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  1. #1

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    Roderick Nunley - Missouri Death Row


    Ann Harrison




    Facts of the Crime:

    On the evening of March 21, 1989, Michael Taylor and companion Roderick Nunley stole a car and used drugs. At about 7:00 a.m. on March 22, they saw 15-year-old Ann Harrison waiting for the school bus at the end of her driveway. Taylor allegedly stated he wanted to steal the girl's purse, and Nunley, who was driving, stopped the car. Taylor spoke to the girl and then grabbed her and forced her into the car. Nunley then drove to this mother's house where the girl was taken out of the car and forced to crawl down to the basement. Taylor then raped the girl. After the assault, the two men forced the girl into the trunk of the stolen car and tied her up. After Taylor stated he was afraid the girl would identify him, the two men decided to kill the girl Nunley retreived two knives from the kitchen and both men stabbed the girl. Nunley knew the girl was going to die from her wounds. (The former county medical examiner testified the victim was stabbed 10 times and she died approximately 30 minutes later). The men drove to a nearby neighborhood and parked the car, leaving the girl in the turnk. Nunley gave a videotaped conffession to the police.

    Nunley was sentenced to death in 1994.

    Taylor was also sentenced to death. He was executed on February 26, 2014. For more on his case, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...ouri-Death-Row

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______


    September 11, 2008

    Appeals court rejects MO death row inmates’ appeal

    A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected another challenge to Missouri’s execution procedures.

    The challenge was filed by eight death row inmates who accused the state of having a “well-documented history of employing incompetent and unqualified personnel” overseeing executions and insufficiently anesthetizing inmates before their executions. The inmates claimed that Missouri’s history would likely continue in the future.

    U.S. District Court Judge Fernando J. Gaitan Jr. granted Missouri’s motion for summary judgment in the case in July of 2008. The prisoners appealed.

    On Tuesday a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Court of Appeals said that Gaitan’s ruling was correct.

    The inmates are Reginald Clemons, Richard D. Clay, Jeffrey R. Ferguson, Roderick Nunley, Michael Anthony Taylor, Martin Link, Mark Christeson, and William L. Rousan. Three other inmates, John Charles Middleton, Russell Earl Bucklew, and Earl Ringo, Jr., tried to join the appeal but were turned away, and the appeals court upheld that action also.

    Missouri has changed execution procedures and personnel after a lawsuit filed by Taylor revealed that the surgeon who supervised the procedure, Dr. Alan R. Doerhoff, was dyslexic. The Post-Dispatch then revealed that he had been reprimanded by the State Board of Healing Arts and sued for malpractice more than 20 times.

    http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/st-...nmates-appeal/

    Opinion here

    http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/09/11/082807P.pdf

  2. #2

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    August 19, 2010

    Missouri court sets execution date in 1989 murder case

    After five years of court cases and appeals questioning Missouri's three-drug execution method, the state Supreme Court on Thursday set a date to put convicted killer Roderick Nunley to death.

    Nunley, 45, is scheduled to be executed Oct. 20 for his role in the abduction, rape and murder of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl in 1989.

    Nunley's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, called the decision to set the date disappointing. She said she will appeal and will ask Gov. Jay Nixon to grant clemency.

    Herndon said it would be unfair to execute Nunley because he is among about a dozen death row inmates who filed suit in 2009 raising yet another concern over Missouri executions — saying the state obtains the execution drugs without a prescription and administers them unlawfully.

    "We'll still try to obtain a stay based on that litigation," Herndon said. "There are a lot of signs that there is merit to that lawsuit."

    A spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he declined comment.

    With just one exception, Missouri executions have been on hold since early 2006 over concerns about whether they violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee against undue suffering. That year, a federal judge halted executions in the state after a surgeon who previously supervised them testified he was dyslexic, sometimes transposed numbers and operated without written procedures or supervision.

    The state then developed written protocols that were later upheld by the same federal judge who halted the executions. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal, essentially clearing the way to resume executions.

    The same day the court issued its ruling, Koster asked the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date — not for Nunley, but for Joseph Franklin, a white supremacist responsible for several killings, including a sniper shooting of a man outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

    It wasn't clear why the Supreme Court set the date for Nunley first. A spokeswoman said she did not know the reasoning. Herndon said she didn't know, either.

    Missouri has executed 67 men since the death penalty was reinstated in 1989, but only once since October 2005. The lone exception was Dennis Skillicorn, put to death on May 20, 2009, for killing a man who stopped to help when a car Skillicorn and two others were in broke down on Interstate 70 near Kingdom City.

    Nunley and Michael Taylor, 43, both from Kansas City, are both on death row for the 1989 abduction, rape and murder of 15-year-old Ann Harrison. Taylor was hours away from being executed in February 2006 when the procedure was halted.

    Authorities said Taylor and Nunley used drugs and stole a car, then spotted the girl at a school bus stop and forced her into the car. They drove to Nunley's mother's house, where Taylor raped her in the basement.

    The men then forced the girl into the trunk of the car and tied her up. Concerned that she would identify them, they used kitchen knives to stab her to death.

    The men drove away and parked the car, leaving Harrison in the trunk. Nunley gave a videotaped confession to police.

    Both are among 49 men on Missouri's death row.

    http://www.columbiamissourian.com/st...n-1989-murder/

  3. #3
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    U.S. appeals court upholds Missouri stay of execution

    In St. Louis, a federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the stay of execution of 1 of 2 Missouri inmates condemned for the 1989 abduction, rape and stabbing death of a Kansas City-area teenager.


    The St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling marked the latest last-minute legal victory for Roderick Nunley. A day earlier, a Kansas City federal judge ruled that the inmate was entitled to the execution stay while the Missouri Supreme Court considered his latest appeal over due-process claims.
    Nunley was scheduled to be put to death by injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at an eastern Missouri prison.


    It was not immediately clear whether the state would appeal the matter, perhaps to the full 8th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court. "We are reviewing the decision and looking at our options," said Nanci Gonder, a spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
    Messages left Wednesday with Nunley's attorney were not immediately returned.
    In issuing the execution stay Monday, Chief U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. found Nunley was entitled to the delay to argue that his sentence should have been determined by a jury. Gaitan put the matter back with the state's high court to decide whether the right to a jury should be retroactively applied to Nunley's case, as permitted in some cases by subsequent U.S. and state Supreme Court rulings.
    Koster's office quickly countered, asking the 8th Circuit to reverse Gaitan's ruling and put the execution back on track, claiming among other things that Nunley sat on his due-process issue for years before finally filing it Sept. 30.


    "There can be no reasonable argument that Nunley could not have raised the claim years ago and fully litigated it in state and federal court without a stay," Missouri's petition to the 8th Circuit read. "But he chose not to do so."
    The state's appeal called Nunley's delay in pressing the claim "unexplained and unexplainable" while also casting it as "abusive."


    But a 3-judge 8th Circuit wasn't swayed, unanimously agreeing in a 2-paragraph opinion that Gaitan's court crafted a "well-reasoned" ruling and "did not abuse its discretion to grant a stay to fully develop the record and decide the (due-process) issue."
    Nunley also has sought clemency from Gov. Jay Nixon.


    Nunley, 45, and accomplice Michael Taylor had hoped to avoid a death sentence when they decided against a jury trial, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to death in 1991 by a Jackson County judge.


    Authorities said Nunley and Taylor were on drugs when they stole a car then abducted 15-year-old Ann Harrison from a school bus stop near her home. Taylor raped the girl in the basement of Nunley's mother's house before the men forced her into the car's trunk, bound her and stabbed her 10 times out of concern she would identify them.


    The men abandoned the car with Harrison's body in the trunk. Nunley later gave a videotaped confession.


    Nunley and Taylor were sentenced to death by Jackson County Circuit Judge Alvin Randall, who never had sentenced a convict to death and was reputedly a death-penalty opponent.



    Both men appealed, accusing prosecutors of racism and alleging Randall had been drinking before the sentencing.


    Although a St. Louis circuit judge later vindicated Randall by ruling that that judge had had an alcoholic drink during his lunch break but was not impaired during the sentencing a short time later, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered new sentencing hearings. In 1994, both men again were sentenced to death.


    Taylor was hours from being executed in 2006 when the procedure was halted. His execution date remains unscheduled.


    With just one exception, Missouri executions have been on hold since early 2006 over concerns about whether they violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee against undue suffering. That year, a federal judge halted executions in the state after a surgeon who previously supervised them testified he was dyslexic, sometimes transposed numbers and operated without written procedures or supervision.


    The state then developed written protocols that later were upheld by the same federal judge who halted the executions. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal, essentially clearing the way to resume executions.


    Missouri has executed 67 men since the death penalty was reinstated in 1989 but only once since October 2005.


    (source: Associated Press)

  4. #4
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    Nunley Execution Postponed Until January of 2011

    The execution of Roderick Nunley is on hold until January. He is on death row for murdering Kansas City teenager Ann Harrison 21 years ago. Earlier this week, a federal judge in Kansas City issued a stay of execution.
    Just hours before the 12:01 a.m. execution of Nunley, the 8th Circuit Court upheld the stay. Then the U.S. Supreme Court voted 8 to 1 to let that ruling stand. The Department of Corrections has put the execution on hold to hear appeals before Missouri's Supreme Court in January.
    Nunley and Michael Taylor were riding around the teen's neighborhood in March of 1989 and saw her as she waited for her school bus. The 2 men wanted to steal her purse, but they kidnapped her, and later raped and stabbed her repeatedly. The pair later confessed that she begged them for her life.
    At that time, police detective Al Devalkenaere worked for the KCPD's homicide unit, which worked the case. Devalkenaere got Nunley and Taylor to confess what they did to Harrison.
    Now, the detective is on his way home from Bonne Terre. He had been staying near the prison to be a state's witness to the execution because he promised he would see the case to the end.
    "What they did was horrific," Devalkenaere said. "Seeing it first-hand, I know what kind of people these are. These people should never be allowed in society again. I made a promise to see it through."
    The oral arguments before the Missouri Supreme Court have been scheduled for January of 2011. Nunley will remain on death row until then.
    (source: KSPR News)

  5. #5
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    Missouri high court to weigh executions of men who killed teen in 1989

    Janel and Bob Harrison spent Christmas as they had for the last 21 years — without their daughter Ann.

    This week they will be in a courtroom, as they have countless times before, to hear lawyers and judges debate the fate of the two men sentenced to death for taking their daughter’s life.

    For the Harrisons it is the latest round of seemingly ceaseless litigation that has kept Michael Taylor and Roderick Nunley, and their cases, alive for more than two decades after they kidnapped, raped and killed the Kansas City teenager.

    Both confessed killers have come so close to death that they were offered their last meals before 11th-hour legal actions halted their executions.

    On Wednesday their lawyers will ask the Missouri Supreme Court to permanently lift their death sentences and consign them to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

    “I think it is rather ludicrous,” said Janel Harrison.

    Though pursuing separate actions, lawyers for Nunley and Taylor base their arguments on the same two issues:

    •Judges, not juries, weighed the evidence and imposed the death sentences.

    •The death sentences were disproportionate when compared with life sentences imposed on numerous other Missouri inmates who committed heinous crimes.

    That jury-instead-of-judge sentencing was not a right that defendants enjoyed in 1991 and 1993 when Taylor and Nunley were sentenced and resentenced after the original sentences were thrown out.

    Both actually waived jury sentencing in 1991. In 1993 they sought to withdraw their initial guilty pleas, but the requests were denied, and once again they were sentenced by judges.

    Since then the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that juries must weigh the question of life and death in capital cases. Lawyers for Nunley and Taylor contend that that ruling should apply to them retroactively as it has to several other former death-row inmates in Missouri.

    Their argument is bolstered by former prosecutors and judges who have filed a legal brief supporting the positions of Taylor and Nunley.

    Though some of the former judges and prosecutors support capital punishment and others oppose it, they all express a belief in the “fair and even-handed application of the death penalty.”

    They noted in their brief filed in support of Taylor that eight other Missouri inmates who were sentenced by judges instead of juries have had their death sentences reduced to life in prison. In two other cases, the Missouri Supreme Court prohibited such “bench trials” to consider sentencing.

    “It is absolutely unconscionable to treat Taylor differently,” they stated. “The court should therefore grant the petition and reduce Taylor’s sentence to life in prison.”

    Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office is opposed to lifting the death sentences for either man.

    In the state’s legal arguments, attorneys contend that Taylor and Nunley waived judicial sentencing because they thought that particular judge would be lenient and sentence them to life in prison.

    The men cannot then take back their waivers because they succeeded on appeal in winning new sentencing hearing, the attorney general argues.

    In Nunley’s case, the state also argues that he could have raised the issue anytime after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2002, and only raised it after an execution date had been set.

    “This should not be permitted, particularly because over two decades have already passed since the kidnapping, rape and murder,” the attorney general stated in legal briefs.

    The Harrisons said that Taylor and Nunley voluntarily chose to be sentenced by a judge and that there was no reason for their appeals now. But that won’t keep them from attending the arguments.

    “We feel like we’re obligated to go there in Ann’s memory,” Bob Harrison said.


    Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/01/01...#ixzz19uhZtlai

  6. #6
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    Missouri Supreme Court Hears Killers' Arguments Against Death Penalty

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Two killers convicted of the 1989 rape and murder of a metro teen kidnapped from her bus stop are at the center of a Missouri Supreme Court battle as their attorneys say that their rights were violated when they were sentenced to death.

    Michael Taylor and Roderick Nunley kidnapped Ann Harrison from her bus stop in 1989, then raped and killed her. The pair pleaded guilty to the crimes, but now their attorneys are arguing that their constitutional rights were violated when a judge, and not a jury, determined their sentence, and they were not given the option of a jury sentencing.

    Recent court rulings have determined that the option of a jury sentencing is indeed a constitutional right.

    "It certainly would be within this court's power to order jury sentencing at this point," said Michael Gorla, attorney for Nunley.

    Attorney's for the State of Missouri argued that the defendants knew they were giving up the right to a jury sentencing by pleading guilty.

    "I'm saying that throughout the transcript of the guilty plea proceedings, the offender waived his right to jury sentencing," said Michael Spillare, attorney for the State of Missouri.

    The defendants attorneys say a jury sentencing was never an option, and that makes their death sentences unconstitutional.

    "Looking simply at the plain text of the statute, your honor, it's very clear if the sentence is unconstitutional," said Matthew Larson, attorney for Taylor. "The defendant gets a life sentence. That's exactly the case here."

    Ann Harrison's parents were in the courtroom for the hearing, but did not speak to the media. The court adjourned on Wednesday and will release a decision in the case in a couple of weeks.

    http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-miss...,3380469.story

  7. #7
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    Mo. High Court Upholds Nunley's Sentence

    The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the sentencing for Roderick Nunley.

    Nunley pleaded guilt in the slaying of 15-year-old Ann Harrison. Harrison was abducted while waiting for a school bus near her home in 1989.

    Nunley's lawyers argued that he should not have received the death penalty because a judge decided facts in sentencing instead of a jury.

    "Nunley cannot strategically plead guilty and waive jury sentencing in order to be sentenced by a judge knowing he had the right to jury sentencing and then claim that his constitutional rights were violated when he received his request. Nunley's Sixth Amendment right were not violated," Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. wrote in his opinion for the court.

    Read more: http://www.kmbc.com/news/28083815/de...#ixzz1Nxeheo4a

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Nunley's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

  9. #9
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    On December 6, 2013, Nunley filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...ts/ca8/13-3627

  10. #10
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    Supreme Court gives four condemned inmates chance to argue against setting of execution dates

    By Mike Lear

    The state Supreme Court has issued orders to four men sentenced to death to have presented to the Court their arguments why it shouldn’t set dates for their executions. The state Supreme Court has issued show cause orders to Roderick Nunley, Michael Taylor, Jeffrey Ferguson and David Barnett.

    Nunley and Taylor both pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the 1989 killing of 15-year-old Ann Harrison after abducting her from the Kansas City bus stop where she was waiting to go to school. Taylor had raped the girl with Nunley’s help in the basement of Nunley’s mother’s home, before fatally stabbing her and abandoning her body in the trunk of a car.

    Ferguson was convicted of first-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Kelli Hall, who he and another man had abducted from the St. Charles gas station she was working at in 1989.

    David Barnett stabbed each of his grandparents more than 10 times at their Glendale home before stealing their car and 120-dollars in cash.

    The orders signed by Chief Justice Mary Rhodes Russell mean those mens’ attorneys must present arguments why the Supreme Court should not set dates for their executions by January 10.

    One execution is already scheduled for January 29 for Herbert Smulls, convicted of the the 1991 murder of a Chesterfield jeweler.

    http://www.missourinet.com/2013/12/3...ecution-dates/

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