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Ronnie Lynn Kirksey - Alabama Death Row
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Thread: Ronnie Lynn Kirksey - Alabama Death Row

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    Ronnie Lynn Kirksey - Alabama Death Row





    Facts of the Crime:

    Kirksey was sentenced to death on April 30, 2010 by Etowah County Circuit Judge David Kimberley for the 2006 murder of Cornell Norwood, his girlfriend’s 23-month-old son.

    Ronnie Lynn Kirksey had been convicted in February 2010, and a jury had unanimously recommended a death sentence. Kimberley said the extenuating circumstances approved by the jury showed the crime was especially “heinous, atrocious or cruel.” He said the death penalty recommendation overrode any mitigating circumstances presented by the defense, such as the defendant’s lack of criminal record and comments by family members. Kirksey declined to comment when asked by Kimberley if he had anything to say.

    Jurors deliberated less than two hours before returning the death sentence recommendation. The same jurors earlier had convicted Kirksey of capital murder in the child’s death, after deliberating for about two hours following a two-week trial.

    Cornell had a skull fracture that caused his death but had several more injuries that would have killed him had he not died from the head injury first, a forensic pathologist testified in the trial. The child had traumatic injuries to his stomach, heart, lungs and diaphragm, and the aorta — the main artery through his body — was torn, according to testimony. Kirksey gave statements soon after Cornell’s death, explaining how he kicked and stomped the child. During testimony during the trial, Kirksey said he fell on the child and that, along with the damage from CPR, caused the injuries.

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    February 19, 2010

    Gadsden man convicted of killing toddler; jury will consider death penalty recommendation

    GADSDEN, Ala. -- A jury in Gadsden will consider whether to recommend the death penalty after convicting a man of murdering his girlfriend's 23-month-old son.

    Jurors deliberated about two hours on Thursday before convicting Ronnie Lynn Kirksey of capital murder in the 2006 death of Cornell Norwood.

    Circuit Court Judge David Kimberley told jurors to return at Friday morning to begin the sentencing phase of the trial.

    Deputy District Attorney Carol Griffith told jurors that the child's mother, Yolanda Norris, found her son on the floor in a puddle of blood.

    Former Gadsden police detective Teri Farris said Kirksey told officers when questioned that he put a foot on Cornell and stood on him with all his weight.

    Kirksey testified at the trial that he fell on the child.

    http://blog.al.com/live/2010/02/gads..._of_killi.html

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    May 3, 2010

    Death penalty recommended in baby’s killing

    GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - Jurors in Gadsden have recommended the death sentence for Ronnie Lynn Kirksey after convicting him of murdering his girlfriend’s son, 23-month-old Cornell Norwood.

    Jurors deliberated less than two hours on Monday before the returning the unanimous recommendation. The same jurors convicted Kirksey Thursday of capital murder.

    Etowah County Circuit Judge David Kimberley has set sentencing for April 30. Kimberley can follow the jury’s recommendation or sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    During the sentencing phase, Kirksey’s family members pleaded for jurors to spare his life.

    A forensic psychologist testified that Kirksey did not sense he had done anything to cause the child’s death.

    Prosecutor Marcus Reid said Kirksey stood on the child and crushed him.

    http://www2.nbc13.com/vtm/news/local...illing/133122/

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    May 3, 2010

    A Gadsden man was sentenced to death on Friday by Etowah County Circuit Judge David Kimberley for the 2006 murder of Cornell Norwood, his girlfriend’s 23-month-old son.

    Ronnie Lynn Kirksey was convicted in February, and a jury unanimously recommended a death sentence.

    Kimberley said the extenuating circumstances approved by the jury showed the crime was especially “heinous, atrocious or cruel.”

    He said the death penalty recommendation overrode any mitigating circumstances presented by the defense, such as the defendant’s lack of criminal record and comments by family members.

    Kirksey declined to comment when asked by Kimberley if he had anything to say.

    Jurors in February deliberated less than two hours before returning the death sentence recommendation. The same jurors earlier had convicted Kirksey of capital murder in the child’s death, after deliberating for about two hours following a two-week trial.

    This was the third capital murder trial in the county in the last eight months involving the deaths of young children. Each resulted in the death penalty.

    The case automatically will be appealed. Kirksey’s appeal will be handled by attorneys Will Clay and Scott Stewart, Kimberley said.

    Cornell had a skull fracture that caused his death but had several more injuries that would have killed him had he not died from the head injury first, a forensic pathologist testified in the trial.

    The child had traumatic injuries to his stomach, heart, lungs and diaphragm, and the aorta — the main artery through his body — was torn, according to testimony.

    Kirksey gave statements soon after Cornell’s death, explaining how he kicked and stomped the child.

    During testimony during the trial, Kirksey said he fell on the child and that, along with the damage from CPR, caused the injuries.

    In closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Carol Griffith told jurors that April 15, 2006, started out like a normal Saturday for Yolanda Norris and her family at her Colley Homes apartment on Sixth Street, but soon it changed

    “She found her baby laying on the cold floor in a puddle of blood, struggling to breathe,” Griffith said. “(Kirksey) offered no apologies, no excuses.”

    The child died at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

    The following morning, Norris was questioned at the police department, and her statement matched that of one of her other children, Griffith said.

    Detectives then talked to Kirksey, looking for answers to the cause of the child’s severe injuries.

    Kirksey said the child had a “far-off look in his eyes, and I cleaned the blood off his mouth. I thought he was OK,” Griffith recounted for jurors.

    Through the course of several statements to police, Kirksey’s story changed several times as he explained the injuries.

    The child had a linear skull fracture from one side of his head to the other, Griffith told jurors.

    “It is undisputed the skull fracture was the fatal injury,” she said.

    http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/...NEWS/100439982

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    Court reverses Blount County death penalty; rules for death penalty in Dale County case

    An Alabama appeals court struck down a death penalty conviction Friday and re-instated another.

    In a case from Blount County, the appeals court reversed the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Thomas Doyle Crowe received for the November 2009 killing and robbery of Marvin Dailey. The appeals court said the trial judge gave improper instructions to the jury about Alabama's capital murder law. The ruling would allow a new trial.

    The appeals court ordered the capital murder conviction and death sentence be reinstated for Emanuel Aaron Gissendanner Jr. in Dale County. A lower court had ruled that he should get a new trial because of ineffective attorneys at trial. The appeals court reversed that in a 3-2 decision.

    Gissendanner was convicted of killing Margaret Snellgrove during a kidnapping and robbery in November 2009.

    In other cases, the appeals court:

    —Split 3-2 in upholding the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Corey Allen Wimbley received in Washington County for the shooting and robbery of Connie Ray Wheat at a grocery store in Wagarville in December 2008.

    —Unanimously affirmed the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Clayton Antwain Shaklin received in Walker County for the shooting death of Michael Crumpton during a robbery at his home in October 2009.

    —Unanimously affirmed the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Ronnie Lynn Kirksey got for causing fatal injuries to 23-month-old Cornell Norwood in April 2006 in Etowah County. Kirksey lived with the child's mother in Gadsden and was watching the boy while the mother was away, the court said.

    http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/sto...Death-Penalty/
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    15-7912 KIRKSEY, RONNIE V. ALABAMA

    The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari are granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama for further consideration in light of Hurst v. Florida, 577 U. S. ___ (2016).

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/c...16zor_o7kq.pdf

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    Alabama court rules death penalty law constitutional in 3 cases SCOTUS sent back for review

    The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday ruled the death sentences of three state inmates are constitutional and don't conflict with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Florida's similar death penalty sentencing scheme.

    The U.S. Supreme Court had vacated the sentences of Alabama death row inmates Ronnie Kirksey, Corey Wimbley, and Ryan Gerald Russell, this year and sent them back to the state appeals court to review in light of its Florida ruling.

    Alabama's death sentencing law has been compared to Florida's because both allowed judges to override jury recommendations for life and instead impose death.

    On Friday the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals said it wasn't the same and affirmed the convictions of Kirksey, Wimbley and Russell. The court said Alabama's law is constitutional and does not "run afoul" of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Hurst v. Florida in January.

    Prosecutors and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange have repeatedly argued that Alabama's law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995 and is not the same as the portion of the Florida law struck down in Hurst.

    Florida's law had required the judge -- not the jury -- to find the existence of an aggravating circumstance in order for the defendant to be subject to the death penalty.

    Alabama's law already requires the jury to find an aggravating factor, such as murder during the commission of a robbery, kidnapping or rape, prosecutors argue. Therefore, at the time of conviction, the jury has already agreed upon at least one aggravating factor before the sentencing phase began.

    In Alabama, after the jury unanimously convicts a defendant with at least one aggravating factor at the trial jurors in a separate hearing then weigh any other aggravating factors and mitigating circumstances and recommend life without parole or death. Jurors must vote 10-2, 11-1 or 12-0 to recommend death. The judge then imposes the final sentence and at that time can override the jury's life or death recommendation. Most of the overrides in Alabama have resulted in the death penalty.

    In its order in Wimbley's case, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals found that the jury - not a judge - had determined Wimbley was eligible for the death penalty because it had unanimously convicted him of murder during the course of a robbery and arson. Robbery and arson are both aggravating factors.

    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/in...eath_pena.html

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    What's the issue here? The jury in this case gave Kirksey a 12-0.

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    Here is the link to the 3 opinions.

    http://judicial.alabama.gov/docs/CR/CR_RL_12162016.pdf
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    Alabama Supreme Court rejects death penalty appeal

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court won't reconsider the sentence of a death row inmate who argued a judge had too much power in handing down the death penalty.

    Justices on Friday turned down the appeal from Ronnie Lynn Kirksey, who was sentenced to death in 2010 after being convicted of killing his girlfriend's 23-month-old son.

    The U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 ordered a review of Kirksey's sentence after that court struck down Florida's similar death penalty sentencing statute.

    Kirksey argued his sentence was also unconstitutional because the jury, which suggested a death sentence, was told its decision was merely a recommendation.

    The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld his sentence. Judges said there are key differences that make Alabama's statute constitutional. The state Supreme Court rejected his latest appeal with one dissent.

    http://www.fox10tv.com/story/3573628...penalty-appeal
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