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Allen Eugene Gregory - Washington
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  1. #1
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    Allen Eugene Gregory - Washington


    Geneine Harshfield


    Allen Eugene Gregory


    Facts of the Crime:

    Convicted on March 22, 2001 in Pierce County of one count of aggravated first-degree murder for the stabbing death of his neighbor, Geneine Harshfield, 43, at her Tacoma home in 1996.

  2. #2
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    Case Update:

    Gregory was sentenced to death in May 2001. However, in November 2006, the Washington Supreme Court overturned Gregory’s rape convictions and threw out his death sentence. The case was then remanded to the Pierce County Superior Court for resentencing. Since he is not currently under a sentence of death, he is not on death row or in our capital lit report. Here is a link to the Washington’s Supreme Court’s opinion which discusses the case further:

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/wa-suprem...t/1112456.html

    The penalty phase hearing is scheduled for March 2011. There is a status conference scheduled for November 15, 2010 which could change that date again, however at this time it appears we will not know what sentence Gregory will receive until March 2011.

    (Source: Washington Attorney General's Office)

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    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    Cannot find an update anywhere. Surely just under 6 years is enough for a new sentencing hearing to have taken place.

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    Pierce jury deliberates whether to reinstate man’s death sentence

    A Pierce County jury is deliberating whether a man who had his death penalty overturned on appeal should again be sentenced to die for raping and killing a Tacoma woman.

    A jury in 2001 convicted Allen Eugene Gregory of aggravated first-degree murder in the 1996 death of Geneine Harshfield. Prosecutors alleged Gregory, now 39, attacked Harshfield, 43, in her kitchen, tied her hands behind her back, raped her and then slashed her throat and stabbed her.

    He wasn’t charged in Harshfield’s death until his DNA was drawn after being arrested for allegedly raping another woman two years later. The DNA from that case matched evidence found at the scene of Harshfield’s murder.

    The same jury that convicted him of killing Harshfield also recommended he be put to death, and Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner followed that recommendation.

    In 2006, the Washington state Supreme Court ratified Gregory’s murder conviction but overturned his death sentence, citing judicial and prosecutorial error.

    Prosecutors decided to try again for the death penalty, and his trial solely on that provision began two months ago. Lawyers in the case delivered their closing arguments Monday.

    If the jury decides Gregory should not be put to death, he’ll serve the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012...#storylink=cpy
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    Death Penalty for Allen Gregory

    Today a Pierce County jury rendered a unanimous decision to sentence Allen Gregory, 39, to death for the rape and murder of Geneine “Genie” Harshfield in 1996. Gregory was previously convicted of Aggravated Murder in the First Degree and was given the death penalty in 2001. Six years later, after a lengthy appeals process, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the defendant’s conviction but reversed his death sentence, citing judicial and prosecutorial error. The first jury that sentenced Gregory to death in 2001 heard evidence of a prior rape conviction. That rape conviction was subsequently reversed, and was not considered by the second jury.

    On July 27, 1996, 43-year-old Genie Harshfield failed to appear for her shift as a bartender at a Tacoma restaurant. A concerned coworker went to Harshfield’s home and found her body in the bedroom. Harshfield was lying face down on her bed, naked with her hands bound behind her back. She had been stabbed three times in the back and her throat was slit. The medical examiner found evidence of sexual assault and determined Harshfield’s cause of death was multiple sharp force injuries and blunt force trauma to the head.

    Gregory lived across from the victim at the time of the murder. He gave detectives inconsistent information about his whereabouts during the time of the murder. DNA analysis of semen found at the scene indicated a likelihood of fewer than one in 180 billion that Gregory was not the source.

    Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Neeb prosecuted the defendant in a two-month long trial. Gregory will be sentenced on June 13, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2E in the County City Building.
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  6. #6
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    Man officially sentenced to death in 1996 slaying of Tacoma woman

    Allen Eugene Gregory was officially sentenced to death – again – today for the slaying of a Tacoma woman 16 years ago.

    Pierce County Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner had no other option for the 39-year-old Gregory during his sentencing hearing this morning.

    Last month, a jury found that Gregory should die for what he did to Geneine Harshfield in the kitchen of her home in 1996.

    Tacoma police said the 43-year-old was tied up, raped and slashed and stabbed to death with a knife. Investigators later matched Gregory’s DNA to the crime scene.

    The eight women and four men were the second jury to decide that Gregory should face the death penalty.

    He was originally convicted of killing Harshfield and sentenced to death in 2001. Five years later, the death sentence was overturned by state Supreme Court. The justices modified Gregory’s murder conviction but tossed out the sentence, citing judicial and prosecutorial error.

    Prosecutors decided to try again for the death penalty. The penalty trial stretched across three months. The jurors deliberated over two days before reaching their decision.

    “I am very grateful to a jury that worked very hard on this case and reached the right result,” deputy prosecutor John Neeb said. “And I know how much it meant to Geneine Harshfield’s mother and the rest of her family.”

    Gregory’s death sentence will automatically be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

    His defense attorneys have raised concerns about information the jurors might have considered while deliberating Gregory’s fate.

    The attorneys talked to the jurors after they reached their verdict. One juror said Gregory had received the death penalty before and it had been reversed, the defense attorneys wrote in court papers.

    The jurors had not been told prior to the verdict about Gregory’s previous death sentence and the circumstances for its reversal.

    Buckner scheduled a hearing for July 30 to hear testimony from the jurors about what they considered during their deliberations

    http://blog.thenewstribune.com/crime...#storylink=cpy

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    'He's absolutely wrong': Fury of murder victim's mother as governor suspends ALL death penalties in Washington state

    The mother of a woman who was raped and murdered in 1996 has told of her fury after her daughter's killer had his death sentence suspended by Washington's democratic governor Jay Inslee.

    Leola Peden, 77, whose daughter Genie Harshfield was murdered in Tacoma, says she is outraged by the decision to spare the life of convicted murderer Allen Eugene Gregory.


    And she said Inslee had not bothered to speak to her before announcing he was suspending the sentences of all nine of the state's death row inmates.




    She said: 'He’s absolutely wrong, 'I don’t feel that my family and my grandchildren and my great grandchildren should clothe and feed Gregory and take care of all his health needs and dental care for the rest of his life.

    'Where is the justice in that?'

    Announcing the decision yesterday, Inslee insisted the suspensions would stand for as long as he’s in office and said he hoped the move would enable officials to 'join a growing national conversation about capital punishment.'

    The first-term Democrat said he came to the decision after months of review, meetings with victims’ families, prosecutors and law enforcement.

    He said: 'There have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, there are too many flaws in this system today.


    'There is too much at stake to accept an imperfect system.'


    Last month the state Supreme Court rejected a petition for the release of Jonathan Lee Gentry, who was sentenced to death for the murder of a 12-year-old girl in 1988.


    Gentry could have been the first execution in the state since September 201, when Cal Coburn Brown died by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of a Seattle-area woman.

    A federal stay had recently been lifted in Gentry's case, and a remaining state stay on his execution was expected to be lifted this month.

    Inslee’s action is the latest of several state moves on the death penalty in recent years.


    In Maryland, lawmakers last year did away with the death penalty, becoming the 18th state to do so and the sixth in six years.


    Colorado’s governor last year decided to indefinitely stay an execution, saying he had concerns about the fairness of the system and would be unlikely to allow the delayed case to move forward while he was in office.

    And Oregon’s governor in 2011 issued a moratorium similar to what is now in effect in Washington state.

    Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said the moves away from the death penalty show that support for capital punishment is waning.

    'The death penalty is being used less,' he said.

    Washington state hasn’t executed an inmate in more than three years. There have been seven inmates executed this year in the U.S., according to the Washington D.C.-based criminal justice nonprofit.


    Suspended: Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee has suspended executions for as long as he is governor, he announced Tuesday

    In Olympia, legislative efforts to get rid of the death penalty have received public hearings in recent years, but they’ve never gained political traction.

    Inslee said he would support a permanent ban from lawmakers.

    Inslee, who was elected in 2012, said executions are 'unequally applied' in the state, 'sometimes dependent on the size of the county’s budget.'

    He also said death penalty cases can take years to wind through the legal system and represent a drag on state and local budgets.

    He said the system 'does not deter crime, costs citizens millions of dollars more than life in prison without parole,' is 'uncertain in its application' and 'exposes families to multiple decades of uncertainty.'

    Inslee’s moratorium means that if a death penalty case comes to his desk, he will issue a reprieve. Reprieves aren’t pardons and don’t commute the sentences of those condemned to death.

    Under Inslee’s system, death row inmates will remain in prison rather than face execution.

    'During my term, we will not be executing people,' said Inslee. But 'nobody is getting out of prison, period.'


    Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat who has introduced bills to get rid of the death penalty, said Inslee’s action provides a 'profound shift' in momentum for future attempts.


    'He has opened a legitimate conversation that gives the Legislature the ability to not only bring legislation forward in the coming years, but to step up and engage the public in that conversation,' he said.

    There have been 78 inmates, all men, put to death in Washington state since 1904. Since a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared the way for the resumption of executions by states, 1,366 people have been put to death in the U.S., according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

    Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said he thought Inslee’s move was 'out of touch.'


    He noted that lawmakers have previously rejected opportunities to pass such measures, 'because the public and Legislature support keeping that tool.'


    'A moratorium alone will not resolve the issues raised by the governor,' Satterberg said in a written statement. He said there should be an informed public debate before the state makes changes.


    Kitsap County Prosecutor Russell Hauge called the death penalty 'an extremely ineffective tool.' But he noted that the moratorium didn’t change state law, which obligates county prosecutors to seek the death penalty when circumstances warrant. 'The problem is,' he said, 'the law’s still on the books.'


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-families.html
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    Dozens of judges ask Washington high court to ban execution

    Washington state's relationship with the death penalty over the past few decades has been so tenuous that even mass killers, serial killers and a cop killer have escaped it.

    Only five people have been executed in the past 35 years. Gov. Jay Inslee, a one-time supporter of capital punishment, has said no executions will take place while he's in office. And the state prosecutors association has called for a referendum on whether to bother keeping it on the books.

    Now, the state's high court, which came within one vote of striking down the death penalty a decade ago, is re-examining it. Dozens of former Washington judges have taken the unusual step of urging the court to find it unconstitutional this time — including former Justice Faith Ireland, who sided with the narrow majority in upholding capital punishment back in 2006.

    Arguments are scheduled for Thursday in the case of Allen Eugene Gregory, who was convicted of raping, robbing and killing Geneine Harshfield, a 43-year-old cocktail waitress who lived near his grandmother, in 1996.

    His lawyers are challenging his conviction and sentence, including procedural issues and statements made by a prosecutor during the trial. But they also insist that the death penalty is arbitrarily applied and that it is not applied proportionally, as the state Constitution requires. Certain counties — especially Pierce, where Gregory was convicted — have been aggressive about seeking execution, while others have said a death-penalty case would quickly bankrupt them, making the location of the crime a key factor in whether someone might be sentenced to death.

    "Mr. Gregory is by no stretch of the imagination one of the worst offenders," attorneys Neil Fox and Lila Silverstein wrote. "Indeed, Washington's worst are serving life sentences. Meanwhile, Allen Gregory is on death row for killing a single victim when he was only 24 years old and he has committed no other violent felonies."

    The Washington Supreme Court has heard — and rejected — such arguments before. In 2006, the court issued a 5-4 decision upholding the death penalty for Dayva Cross, who argued that since the state's worst serial killer, Gary Ridgway, avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to 48 aggravated murder counts and agreeing to help investigators locate the remains of his victims, it would be unfair to execute him. Cross, who killed his wife and her two daughters, is one of nine people on Washington's death row.

    The majority in that case ruled that outliers such as Ridgway don't render the law unconstitutional. But the court's make-up now might be more hostile to capital punishment. Five of the justices remain from 2006, three of whom were in the minority: Charles Johnson, Barbara Madsen and Susan Owens.

    One of the newer justices, Charles Wiggins, has expressed concerns over indications blacks are more likely to be sentenced to death in Washington than whites from a statistical viewpoint, while another, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, represented defendants who had been sentenced to death — and criticized the way the death penalty is applied — during her previous career as an appellate lawyer.

    In its brief, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office urged the court to uphold the punishment, which is allowed by the federal government and 32 states. It argued the court has repeatedly upheld capital punishment, that those rulings should stand, and that Gregory shouldn't be allowed to make his constitutional arguments because he did not properly preserve those issues for appeal.

    "Since death penalty abolitionists are unable to convince large numbers of Washingtonians to abolish the death penalty, defendant turns to this court in hopes that he can convince five of the court's members that abolishing the death penalty is reflective of current public opinion," deputy prosecutor Kathleen Proctor wrote. "Essentially, defendant asks this court to become a legislative entity and to override the desire of the people of this state to have the death penalty as an available sanction for certain homicides."

    Among the 56 ex-judges who signed a brief filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington urging an end to capital punishment was former King County Superior Court Judge Robert Alsdorf. Also signing the brief were a support group for murder victims' families, several religious organizations and the League of Women Voters of Washington.

    "I don't see how it can be reasonably disputed that it's arbitrary," Alsdorf said.

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/s...#storylink=cpy
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  9. #9
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    Washington Supreme Court Could Decide Constitutionality Of Death Penalty

    By AUSTIN JENKINS
    Spokane Public Radio

    A bipartisan effort to repeal the death penalty fell short in the Washington Legislature this year. But a separate effort to overturn the state's capital punishment statute through the courts is ongoing.

    The constitutional challenge to the death penalty in Washington involves the case of Allen Eugene Gregory, 45, who was sentenced to die for the 1996 rape and murder of Geneine Harshfield in Tacoma.

    Gregory is one of three African-American men currently on Washington's death row. Citing a 2014 report by researchers at the University of Washington, Gregory's attorneys argue that black defendants in Washington are "more than four times as likely to be sentenced to death as other defendants."

    The researchers analyzed trial reports from more than 300 aggravated murder cases in Washington since 1981. They concluded that while race did not appear to influence whether prosecutors sought the death penalty, it was a factor in whether juries imposed a death sentence—even after taking into account factors like the number of victims and the defendant's prior criminal history.

    Based on this, Gregory's lawyers are asking the Washington Supreme Court to overturn his sentence and find the state's death penalty scheme unconstitutional.

    "We don't know what Allen Gregory's jury was thinking," said Lila Silverstein of the Washington Appellate Project, one of Gregory's attorneys, in an interview. "But what we do know based on this study is that had Allen Gregory not been black, his chances of being sentenced to death would have been notably lower.”

    The Pierce County Prosecutor's office, which hired its own researcher, counters that the racial disparity study is fatally flawed and should not be considered by the Supreme Court when it makes its decision on Gregory's appeal. Specifically, prosecutors challenge the UW researchers' reliance on trial reports in aggravated murder cases to conclude that racial disparities exist in how the death penalty is applied.

    "The trial reports were not designed as a source for statistical analysis," the prosecution wrote in a January filing with the Supreme Court. "[A] study that limits its information to material contained within the trial reports is unlikely to produce reliable results."

    The validity of the study by the UW researchers has been vigorously debated for nearly two years during what lawyers call "unprecedented" proceedings before a commissioner for the Supreme Court. Last November, that commissioner issued a 97-page report. While the report didn't offer a conclusion, it did lay out in technical detail the differences of opinion between the UW researchers and the researcher hired by Pierce County.

    That report is now in the hands of the justices. But it could be several months before they return a decision in this case.

    In recent years, supreme courts in Connecticut and Delaware have ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, capital punishment has been abolished or overturned in 19 states.

    The last person executed in Washington was Cal Coburn Brown in 2010 for the murder of Holly Washa. In 2014, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee imposed a moratorium on executions. The Democrat later issued a reprieve to Clark Richard Elmore who was scheduled to be executed for the 1995 rape and murder of 14-year-old Christy Onstad, his live-in girlfriend's daughter.

    Washington is one of four states, including Oregon, with a moratorium on executions.

    Oregon Gov. Kate Brown kept a moratorium put in place by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2011. Currently there are 32 inmates on death row in Oregon and the last execution was in 1997, according to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

    Earlier this year, the Washington Senate voted to repeal the death penalty. The bipartisan vote represented the most significant step towards repeal since capital punishment was reinstated in Washington 37 years ago. However, the bill died in the Washington House.

    Gregory is one of eight people on death row in Washington. His appeal to the Washington Supreme Court has the support of 56 former and retired Washington state judges, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

    Gregory was first convicted and sentenced to death in 2001, but that sentence was overturned on appeal in 2006 because of errors by prosecutors and the court at trial. In 2012, a second jury re-imposed the death penalty on Gregory.

    http://spokanepublicradio.org/post/w...-death-penalty
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    Washington Supreme Court tosses out state’s death penalty

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the death penalty, as applied, violates its Constitution.

    The ruling Thursday makes Washington the latest state to do away with capital punishment. The court was unanimous in its order that the eight people currently on death row have their sentences converted to life in prison. Five justices said the “death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

    “Given the manner in which it is imposed, the death penalty also fails to serve any legitimate penological goals,” the justices wrote.

    Four other justices, in a concurrence, wrote that while they agreed with the majority’s conclusions and invalidation of the death penalty, “additional state constitutional principles compel this result.”

    Gov. Jay Inslee, a one-time supporter of capital punishment, had imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2014, saying that no executions would take place while he’s in office.

    In a written statement, Inslee called the ruling “a hugely important moment in our pursuit for equal and fair application of justice.”

    “The court makes it perfectly clear that capital punishment in our state has been imposed in an ‘arbitrary and racially biased manner,’ is ‘unequally applied’ and serves no criminal justice goal,” Inslee wrote.

    The ruling was in the case of Allen Eugene Gregory, who was convicted of raping, robbing and killing Geneine Harshfield, a 43-year-old woman, in 1996.

    His lawyers said the death penalty is arbitrarily applied and that it is not applied proportionally, as the state Constitution requires.

    In its ruling Thursday, the high court did not reconsider any of Gregory’s arguments pertaining to guilty, noting that his conviction for aggravated first degree murder “has already been appealed and affirmed by this court.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...death-penalty/
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