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Capital Punishment Virginia

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NEWS
February 20, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Efforts to save convicted murderer Coleman Wayne Gray from execution next week took a new twist as witnesses recanted testimony that led a jury to impose the death penalty on Gray 11 years ago. In affidavits given to Gray's lawyers, a co-defendant and two other witnesses said they lied under pressure from police and the prosecutor, who has denied the charge. Gray, 39, is scheduled to die for the 1985 murder of a grocery store manager. Gray's attorneys have appealed to the U.S.
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NEWS
September 12, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
DNA tests sought by a Virginia death row inmate hoping to avert his execution Thursday may instead have sealed his fate by confirming that his blood was under the victim's fingernails. Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore rejected the clemency petition of condemned murderer Derek Barnabei, 33, citing DNA tests on fingernail clippings taken seven years ago from the body of Barnabei's 17-year-old girlfriend, Sarah Wisnosky.
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NEWS
May 13, 1999 | From Associated Press
Four hours before he was to be executed Wednesday, a mentally ill man's life was spared when Gov. James S. Gilmore commuted his death sentence. It was the first time Gilmore has stopped the execution of a condemned inmate since he became governor more than a year ago. Calvin Swann, 44, was to be put to death for robbing and shooting a 62-year-old man in his Danville home in 1992. But defense lawyers argued that Swann's life should be spared because he suffers from schizophrenia.
NEWS
June 13, 2000 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A divided Supreme Court refused Monday to overturn the death sentence of a brutal Virginia murderer, even though his sentencing hearing was clearly flawed. The case of Bobby Lee Ramdass is not one of an innocent man on death row. Rather, it illustrates the difficulty of achieving both a fair process and a fair result in capital cases. The ruling comes amid heightened scrutiny of administration of the death penalty.
NEWS
June 13, 2000 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A divided Supreme Court refused Monday to overturn the death sentence of a brutal Virginia murderer, even though his sentencing hearing was clearly flawed. The case of Bobby Lee Ramdass is not one of an innocent man on death row. Rather, it illustrates the difficulty of achieving both a fair process and a fair result in capital cases. The ruling comes amid heightened scrutiny of administration of the death penalty.
NEWS
April 30, 1999 | Reuters
Ronald Dale Yeatts, who slashed an elderly woman's throat during a 1989 robbery, was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night, a prison spokesman said. Yeatts, 38, was executed hours after Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore rejected a clemency petition that claimed the jury was not adequately informed of its options to sentence Yeatts to life in prison after finding him guilty of murder.
NEWS
November 24, 1999 | Reuters
A Virginia man facing execution for the 1992 murder of a convenience store clerk won a reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, hours before he was scheduled to be put to death. The court stayed the execution of Bobby Lee Ramdass, 28, while it weighs whether to formally consider appeals arguing in part that jurors should have been told he could have instead been sentenced to life without parole.
NEWS
September 29, 1995 | Associated Press
A man who killed a teen-ager for $1,500 quoted the Bible before becoming the 300th person executed since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment 19 years ago. Dennis W. Stockton, 54, was executed by injection for killing 18-year-old Kenneth Arnder in 1978 in what police said was a drug-related murder-for-hire plot. Arnder was found shot in the head and with his hands cut off.
NEWS
July 7, 1987 | Associated Press
A man convicted of strangling and slashing the throat of an elderly neighbor and sexually assaulting her corpse was electrocuted Monday. It was the first execution in Virginia in almost a year. Richard Lee Whitley, 41, was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m., a state official said.
NEWS
July 23, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Virginia authorities said they intend to go ahead with the execution of convicted killer Joseph Roger O'Dell today, despite appeals for clemency from Pope John Paul II and Italian authorities. Although a clemency petition was before Virginia Gov. George F. Allen, prison officials were moving ahead with preparations for the execution, said David Botkins, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
NEWS
November 24, 1999 | Reuters
A Virginia man facing execution for the 1992 murder of a convenience store clerk won a reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, hours before he was scheduled to be put to death. The court stayed the execution of Bobby Lee Ramdass, 28, while it weighs whether to formally consider appeals arguing in part that jurors should have been told he could have instead been sentenced to life without parole.
NEWS
September 17, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A man who kidnapped a 10-year-old girl from a fast-food restaurant, raped and murdered her and buried her body near his house was executed by lethal injection in Jarratt, Va. Everett Lee Mueller, 51, was convicted in the mutilation slaying of Charity Powers, whose remains were found in a shallow grave several months after she disappeared on Oct. 6, 1990.
NEWS
May 13, 1999 | From Associated Press
Four hours before he was to be executed Wednesday, a mentally ill man's life was spared when Gov. James S. Gilmore commuted his death sentence. It was the first time Gilmore has stopped the execution of a condemned inmate since he became governor more than a year ago. Calvin Swann, 44, was to be put to death for robbing and shooting a 62-year-old man in his Danville home in 1992. But defense lawyers argued that Swann's life should be spared because he suffers from schizophrenia.
NEWS
April 30, 1999 | Reuters
Ronald Dale Yeatts, who slashed an elderly woman's throat during a 1989 robbery, was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night, a prison spokesman said. Yeatts, 38, was executed hours after Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore rejected a clemency petition that claimed the jury was not adequately informed of its options to sentence Yeatts to life in prison after finding him guilty of murder.
NEWS
September 18, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A Mexican citizen convicted in a contract killing laughed as he was put to death, hours after the governor rejected pleas by Mexican officials to stop the execution. "Today is a good day to die," Mario Benjamin Murphy, 25, said as a lethal injection began flowing into his body. He then began laughing and said: "I forgive all of you. I hope God does too." Murphy was part of a hit squad hired to kill James Radcliff, a Virginia Beach man beaten to death in July 1991.
NEWS
July 24, 1997 | Associated Press
Hours after he got married, a death row inmate whose cause was championed by the pope, Mother Teresa and the Italian government was executed Wednesday night for a 1985 rape and murder he said he didn't commit. Joseph Roger O'Dell III, 54, died by injection at 9:16 p.m. EDT after the Supreme Court rejected his last-minute appeal. Earlier in the day, Gov. George F.
NEWS
February 20, 1991 | From the Washington Post
Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder on Tuesday commuted the death sentence of convicted murderer Joseph M. Giarratano Jr., whose scheduled Friday electrocution had become a rallying symbol for death penalty opponents. Wilder's conditional pardon, which is likely to be accepted by Giarratano by a 5 p.m. deadline today, reduces the sentence of the drug addict-turned-legal expert to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole 13 years from now.
NEWS
December 17, 1996 | From Reuters
Virginia is facing growing international pressure, including a call from the pope, to stop the planned execution of a man who says he has DNA evidence proving his innocence. The case of Joseph O'Dell, scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday, has sparked street protests in Rome; visits by Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking"; and a plea for clemency from the Vatican. Virginia has executed eight people this year, including Monday's lethal injection death of Ronald Lee Hoke Jr.
NEWS
July 23, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Virginia authorities said they intend to go ahead with the execution of convicted killer Joseph Roger O'Dell today, despite appeals for clemency from Pope John Paul II and Italian authorities. Although a clemency petition was before Virginia Gov. George F. Allen, prison officials were moving ahead with preparations for the execution, said David Botkins, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
NEWS
June 20, 1997 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Supreme Court upheld a death sentence Thursday in the strange case of a Virginia inmate who was convicted of a brutal murder but has won international acclaim as an innocent man wrongly facing the ultimate punishment. Joseph Roger O'Dell faced death for the 1985 rape and murder of a woman outside a Virginia Beach, Va., nightclub.
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