Saturday, May 11, 2002

Lynda Lyon Block
May 10, 2002


Block first woman executed since '57

LAST MEAL: None...a girl's gotta keep her figure! She consumed only water and milk.

THE SKINNY: Condemned for the 1993 shooting death of Opelika police Sgt. Roger Lamar Motley Jr. Block, 54, and George Sibley were convicted of capital murder in the death of Motley, who was shot repeatedly in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Sibley was also sentenced to death; his execution date hasn't been set. Block, a member of the patriot movement who believes the government is illegitimate and the State of Alabama does not exist, refused to file appeals to courts that she contended are biased and have no jurisdiction.

I FEEL PRETTY, OH SO PRETTY: Block wore a white prison outfit with her shaved head covered by a black hood. She wore light makeup, with mascara and a light shade of pink lipstick.

FACTOIDS: Block was the first woman to die in Alabama's electric chair in more than four decades. When the execution began a 2,050-volt, 20-second shock Block clenched her fists, her body tensed and steam came from the sponge on her head and the electrode on her left leg. She then received 250 volts for 100 seconds. Block could be the last person to die in Holman Prison's electric chair, known as "Yellow Mama." The Legislature in April made lethal injection the prime method of execution in Alabama. “Yellow Mama,” the state’s has been in use since 1927. On July 1, lethal injection becomes Alabama’s preferred method of execution, though inmates can still choose to be electrocuted.

Before Block, the last woman executed in Alabama was Rhonda Martin in 1957. She poisoned six family members.

IN THE ZONE: "She seemed to be somber, somewhat stoic," said Alabama Prison Comimssioner Mike Haley. "She never displayed any emotion throughout the very end. Her stare was a very blank stare, an emotionless stare."

SOUNDS OF SILENCE: She made no final statement

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT: "I ask that my body not be desecrated by autopsy, for it is against my religious beliefs to desecrate a body," Block wrote in her will. State law requires an autopsy anyway.

Friday, May 10, 2002


Maryland 2nd State to Ban Executions

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Saying he supports the death penalty but wants to make sure it's fairly applied, Gov. Parris Glendening has banned executions during his final eight months in office, making Maryland the second state with such a moratorium.

Glendening said Thursday that he would suspend all executions while a study is done on whether capital punishment is meted out in a racially discriminatory way. In announcing the moratorium, Glendening blocked next week's lethal injection of 44-year-old Wesley Baker.

Nine of the 13 men on Maryland's death row are black and many of the victims were white. Glendening also noted that nine of the men on death row were convicted in Baltimore County, and said: "Use of the death penalty ought not to be a lottery of geography."

Since capital punishment was re-established in 1976, Maryland has executed three men, two of them black, in the murders of three people, all white.

About 3,700 people are on death row for crimes committed in the 38 states with the death penalty.

Reginald Reeves
May 9, 2002


Man executed for 1993 rape, murder

Last Meal: Four pieces of fried chicken and two Cokes.

The skinny: Reginald Reeves was executed Thursday night at 6:22 in the Huntsville "Walls" Unit death chamber for the 1993 murder of a 14-year-old girl.

Reeves, 28, was convicted of the rape and strangulation death of Jenny Lynn Weeks in Clarksville at the age of 19. Bite marks on her body and DNA evidence tied Reeves to her death.

LAST WORDS AND WORDS AND WORDS: In his last statement at 6:10 p.m., Reeves spoke at length of forgiveness and love.

"I pray we may all learn to love and forgive and have peace in this world," he said while strapped to the death chamber gurney. "The only way we're going to find peace in the world is to have forgiveness. If you don't learn to forgive, you're not hurting anyone but yourself."

He then addressed the victim's family saying, "I apologize for taking the life of your daughter and I know how much pain you must be in because I saw my family today."

Reeves thanked the warden and his spiritual advisor, and after a long silence, said his last words to his mother: "I love you mother."

FACTOIDS: Reeves was the 11th Texas prisoner put to death this year. No final-day appeals were filed, and the United States Supreme Court refused to review his case or stop the lethal injection Thursday.

In the final entry in her diary dated Sept. 9, 1993, Weeks (the victim) wrote of being a bit lonely but otherwise happy living at Reeves' apartment. She was killed later that day.

Reeves was on probation at least twice as a juvenile for assaults -- once at age 11 when he was accused in 1985 of sodomizing 5- and 7-year-old boys with a stick, and again in 1990 when his mother contacted authorities about his unruly behavior, including an assault on her.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002


Florida killer posts personal ad for cyber-friend

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - The online personal ad reads nicely, describing a world-traveller and scholar who loves cooking, water sports, yoga and hiking.

"Hi, I'm Bill. I'm compassionate, 6' 2" 200 lbs. (1.88 m, 91 kg) athletic guy who enjoys Mediterranean food, the poetry of Keats and Kavafy, and baroque music," says the ad, accompanied by a photo of a smiling, benign-looking fellow.

What William Coday's ad doesn't say is that he used hammers to kill two ex-girlfriends.

"I just find it very interesting that he chose to leave out some important details about his criminal history," Broward County prosecutor Chuck Morton, who helped convict Coday of murder in April, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The web site where the ad is posted offers potential pen-pals a clue -- Coday also offers up his inmate number along with a post office box.

A jury convicted Coday, a former librarian in Fort Lauderdale, of first-degree murder for beating and stabbing his girlfriend, Gloria Gomez, after she broke up with him in 1997. According to trial evidence, Gomez had 57 wounds from the hammer and 87 stab wounds and gashes.

The jury was not told that Coday was previously convicted of manslaughter for killing another ex-girlfriend in 1978 in Germany. He admitted using a shoemaker's hammer to beat her to death and served 18 months in a German prison.

The personal ad also didn't say that Coday is awaiting a sentencing hearing in June at which a judge will decide whether he gets life in prison or the death penalty.

Inmate gets stay of execution

This retarded thing is catching on!

Thirty-three-year-old Brian Edward Davis, formerly of La Porte, was granted a stay of execution by the United States Supreme Court Tuesday.

The reprieve was granted after attorneys for Davis argued the claim that he has some degree of mental retardation. The stay was the second such order granted to a prisoner in as many weeks.

According to information provided by the Texas state Attorney General's office, Davis and his wife Tina McDonald met Foster (the victim) on the night of Aug. 10, 1991 at a Houston bar. At closing time, Foster was observed leaving the bar with Davis and McDonald.

Foster's body was found three days later in his apartment. He had been stabbed 11 times in the neck, chest, abdomen and back. Foster also had suffered a broken nose and had a swastika and the letters "NSSH" (National Socialist Skin Heads) written on his abdomen.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002


Remember Zafran Bibi?


Human rights groups in Pakistan have expressed deep concern about a woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. A district court in the town of Kohat in western Pakistan passed the sentence under Islamic Sharia law after police said the woman had confessed.

The woman, Zafran Bibi, went to the police two years ago to register a case of rape against her brother-in-law, but police later charged her and the man of having an adulterous affair.

Police then said she admitted to having an affair with her brother-in-law, who made her pregnant, and it was on the basis of this reported confession that she was found guilty.


A court in Pakistan has suspended the sentence of stoning to death passed against a woman convicted of adultery. On Saturday, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf said such a sentence had never been carried out and should never be carried out.

Zafran Bibi originally went to the police two years ago to register a case of rape, but she herself was instead charged with having an adulterous affair. She gave birth to a son while her husband was in prison and a court in the conservative town of Kohat in North-West Frontier Province found her guilty of adultery.


She is currently in jail in the town with her seven-month-old baby and has not been allowed to meet human-rights groups or journalists.

Sunday, May 05, 2002

NYTimes takes a look at the Lone Star state's attempt to take back it's crown.

Executions in Texas Up Sharply After Lull free reg. req.

After a sharp decline in executions last year, Texas appears likely to become the nation's death penalty capital again. This month alone, seven of its prisoners are to be put to death, a number that would have been eight except that the United States Supreme Court granted one a late reprieve on Wednesday.

Texas has accounted for 10 of the 23 executions carried out across the country this year, and in addition to the seven set for May, seven more are scheduled through July. "It suggests it's going to be a pretty busy year as far as executions in Texas," said Larry Fitzgerald, spokesman for the state's Department of Criminal Justice.

The increase follows a decline to 17 Texas executions last year (when Oklahoma had the most, 18) from a record 40 in 2000.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a group critical of capital punishment, noted that the number of executions nationally, and the number of death sentences, had declined for the last two years.

Such changes, Mr. Dieter said, have come slower in Texas, which since restoring capital punishment in 1982 has carried out 265 executions, more than any other state.

April 18, 2002

Texas Death Row Inmate Executed

LAST MEAL: Fried chicken (3 drumsticks and 3 thighs), 1 quart coleslaw, tea or juice, vanilla ice cream, and 1 Dr. Pepper

THE SKINNY: Caey was executed Thursday for killing a 22-year-old woman in a scheme to steal a gun collection from a Houston-area home nearly 13 years ago. Casey, 47, had hoped to sell the stolen weapons to raise money so he and his girlfriend could go to Florida, according to testimony at his capital murder trial. The girlfriend, Carla Smith, received a 10-year prison sentence for her part in the plot. Sonya Howell was shot nine times during the July 10, 1989, robbery at a mobile home in New Caney, northeast of Houston. The victim was a friend of Smith. Dozens of assault rifles, deer rifles, shotguns and pistols were taken from the doublewide trailer. All belonged to Howell's boyfriend, authorities said.

SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Casey, a twice-convicted burglar, did not give a final statement before he was given the lethal injection.

FACTOIDS: FAMILY REACTION..."I wanted to see him suffer," the victim's mother, Linda Howell, said after the execution. "It was very, very extremely disappointing. We watched him close his eyes. ... And that was that. Too easy." Howell said she had hoped to meet with Casey in an attempt to forgive him, but her requests were refused. "I will never forgive him now," she said.