Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news newslettercontact uslink

Support The Community

May 26 2010 | UNITED STATES


Appeals court overturns death penalty or Danny Hooks

printable version


Appeals court overturns death penalty

Death sentence overturned for man convicted of killing five women in Oklahoma City.


The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the death penalty Tuesday in a notorious Oklahoma City multiple murder case, citing problems with instructions given to jurors.

Two judges agreed the sentence should be overturned. One dissented.

Danny Keith Hooks, 51, was convicted in 1998 of stabbing five women to death on May 16, 1992. Four of the victims were raped. Hooks received five death sentences.

Sandra Thompson, 35; Phyllis Adams, 47; LaShawn Evans, 30; Carolyn Watson, 37; and Fransill Roberts, 34; were found dead at a crack house at 11315 NE 50.

Their slayings became known as the Green Pastures murders, a name taken from the far northeast Oklahoma City community where they died.

The slayings were unsolved for years before DNA recovered from the crime scene was matched to Hooks, who had previously been convicted in Oklahoma for distributing narcotics and in California for rape, kidnapping and assault.

An Oklahoma County jury found him guilty of five counts of first-degree murder. During deliberations after the penalty phase of the trial, jurors were deadlocked at 11-1 in favor of the death penalty. They asked the judge to replace one juror with an alternate because she was basing her decision "on grounds not related to the law.”

That request was denied. Within 10 minutes, the jury foreman sent a note to the judge saying the jury was "unable to reach a unanimous sentence.” The defense moved for a mistrial, but the judge instructed jurors to keep deliberating. Ultimately, Hooks received the death penalty.

In their majority opinion, the appeals court judges said the trial judge’s instruction, along with inaccurate statements by prosecutors during closing arguments, "coerced the jury into returning death sentences.” For that reason, the death sentences were overturned.

"Under state law, the instruction was correct,” said Robert Whittaker, Oklahoma assistant attorney general, "but the majority cobbled together a bunch of factors to conclude that the instruction somehow coerced the jury.”

He said the state is likely to challenge the decision.

"We will review this and make a determination as to what our next steps will be,” he said. "If we do not do anything or if our appeals are denied, then this would go back to the DA’s office for them to decide whether to pursue the death penalty again” or settle for five life sentences.

February 23 2018

Minutes before execution, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott commutes the sentence of Thomas Whitaker!

Gov. Greg Abbott spared the life of a death row inmate less than an hour before his scheduled execution
February 23 2018

The state of Florida carried out the execution of Branch on Thursday evening at the Florida State Prison in Raiford

Branch, who was on death row for nearly 25 years, was pronounced dead of a lethal injection at 6:05 p.m. Central Standard Time
November 20 2017

Plans shaping up for this year’s Cities for Life, Cities Against the Death Penalty

Family members of murder victims, death row exonerees, death penalty attorneys, law professors, and religious leaders will join Floridians to celebrate hold vigil to end the death penalty in the State of Florida
November 2 2017
article by Andrea Riccardi

Death Penalty: Horror or Injustice

(Famiglia cristiana) translated in English
October 27 2017

Three bishops reiterate their opposition to the death penalty following resolution of court case

Barbara D. King is the Director of Communications for the diocese of Savannah
October 27 2017

Guatemala high court abolishes death penalty in civil cases

all related news

November 28 2016

High court to examine mental disability, death penalty issue
November 12 2016

Si rafforza la pena di morte negli Stati Uniti
November 11 2016

Al liceo classico “Socrate” di Bari, conferenza “Non c’è giustizia senza vita”
October 24 2016
New York Times

The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
all press-related

Video promo Cities for Life 2015

83 visits

240 visits

55 visits

64 visits

71 visits
all the related media