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Thread: Bruce Earl Ward - Arkansas Execution - Stayed

  1. #1
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    Bruce Earl Ward - Arkansas Execution - Stayed




    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted in 1990 of the 1989 capital murder of eighteen-year-old Rebecca Doss and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Doss was a clerk at a Jackpot Inc. convenience store working the overnight shift. Ward was arrested when a police officer had stopped because the store was open but he could not see a clerk inside. He stopped Ward after seeing him walking away from the restrooms toward a motorcycle and arrested him after finding the body.

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    Ward was denied a Certificate of Appealability by the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on August 24, 2009.

    Opinion is here:

    http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/09/08/054381P.pdf

  3. #3
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    August 24, 2009

    Death sentence upheld in '89 store clerk slaying

    A man sentenced to die for the strangulation death 20 years ago of a convenience store clerk in Little Rock has lost an appeal seeking a new sentencing phase of his trial.

    However, the three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was divided in its opinion Monday. A dissenting judge wrote that he favored allowing Bruce Earl Ward, 52, to pursue a district court hearing on his claim that he lacked the mental capacity to proceed.

    Ward, a perfume salesman who worked from his motorcycle, allegedly trolled a west Little Rock neighborhood on Aug. 11, 1989, before settling on 18-year-old Rebecca Doss as his victim.

    Doss' body was found by Little Rock police who investigated when an officer noticed no one was behind the counter at the Jackpot store. An officer found Ward emerging from the bathroooms. Doss' body was on the men's room floor.

    Ward was convicted of capital murder in 1990 and sentenced to die. The Arkansas Supreme Court narrowly upheld his conviction and reversed the death penalty, ordering a new sentencing phase. When Doss appealed his second sentencing, which also resulted in an execution verdict, it became apparent that the court reporter didn't keep a full record of proceedings. A third sentencing was ordered. Doss was again sentenced to die by lethal injection.

    In Monday's ruling, the 8th Circuit found that Ward failed to show that there was an error that would require his death sentence to be reversed, upholding a lower court ruling. Ward had claimed that his attorney was not effective because he didn't ask the judge to recuse after the judge allegedly showed prejudice in favor of prosecutors.

    The majority also agreed with the district court judge, who refused to hear a subsequent motion by Ward that claimed he lacked the capacity to proceed on his petition.

    In a dissent, Judge Michael J. Melloy wrote that he would have directed the district court to issue a stay of execution and hold an evidentiary hearing on Ward's mental competence.

    "In his motion, Ward does not seek to revisit a merits ruling or attack a state court judgment. Rather, he alleges his incompetence amounts to a defect in the federal proceedings," Melloy wrote.

    Throughout his appeals, Ward's sanity has been questioned, though he has refused to submit to mental examinations. His attorney had a psychiatrist review records of meetings and conversations with Ward. The psychiatrist concluded that Ward "suffers from either paranoid schizophrenia or delusional disorder," the opinion states.

    Melloy wrote that it would be appropriate to consider Ward's request as a separate motion instead of a successive petition, which the majority cited as reason for denying the request.

    Gabe Holmstrom, spokesman for the Arkansas Attorney General's office, said Ward can ask for a rehearing from the 8th Circuit. If that fails, Ward can seek a writ from the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Holmstrom said the AG's office is not asking the governor to set execution dates until a lawsuit by death row inmate Frank Williams challenging the state's lethal injection procedures is resolved.

    Ward had a prior voluntary manslaughter conviction in Pennsylvania for the 1977 strangulation of a woman who left a bar with Ward after arguing with her husband.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

  4. #4
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Inmate Personal Information

    DOB: 12/24/1956
    Race: White
    Gender: Male

    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Pulaski
    * Number of counts: One
    * Race of Victim: White
    * Gender of Victim: Female
    * Date of crime: 08/11/1989
    * Date of Sentencing: 10/18/1990

    Legal Status

    Current proceedings:
    Post certiorari
    Collateral Litigation:
    Case 5:10‐cv‐00065‐JLH (E.D. Ark. & 8th Cir.)
    Case 5:10‐cv‐00092‐SWW‐HDY (E.D. Ark.)

    Attorneys

    Joe Luby

    Collateral Litigation:
    Jennifer Merrigan &
    Joe Luby

    Case 5:10‐cv‐00092‐SWW‐HDY:
    Josh Lee
    Scott Braden

    Court Opinions

    Ward v. State, 827 S.W.2d 110 (Ark.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 841 (1992) (affirming conviction and reversing sentence); Ward v. State, 906 S.W.2d 685 (Ark. 1995) (reversing death sentence and remanding for new penalty phase trial); Ward v. State, 1 S.W.3d 1 (Ark. 1999) (affirming death sentence); Ward v. State, 84 S.W.3d 863 (Ark. 2002) (affirming denial of post‐conviction relief); Ward v. Norris, 577 F.3d 925 (8th Cir. 2009) (affirming denial of habeas corpus), cert. denied, 130 S.Ct. 2367 (2010).

    Legal Issues

    On appeal of denial of habeas corpus:
    (1) whether the petitioner's motion for relief from judgment and motion to alter or amend the judgment constituted second or successive petitions;
    (2) whether review would be limited to facts related to argument made in state court post‐conviction proceedings;
    (3) whether counsel's failure to seek recusal of trial judge was deficient; and
    (4) whether counsel's failure to seek recusal amounted to structural error.

  5. #5
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    Beebe sets execution dates for two death row inmates

    Gov. Mike Beebe today set execution dates for condemned killers Jason Ferrell McGehee and Bruce Earl Ward.

    McGehee, of Harrison, is set to be put to death July 26 in the 1996 kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old John Melbourne Jr. He was convicted in 1998 of capital murder and kidnapping in Boone County Circuit Court.

    Ward’s execution is set for Aug. 16 in the 1989 rape and murder of 18-year-old Little Rock convenience store clerk Rebecca Lynn Doss, who was found strangled in the men’s restroom of the store where she worked the night shift alone.

    He was convicted of capital murder in 1990 in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

    In April, Beebe set execution dates for two death-row inmates. One of those, however, was stayed last month by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

    On July 12, Marcel W. Williams is scheduled to be executed for the 1994 death of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson of Jacksonville. The mother of two was found in a shallow grave near the Arkansas River with her hands bound behind her. She had been abducted two weeks earlier after stopping to get gasoline on her way to work. The coroner ruled she had been suffocated.

    Williams was convicted of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery in the case.

    Frank Williams Jr, who was scheduled to be put to death June 22 for the 1992 slaying of Lafayette County farmer Clyde Spence, had his execution stayed by the state Supreme Court on May 5.

    The high court said it granted the stay because Frank Williams is involved in a lawsuit with three other death-row inmates that challenges the constitutionality of lethal injection in Arkansas and another lawsuit that challenges the state Department of Correction’s policies on visitors mail and other privileges.

    Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said today the governor decided to set the execution dates even though several previous dates have been stayed.

    “Once we get the letter from the attorney general that the inmate has exhausted his appeals, then the governor has a duty to go ahead and set those dates,” DeCample said. “We understand there are still some things to be resolved in the courts and we never know what the courts are going to do, but the governor has a legal duty to carry out.”

    Death row inmates Don William Davis, Jack Harold Jones Jr. and Terrick Nooner are currently challenging the state’s new execution procedures and questioning the quality of the state’s supply of a key execution drug. Beebe previously set execution dates for all three, but the dates were later stayed by a federal judge.

    http://arkansasnews.com/2011/06/06/b...h-row-inmates/

  6. #6
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    High court halts three executions

    By John Lyon
    Arkansas News Bureau

    LITTLE ROCK — The state Supreme Court today halted the executions of three inmates who are challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in Arkansas.

    The high court issued stays for the executions of Jason Farrell McGehee, who was scheduled to die July 26; Bruce Earl Ward, who was scheduled to die Aug. 16; and Marcel Wayne Williams, who was scheduled to die July 12.

    The three men are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court alleging that a state law authorizing the director of the state Department of Correction to choose the drugs used for lethal injection constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of authority.

    The Supreme Court today directed the circuit court to provide it with a status update on the case.

    A clemency hearing and victim input hearing in McGehee’s case were scheduled for today at the state Parole Board’s headquarters in Little Rock.

    McGehee was convicted of capital murder and kidnapping in Boone County Circuit Court in the 1996 kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old John Melbourne Jr. Prosecutors said McGehee and accomplices killed Melbourne because they believed he had talked to police about their involvement in stealing and forging checks.

    Ward was convicted of capital murder in 1990 in Pulaski County Circuit Court in the 1989 rape and murder of 18-year-old Little Rock convenience store clerk Rebecca Lynn Doss, who was found strangled in the men’s restroom of the store where she worked the night shift alone.

    Williams was convicted of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery in Pulaski County Circuit Court in the 1994 killing of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson of Jacksonville. Errickson was found in a shallow grave near the Arkansas River with her hands bound behind her, two weeks after she was abducted from a gas station where she had stopped to buy gas. The coroner ruled she had been suffocated.

    http://arkansasnews.com/2011/06/23/h...ee-executions/

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frequent Poster stixfix69's Avatar
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    Well that frees up 3 nights this summer........

  8. #8
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    Marcel Wayne Williams v Ray Hobbs

    A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of lawsuits by death-row inmates that challenged the way Arkansas conducts executions.

    The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied the appeals on grounds that the lawsuits only speculated about possible problems and didn't identify constitutional violations.

    Marcel Wayne Williams filed one lawsuit and seven other condemned inmates joined in a similar court action.

    The inmates argued that the state shouldn't be allowed to change its lethal injection procedures without proper notice and that the uncertainty heightened their anxiety about suffering as they are being killed.

    The state has no scheduled executions.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...eals-Arkansas/

  9. #9
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    Bruce Earl Ward (inmate)
    i just want to know this... she didnt get to choose how she died, why should he?
    i dont understand at all. I am one of many im sure thats lives have been changed by knowing him, definitely not for the better.

  10. #10
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post EX. Ward has certainly been on death row a long time. Execution protocol seems to be an issue in Arkansas. The last Arkansas execution was in 2005. Let's hope they get it sorted out soon!
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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