We’ve been following the Debra Milke case on this blog. See here, here, and here.
Here is a recent update from TV5 KPHO in Phoenix, AZ.
A man who was hanged for murder over 70 years ago is due to be pardoned.
Harry Gleeson was executed for the murder of Moll Mc Carthy who was shot dead in Tipperary in November 1940.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is due to bring a memo to Cabinet in the next few weeks recommending the President pardon Mr Gleeson.
The Department of Justice reviewed the case following a submission last year from the Irish Innocence Project, based at Griffith College in Dublin.
RTÉ News understands that the review, conducted by Senior Counsel Shane Murphy concluded accepted new evidence which merited a pardon being granted to Harry Gleeson.
A neighbour of Ms Mc Carthy, an unmarried mother of seven, Harry Gleeson reported the discovery of her body.
Three months later he was hanged for her murder.
We have previously posted about the Debra Milke case here and here.
Milke was originally convicted of murder for having her 4-year-old son killed. The conviction rested upon the testimony of a rogue cop, who claims she confessed to him, although there is no documented record of that confession, and Milke denies it ever happened. This officer had a history of substantial misconduct, and that record was withheld from the defense.
In a ruling just today – citing “egregious prosecutorial misconduct,” the Arizona Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to dismiss murder charges against Debra Milke with prejudice, meaning they cannot be brought again.
See the azcentral story here.
Unless the courts intervene, Texas tomorrow will execute a severely mentally ill man, Scott Panetti. If that happens, Execution Watch will broadcast coverage and analysis of the state killing, which has drawn international condemnation.
RADIO SHOW: Execution Watch, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, 6-7 PM Central. Unless a stay is issued, we’ll broadcast live on: KPFT FM, Houston 90.1, and Online, http://executionwatch.org > Listen
TEXAS PLANS TO EXECUTE SCOTT PANETTI, brother of Execution Watch theme-song composer and performer Victoria Panetti. He was convicted in the slaying of his in-laws in Fredericksburg, Texas. Panetti, who suffers from schizophrenia, told police his alter ego, Sarge, committed the slayings. A previous execution date was put off by the U.S. Supreme Court, though the justices refused last month to hear his latest appeal. Panetti was allowed to represent himself at trial, wearing a purple cowboy outfit and calling witnesses including John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ.
You may want to read the CNN story by Ron Powers, The Atrocity of Texas Killing a Mentally Ill Man, here.
You can also read the TIME article by Josh Sanburn here.
And the HuffPost story by Amanda Terkel here.
If you have been paying attention at all, you know that the Texas death penalty machine has been operating at full tilt – 508 executions since 1982, with 16 in just 2013. This includes the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, and it had become abundantly clear, even before his execution, that Willingham was actually innocent.
Texas is now getting ready to execute Rodney Reed for a murder that it is likely somebody else committed. This could be confirmed by simple DNA testing of items from the crime scene, and has been requested by his attorney and The Innocence Project. But the state of Texas has steadfastly refused to do the testing, and in a hearing held just last Tuesday, a Texas judge has ruled that no further DNA testing is warranted. See the report on that hearing by The Intercept here.
CNN has posted a story by Dan Simon about the case, and you can read that story here.
This from the CNN story:
“Why on earth, one wonders, would Texas battle fiercely against conducting the testing? Would it be naive to propose the state should welcome it?
The answer cannot be the meager costs of running the tests or the negligible time they would take to run. Nor could the state claim to be acting out of respect for the victim’s loved ones — a dubious justification from the outset — given that numerous members of her (the victim’s) family are campaigning publicly on Reed’s behalf.
The best explanation for the state’s aversion to the testing may be the dread of learning the truth. The prospect of finding that Reed is innocent would deliver a resounding condemnation of the state’s criminal justice process — its detectives, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, jurors and appellate courts.”
There is significant case detail in the original story by The Intercept, which you can read here.