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Death Warrant

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By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | September 19, 1990
You'd think that Jean-Claude Van Damme, cast as a cop wh poses as a prisoner in an undercover assignment, would be able to take care of himself and the film.No go. Not this time. ''Death Warrant'' does nothing for Van Damme and even less for the spectator. Its trouble is that it doesn't know what it wants to be, a prison movie with all the attendant cliches, or another ''Nightmare on Elm Street,'' with all its cliches.What it is, actually, is a combination of all these cliches with some very silly footage of its own.''Death Warrant'' is a brutal movie.
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By Leonard Pitts Jr | May 19, 2013
At great political peril, George Ryan did the right thing. Not to canonize the man. After all, the then-governor of Illinois was later imprisoned on corruption charges. But that doesn't change the fact that, in 2000, stung that 13 inmates had been exonerated and freed from death row in the previous 23 years, Mr. Ryan committed an act of profound moral courage, imposing a moratorium on capital punishment. In 2003, in the waning days of his term, he one-upped himself, commuting every death sentence in his state.
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By Glenn Small and Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writer | March 8, 1994
Convicted killer John Frederick Thanos took a giant legal step toward the gas chamber yesterday when a Circuit Court judge signed a death warrant calling for his execution during the week of April 25.The unrepentant Thanos would become the first person put to death in Maryland in more than three decades -- depending on the outcome of a last appeal filed by a federal public defender on behalf of the killer's mother and sister.In signing the warrant, St. Mary's Circuit Judge Marvin S. Kaminetz disregarded a request from Larry A. Nathans, the chief assistant federal public defender in Baltimore who asked that he wait until the petition filed on behalf of the relatives last week is litigated.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | January 10, 2006
A Baltimore County judge signed a death warrant yesterday for a man convicted in the 1983 contract killing of two Pikesville motel clerks, scheduling the longtime death row inmate's execution for the week of Feb. 6. The warrant for Vernon L. Evans Jr., 56, comes five weeks after the execution of another Baltimore County defendant, Wesley Eugene Baker, who was put to death Dec. 5 for killing a teacher's aide in 1991 on a mall parking lot. The death warrant...
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | January 10, 2006
A Baltimore County judge signed a death warrant yesterday for a man convicted in the 1983 contract killing of two Pikesville motel clerks, scheduling the longtime death row inmate's execution for the week of Feb. 6. The warrant for Vernon L. Evans Jr., 56, comes five weeks after the execution of another Baltimore County defendant, Wesley Eugene Baker, who was put to death Dec. 5 for killing a teacher's aide in 1991 on a mall parking lot. The death warrant...
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | February 13, 2002
A week after a ruling that was seen as a reprieve to some death row inmates, Baltimore County prosecutors are asking a Circuit Court judge to approve the execution this spring of Wesley Eugene Baker, who fatally shot a 49-year-old grandmother at Westview Mall. Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor said that she and Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst are writing to the judge who sentenced Baker in 1992 to ask how he wants to proceed on their request for a death warrant.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Sarah Koenig and Dennis O'Brien and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | April 11, 2001
Two death row inmates could have their execution dates set early next week because the General Assembly did not approve a moratorium on Maryland's death penalty. Baltimore County prosecutors -- who won the convictions of more than half the 13 inmates on death row -- plan to ask judges to sign warrants to execute Steven Howard Oken and Wesley Baker. Baltimore County Circuit Judge James T. Smith Jr. will be asked Monday to sign the death warrant for Oken, who could be the first inmate to die by lethal injection in Maryland since Tyrone Gilliam in 1998.
NEWS
By Thomas W. Waldron and Michael Dresser and Thomas W. Waldron and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | May 6, 2000
A longtime supporter of the death penalty, Gov. Parris N. Glendening has twice signed orders sending convicted murderers to their death. But as the governor decides whether to execute a third man, Eugene Colvin-el, death penalty opponents are hopeful that a combination of legal and political factors may persuade him to spare a life this time. Colvin-el would be the fourth convict put to death in Maryland since the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976. His backers say the prosecution's case against him - made up largely of circumstantial evidence - is the weakest of those that have made it to a Maryland governor's desk since then.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | February 26, 2005
A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge has signed a warrant that sets the stage for the execution in April of longtime Maryland death row inmate Vernon L. Evans Jr., who was convicted in 1984 of the contract murder of a federal witness and a bystander. Judge Christian M. Kahl signed the death warrant Thursday, two days after the Supreme Court refused to hear the latest appeal from Evans, 55, who argued that he was wrongfully sentenced under harsher sentencing guidelines that took effect after he committed his crimes.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | March 18, 2002
Baltimore County prosecutors say that if anyone belongs on Maryland's death row, it's Wesley Eugene Baker. Baker, 43, of Baltimore was convicted of shooting Jane Tyson in front of her grandchildren during a robbery outside Westview Mall in 1991. A witness saw him leave the scene, followed the getaway car, a Chevrolet Blazer, and gave police the tag number. When police arrested Baker a short time later, they found blood on his jeans and the murder weapon in the Blazer. They also found Baker's fingerprints on Tyson's Buick.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | November 5, 2005
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has signed a warrant scheduling the execution of death row inmate Wesley E. Baker in December for the 1991 killing of a Baltimore County woman in front of her grandchildren in a mall parking lot. The governor signed the death warrant late Thursday afternoon, exactly one month after Maryland's highest court rejected on procedural grounds Baker's bid to have his sentence overturned. Baker's lawyers based the appeal on a University of Maryland study that found racial and geographic disparities in the state's use of capital punishment.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | March 1, 2005
Four days after a Baltimore County judge signed a death warrant for convicted murderer Vernon L. Evans Jr., the man's lawyers asked the judge yesterday to postpone the execution and overturn a sentence that they contend was based on a "racially discriminatory" application of the death penalty by Baltimore County prosecutors. The legal pursuit launches Evans' attorneys into the company of a growing number of advocates for death-row inmates who have based appeals of their sentences on a University of Maryland study conducted by Professor Raymond Paternoster that found geographic and racial disparities in the application of the death penalty.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | February 26, 2005
A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge has signed a warrant that sets the stage for the execution in April of longtime Maryland death row inmate Vernon L. Evans Jr., who was convicted in 1984 of the contract murder of a federal witness and a bystander. Judge Christian M. Kahl signed the death warrant Thursday, two days after the Supreme Court refused to hear the latest appeal from Evans, 55, who argued that he was wrongfully sentenced under harsher sentencing guidelines that took effect after he committed his crimes.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | June 9, 2004
Lawyers for Steven Oken argued before the state's highest court yesterday that the convicted killer's scheduled execution should be delayed to allow him to pursue his legal challenge to Maryland's lethal injection method. Oken's lead attorney, Fred Warren Bennett, told the judges on the Maryland Court of Appeals that his client has raised "serious" and "thorny" issues and should be given time to litigate them. But Maryland Assistant Attorney General Ann N. Bosse asked the court not to interfere with Oken's current death warrant -- his third since being convicted and sentenced in 1991 -- and told the judges that Oken's lawsuits and appeals now constitute an "abusive delay."
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | April 28, 2004
FREDERICK Anthony Romano, who prefers to be known simply as "Fred," isn't getting his hopes up. Romano reacted yesterday to the news that Steven Howard Oken is scheduled for yet another appointment with Maryland's lethal injection table. Oken's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was turned down Monday, and Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II signed the death warrant for the week of June 14. In 1991, Oken was sentenced to death for torturing and killing Romano's sister, Dawn Marie Garvin, a 20-year-old newlywed.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | February 8, 2003
MARYLAND Attorney General Joseph Curran was a trial lawyer for 23 years. He knows the mistakes the system can make. Boy, does he know. It was the late 1960s when Curran got a call from one of his parochial school classmates. The guy had been charged with two savings and loan robberies. A teller had fingered him as the holdup man. Yeah, that's the guy, she'd told the cops. During Curran's investigation of the case, he got a call from an FBI agent. The bureau was holding some guy in Florida who had confessed to the stickups hung on Curran's client.
NEWS
By Glenn Small and Glenn Small,Staff Writer | November 9, 1993
No matter how Maryland's highest court rules on his death sentence, convicted killer John Frederick Thanos cannot be executed for at least a month now that his original death warrant has expired.The deadline expired at midnight Sunday night without a ruling from the Maryland Court of Appeals on whether Thanos was competent to fire his lawyers and waive further appeals.The expiration of the death warrant means that the soonest the 44-year-old killer of two Baltimore County teen-agers could be executed is four weeks from the day the Court of Appeals does make its decision -- if the judges rule him competent and say he can waive an automatic 240-day stay of execution provided by Maryland law.If they rule him incompetent or decide that he cannot waive the 240-day stay, the execution would be delayed until at least April.
NEWS
February 2, 2003
Death warrant signed for killer of Harford woman A Baltimore County judge paved the way last week for Maryland's first execution in nearly five years when he agreed to sign a death warrant for convicted murderer Steven H. Oken. It is the first capital case to move forward under Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., whose entry into office effectively ended the state's moratorium on the death penalty. Oken was convicted in the 1987 murder of Dawn Marie Garvin, a Joppatowne High school graduate.
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