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  1. #1

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    Todd Wessinger - Louisiana Death Row

    Facts of the Crime:

    "Please, please, I won't tell on you. I promise. I won't. I promise. I promise. I promise. I swear." Those were the last words — captured on a 911 tape, along with the gunshot that silenced her — of Stephanie Guzzardo, 27. The manager at Calendar's Restaurant & Bar in Baton Rouge was shot in the chest after begging for her life, and her final words were played at trial. She and another employee were killed in 1995 by Todd Wessinger, a former dishwasher who is now on death row.

  2. #2
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    On September 7, 2004, Wessinger filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/lou...4cv00637/7638/

  3. #3
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    Prosecutors ask judge to set execution date

    Prosecutors asked a state judge Monday to set an execution date for Todd Wessinger after a federal judge denied his bid for a new trial or sentencing in the 1995 slaying of two employees at the now-closed Calendar’s Restaurant.

    East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III noted that the victims’ families have endured “17 years of heartache.’’

    “I can only imagine the pain and suffering the families are going through,’’ he said. “Hopefully we’ll eventually come to a successful conclusion in the near future.’’

    Wessinger’s appellate attorneys are expected to appeal U.S. District Judge James Brady’s Feb. 22 ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

    “There’s still a lot of hurdles to overcome,’’ said John Sinquefield, who prosecuted Wessinger. He called Brady’s decision a “big step.’’

    Brady rejected a dozen claims raised by Wessinger, including an allegation that his trial attorneys provided ineffective assistance during jury selection and the guilt and penalty phases of his 1997 trial in Baton Rouge.

    Brady, who called the state’s evidence against Wessinger in the guilt phase “overwhelming,’’ said Wessinger faults his attorneys’ penalty phase preparation for not investigating further into his childhood and upbringing.

    Wessinger contends such a probe would have led to evidence of a physically and mentally abusive childhood, possible mental defects and an alienation from society that led him to feel he did not belong.

    Brady said Wessinger’s contentions were contradicted by the defense’s own witnesses.

    “In short, it is not the quality or thoroughness of the investigation Wessinger is attacking. He essentially does not like the way his story was spun for the jury,’’ the judge wrote in a 77-page decision. “This is not ineffective assistance.’’

    Wessinger, a former dishwasher, was convicted and sentenced to die by lethal injection for fatally shooting Stephanie Guzzardo, 27, and David Breakwell, 46, at the Perkins Road restaurant on Nov. 19, 1995.

    Wessinger is now 44.

    http://theadvocate.com/home/2175368-...ge-to-set.html

  4. #4
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    Almost 8 years, a federal judge sat on this appeal. I hope an execution date is set to force the filing before the 5th Circuit!

  5. #5
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    May 9 execution date set in 1995 killings

    A Baton Rouge judge set a May 9 execution date for Todd Wessinger, who was convicted in 1997 and condemned to die in the 1995 slaying of two Calendar’s Restaurant employees.

    State District Judge Richard Anderson set the execution date on Friday, nine days after U.S. District Judge James Brady denied Wessinger’s bid for a new trial or sentencing.

    Wessinger, a former dishwasher, was found guilty and sentenced to die by lethal injection for fatally shooting Stephanie Guzzardo, 27, and David Breakwell, 46, at the now-closed Perkins Road restaurant on Nov. 19, 1995.

    Wessinger’s appellate attorneys are expected to appeal Brady’s Feb. 22 ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

    The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office filed a motion Feb. 27 asking Anderson to set an execution date for the 44-year-old Wessinger.

    “I thought it was important to have the matter moved along,’’ District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Monday.

    Moore acknowledged that the federal appellate court likely will stay the execution date if Wessinger’s attorneys make such a request.

    Brady rejected a dozen claims raised by Wessinger, including an allegation that his trial attorneys provided ineffective assistance during jury selection and the guilt and penalty phases of his 1997 trial in Baton Rouge.

    Brady said the state’s evidence against Wessinger in the guilt phase was “overwhelming.’’

    http://theadvocate.com/news/2241423-...-date-set.html

  6. #6
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    That is the first execution date Louisiana has set in over two years, it must be said. As I said earlier in a different thread, the US state of Louisiana has not set any execution dates since it executed 'volunteer' Gerald Bordelon on 7 January 2010, precisely 26 months ago at this time of writing.

  7. #7
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    And your point is......?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam02118 View Post
    And your point is......?
    That Lousiana has gone too long without an execution and he really really wants this one to go forward ???
    Last edited by PATRICK5; 03-06-2012 at 01:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    I do not want this execution, or indeed any execution to go forward, as I am anti-capital punishment. I only mentioned it because Louisiana used to execute criminals (I am just stating a fact here) at a relatively rapid rate (before it abandoned the electric chair in 1991, it executed 20 people since it resumed them in 1983). Even Texas is not as trigger-happy as it once was in the 1990s and early 2000s, which in my opinion is good news.

  10. #10
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    It's not a relevant fact and Texas was never "trigger happy" as you put it. All violent crime is down in the US. It has been the trend for the past 20 years. You can thank the DP and the Three Strikes Laws for that.

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