ABA Report Released on Texas Death Penalty: Read It Online Here

 

Terry Lenamon's Client Indicted for Murder on Snitch Testimony; Now, Snitch Says He Lied

Terry’s busy with trial stuff right now, but took the time to send over a quick email about sharing the latest news story about what snitches do in the justice system (as in, throwing a big, fat wrench in the works).

Maybe you’ve already heard about the case.

If not, check out the Miami Herald article here, “Charges dropped in 1999 murder of retired Miami-Dade cop,” for which Terry Lenamon was interviewed and where Lenamon opines about how dangerous using snitch testimony in criminal cases can be.

FYI, Terence Lenamon represents Shannon Dawson, one of the defendants indicted for the murder of Raymond Stanisky based upon testimony given by a snitch who has now recanted his testimony, admitted he lied, and who now faces perjury charges. 

For more on the unreliability of snitch testimony, check out:

"Unreliable Informant Testimony" by Nicholaos Jonas, et al (Chapter 10 of Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons from Psychological Research, edited by Brian L. Cutler, PhD.)

Campbell, Erreka, Ditch the Snitch: Why State and Federal Governments Should Limit the Use and Admissibility of Informant Testimony (December 9, 2010). Available at SSRN:  http://ssrn.com/abstract=1884468 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1884468

 

 

Florida Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional: Racial Discrimination in Seeking Death Penalty Argues Terence Lenamon in Michael Woods Case

Terence Lenamon is one busy trial lawyer; right now, he defending a man named Michael Woods who faces the death penalty in a trial that is set to begin on October 14, 2013 for the murder of Toni Centracco in a killing that prosecutors charge occurred during the commission of a burglary of a home in Ocala, Florida.

 
To see Terry and his co-defense counsel James Reich on the job, check out the photo here, during a hearing on Monday. (Reich is the defense lawyer for the guilt phase; Lenamon is the defense lawyer for the penalty phase (if the trial goes that far).)
 
Challenge to Constitutionality of Death Penalty
 
Terry is arguing that the death penalty is unconstitutional as it is applied in the 5th Judicial District of the State of Florida based on racial discrimination.  
 
The motion filed in support of this position (soon to be in the Online Library) argues that in this jurisdiction (the 5th Judicial District), statistics are that capital punishment is sought 4 times more often if the defendant is non-white and charged with killing a single white female than any other racial combination of defendant/victim.
 
The entire Motion (with its Supporting Affidavit) will be published in the Terence Lenamon Online Library at no charge as a public service to those interested in death penalty issues.  
 
Stay tuned to learn the judge's decision on this motion, it's expected within the week.

Timely Justice Act Challenge Is Pending While Death Row Inmate Marshall Gore's Execution Re-Set Causes Controversy

 Florida Governor Rick Scott delayed the execution of Marshall Lee Gore back in mid-August, writing a letter to the Florida State Prison warden with a re-set of the execution day to October 1, 2013.

Gore Gets 20 More Days of Life In Controversial Circumstance

This happened shortly after the Florida Supreme Court ruling that considered the mental illness arguments of Gore’s defense team and decided that Marshall Lee Gore did not meet the mental illness standards needed to avoid the death penalty.

Which meant that the Execution was back on the Florida Death Row Calendar, initially being set for September 10, 2013, until Governor Scott wrote the warden and moved the date.

Attorney General Request for Rescheduling and the Timely Justice Act

Meanwhile, news right now isn’t about mental illness and the ethical issues of executing someone with mental illness: it’s about the reasons why Mr. Gore has been given another few weeks of life to live by Governor Scott.

According to the news media, it’s because Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General, requested the extension. Not for any legal issues regarding Mr. Gore; sources like the Huffington Post are reporting that Ms. Bondi asked for the date to be changed because she had a scheduling conflict: there was a fundraiser scheduled and Bondi couldn’t be in two places at the same time.

Some folk aren’t thrilled about this: some are pointing to the Timely Justice Act (see our earlier posts on this law here) and suggesting that the rescheduling of Gore’s execution to accommodate a fundraising event doesn’t jive with the rationale and passionate push all those proponents gave to the passage of the Timely Justice Act.

Result? Governor Scott told the media that he rescheduled at Bondi’s request but he didn’t know the reason for her request. And Bondi has issued a statement to the press, mea culpa:

"As a prosecutor, there was nothing more important than seeing justice done, especially when it came to the unconscionable act of murder. I personally put two people on death row and, as Attorney General, have already participated in eight executions since I took office, a role I take very seriously.

"The planned execution of Marshall Lee Gore had already been stayed twice by the courts, and we absolutely should not have requested that the date of the execution be moved."

Meanwhile, what’s the latest with the Timely Justice Act review over at the Florida Supreme Court?

Nothing new has happened on the Supreme Court’s Docket for the Case (SC13-1123) since our last post discussing the filing of the reply brief by the Petitioners (replying to the response filed by Bondi’s Office).  

Presumably, the High Court is working on things, like reading all that research and argument in those filings and working toward a decision about what to do next.  Stay tuned. 

 

 
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