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May 9 2008 | UNITED STATES


First execution in USA since 8 months-moratorium

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Corriere della Sera

Pena di morte negli Usa - Moratoria addio: dopo 8 mesi prima iniezione letale in Georgia

ATLANTA - È stata eseguita ieri notte in Georgia la prima condanna a morte negli Stati Uniti dopo la decisione della Corte suprema, lo scorso mese, di porre fine alla moratoria sulle esecuzioni capitali. William Earl Lynd, condannato per il rapimento e l' omicidio della sua fidanzata nel 1988, è morto per iniezione letale in una prigione di Jackson, in Georgia, alle 7.51 locali (l' 1.51 del mattino in Italia). Lynd aveva chiesto una proroga di 90 giorni e che la pena fosse commutata in ergastolo, ma la Corte Suprema aveva negato ieri notte il rinvio dell' esecuzione. Anche il «Board of Pardons and Paroles», l' agenzia dello Stato che decide se accordare la grazia ai detenuti, ha respinto il ricorso di Lynd. Le esecuzioni capitali negli Stati Uniti erano state temporaneamente sospese lo scorso settembre, in attesa del verdetto riguardante il Kentucky, dove due condannati a morte avevano chiesto che per la loro esecuzione fosse utilizzato un solo farmaco, anziché i tre previsti. La mozione era basata sul fatto che se l' analgesico iniziale non fa effetto il dolore provocato dai due farmaci successivi è considerevole e, poiché il secondo farmaco provoca la paralisi, il condannato non è in grado di esprimere il dolore che sta provando. Il 16 aprile, la Corte Suprema degli Stati Uniti ha confermato per lo Stato del Kentucky il diritto di eseguire le condanne a morte secondo la procedura attuale, riaprendo di fatto la strada alle esecuzioni capitali nel Paese.



Atlanta Journal-Constitution & Rick Halperin

GEORGIA - Lynd is 1st person in U.S. executed since moratorium

Execution delayed for final checks with courts Almost 20 years after murdering his ex-girlfriend, William Earl Lynd became the 1st person in the United States to die by lethal injection since an unofficial moratorium was placed on executions while the U.S. Supreme Court decided the constitutionality of the procedure.
Despite the last-ditch appeals to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles and the state and federal courts over the past few days, Lynd was executed and pronounced dead at at 7:51 p.m. Tuesday, 17 minutes after the 1st drug began flowing into his veins. He was the 41st man Georgia has executed since 1983, the 19th by lethal injection.
Lynd's execution is expected to be followed soon by several in Georgia and other states. There is one scheduled in Mississippi for May 21 and in Virginia for May 27, and more planned throughout the summer in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia and Oklahoma.
"It's going to crank up again," said lethal injection expert and Fordam Law School professor Deborah Denno.
"Life is going back to the way it was" before executions nationwide were unofficially put on hold last October until the U.S. Supreme Court could rule on the constitutionality of lethal injection, the method of execution used in Georgia and 36 other states. That decision upholding lethal injection came April 16.
While Lynd's execution was quickly scheduled, Georgia, Attorney General Thurbert Baker also asked the state Supreme Court to lift two stays issued last October. Both Jack Alderman, sentenced to die for the 1974 murder of his wife in Chatham County, and Curtis Osborne, condemned for a 1990 double murder in Spalding County, were schedule for executions that were called off last fall. Their stays have not been lifted yet. Another condemned killer, Samuel David Crowe, also could be executed soon for a 1988 murder and armed robbery in Douglas County, as the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal just days after deciding last month lethal injection was constitutional.
With Lynd's execution, there were no last minute court-issued stays. The 34-minute delay was so the state's lawyers could make final checks with various courts.
As he was being executed, a dozen death penalty opponents stood in quiet protest about a mile from the sprawling Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison just outside of Jackson. They held signs proclaiming their opposition. "End state killing," one sign read. Another proclaimed not in my name." They also stood in a circle while they prayed and sang.
And just a few yards away, 2 women from High Falls waited in support of his execution and to show support for the victim's family.
"They waited for news of Lynd's death at a picnic table a few yards from the death penalty protesters.
"They shouldn't let so many years go by," said Claudia Bishop. "I feel for the victim's family and for his family but not for him." Prison spokesman Paul Czachowski said Lynd spent much of his last day visiting with a sister and a girlfriend. He was "somber," and requested a mild sedative to calm him in the hours before going to his death.
Lynd's brother and sister-in-law witnessed the execution while his mother and other relatives waited elsewhere in the prison.
Lynd said only "no" when asked if he had a final statement. He also declined a prayer.
Lynd was sentenced to death in Berrien County in far South Georgia for killing his live-in girlfriend, Ginger Moore, on Dec. 22, 1988. According to testimony, Lynd and Moore got into an argument and he shot her in the face, wounding her. She followed Lynd to the front porch where he shot her a 2nd time.
Lynd put her in the trunk of a car and drove away. Trial testimony was that he killed her when he shot her a 3rd time because she continued to thump on the trunk. But a medical examiner now says Moore was not alive when Lynd put her in the trunk, according to his appeals, and that should have made him ineligible for the death sentence because kidnapping does not apply to someone who is dead.
Lynd's attorney, Tom Dunn, said a lack of money prevented him from presenting those findings that might have spared Lynd from a death sentence.
"In my 20 years of capital defense work, except for DNA exonerations, I have never had a clearer factual basis for relieve," Dunn said in a written statement. "No mincing of words. Just objective medical and physical evidence. Unfortunately, it came too late because of the lack of funds to hire the necessary experts." Lynd becomes the 1,100th condemned inmate to be put to death in the USA since the death penalty was re-legalized on July 2, 1976.
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