Thursday, 24 May 2012

SOME KILLERS DESERVE THE DEATH PENALTY


I have advocated the abolishment of capital punishment for years because of my concerns that innocent persons will be executed. However I have to admit that there are some killers who are convicted on the basis of overwhelming evidence. Some of the killers listed in this article committed federal crimes and for this reason, they were tried in federal courts and subjected to federal sentences. Others had committed state crimes and were tried in state courts. In my opinion, they all  really deserve to be executed and some were.

Jurijus Kadamovas (born 1966) and Iouri Mikhel (born 1965) are two Russian immigrants to the United States and who lived in Los Angeles. They are currently on Federal death row for five 'kidnapping for ransom related' murders. They kidnapped rich Russian immigrants. The kidnappings occurred over a four-month period beginning in late 2001, in which the kidnappers demanded ransom. Documents related to the case allege the crew demanded a total of more than $5.5 million from relatives and associates, and received more than $1 million from victim's relatives. Prosecutors said the victims were killed regardless of whether the ransoms were paid or not. The bodies were tied with weights, and dumped in a reservoir near Yosemite National Park. Federal prosecutors sought the death penalty under 'murder during a hostage-taking', which is a federal crime. Three co-conspirators pleaded guilty and testified at the trial for the government against Kadamovas and Mikhel. On March 12, 2007 the two men were both sentenced to death on the same day. The others got life in prison.  

Daryl Lawrence In 2005 in the city of Columbus, Ohio, this killer stormed a bank on East Broad Street on January 2005 and after an exchange of gunfire, killed a city police officer who was a husband and new father. Columbus police Officer Bryan Hurst was working security at the bank when Lawrence stormed the bank. Hurst's death was a devastating blow to his family and fellow officers. Lawrence was found guilty on February 28th 2006 and sentenced to death; only to have another judge later set aside the death sentence. The second judge had cited inconsistencies in the jury's sentencing recommendations as the reason for setting the death penalty aside. The decision didn't make sense to Hurst's fellow police officers or his family so more than a dozen officers escorted Hurst's family members to the Cincinnati Federal Court where the judgment to set aside the death penalty was to be appealed to a three-judge panel. The federal appeals court reinstated the death penalty. He is currently on death row. The only method of execution in Ohio is lethal injection. The first time it was used in Ohio was in 2009.

Nathan Joe Ramirez became one of the youngest men on Florida's death row for one of the most heinous crimes in Pasco County’s history. He and a friend broke into Mildred Boroski's home in 1995 to steal the widow's birthday presents. They  tied up the 71-year-old woman with telephone cords, raped her and drove her to a grassy field, where they shot her twice in the head with her late husband's .38-caliber revolver. Their take from the burglary-gone-awry was two guns, a pair of handcuffs, a ring, a cordless phone and about $30, which the teenagers used to play video games on the next day. Twice jurors have decided that Ramirez who was only 17 when he did the crime should be executed for the crime. But they were trumped by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that executing juveniles is unconstitutional. The ruling appears to take anyone off death row who was under 18 at the time of the crime. He is serving a term of imprisonment for life without parole in the state penitentiary in Starke, Florida. The other teen convicted for Mrs. Boroski's murder, Johnathan Grimshaw, was 18 at the time of the crime. He was sentenced to death in 1996, but a judge determined the jury received incorrect sentencing instructions. The judge gave the case to another jury, which recommended life without parole. He is also serving that sentence in the state penitentiary in Starke, Florida.

William Lecroy A jury sentenced this killer to death in the 2001 carjacking and murder of a North Georgia woman. Around 5:40 pm on October 7th, Tiesler was seen driving up the mountain toward her cabin. She entered her home and placed her purse on an island in the kitchen. Soon after that LeCroy attacked her, striking her in the back of the head with the shotgun which discharged it in the hallway outside her bedroom. He bound her hands behind her back with cable ties and strangled her with an electrical cord. Still alive, Ms. Tiesler was stripped of her underwear and forced to kneel at the foot of her bed, where she was raped and then anally sodomized. Semen found in Tiesler's body was identified as that of LeCroy. After raping her, LeCroy slashed Tiesler’s throat with the knife. Doctors had determined that this was likely the fatal wound, as the knife severed the external jugular vein, right internal jugular vein, and right carotid artery, penetrating down to Tiesler’s cervical vertebrae. Finally, LeCroy stabbed Tiesler five times in the back and wiped his knife off on her shirt. She was left naked and bound on her bed, and was discovered the next day by a co-worker and a real estate agent. The attorneys for LeCroy argued that the murder took place inside the victim's house, and thus did not fall under the 1994 federal death penalty statute. In the State of Georgia, the judge is required to follow the jury recommendation. Lecroy appealed his death sentence. In a later article, I will write about his appeal and the decision of the court of appeal. 

Daniel Lee was convicted in Arkansas in May 1999 of a triple murder of a gun dealer and his family. The police recovered the bodies of Mr. Mueller, 53, his wife, Nancy, 28, and her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Powell, 8, dressed in their winter coats. They had been bound and then suffocated with plastic trash bags taped over their heads. The two men accused in the murders were Chevie Kehoe, 25, of Colville, Washington, a town just south of the Canadian border, and Daniel Lee, also 25 and a friend of Mr. Kehoe from Mustang, Oklahoma. They were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and robbery. The indictment portrayed Mr. Kehoe as the leader of the separatist group. Lee was convicted of the murders along with Chevie Kehoe and also in a joint plot to set up a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest. Kehoe was considered by prosecutors to be the mastermind of the whites-only nation plot, but he was given a life sentence by the same jury. The jury in Lee's case recommended a sentence of death.

Daniel Lee Bedford This killer learned from his victim’s (Toepfert) roommate that the couple were home so he waited at the apartment where, armed with a revolver and a shotgun, he killed Smith at Toepfert's Cincinnati apartment, apparently because he was jealous after finding the couple there several days before the slayings. He then shot Toepfert multiple times before returning to her body to be sure she was dead and the n he fired a final blast into her groin.  Daniel Lee Bedford, 63, became the third inmate in Ohio and the nation to be put to death using the surgical sedative pentobarbital as a stand-alone execution drug. He was pronounced dead at 11:18 a.m. on May 17th 2011.

Kenneth James Lighty On November 10, 2005, a federal jury in Maryland recommended a death sentence for Lighty for the kidnapping and murder of Eric Hayes (black), an alleged PCP dealer and son of a D.C. police lieutenant in 2001. Hayes was abducted from a Washington street and driven to Prince George's County in Maryland where he was shot execution-style. Lighty was convicted on October 21, 2011and sentenced to death. A co-defendant, James Everett Flood III was also found guilty but was given a mandatory life sentence. In April, a 3rd defendant, Lorenzo Wilson, was also convicted of conspiracy to kidnap and was also given a life sentence. They both appealed their convictions but the appeals court upheld the kidnapping convictions and life sentences of the two Lighty accomplices.                  

Iouri Mikhel and Kadamovas A jury found these two murderers guilty for the ransom killings of four men and a woman in 2001-2002 and for subsequent money laundering. The victims were taken to New Melones Lake, about 60 miles west of Yosemite, where their killers later strangled their victims even after receiving $1.2 million ransom from their relatives. They dumped their bodies in a nearby reservoir with 50-pound weights. The kidnappers used some of the money to buy new vehicles and mink coats for their girlfriends. The federal jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty on February 13, 2007 for the two men convicted of the five murders in a kidnapping-for-ransom scheme targeting Russian immigrants. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian on March 12. 2007 then formally sentenced Jurijus Kadamovas, 40, from Lithuania and Iouri Mikhel, 41, from St. Petersburg to death. Two other suspects, including Kadamovas's girlfriend, Natalya Solovyeva cooperated with investigators. Authorities said Kadamovas's girlfriend, Natalya Solovyeva lured one victim to a Los Angeles bar, where he was abducted and then forced to contact another man who was also kidnapped. She was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for her role in the scheme. Ainar Altmanis, the man who led investigators to the submerged bodies, was sentenced to 23 years and 4 months in federal prison.

Ronald Mikos On May 23, 2005 a jury recommended a death sentence for this 56-year-old Chicago podiatrist who was convicted of fatally shooting Joyce Brannon, a former patient six times at point-blank range in January 2002 to prevent her from testifying before a federal grand jury in a federal probe of a Medicare fraud scheme. A subpoena was found next to her body. Mikos was later found guilty of defrauding Medicare out of 1.8 million dollars by billing it for thousands of foot operations he never performed. On the 27th of April 2006, he was sentenced to death. 

Lezmond Mitchell and Johnny Orsinger In October 2001, Mitchell, then aged 20, Jason Kinlicheenie, Gregory Nakai and Jakegory Nakai decided to rob the Red Rock Trading Post, a convenience store and gas station located on the Arizona side of the Navajo Indian reservation.  On October 28, 2001 Mitchell and Johnny Orsinger, aged 16, set out from Round Rock, Arizona, for Gallup, N.M., to look for a vehicle they could steal to use during the robbery.  Hitchhiking back to the reservation, they were picked up by Alyce Slim, aged 63, who was returning from Tohatchi, New Mexico with her nine year-old granddaughter, Tiffany Lee in her double cab Sierra GMC pickup truck. Slim stopped near Sawmill, Arizona, to let Mitchell and Orsinger out of the car, but Orsinger started stabbing her with a knife and Mitchell joined Orsinger with the stabbing. The pair ultimately stabbed Slim 33 times. Then Mitchell and Orsinger pulled Slim’s body into the backseat and then drove the truck some 30-40 miles into the mountains with the little girl beside her grandmother’s body. There, Slim’s body was dragged out, and the little girl was ordered out of the truck and told by Mitchell “to lay down and die.” Mitchell cut the little girl’s throat twice, but the wounds were not fatal, so he and Orsinger then dropped twenty-pound rocks on her head, killing her.  The two then left the site and returned with an axe and shovel.  Mitchell dug a hole while Orsinger severed the heads and hands of Slim and the little girl. Together, they dropped the severed body parts into the hole and covered them, pulled the torsos into the woods, and burned the victims’ clothing, jewelry, and glasses. Mitchell confessed to his role in the slayings and the robbery, and was subsequently convicted in May, 2003 of first degree murder; felony murder, robbery; carjacking resulting in death; kidnapping; felony murder, kidnapping; and several robbery-related counts. Mitchell was found guilty on May 20, and sentenced to death on September 15, 2003. Orsinger escaped the federal death penalty because he was a juvenile at the time or the murders. I don’t know how much time he got in prison. This killer and his co-defendants (including a juvenile) allegedly got a ride from a woman and her 9 year old granddaughter in Arizona. They killed both victims and stole the car supposedly for use in an armed robbery. Each victim was stabbed at a separate location. The Attorney General required a capital prosecution against Mitchell under a carjacking theory although the tribe has not "opted in" to the federal death penalty. Attorney General Ashcroft required a capital prosecution.                                                                                                                                                 

Lisa Montgomery She met her victim Stinnett online in a rat-terrier (it is a dog) chat room  called Ratter Chatter. Posing as "Darlene Fischer," Montgomery told Stinnett that she, too, was pregnant. The two women chatted online and exchanged e-mails  about their pregnancies. Montgomery then arranged a meeting at Stinnett's home under the pretext of wanting to buy a rat-terrier terrier. On December 17, 2004, Montgomery strangled the pregnant woman in her home and cut the premature infant from her womb. She later attempted to pass the infant girl off as her own child. After Montgomery's capture by police, the days-old baby, named Victoria Jo Stinnett, was recovered and returned to the care of her father, Zeb Stinnett. On October 26, 2007, a jury in Kansas City, Missouri recommended a death sentence for Montgomery following her conviction for kidnapping and killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett, and stealing her unborn baby. Montgomery was sentenced to death on April 4, 2008 in U.S. District Court. Montgomery is the third woman on the federal death row.

Keith D. Nelson This killer after arriving at his job site, told another man 
named Robinson on October 12th 1999 that he would like to kidnap a girl and take her away from the city to torture, electrocute, rape then kill, and bury her. Nelson also told Robinson that he wanted to do this because he was going back to prison for other charges and that he wanted to go back for something big. Although the statements bothered Robinson, he decided not to contact the police because he thought that Nelson must have been joking. Shortly thereafter,  several individuals spotted Nelson in the area of 11th and Scott Streets in a white pickup truck. Nearby a ten-year-old Pamela Butler was rollerblading in the street near her residence in the same area. Nelson parked his vehicle at the side of the street and lay in wait. As Pamela skated near the slightly ajar door of the truck, Nelson quickly jumped out of the truck, grabbed her around the waist, and threw her into the truck. A search for the little girl and Nelson began soon after. On October 14th  a civilian employee of a police department spotted Nelson hiding under a bridge. After he was spotted, Nelson went into the river and attempted to get away. When he made it back to shore, he was surrounded by railroad workers who detained him until the authorities arrived. After the authorities arrived, an onlooker shouted, "Where is the little girl?" Nelson turned to an officer and stated, "I know where she's at, but I'm not saying right now." His capture was broadcasted live on television. The next day the police found Butler's body in a wooded area behind the Grain Valley Christian Church. That discovery was also broadcast on local television, and the United States Attorney held a live press conference from the discovery site. Subsequent investigation revealed that Pamela had been raped and then strangled to death with wire. The DNA in seminal fluid obtained from Pamela's underpants matched Nelson's DNA. This killer was convicted of kidnapping a girl from her Kansas home and murdering her in Missouri. On November 28, 2001 his jury recommended the death penalty for Nelson, and on March 11, 2002, a federal judge imposed the death penalty.

German Sinisterra along with co-defendants Plutarco Tello, Edwin Hinestroza, and Arboleda Ortiz were convicted for participating in the 1998 drug-related murder of Julian Colon. The immediate chain of events leading to the murder they committed began on November 19, 1998, in Kansas City, Missouri, when Monica Osma, Hinestroza's live-in girlfriend, reported that some men broke into their apartment, beat her up, and stole more than $240,000 of Hinestroza's drug money.  After the robbery, Hinestroza sent Osma to Houston, Texas, for medical treatment and so that his drug partner, Jamie Hurtado, could interview her. While Osma was in Houston, Ortiz and Tello visited her. The men questioned Osma about the robbery and asked her to show photographs and medical records demonstrating her injuries. Apparently not satisfied with Osma's account, Ortiz, Tello, and Sinisterra soon traveled from Houston to Kansas City, in order to help Hinestroza collect the money. On November 28, 1998, the group met Hinestroza and two of his associates, Colon and Andres Borja-Molina at a motel.  They attended the meeting believing they were going to help in trying to recover the money from a drug client of Hinestroza, but in fact, they were the intended targets. The group took Colon and Borja-Molina to a house, separated the two men, tied them up with duct tape and then beat them, Eventually Sinistera and Hinestroza demanded they return the stolen money. When they didn’t get a satisfactory response, Hinestroza ordered both men to be shot.  Sinisterra shot Colon in the
head. He was killed instantly. Someone shot at Borja-Molina, but missed. Borja-Molina pretended to be dead as he was carried out of the house, placed into the trunk of a car with Colon's body, driven to a park, and Borja–Molina eventually escaped from the trunk and reportedthe murder to the authorities. In May, 2000, a federal jury in Kansas City, Missouri, recommended a death sentence for Sinistera of Houston, Texas, for his role as triggerman in the murder of a drug dealer. Sinistera who is a citizen of Colombia was convicted along with two co-defendants, Arboleda Ortiz and Plutarco Tello, who are also Colombian nationals. In November 2005, a jury found Hinestroza guilty on all counts and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The district court sentenced Tello to life imprisonment. The jury also recommended a death sentence for Ortiz and Sinisterra. The judge sentenced them both men to death. I think it is strange that the jury would recommend that Ortiz be executed. There was no evidence Ortiz was anything but ‘the lowest level mule’. Ortiz did not kill anyone.  There was mitigating factors such as (1) Ortiz's lack of criminal history; (2) Ortiz did not participate in the binding, beating, or shooting of Colon should have been factored in his sentencing. The jury unanimously decided Ortiz should be sentenced to death on both counts.  In December of 2000, the district court conducted Ortiz's sentencing hearing. The district court ordered Ortiz sentenced to 235 months imprisonment for Count One and death on Counts Two and Three. It is not entirely clear from the trial record who fired the shot at Borja Molina.  However, at the evidentiary hearing, Oritiz’s lead counsel said that Ortiz shot at Borja Molina which is probably why the jury recommended that Ortiz be executed also because of his attempted murder of Borja Molina. That is still strange as attempted murder isn’t a capital offence. Perhaps they felt that he was also behind the plan to kill both men. Both of these men are currently on death row. 


Wesley Ira Purkey On December 15, 1998, while in the Wyandotte County Jail awaiting a Kansas state prosecution for the murder of eighty-year-old Mary Ruth Bales, Purkey contacted Detective Bill Howard of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department and offered to speak with him about a kidnapping and homicide that had occurred earlier that year. He told Detective Howard that he also wanted to speak with an FBI agent about this crime. When both officers met him,  then told them that he was going to plead guilty in the Kansas case and was therefore willing to confess to the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a Missouri woman, provided that he could serve his state time in a federal penitentiary. That afternoon, Detective Howard and Agent Tarpley met with Kurt Shernuk, an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Kansas. Mr. Shernuk indicated that his office might be willing to prosecute the case if Mr. Purkey fully cooperated with the investigators and provided the location of the victim's remains and other evidence to corroborate his confession. Purkey then led Messrs. Tarpley and Howard to the crime scene and to the place where he claimed to have discarded the victim's undergarments and jaw bone. He told the officers that because he had taken extraordinary measures to dispose of the body, including dismembering it with a chain saw and burning the remains, the victim's remains were not recoverable. The body of the victim he was talking about was Jennifer Long, a sixteen year-old high school sophomore who disappeared in January of 1998. During the guilt phase of his federal trial, Mr. Purkey affirmed his statements about the killing and dismemberment of Ms. Long. After deliberating briefly, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. 

After deliberating for eleven hours and ten minutes, the jury found the existence of all six of the statutory aggravating factors: (1) that the death of Ms. Long occurred during the commission and attempted commission of her kidnapping; (2) that Purkey killed Ms. Long in an especially heinous, cruel, and depraved manner in that the killing involved torture and serious physical abuse; (3) that the victim was particularly vulnerable due to her youthful age of sixteen years; (4) that Mr. Purkey had previously been convicted of an offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year, involving the use, attempted use, and threatened use of a firearm against another person; (5) that Mr. Purkey had previously been convicted of an offense resulting in the death of a person for which a sentence of life imprisonment was authorized by statute; and (6) that Mr. Purkey had previously been convicted of two or more offenses punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year, committed on different occasions and involving the infliction and attempted infliction of serious bodily injury and death upon another person. The jury also found the existence of three of the four non-statutory aggravating factors: (1) that the government established loss and harm because of the victim's personal characteristics as an individual human being and the impact of the death upon the victim's family; (2) that the defendant had previously killed Mary Ruth Bales in a vicious manner in that he repeatedly struck her in the head with a hammer until she died; and (3) that Mr. Purkey had a substantial criminal history. The jury did not record any evidence of its findings with regard to the mitigating factors. Then much to Purkey’s disappointment, the federal prosecutor and later the jury members didn’t recommend natural life in prison but instead, they recommended Purkey should be sentenced to death. Subsequently, he was sentenced to death. He is still on death row.

James H. Roane Jr., Richard Tipton and Cory Johnson were members of an inner-city gang in Richmond, Vaginia. They were variously implicated in the murders of ten persons within the Richmond area-all in relation to their drug-trafficking operation and either because their victims were suspected of treachery or other misfeasance, or because they were competitors in the drug trade, or because they had personally offended one of the “partners.  These three co-defendants were sentenced to death in February 1993 for their participation in the series of drug-related murders. Execution dates were set for the three co-defendants in May 2006, but the executions were stayed because of challenge involving the conduct of their trials. Subsequently Tipton and Roane were convicted again but were not given death sentences. Johnson is on death row waiting for his execution.

Julius Robinson was a wholesale drug dealer operating in five states. In 1998, he ambushed and killed Johnny Shelton with an assault rifle because Robinson had mistaken Shelton for another man whom Robinson blamed for an earlier hijacking. Several months later, Robinson gunned down and killed Juan Reyes because Reyes was the brother-in-law of another drug dealer who had defrauded Robinson. He was also involved in a broad conspiracy that led to the murder of a third man, Rudolfo Resendez. Robinson was formally sentenced to death by the trial judge on June 5, 2002. He is still on death row.

Alfonso Rodriguez  This killer was convicted on August 30, 2006, of the murder of a college student, Dru Sjodin. Sjodin who was kidnapped from North Dakota and her body was found in Minnesota. A jury in North Dakota recommended a death sentence on September 22. The judge formally sentenced Rodriguez to death on February 8, 2007. North Dakota however does not have a state death penalty and has not had an execution since 1905. For this reason, the judge chose South Dakota as the place of execution. South Dakota utilizes lethal injection for executions, though none has been carried out. South Dakota's execution process is being reviewed by the legislature. The U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Rodriguez, Drew Wrigley, commented about the state's distaste for the death penalty: "It's just not part of the culture up here really at all. We live in the safest state in the union."

David Runyon, Michael Draven and Catherina Rose Voss of Morgantown, West Virginia was found guilty of the contract killing of Cory Allen Voss — a 30-year-old father of two — outside a Langley Federal Credit Union on Jefferson Avenue in the Oyster Point section of Newport News. At about 11:30 p.m. one Sunday night in April 2007, Voss' wife, Catherina Rose Voss, asked her husband to go withdraw money from an ATM. Unbeknownst to him, a contract killer — whom jurors determined to be Runyon — was hiding near the ATM. He forced his way into Voss' pickup truck, and, after about 10 minutes, fired five shots into his victim. During the investigation, police and federal agents determined that Catherina Voss, and her boyfriend, Michael Draven, plotted the death, made to look like a random robbery, in order to be together and collect about $500,000 in insurance money. Draven and Runyon knew each other from studies in which they were paid to serve as subjects for drug companies. Catherina Voss acknowledged hiring Runyon to kill her husband for $20,000, which she never paid.

Catherina Voss, 34, of Newport News, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four life terms. Draven, 29, of Newport News, was found guilty and sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. She gave him the mandatory life term for conspiracy to commit capital murder. She also gave him life for carjacking leading to death, and life for murder with a firearm in a violent crime. With respect to the sentencing of David Runyon, under federal law regarding death cases, Smith had no choice but to impose the jury's recommendation with respect to Runyon — who has never admitted his role in the killing — so she sentenced him to death for conspiracy to commit capital murder; death for murder with a firearm in a violent crime; and life for carjacking resulting in death. He is still on death row.

Gary Lee Sampson In July 2001 Sampson carjacked and murdered three people: Philip McCloskey (aged 69 of Taunton Massachusetts, Jonathan Rizzo (aged 19 of Kingston, Massachusetts, and Robert Whitney aged 58 of Concord, New Hampshire.  The murders took place over the course of a week. Sampson told police that, after McCloskey picked him up hitchhiking, he forced him at knifepoint to drive to a secluded area, where he tied him up with his belt and stabbed him 24 times. He also forced Rizzo to a secluded area, tied him to a tree, gagged him, and killed him. This killer pleaded guilty to the carjacking and murder of the two Massachusetts men during a week-long crime spree. Sampson was charged in a federal court in Boston, found guilty and on the 23rd of December 2003 he was sentenced to death. The jury had deliberated for ten hours after hearing six weeks of evidence. Because Sampson had pleaded guilty, the jury didn’t need to decide whether he killed McCloskey and Rizzo. But the jury heard the murders described in graphic detail during the sentencing phase of the trial. Prosecutors portrayed Sampson as a ruthless, calculating killer who preyed on Good Samaritans. The federal law was changed in 1994 to allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty when a murder is committed during a carjacking. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty. Massachusetts abolished capital punishment in 1984. The last time the Commonwealth used the penalty was in 1973. It is the first time anyone in Massachusetts has been sentenced to die under the federal death penalty law. Judge Mark L. Wolf when sentencing Sampson to death; ordered that the execution be carried out in New Hampshire, which has not carried out an execution since 1939 New Hampshire's (then-Governor) Craig R. Benson consented to doing it in that state. The judge also ordered that meanwhile Sampson be imprisoned in the Federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he is still awaiting his execution.  

Ricardo Sanchez and Daniel Troya On Mar. 31, 2009, a jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, recommended a death sentence for Troya and Sanchez for the murder of two children on the Florida Turnpike in 2006. The defendants also were convicted of murdering the children's parents and received life sentences for that crime. All the victims were Hispanic. The victims were Jose Luis Escobedo, 28; his wife, Yessica Guerrero Escobedo, 25; and their sons, Luis Julian, 4, and Luis Damian, 3. The father of the children was allegedly killed because of a drug debt. The judge was required to follow the jury's recommendation in imposing the formal sentence. On May 13, 2009 both Troya and Sanchez were formally sentenced to death. They are currently on death row.

Michael Isaac Snarr and Edgar Baltazar Garcia These two men assaulted and stabbed two corrections officers while being escorted to their cells in the prison's maximum-security Special Housing Unit of the federal penitentiary in Texas on November 28, 2007, after slipping from their hand restraints and pulling homemade knives that they had hid in their clothing. They then grabbed a cell key, unlocked the cell of fellow inmate, Rhone’s and stabbed him 50 times, including one that penetrated Rhone’s heart.  He died of wounds to his heart and liver. Both killers claimed that they killed Rhone out of imminent fear for their lives because he threatened them within 48 hours previously to his death. The two Beaumont federal penitentiary inmates received the death penalty on May 24th 2010 for the 2007 slaying of Gabriel Rhone and both are waiting for their executions.  

Richard Stitt was convicted of ordering the murder of three people in Norfolk Virginia. He was sentenced to death by a jury in November 1998 after a joint trial with three of the non-capital codefendants, who did not face the death penalty but rather life in prison. Stitt's death sentence was overturned by a federal District Court judge in April 2005 because of ineffectiveness of counsel. In March 2006, the District Court was unanimously upheld by the 4th Circuit, finding that Stitt's attorney did not render effective assistance because of a conflict of interest. The 4th Circuit ordered a new sentencing trial on December 29th 2008. On March 25th 2006, the court ordered that Stitt's sentence should be reduced to life plus 65 years. The prosecution had requested a new sentencing jury. The government may appeal this The federal government abandoned its attempt to seek a death sentence against Stitt. He is serving a life sentence instead.  

Alejandro Umana A federal jury gave an MS-13 gang member the death penalty. Alejandro Umana was found guilty of killing two brothers in a greensboro restaurant back in 2007. 
Alejandro Umana was arrested in 2008 in a roundup of suspected gang members. Police said he shot and killed Reuben and Manuel Salinas following an altercation in a Greensboro restaurant. After a day of deliberating, the jury recommended that the gang member get the death penalty. This was a unanimous decision. Umana showed no emotion as the jury’s recommendation was handed down. Umana’s attorney made the procedural decision to poll the jury. When asked, each juror said "yes" that was still their decision. He was sentenced to death on July 27th 2010. 

Christopher Vialva and Brandon Bernard A federal jury in Waco, Texas, convicted them in June, 2000, of carjacking and the murder of an Iowa couple visiting central Texas. Both defendants were sentenced to death. Vialva was 19-years-old at the time of his arrest, and Bernard was 18. Four younger teen-agers have also pled guilty to federal charges relating to the crime but because they were under 18 years of age at the time of the murders, they couldn’t be sentenced to death. Instead, they were sent to prison.

Bruce Webster was charged in Fort Worth, Texas with the abduction, sexual assault and beating murder of a 16-year-old black female. Hall was sentenced to death in November 1995. In a separate trial, Webster was sentenced to death in June 1996. Webster has been scheduled for execution on April 16, 2007. His execution was stayed when he  joined the 'lethal injection challenge 'filed by other inmates.

Ronell Wilson His federal death sentence was the fist handed down in New York since 1954. Wilson, 24, was convicted of killing two undercover police detectives in Staten Island in 2003. The jury recommended a sentence of death on January 30, 2007. If the judge decided that New York still does not have the death penalty, then the judge would choose another state with the death penalty by determining the manner and place of execution. Wilson was formally sentenced to death in U.S. District Court on March 
29, 2007. The 2nd Circuit of Appeals overturned death sentence on June 30th 2010. 

Derrick Frazier and Jermaine Herron  On June 26, 1997, the two men shot 41-year-old Betsy Nutt and her 15-year-old son Cody Nutt at their ranch in Refugio County in 1997. Both victims were shot in the head several times. They had been killed in the family's mobile home at the Dos Amigos Ranch in Refugio, Texas. A pickup truck had been stolen, and a neighboring residence had been burglarized and set on fire. The pickup truck was found outside a Victoria apartment complex later that day, resulting in Derrick Frazier being arrested there and brought in for questioning with respect to the theft of the truck. Then an arrest warrant was issued for the two men. Both men turned themselves ia few days later. Frazier made a videotaped confession where he admitted to killing Betsy Nutt using a 9 mm pistol they had stolen from another house. Then Herron shot Cody with the same weapon. Both men were convicted of the two murders and Herron was executed on May 17, 2006 by lethal injection and Derrick Frazier was executed by lethal injection on the 31st of August 2006 in HuntsvilleTexas for the robbery and murder of the woman and her son. 

Concluding remarks

There are many more murderers I could write about but time doesn’t make that possible. In my view, every one of these killers deserved to be sentenced to death. It costs millions of dollars to keep each of them alive in prison for the rest of their lives. As I see it, they have forfeited their right to life when they purposely killed other human beings.  In a future article in my blog, I will write about more killers and why I feel that certain kinds of murderers, such as the ones I have written about in this article, should be executed. 

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