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Thread: William Eugene Thompson - Kentucky Death Row

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    William Eugene Thompson - Kentucky Death Row


    Corrections Officer Charles Frederick Cash




    Facts of the Crime:

    Was sentenced to death March 18, 1998 in Graves County. William Thompson entered a plea of guilty on January 12, 1995 to the following charges: Capital Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, and Escape in the First Degree, which occurred on May 9, 1986. William Thompson, of Pike County, Kentucky was sentenced to life for the 1986 murder of Correctional Officer Fred Cash at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County on March 18, 1998. Thompson was then serving a life sentence at the Western Kentucky Farm Center for the offense of willful murder for hire in Pike County. While working with an inmate crew at the dairy, Thompson struck Correctional Officer Fred Cash repeatedly in the head with a hammer, dragged the body into a barn stall, and fled in the prison farm van. Police arrested Thompson in a bus station on his way to Indiana. Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death in October 1986 in Lyon County, but seven years later the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. Thompson also won a change of venue from Lyon County to Graves County.

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    High court rejects appeal in officer's slaying

    A death row inmate cannot show that his attorney did a poor job by giving jurors the impression he could be released from prison if he didn't get a death sentence, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

    The justices ruled that 59-year-old William Eugene Thompson's attorney did not mislead jurors during a sentencing hearing. Thompson was appealing his conviction and death sentence for the 1986 murder of correctional officer Fred Cash at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County.

    Thompson's attorney had told jurors that Thompson doesn't "even think about the P-word — the Parole Board — until he is about 75 years of age."

    At the time, Thompson was serving a life sentence for a murder-for-hire in Pike County from 1972. The Kentucky Parole Board ordered Thompson in 1993 to serve out his sentence, foreclosing any possibility of release.

    The high court in 1993 overturned Thompson's first conviction in Cash's death. Thompson then pleaded guilty to the slaying and other crimes, putting his fate in the hands of jurors in Graves County for sentencing.

    Thompson claimed on appeal that the attorney's comment misled jurors into believing he could be released from prison if he received anything short of a death sentence.

    The justices noted that Thompson testified before jurors that he wouldn't get out of prison, even noting on the stand that the Parole Board had rejected his eventual release from the life sentence.

    "I will die in prison," Thompson told jurors at his retrial. "I have no chance of ever getting out."

    The court also noted that the attorney made the strategic decision to argue against the imposition of the death penalty by making the comments about parole.

    "It was clearly made more to emphasize the probability of Thompson never getting out of prison than the possibility that he could someday be released from prison," the court wrote in an unanimous opinion.

    Thompson was convicted of killing Cash while working with an inmate crew at the dairy. Thompson hit Cash repeatedly in the head with a hammer, dragged the body into a barn stall, and fled in the prison farm van. Police arrested Thompson in a bus station on his way to Indiana.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

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    Ky. death row inmate says jurors were biased by unrelated, notorious crime

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. A Kentucky death row inmate claims jurors were biased in his case by a highly publicized murder in Florida by a man who had been released from prison after serving time for a violent crime.

    William Eugene Thompson, facing a death sentence in the killing of a corrections officer, wants a judge to overturn his conviction and sentence because jurors were exposed to news of an unrelated murder by a man who had been paroled from a California prison.

    Thompson, 59, filed an appeal Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville of his conviction and death sentence handed down in 1998 for the 1986 murder of correctional officer Fred Cash at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County. At the time, Thompson was serving a life sentence for a murder-for-hire in Pike County from 1972.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...tion-Thompson/

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    A Kentucky death row inmate claims jurors were biased in his case by a highly publicized slaying in another state by a man who had been released from prison after serving time for a violent crime.

    William Eugene Thompson, facing a death sentence in the killing of a corrections officer, wants a judge to overturn his conviction and sentence because jurors were exposed to news of an unrelated murder by a man who had been paroled from a California prison.

    Thompson, 59, filed an appeal Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville of his conviction and death sentence handed down in 1998 for the 1986 killing of correctional officer Fred Cash at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Lyon County. At the time, Thompson was serving a life sentence for a murder-for-hire in Pike County from 1972. The Kentucky Parole Board ordered Thompson in 1993 to serve out his sentence, foreclosing any possibility of release.

    Jury foreman Roger Dowdy, in an affidavit, said jurors feared Thompson being released from prison if he received anything other than a death sentence. Dowdy said that judgment was based on publicity about the Florida case.

    “The jury was afraid that Mr. Thompson, even as an old man, would be a danger to society if released,” Dowdy wrote.

    The case mentioned by Dowdy involved Lawrence Singleton, who was convicted of kidnapping, raping, then hacking the arms off of a teenage hitchhiker, who survived the attack, in 1978. Singleton served eight years before being paroled. Singleton later moved to Florida, where he was convicted of killing a prostitute in 1997. Singleton died in prison in 2001.

    Thompson’s attorney had told jurors that Thompson doesn’t “even think about the P-word — the Parole Board — until he is about 75 years of age.”

    Thompson testified before jurors that he wouldn’t get out of prison, even noting on the stand that the Parole Board had rejected his eventual release from the life sentence.

    “I will die in prison,” Thompson told jurors. “I have no chance of ever getting out.”

    But, Thompson’s public defenders, David Harshaw and Dennis Burke, said the attorney, Michael Williams, didn’t emphasize that point in closing arguments. That omission, along with the publicity surrounding Singleton’s crimes, left jurors with an impression that Thompson might one day be released, the attorneys argued.

    Thompson was convicted of killing Cash while working with an inmate crew at the dairy. Thompson hit Cash repeatedly in the head with a hammer, dragged the body into a barn stall, and fled in the prison farm van. Police arrested Thompson in a bus station in Madisonville on his way to Indiana.

    The Kentucky Supreme Court in 1993 overturned Thompson’s first conviction in Cash’s death.

    Thompson then pleaded guilty to the slaying and other crimes, putting his fate in the hands of jurors in Graves County for sentencing.

    http://www.timesleader.net/articles/...054Z_news.html

  5. #5
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    On December 10, 2012, Thompson's habeas petition was denied in Federal District Court.

    http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal...0031/76480/42/

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    On August 20, 2013, Thompson filed an appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...s/ca6/13-6085/

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    On October 19, 2016, oral argument will be heard in Thompson's appeal before the Sixth Circuit. The panel will be made up of Judges Boggs (Reagan), Griffin (G.W. Bush) and White (G.W. Bush).

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/sites/ca...172016_arg.pdf

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    On August 14, 2017, the Sixth Circuit DENIED Thompson's appeal.

    http://www.opn.ca6.uscourts.gov/opin...7a0178p-06.pdf

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    On October 18, 2017, the Sixth Circuit DENIED Thompson's petition for en banc rehearing.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/17-7504.html

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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Thompson's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    Case Numbers: (13-6085)
    Decision Date: August 14, 2017
    Rehearing Denied: October 18, 2017

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/17-7504.html

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