October 4th, 2007 11:57 AM
Court closed at 5pm, inmate executed
Court 'closed at five', inmate executed
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Washington
October 04, 2007 07:50am
A TEXAS death-row inmate was executed after a local court refused to stay open an extra 20 minutes to hear an appeal.
At 10am on September 25, the US Supreme Court announced it would review in early 2008 an appeal by two Kentucky death row inmates challenging the legality of the lethal injection.
The same day, Michael Richard, 48, was due to receive the deadly cocktail at 6pm in southern Texas for the rape and murder of a woman in 1986.
His attorneys said they rushed to draft an appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest court for criminal cases.
At 4.50pm, the lawyers called the court to ask it to remain open 20 more minutes after they were stalled by a computer malfunction.
"We close at five,'' was the response from the court clerk, a quote widely reported by local media.
In a last-ditch effort, Richard's attorneys took their case to the Supreme Court, which remains open for executions.
The legal move delayed the execution by a few hours, but since the convict did not file his appeal with a local court first, his arguments were not accepted in Washington.
The execution went ahead that evening and Richard was declared dead at 8.23pm.
No other death row inmate has been executed since then.
The court's behaviour angered a leading Texas daily newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, which expressed outrage in an editorial entitled "We Closed at 5".
"Hastening the death of a man, even a bad one, because office personnel couldn't be bothered to bend bureaucratic procedure was a breathtakingly petty act and evinced a relish for death that makes the blood of decent people run cold,'' the newspaper said.
On Tuesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution to convicted murderer Heliberto Chi, 28, a sign that it might step back while the US Supreme Court weighs the constitutionality of lethal injection.
So far this year, 40 of the 41 people executed in the United States have been killed by lethal injection, with one choosing the electric chair.
Most of the executions have taken place in Texas, which has put to death more than 400 people since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the country in 1976.
Either way he was going to be put to death by the state. But WOW!!! Seems cold on the courts part to just disregard this guys lawyers.
October 4th, 2007 11:59 AM
His wrap sheet:
On the afternoon of August 18, 1986 and just two months after he had been paroled from prison, Michael Richard approached Marguerite Dixonís son, Albert, in front of the Dixon home in Hockley and asked if a yellow van parked outside the home was for sale. Albert said the vehicle belonged to his brother who was out of town and suggested that Richard come back another time. Richard left.
When Albert and his sister, Paula, left a few minutes later, Richard returned and entered the house. He took two television sets and put them in the yellow van, sexually assaulted Mrs. Dixon and shot her in the head with a .25 caliber automatic pistol.
Richard told police he ran out of the house and hot-wired the van, then drove to Acres Homes. Richard attempted to sell the televisions there, but ended up just giving the gun to a friend. He drove the van to another home, where it stopped working. He told his friend there that he would return shortly for the van, but never did; the owner of the house called a wrecker the next morning to pick up the vehicle, which led to the police being called when it was discovered the van had been stripped of several valuable items and had obviously been hot-wired to get to its present location.
Mrs. Dixonís children returned home around 9:30 p.m. on the day of the killing to find the sliding-glass door open and all the lights in the house turned off. Frightened by the condition of the house, they got a neighbor, who entered the house with a flashlight and a gun. They discovered Mrs. Dixon dead in her bedroom.
The next morning, the detective assigned to the case determined the missing van had been found and interviewed the owner of the home where Richard left the van and the man to whom Richard tried to sell the televisions. Based on that information, the police obtained a warrant for Richardís arrest. Police found Richard at his motherís home the next evening; Richard admitted he was involved in Mrs. Dixonís murder and offered to help find the murder weapon. Police found the weapon and testing revealed it to be the gun that fired the fatal shot.
PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY
During the punishment phase of his trial, the state presented evidence of Richardís two prior convictions for burglary of a habitation. Evidence was also presented of an auto theft charge, committed shortly after the second burglary, but not prosecuted. Richard murdered Mrs. Dixon less than two months after he was released on mandatory supervision for his second burglary conviction.
October 29, 1986 -- A Harris County Grand Jury indicted Richard for the capital murder of Marguerite Dixon.
September 4, 1987 -- A jury found Richard guilty of capital murder, and he was sentenced to death.
September 16, 1992 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Richardís conviction because of a flaw in the jury instructions.
May 15, 1995 -- Richardís second trial began.
June 15, 1995 -- A second jury found Richard guilty of capital murder, he was sentenced to death.
June 18, 1997 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Richardís conviction and sentence on direct appeal.
April 3, 1998 -- Richard filed his first application for writ of habeas corpus with the state trial court.
June 26, 1998 -- The U.S. Supreme Court denied Richardís petition for writ of certiorari.
February 7, 2001 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Richardís state application for writ of habeas corpus.
February 7, 2002 -- Richard filed a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in a Houston federal district court.
December 31, 2002 -- The Federal District Court denied Richardís petition.
June 20, 2003 -- Richard filed a successive state application for the writ of habeas corpus, alleging he was ineligible to be executed based on Atkins claim of mental retardation.
June 27, 2003 -- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Richard permission to appeal his first federal petition and affirmed the judgment of the federal district court.
March 21, 2007 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Richardís second state habeas corpus application.
March 28, 2007 -- Richard filed a motion for authorization to file a successive federal habeas corpus petition in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
May 15, 2007 -- The 5th Circuit Court denied Richardís motion for authorization to file a successive habeas petition.
June 12, 2007 -- The trial court set Richardís execution date for Tuesday, September 25, 2007.
October 4th, 2007 11:59 AM
Lesson learned: Don't be a murderer. Then it doesn't matter when the courts close.
A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.
October 4th, 2007 12:08 PM
After 22 years, you would think they wouldnt be rushing in the last ten minutes. And they would have known that the court closes at 5. I dont feel sorry for him.
Last edited by SIXTO; October 4th, 2007 at 02:58 PM.
"Just blame Sixto"
October 4th, 2007 01:30 PM
There is a simple solution to all of this as any Texan
will tell you:
WHEN YOU COME TO TEXAS TO LIVE OR VISIT, DO NOT PLAN ON COMMITTING MURDER. YOU WILL BE TRIED, CONVICTED AND EXECUTED IN A RELATIVELY SHORT TIMEFRAME COMPARED TO EVERY OTHER STATE IN THE UNION. OUR AVERAGE IS ABOUT 8 YEARS FROM THE TIME YOU ARE CONVICTED, WE WILL KILL YOU.
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry
October 4th, 2007 01:36 PM
Can't follow the rules, you get dealt with. Everyone else has to have their stuff in by the same time, you were no different.
Looks like one more animal won't hurt anyone anymore. Excellent.
October 4th, 2007 02:00 PM
Good job receptionist - stupid murderer almost lived another day.
October 4th, 2007 02:17 PM
Appeal = wasted tax payers $$$$$$, wasted court time, extra tax $$$ to keep him alive a little longer, the POS was guilty as charged, what difference did it make death by lethal injection or by dropping a 2,200 LB anvil on him, He was just trying to beat the system one more time and lost.
"The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century
October 4th, 2007 02:19 PM
One of the immovable constants in the legal profession is that there is a deadline for things, and when you miss the deadline you're SOL.
Blaming the court clerk for their failure is pretty lame on the part of the attorneys.
Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.
October 4th, 2007 03:15 PM
Well then it begs the question:
What is worse?
1. Being put to death by the state
2. Living in a 10X10 cell for the rest of your natural life?
What if instead of being in the general population a violent criminal that would otherwise be put to death, they are in solitary confinement for the rest of their natural life? Say 23 hrs a day, 1 hr a day for exercise??? ZERO interaction with almost no one? No TV, minimal reading materials, no magazines...
Now which punishment is the best for the BG???
For me personally, the thought of being alone would drive me crazy and I would hate my existence.
October 4th, 2007 03:42 PM
If and only if we as a society can be assured they will never escape or be let go. They would have to be carefully segregated because they would have nothing to lose if they killed again. I agree that solitary as you describe it is a worse punishment then death. I recall gary gilmore who asked to be put to death and I think the above is the reason. For some of these animals it is an escape. The trouble is that we can not predict the future and some may be let go for overcrowding or other BS reasons.
October 4th, 2007 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by nkanofolives
The problem with your idea is that the ACLU would come along and convince a judge that it is cruel & unusual. The other way the BG stays dead and is irreversible.
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
October 4th, 2007 04:46 PM
So tell me again why he was sitting around for 20 years waiting to be executed? He raped and murdered a woman. 20 years ago. He was sentenced to death... 20 years ago. Why was he still alive? I hate the endless appeals system for that. It's a shame the neighbor with the firearm and flashlight didn't find him standing over the dead body with a smoking gun.
I'll echo another poster. He waited til the last minute to post an appeal. Too damned bad.
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ITFT / Quick Kill Review
"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008
October 4th, 2007 04:56 PM
In this instance if I was the court clerk I would have lied and said: "We close at 4:30 not 5:00."
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
October 4th, 2007 05:06 PM
No sympathy here. Murderers cannot abide by societies rules. Bye, bye.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
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