Advertisement
HomeCollectionsRow Inmates
IN THE NEWS

Row Inmates

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | October 26, 2003
FORT WORTH, Texas - Brandon Biggs offered something rare to the woman convicted of killing his father: forgiveness. Now, death row inmates are doing something that would seem equally unusual: thanking Biggs for daring to be kind to a murderer. A $10,000 scholarship generated through Compassion, a newsletter written and edited by death row inmates, is being awarded to Biggs to help him continue to study for the ministry. "His overwhelming desire to forgive this woman, it's not something that you generally hear from the public," Dennis Skillicorn, a Missouri inmate who is the newsletter's editor, said during a telephone interview from prison.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | May 1, 2014
Death row inmate Jody Lee Miles asked an appeals court this week to rule that Maryland's death penalty repeal applies to inmates who were already sentenced to die when executions were outlawed last year. Attorneys for Miles, who was convicted in a 1997 murder on the Eastern Shore, said the General Assembly was so thorough in its dismantling of the laws that governed capital punishment in Maryland that the state no longer has the authority to kill anyone. "Mr. Miles cannot be executed and his sentence must be set aside," the attorneys wrote.
Advertisement
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 25, 1998
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court held out some hope yesterday for death row inmates in Maryland and elsewhere that they can prevent states from speeding up executions until the inmates have competent lawyers to handle their cases.At a hearing, several justices appeared ready to explore ways for inmates facing execution to receive assurances in court of free lawyers to help challenge their convictions and sentences.Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who might hold the decisive vote if the court is split on the issue, said "it makes a lot of sense" to give all death row prisoners in a given state, joined in a single case, a chance to resolve questions about lawyers' availability.
NEWS
By Jeff Barker and Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Convicted double murderer John Booth-El died in prison over the weekend, but a thorny debate outlived him: What should happen to the four other death-row inmates in legal limbo after the repeal of Maryland's capital punishment law? Booth-El's death, which authorities said appeared to be from natural causes, rekindled debate over whether the inmates - all convicted of murder and sentenced years ago - should have their terms commuted to reflect the state's new attitude toward the death penalty.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff writer | February 6, 1991
A Carroll delegate is seeking to keep death row inmates from prolonging their cases and wasting taxpayers' money by denying a now-automatic privilege to free legal assistance once initial appeals to state and federal courts have been exhausted.The bill has been criticized by current and former public defenders who say the proposal made byDelegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, tramples on basic judicial rights.The bill would require courts to determine if legal assistance should be granted to any person convicted of a crime upon submission ofa first petition to set aside the sentence.
NEWS
By Greg Garland and Greg Garland,SUN STAFF | June 19, 2004
Steven Howard Oken's execution Thursday may be among the last within the sprawling prison complex on Madison Street, where the state has carried out all of its death sentences for nearly a century. Within two years, state officials hope to move death row inmates from the Baltimore facility to a prison near rural Cumberland, where executions will be conducted. "The plan is to eventually make the North Branch [Correctional Institute] what it was always intended to be - our primary maximum security facility," said state public safety and corrections chief Mary Ann Saar.
NEWS
By Steve Mills and Steve Mills,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | February 25, 2004
The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the death sentence of one of Texas' longest-serving death row inmates, a man who came within minutes of being executed last year before the court granted him a reprieve to hear his claims that prosecution misconduct had tainted his case. In a 7-2 ruling yesterday, the court said Delma Banks Jr. was entitled to a new sentencing hearing as well as an opportunity to pursue his claim that prosecutors withheld crucial evidence during the guilt-innocence phase of his trial.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL OLLOVE and MICHAEL OLLOVE,SUN STAFF | March 14, 2000
As Dr. Joanne Wilson emerged from her San Juan hotel last month, she spied a young woman striding toward her in a dusty pink T-shirt emblazoned with the words "United Colors of Benetton." Just like that, the tropical beauty around the doctor faded, and she found herself transported back 13 years. The ocean, the sun, the sand, all of it was replaced by the vision of a dingy convenience store in Raleigh, N.C., and the crumpled body of her 33-year-old baby brother. As anyone in grief knows, there's no way to tell what associations will spark new spasms of sorrow.
NEWS
By John M. Glionna and John M. Glionna,LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 5, 2001
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Each time the heavy gates clank shut behind him, prison guard Robert Trono enters a violent realm of men with nothing left to lose. The 39-year-old sergeant works in a cramped concrete cellblock that houses 85 criminals awaiting execution. It is a place where riot gear, stab-proof vests, biohazard body suits and fear are standard issue. Trono helps oversee inmates known as the Grade-B condemned, the most dangerous of San Quentin State Prison's 580 death row prisoners.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 14, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Maryland, taking the lead among states that want to speed up executions, is moving to cut off any more court challenges by at least three Maryland death row inmates.If the state succeeds in a variety of test cases unfolding in several courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, prompt executions could be scheduled for convicted murderers Wesley Eugene Baker, John Marvin Booth and Steven Howard Oken.The cases of at least two other death row prisoners, Kenneth Lloyd Collins and Tyrone Delano Gilliam Jr., could be affected quickly by the state's efforts.
NEWS
March 18, 2013
Having won approval in both chambers of Maryland's General Assembly, a landmark bill to abolish the state's death penalty awaits only Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature before becoming law. It is a tremendous political and moral victory for Mr. O'Malley, a long-time opponent of capital punishment who campaigned for a repeal during his first term only to come up short. That leaves only one major item of unfinished business on his agenda regarding the issue: Commuting the sentences of the five men currently on Maryland's death row to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
NEWS
February 14, 2013
I find it very difficult to compare children losing their playmates to parents being bound, gagged and stabbed to death by a neighbor ("A sister arrives at a different view," Feb. 10). Whether John Booth-El wielded the knife or not, he still participated in a vicious attack that resulted in the deaths of two people he knew, and he is therefore just as guilty of their murder. Peggy Alley, Baltimore
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | February 9, 2013
At the time of her brother's arrest and trial, Patricia Booth-Townes supported the death penalty — "an eye for an eye," as she put it. Even after her brother was sentenced to die, she says, she didn't waver. She just didn't believe he'd committed that heinous crime, despite the evidence presented in court. But years later, while studying criminal justice at Coppin State University, she found herself researching capital punishment. She almost couldn't avoid it, she said, because her textbook mentioned her brother's case, which set a constitutional precedent for the use of "victim impact statements" in sentencing.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2011
"Kill the bastard. Somebody has to if I can't. " It's been a decade since those words flashed across Charles Poehlman's mind. He's in a better place now, he says, anger replaced by acceptance. He still wants the man who killed his 17-year-old daughter to die, but he's come to terms with the fact that the state of Maryland won't execute John A. Miller IV. But neither Poehlman nor Miller feels justice has been done. Poehlman believes Miller finagled a system that coddles criminals to draw out proceedings and escape the death penalty.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Kate Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 25, 2010
The five men on Maryland's death row were quietly moved this week from the hulking Baltimore prison once known as Supermax to a Western Maryland facility hailed recently as one of the most technologically advanced maximum-security prisons in the United States. The transfer to the North Branch Correctional Institution near Cumberland was carried out amid such secrecy that even now state prison officials won't give any details — not even which day the condemned men were moved.
NEWS
May 8, 2009
The death penalty law Gov. Martin O'Malley signed Thursday didn't give opponents of capital punishment everything they wanted, but it marked a significant step toward ending executions in Maryland by significantly narrowing the circumstances under which the ultimate punishment can be imposed. Under the new law, prosecutors may seek the death penalty only in cases where there is DNA or biological evidence, a videotape of the crime or a video-recorded confession by the killer. The new limitations make Maryland's death penalty law among the most restrictive in the country.
NEWS
By P.J. Huffstutter and P.J. Huffstutter,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 24, 2004
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled yesterday that former Gov. George Ryan had the right to commute the sentences of all the states death row inmates before he left office last year. The decision is the latest chapter in the debate over death penalty laws, which exploded in 2000 when Ryan instituted a moratorium on executions. He acted after it became evident that 13 death row inmates had been wrongly convicted. In January 2003, Ryan moved 167 prisoners off Illinois death row, commuting their sentences to life in prison.
NEWS
By New York Times | September 24, 1991
ATLANTA -- After 13 years of litigation that helped define the law on capital punishment, Warren McCleskey may be put to death tonight despite statements by two jurors that they no longer think he should be executed.McCleskey, sentenced to death for the 1978 killing of an Atlanta policeman, was the subject of two U.S. Supreme Court rulings in recent years that have dramatically narrowed the options for appeals by death row inmates.Now, in a paradoxical finale to his case, McCleskey's hope for a commutation from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles depends on how the board responds to information the Supreme Court refused to consider in a sweeping 1990 ruling that dramatically limited the rights of death row inmates to file appeals.
NEWS
By Bonnita Spikes | November 7, 2006
It was a moment of understanding that came in the midst of a heated argument among strangers in a courthouse hallway. The couple I was speaking with had likely been to the Maryland Court of Appeals more times than I. Her parents were murdered in their Baltimore home in 1983, and the man convicted of killing them still sits on death row. That day, the court was hearing an appeal in another death case: Maryland's death penalty was being challenged based...
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,sun reporter | September 19, 2006
Lawyers for death row inmate Vernon L. Evans Jr. expect to bring into federal court this week the men and women who have participated in Maryland's previous executions to ask them what they did and how they were trained and to inquire about any past problems with the lethal injection procedures that the convicted killer is challenging. The attorneys argue that Maryland's execution protocol violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment, and that decades of intravenous drug use by Evans - including as recently as four years ago when he was incarcerated in a federal prison in Atlanta - have so ravaged his veins that he is at a particular risk of excruciating pain.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.