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    1. #1

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      Oct 2010

      Timothy Allen - New Mexico Death Row

      Facts of the Crime:

      On death row after his conviction for the 1994 strangulation death of teenager Sandra Phillips near Flora Vista.

    2. #2
      Heidi's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2010
      Virginia Beach, Virginia
      Court reinstates death row inmate's appeal

      The state Supreme Court has revived a legal challenge by a death row inmate.

      The court reinstated a habeas corpus petition by Timothy Allen of Bloomfield, who was convicted of murder, kidnapping and attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl. The killing occurred near Flora Vista in 1994.

      In a ruling earlier this month, the justices said a district court wrongly dismissed Allen's legal challenge as a sanction for refusing to answer deposition questions.

      Allen seeks to overturn his convictions and death sentence. He says his lawyers failed to do an adequate pre-trial investigation of his mental health background. He contends he was abused as a child and suffers from psychiatric disorders.

      The Supreme Court upheld Allen's convictions and sentence in 1999.

      Robert Fry of Farmington also is on death row.


    3. #3
      MRBAM's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 2011
      Capital Region NY
      Death penalty challenges still haunt NM courts

      By Leslie Linthicum
      Albuquerque Journal

      ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Three years ago and again last year, the attorney for Michael Astorga argued that because we wiped the death penalty from the state's lawbooks before Astorga was tried for murder it would amount to cruel and unusual punishment if it were still applied to him.

      The first time that argument was made was before Astorga had been convicted. The second time was before he had been sentenced.

      The New Mexico Supreme Court passed off the hot potato both times by deciding not to decide and left unsettled one of the legal wrinkles left in the wake of the Legislature's 2009 death penalty repeal.

      Astorga eventually received a life sentence, making the argument moot for him, but the court will get other chances to rule on this life-and-death issue.

      Robert Fry and Timothy Allen, both sentenced to death years ago, remain on New Mexico's figurative "death row." Fry is in Santa Fe and Allen in Los Lunas, and they are both at various stages in the drawn-out appeals process that follows every death sentence.

      Allen received the death penalty in 1995 for the strangulation of a 17-year-old girl in Flora Vista in San Juan County. The state Supreme Court last year reinstated his habeas corpus petition, which remains pending in state District Court in San Juan County.

      Fry was sentenced to death for the June 9, 2000, slaying of a 36-year-old mother of five from Shiprock, also in San Juan County. (He has been sentenced to three life terms for three other murders.) His death sentence has been upheld and his habeas corpus petition is also pending in District Court in San Juan County.

      Both inmates have the further option of federal habeas corpus petitions after they have exhausted their remedies in state court.

      Meanwhile, attorneys for both men will pursue the argument that the death penalty, once repealed in a state, violates the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

      It's an interesting argument that involves all of us, not just the two men facing the death penalty. That's because one line of the argument is that when a society - in this case us, through our lawmakers - has agreed to no longer punish by execution, carrying out a death sentence violates our collective standards of decency, which amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

      You could certainly make the case that capital punishment is unusual when you're one of two guys among a population of 2 million that can be executed by a state that has carried out exactly one execution in more than half a century.

      Juries here have rarely handed down the penalty, it has rarely been upheld on appeal and it has been very rarely carried out.

      Allen's attorney, Melissa Hill, described the chances of being put to death in New Mexico as "almost a lightning strike." That's being generous. Only one man, Terry Clark, has been killed by the state in the past 52 years. New Mexico has more than a dozen lightning deaths every decade.

      The counterargument on the prosecution side is that we spoke through our legislators when the death penalty was repealed and lawmakers were explicit in extending the repeal only to murders committed after the repeal went into effect. That isn't arbitrary, the argument goes, but the people's will.

      And on a national landscape, capital punishment is still the rule, not the exception.

      All of the half-dozen defendants who were in the court system and facing possible death sentences when the law was changed were either found not guilty, pleaded guilty to lesser charges or, in the case of Astorga, sentenced to life in prison when jurors could not agree on the death penalty.

      If some older unsolved murders were to be solved, more death penalty cases could pop up, but it's only Allen and Fry whose lives depend on the outcome of the argument now.

    4. #4
      Moh's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2010
      September 3, 2014

      New Mexico Supreme Court To Hear Appeals of Death Row Inmates

      SANTA FE – New Mexico’s remaining inmates sentenced to death are asking the state Supreme Court to spare them from execution because lawmakers repealed capital punishment after they were sentenced to lethal injection.

      Timothy Allen and Robert Fry contend their death sentences violate state and federal constitutional protections because New Mexico abolished capital punishment in 2009 for future murders but left it in place for them. Both men were convicted and sentenced to death for murders committed years before the repeal.

      The court will hear arguments from lawyers on Oct. 1, but a decision by the five justices probably wouldn’t be made until months later.

      No execution has been scheduled for either Fry or Allen, and both have pending habeas corpus post-conviction appeals in state District Court. The Supreme Court has previously upheld their convictions and sentences.

      Attorney General Gary King, representing the state, contends the death sentences for Fry and Allen are constitutional and should remain in place.

      The Legislature’s decision to apply the repeal to future murders “furthers the long-standing policy of ensuring that criminals are punished according to the law that existed at the time of their crimes,” Assistant Attorney General M. Victoria Wilson said in written arguments to the court.

      A group of University of New Mexico law professors and the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association are supporting the latest legal challenge brought by attorneys for Fry and Allen.

      “These capital sentences are political vestiges of an abolished state system of death. New Mexico has no compelling interest distinguishing Mr. Allen and Mr. Fry from future defendants who will escape execution because of repeal,” the defense attorneys’ group said in written arguments submitted to the court.

      Fry, the last person sentenced to death in New Mexico, was convicted of killing Betty Lee in 2000. The mother of five was stabbed and bludgeoned with a sledgehammer in a remote area of San Juan County. Fry also has been sentenced to life in prison for three other murders in 1996 and 1998.

      Allen was sentenced to die for strangling 17-year-old Sandra Phillips in northwestern New Mexico in 1994. He also was convicted of the kidnapping and attempted rape of the Flora Vista teenager.

      New Mexico’s repeal of the death penalty took effect July 1, 2009, and it applied to crimes committed after that date. Lethal injection was replaced with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

      Then Gov. Bill Richardson didn’t commute the death sentences of Fry and Allen. At the time of the repeal, one potential death-penalty case was pending. Michael Astorga was later sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy in 2006.

      Lawyers for Fry and Allen contend their clients’ death sentences, in light of the 2009 repeal, violate state and federal constitutional provisions against cruel and unusual punishment and equal-protection guarantees.

      “Executing Mr. Fry but not other members of the same class of offenders based only on a date is arbitrary and freakish” and violates the state constitution, Fry’s lawyer, Kathleen McGarry, said in written arguments.

      She said Wednesday in a telephone interview that Connecticut’s highest court is considering a similar legal challenge involving death-row inmates sentenced before that state abolished the death penalty in 2012.

      New Mexico’s last execution was in 2001. Child-killer Terry Clark’s execution was the first in the state in 41 years.


    5. #5
      Heidi's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2010
      Virginia Beach, Virginia
      New Mexico court to hear death sentence appeals

      New Mexicoís only inmates facing possible execution want the state Supreme Court to declare their death sentences unconstitutional because capital punishment was abolished after their convictions.

      The court is to hear arguments from lawyers on Monday but the justices arenít expected to issue a ruling until months later.

      New Mexico repealed the death penalty in 2009 for future murders but left it in place for Timothy Allen and Robert Fry, who were sentenced to die years before the Legislature and then Gov. Bill Richardson agreed to end capital punishment.

      No execution has been scheduled for either Fry or Allen, who contend their death sentences violate constitutional provisions against cruel and unusual punishment and equal-protection guarantees.

      The attorney generalís office disagrees and says their death sentences should remain in place.

      An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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