In brief: November 2017


In Texas, 47-year-old Ruben Ramirez Cardenas, a Mexican citizen, was executed on Wednesday for the 1997 killing of his 16-year-old cousin, Mayra Laguna. He was the seventh prisoner to be executed in Texas this year. ABC News reports that his execution was delayed for four hours while attorneys filed last ditch appeals for new DNA testing of trial evidence.

In Florida, also on Wednesday, 53-year-old Patrick Hannon was executed for the double murder of Brandon Snider and Robert Carter in 1991. The Orlando Weekly reports that both the U.S. Supreme Court and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected appeals by Hannon’s attorneys hours before he was executed. It was Florida’s third execution since August.

In Nevada, state officials plan to execute Scott Dozier next Tuesday, the first execution in the state in 11 years, with a lethal drug cocktail that has never been used before. Defense lawyers say this experimental cocktail of three drugs — a sedative, fentanyl, and a paralytic — is dangerous. They are also challenging the secrecy surrounding the execution plan. The LA Times reports that the case is exacerbated by the fact that Dozier’s lawyer can’t ask for a stay of execution, because Dozier has said he wants to die.

In Mississippi, the Supreme Court overturned the triple homicide conviction of 49-year-old Sherwood Brown because of “exculpatory DNA testing results and false forensic testimony,” according to the Clarion Ledger. Brown was sentenced to death in 1995 for the murder of a 13-year-old girl, her mother, and grandmother.

In Kansas, Lamonte McIntyre was freed after serving 23 years in prison for a double murder he didn’t commit. The Kansas City Star reports that McIntyre was freed after recently-elected Wyandotte County DA Mark Dupree, Sr. said his office would not contest the facts proving McIntyre’s innocence. “The case against McIntyre included no gun, no motive, no physical evidence whatsoever that tied him to the crime, and no evidence that he knew either victim,” the Star reported.

In Ohio, Alva Campbell, Jr. is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Wednesday for the carjacking/murder of Charles Dials in 1997. He had previously been convicted of another murder in 1972. WOSU Public Media reports that by an 11-1 vote, the state parole board recommended that Gov. John Kasich deny Campbell’s clemency plea. If the execution goes forward, it will be the state’s third this year.

In Texas last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the appeals of four death row inmates. The Brownsville Herald reports that the appeals of the three men and one woman were rejected without comment. None of the four has an execution date.

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