to the full segment here.

new animated film, The Last 40 Miles, will follow a death row inmate on his final journey from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas, to the death chamber in Huntsville. The film uses three forms of animation to tell the inmate’s story, from his tragic childhood to the moment he is being escorted to the lethal injection chamber. The script was written by freelance journalist Alex Hannaford and is based on interviews he conducted with death row inmates for news stories. Hannaford described why he used the metaphor of the trip to the death chamber: “It struck me a long time ago that this was the last thing these men see as they’re escorted from death row in Livingston to the death chamber at the Walls Unit in Huntsville. One of the last things they see is that big Texas sun rising over a vast lake. It’s quite breathtaking.” A trailer for the short film can be viewed here.

One For Ten is a new collection of documentary films telling the stories of innocent people who were on death row in the U.S. The first film of the series is on Ray Krone, one of the 142 people who have been exonerated and freed from death row since 1973. Krone was released from Arizona’s death row in 2002 after DNA testing showed he did not commit the murder for which he was sentenced to death 10 years earlier. Krone was convicted based largely on circumstantial evidence and bite-mark evidence, alleging his teeth matched marks on the victim. The film is narrated by Danny Glover.  All the films will be free and may be shared under a Creative Commons license.

CA InfographicThe Death Penalty Information Center has introduced a new series of graphs and quotes from prominent individuals, emphasizing various death penalty issues. These infographics have been displayed on Facebook and other outlets in the past few months. We are now offering them serially in a slide show on DPIC’s website. The graphics can be individually downloaded for use in various mediums. The slide show is available at this link. The infographics are grouped under a range of topics such as Costs, Race, and Innocence, with more information on each topic available on DPIC’s site. You can also find this collection of infographics on Facebook (click on any “photo” and it will enlarge, and you can scroll through the entire series) and on Pinterest. New infographics will be added in the coming months.

 

 

A new documentary released by the Constitution Project and the New Media Advocacy Project commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, requiring states to appoint lawyers for indigent defendants in criminal cases. Prior to this decision, some states only provided attorneys in cases with special circumstances, like death penalty cases. Defending Gideon is narrated by Martin Sheen and includes interviews with national experts, including former Vice-President Walter Mondale, former N.Y. Times reporter Anthony Lewis, and death-penalty attorney Bryan Stevenson. Clarence Gideon was convicted, without an attorney, of breaking into a pool hall in Florida and stealing money. When he was retried with legal counsel, he was acquitted. The video underscores the importance of guaranteeing effective representation, especially if a person’s life is at stake.