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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    OK - 1st U.S. execution of '12: was the verdict faulty, the killing in self-defense?

    The killing in '94 happened about a mile from me; much discussion here at the time as to whether the incident was one of self-defense. At any rate, questions arise as to whether this was death penalty material. Personally, I never thought so.

    Oklahoma inmate put to death for fatal stabbing during 1994 fight; 1st US execution this year (Daily Oklahoman)
    ---
    Gary Roland Welch, 49, was given a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in McAlester for fatally stabbing 35-year-old Robert Hardcastle in Miami, Okla. He was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.
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    Welch's execution came nearly three weeks after he tried to kill himself by slitting his throat with a smuggled shaving razor. Prison officials and Welch's own court-appointed attorney insisted he was sane and understood his fate.
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    His defiance at the hearing perhaps didn't help matters; whatever the case, though, the vote probably would have remained 3-2:
    He remained defiant at a hearing last month before the state Pardon and Parole Board, telling the board he wasn't “here today crying, begging or sniveling for my life.”

    “I did what I had to do,” Welch told the panel. “I didn't intend to kill him, but I certainly didn't intend for him to kill me, either.” The board voted 3-2 to deny clemency.
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    Why the charges were capital ones in the first place:
    Ben Loring, the lead prosecutor in the case, recalled Welch's self-defense argument as flimsy.
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    “None of the physical evidence matched up to what he was saying.”
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    “It just went way too far,' Loring said. “I'm not a big proponent of the death penalty, but if anybody deserved it, I felt the case (for a death sentence) should have been presented to a jury.”
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    much more at link above: the Norse chants, the last meal from Long John Silver's, the send-off by fellow death row inmates

  2. #2
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    I'm okay with it . . . should do it more often IMHO
    ~ krimekat ~
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  3. #3
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    In my belief, one should empower the State to do as little killing as possible. This one stretched the limits.

  4. #4
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    Here's the local paper's account, highlighting the record of another participant who avoided the death penalty:

    State Executes Welch (Miami News-Record)
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    In 1994 Loring cited the pair's extensive criminal history, including a first-degree murder conviction and life sentence for [Claudie] Conover in Kansas in seeking the death penalty for the murder. Other items on Conover's record included assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary.

    Welch's record at the time included two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, burglary, driving while intoxicated and numerous traffic violations, along with local charges of assault and battery on a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer and burglary.
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    Both Welch and Conover were sentenced to death. Welch was sentenced in 1996.

    Conover's sentence was later reduced to life without parole. Welch was denied clemency last year on Dec. 5 by a 3-2 vote.
    ---
    much more at link above



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