Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

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Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:59 pm

31st July 2008

6:00 PM EDT
Tommy Arthur is scheduled to be killed by the people of Alabama in revenge for the murder of Troy Wicker.



To Read more about Tommy Arthur please click here....


Last edited by Jennie on Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:59 am

Killer seeking delay of execution ---- Arthur says 'new' step merits challenge


After convicted killer Thomas D. Arthur is strapped to a gurney at Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore later this month, he'll be given 100 cc's of sodium pentothal.

In the first use of a new execution procedure adopted last fall, a corrections officer will then speak Arthur's name, pinch his arm and brush a finger over his eyelashes to determine whether the barbiturate has rendered him unconscious. If he's still conscious, he'll get 100 cc's more, and the execution will continue, according to court documents that provide new details about the procedure.

In an appeal filed late last week, Arthur, convicted of a 1982 contract killing, argues that the possible 2nd 100-cc dose makes the procedure "entirely new," and asks the court to delay his execution while he challenges it.

Efforts to reach Arthur's attorney were unsuccessful. But Arthur's daughter, Sherrie Stone, on Monday expressed little confidence that the challenge before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit would delay the July 31 execution. Stone was instead focused on a national campaign to pressure Gov. Bob Riley to issue a stay and order DNA testing of evidence.

"He's always claimed his innocence," Stone said of her father. "The DNA tests would resolve the whole issue."

The New York-based Innocence Project, which advocates DNA testing for condemned inmates, on Monday began an e-mail campaign to pressure the governor, who previously has rejected requests to order testing. A spokeswoman for the governor said he had no plans to take action on Arthur's behalf.

"The evidence is overwhelming that Thomas Arthur is guilty, and barring court action, the state plans to move forward with his scheduled execution," said Tara Hutchison, Riley's press secretary.

Arthur, now 66, was convicted of killing Muscle Shoals' Troy Wicker, 35, who was shot through the right eye as he slept. Wicker's wife, Judy, initially told police that a burglar raped her and killed her husband. But she later recanted and said she paid Arthur, a work-release inmate with whom she was having an affair, to kill her spouse so she could collect $90,000 in life insurance proceeds. In return for her testimony against Arthur, Judy Wicker got a shortened prison sentence. Arthur has maintained his innocence since his arrest.

According to Stone, modern DNA testing not available at the time of Arthur's trial could cast doubt on his conviction, and even point to another suspect.

"It also could show he's guilty," Stone said. "We've always said that. But why not do the tests?"

Barring an unlikely stay from the governor, most of Stone's remaining hope lies with the challenge mounted against the new execution procedure.

The Department of Corrections does not disclose details, but has said that it uses the same three-drug cocktail used by a majority of states. In a recent filing to the Alabama Supreme Court, the state's lawyers identified those three chemicals as sodium pentothal, administered to render the condemned unconscious; pancuronium bromide, to induce paralysis; and potassium chloride, to stop the heart.

After the U.S. Supreme Court agreed last year to hear a Kentucky challenge to a procedure identified as identical to Alabama's, the consciousness check was added between the administration of the first 2 chemicals.

In the recent filing to the state Supreme Court, state attorneys cast doubt on the likelihood that a challenge to Alabama's new procedure would succeed, noting that in the Kentucky case of Baze vs. Rees the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a lethal injection procedure "substantially similar" to Kentucky's meets constitutional muster. Even in dissent, the justices indicated such challenges would fail, the state's lawyers said.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the minority, specifically mentioned Alabama's new procedure, similar to one in Florida, as a solution to Eighth Amendment issues. In Kentucky, she wrote, "No one calls the inmate's name, shakes him, brushes his eyelashes to test for a reflex..."

If Riley doesn't order DNA testing or issue a stay, and if the challenge to the new execution procedure fails, Arthur may have one last legal option, Stone said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 12 that terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge the merits of their detention before U.S. courts. The merits of Arthur's case have never been the subject of a hearing in a federal court, where his appeals have been dismissed for having been made too late.

Arthur may next appeal on the grounds that he ought to be granted an appeal despite having missed a deadline.

"Terror suspects have more rights than my father," Stone said.

(source: The Birmingham News)
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Re: Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:06 pm

DNA test for Arthur


Gov. Bob Riley should order DNA tests for Tommy Arthur, who is scheduled to be executed July 31.

Death row inmate Tommy Arthur has been here before. Twice, he's had dates set with death. Both times, he came within a day of being executed. Both times, courts intervened.

The state of Alabama no doubt hopes the third time's the charm.

Arthur's new execution date is July 31. While it's possible courts will again provide Arthur a reprieve, it doesn't seem likely. Which makes it all the more imperative for Gov. Bob Riley to step up and do the right thing.

Riley has the power to block this, or any, execution. He has shown no willingness to do so. But he should at the very least order DNA testing in this case.

Make no mistake: Arthur is no Boy Scout. He was sentenced to death for the 1982 slaying of Troy Wicker. Admittedly, he had killed before. Admittedly, at the time of Wicker's death, Arthur was a work-release prisoner and involved romantically with the victim's wife, Judy. But he has steadfastly denied killing Troy Wicker. Since the advent of DNA exonerations, he has repeatedly sought testing of the evidence in his case, claiming it would clear him.

Could he be lying? Without question, yes. But if he were being tried today, the evidence would certainly undergo this now-standard scientific screening.

Riley has nothing to lose and everything to gain in ordering the tests. Suppose the tests clear Arthur or raise doubts about his conviction. Better to find out before Arthur is executed. Even if DNA tests merely confirm his guilt, what has Riley lost?

Yet Riley has gone through a series of pitiful excuses not to order the tests. He has claimed at some points he didn't have the authority to do so. He has said at other times he shouldn't substitute his judgment for that of the courts. He even suggested once there was no evidence to test.

Riley's excuses don't hold up under scrutiny.

Judy Wicker originally claimed an intruder in her home raped her and killed her husband. A rape kit was collected, along with other evidence that could be and should be tested for DNA.

This scientific tool should be used in every old death penalty case where biological evidence exists. In the Arthur case, details of the case make DNA testing all the more sensible. Only after Judy Wicker was convicted of arranging to have her husband killed did she change her story and implicate Arthur, as part of a deal that won her an early release from prison. Even Troy Wicker's sister has said she supports DNA testing.

The tests could be conducted at no cost to the state, and probably without delaying Arthur's execution.

Riley should have ordered the tests long ago, when he was first asked to do so. But it's still not too late. It may be, though, on Aug. 1.

(source: The Birmingham News, July 5)
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Re: Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:03 am

The State of Alabama has set July 31st as the execution date for Mr. Tommy Arthur.


As you will perhaps remember from Mr. Arthur's previous dates last year, he requested DNA testing of evidence and was supported in this request by the Innocence Project. Surely this is not too much to ask for in the name of justice!

Please contact the Hon. Bob Riley, Governor

State Capitol

600 Dexter Ave

Montgomery, AL 36130

www.governor.alabama.gov

Phone: 334 242 7100

Fax 334 353 0004

Arthur, Innocence Project try to stop execution----Tommy Arthur set to die July 31; wants DNA testing

A New York group has launched an e-mail campaign trying to halt the execution of Alabama death row inmate Tommy Arthur, who is set to die July 31 for a 1982 contract killing.

The Innocence Project hopes to persuade Gov. Bob Riley to issue a stay and order DNA testing that could exonerate Arthur, who claims he is innocent and was wrongly convicted of murdering Troy Wicker, 35, of Muscle Shoals.

An aide said Riley did not plan to intervene.

"The evidence is overwhelming that Thomas Arthur is guilty, and barring court action, the state plans to move forward with his scheduled execution," said Tara Hutchison, Riley's press secretary.

Arthur separately filed an appeal last week asking a court to delay his execution so he can challenge the state's new lethal injection process, which was adopted last fall but has yet to be used.

Arthur contends the state's plan to administer a dose of sodium pentothal to render him unconscious and then a 2nd dose if the 1st one doesn't work amounts to an "entirely new" execution procedure that needs court review.

Arthur's daughter, Sherrie Stone, on Monday expressed little confidence that the challenge before the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals would delay the execution. Stone was instead focused on the campaign to pressure Riley.

"He's always claimed his innocence," Stone said of her father. "The DNA tests would resolve the whole issue."

The victim's wife initially told police that an intruder killed her husband and raped her. She changed her story, saying she had a sexual relationship with Arthur and paid him $10,000 for the slaying. Arthur's attorneys want DNA testing of evidence collected from the wife.

Arthur contends a DNA test of physical evidence could help show someone else killed Wicker. Prosecutors say Arthur received a fair trial, and federal courts ruled that DNA testing would be of little value.

(source: Associated Press)
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Amnesty International Online Action Form....

Post  Jennie on Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:38 pm

(Text taken form AI....

Thomas Arthur is scheduled for execution on July 31 in Alabama. The state is pursuing his execution even though his conviction was based mainly on the testimony of an admitted perjurer who had an incentive to lie at his trial. Although DNA evidence exists which Thomas Arthur says could help demonstrate his innocence, the State of Alabama has not granted his request to be allowed to conduct DNA testing of evidence relating to the crime.

Please click the following link to read more and take part in online action.....



http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=9231
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Re: Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:21 pm

Court won't stop execution


The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to delay Thomas Arthur's scheduled execution for a 1982 contract murder, rebuffing his call for more time to allow DNA testing of trial evidence he claims could clear him.

Without comment, the court voted 6-2 in denying Arthur a stay.

Arthur, 66, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday at Holman Prison near Atmore. The condemned inmate had sought more time for DNA testing of trial evidence stemming from the Feb. 1, 1982, killing of Troy Wicker Jr. of Muscle Shoals.

Arthur has twice come within a day of execution before obtaining court delays. His attorney is still expected to pursue a U.S. Supreme Court stay of execution.

Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also refused to delay the execution for DNA testing. His appeal last year challenging lethal injection as a form of execution was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court after granting a stay on the eve of his Dec. 6 execution date.

Arthur's execution would be the first in Alabama since the high court, in April, upheld the use of lethal injection.

Prosecutors point out that every court that has reviewed Arthurís case concluded that favorable DNA test results will not establish his innocence.

"Every court that has addressed this case has stated that DNA testing would not shed any further light on Arthur's guilt and that Arthur was convicted on the basis of overwhelming evidence," said Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw, who handles death penalty cases for the state prosecutor.

Gov. Bob Riley has refused to order DNA testing in Arthur's case.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the inmate claim DNA could clear Arthur.

The New York-based Innocence Project, an international organization that specializes in DNA exonerations, also has supported Arthurís DNA request.

Arthur was tried 3 times for the Wicker killing, and the 1st 2 convictions were overturned on technicalities.

His appeal was marked by missed court filing deadlines. Arthur's attorneys contend he faces execution "without ever having received any state or federal substantive collateral review of his trial and death sentence." However, prosecutors say that's a false assertion, saying he delayed his filings until the last minute when an execution date was near.

Judy Wicker initially told police a burglar had raped her and killed Wicker, but later recanted, saying she had sex with Arthur and paid him $10,000 to kill her husband.

Prosecutors alleged that Arthur, a work-release inmate at the time, fatally shot Wicker while he slept so Judy Wicker could get $90,000 in life insurance. Arthur's lawyer, in a court filing, described her as an "admitted perjurer."

Judy Wicker was given a life sentence for her part in the crime and paroled after 10 years behind bars.

(source: Montgomery Advertiser)
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Re: Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:22 pm

Affidavit: another inmate admits Wicker killing


Attorneys attempting to delay Thomas Arthur's execution have sent Gov. Bob Riley and court officials an affidavit signed by another inmate who says he killed Troy Wicker Jr.

Bobby Ray Gilbert, who is serving life without parole, says in his handwritten affidavit that he was a 17-year-old having an affair with Wicker's wife when she hired him to kill her husband for $2,000.

Arthur is scheduled to die Thursday for the killing of Wicker in 1982.

In the affidavit, Gilbert says he first admitted the killing to a friend only last year and attempted to contact Arthur's lawyers.

The affidavit came as the Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to delay Arthur's execution, set for Thursday by lethal injection.

State officials had no immediate comment on the sworn statement.

(source: Associated Press)
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Re: Tommy Arthur - AL (New Date Given)

Post  Jennie on Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:51 am

State Supreme Court delays execution of Thomas D. Arthur
Posted by Stan Diel -- Birmingham News July 30, 2008 5:54 PM
Convicted killer Thomas D. Arthur today narrowly escaped execution for a third time, when the Alabama Supreme Court ordered an indefinite delay. He was scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. tomorrow.


Convicted for the 1982 contract-killing of Troy Wicker Jr. of Muscle Shoals, Arthur twice last year came within a day of being executed before being granted stays.

Today's order delaying his execution followed news of an affidavit filed yesterday by another inmate claiming that it was he, not Arthur, who committed the crime.

In other developments today, Judy Wicker, an admitted conspirator in the murder of her husband, said in an affidavit it was Arthur -- not the other inmate who claimed to be the killer --who committed the crime.

The state also admitted it has lost evidence that Arthur's attorneys wanted access to for DNA tests, and Judy Wicker accused Arthur's daughter of trying to bribe her to clear her father. Arthur's daughter, Sherrie Stone, denied the allegation.
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