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Thread: William O. Dickerson - South Carolina Death Row

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    William O. Dickerson - South Carolina Death Row





    Facts of the Crime:

    Convicted for the 2006 murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual assault of 29-year-old Gerard Roper, who Dickerson wrongly thought was the man he saw in a video having sex with his girlfriend. Roper was tortured and sexually assaulted before he was strangled. Dickerson's father was serving a life term for an unrelated murder. He died in prison a few years ago.

    Dickerson was sentenced to death in Charleston County on May 7, 2009.

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    May 7, 2009

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A 32-year-old South Carolina man has been sentenced to death in a 2006 strangulation.

    The Post and Courier of Charleston reports a Charleston County jury decided Thursday that William Dickerson should be put to death.

    Dickerson was found guilty last week of murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual assault. Authorities say he wrongly thought Gerard Roper was the man he saw in a video having sex with his girlfriend.

    Authorities say the 29-year-old Roper was tortured and sexually assaulted before he was strangled. Dickerson's father was serving a life term for an unrelated murder. He died behind bars a few years ago.

    Dickerson's attorneys contended he was a scapegoat for others who killed Roper.

    It was the first death penalty trial in Charleston County in five years.

    http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10323515

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    SC high court upholds death penalty for torture

    The South Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a childhood friend during 36 hours of torture.

    The state's high court ruled Monday that the conviction and death sentence of William Dickerson were warranted.

    Dickerson was convicted in 2009 of first degree murder, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct in the 2006 death of 29-year-old Gerard Roper in a Charleston County apartment.

    Authorities said Dickerson wrongly thought Roper was the man in a video having sex with his girlfriend.

    Evidence shows no single injury killed Roper. He received more than 200 wounds. He was chocked, tied up, sodomized with a gun and broomstick, burned, and repeatedly hit.

    Prosecutors say Dickerson called his girlfriend and others during the torture to discuss what he was doing.

    http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/10/03...#ixzz1ZjLO2O4Y

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Dickerson's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.
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    On May 16, 2012, Dickerson filed an application for post-conviction relief in Charleston County Circuit Court.

    http://jcmsweb.charlestoncounty.org/...216&CaseType=V

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    New trial denied for man who claimed discrimination in Charleston death penalty case

    By Angie Jackson
    Post and Courier

    A man sentenced to death for the brutal killing of a James Island man in 2006 has been denied a new trial after a judge found he failed to back up his claim that Charleston's top prosecutor purposefully removed potential jurors because they were black.


    Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper Jr. this week issued an order denying post-conviction relief for 41-year-old William Dickerson, a black man who in 2009 was convicted in the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of a James Island man.


    The thrust of Dickerson's bid for a new trial centered around a study commissioned by his attorneys that analyzed the juror selection process in his case and eight other trials handled by 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.


    The study alleged she was seven times more likely to excuse a black person from a jury than a white person.


    The allegations made against Wilson and her character were "unsupported," Cooper wrote in the order.


    The judge concluded that variables were "sorely missing" from the study conducted by professors with the Michigan State University School of Law. He referred to testimony from a retired College of Charleston statistics professor who criticized the analysis as being incomplete.


    Cooper also said the study failed to address "even the mere existence of additional reasons for striking jurors" and the reasons why potential jurors were removed in Dickerson's case.


    "There has been no explanation as to why this bare study should be accepted," Cooper wrote.


    Using a peremptory strike, attorneys can excuse a certain number of potential jurors without providing a reason. Opposing lawyers can challenge the strike if they suspect it is racially motivated.


    Dickerson's defense attorney challenged three of Wilson's strikes during jury selection. Wilson said she removed the potential jurors because one needed to work, another had a criminal history and the third gave inconsistent answers about the death penalty.


    Three black and nine white jurors made it onto the final panel that heard Dickerson's case and voted to sentence him to death.


    In 2016, Wilson testified to defend her record against Dickerson's lead attorney, Charles Grose of Greenwood. She called racially motivated jury selections "immoral" and said her decisions were not based on race. She contended the study scrutinized only a small number of her cases that reached a jury.


    Among other arguments, Grose said Dickerson's trial attorney should have presented testimony that he suffered lead poisoning as a child. In the order issued this week, Cooper found there wasn't enough evidence to support the claim.


    Dickerson's request for post-conviction relief began in 2012 as one of Grose's final attempts to spare his life. Grose previously accused a judge and Wilson of bias, claiming they and others had conspired against Dickerson. The judge called Grose's accusations "slanderous" and chose to recuse himself from the case.


    Grose could not be immediately reached Friday. Wilson declined to comment.

    https://www.postandcourier.com/news/...abc7ac93f.html
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