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Thread: Edward Leon Fields, Jr. - Federal Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Edward Leon Fields, Jr. - Federal Death Row

    Leon Fields.jpg


    Summary of Offense:

    On July 22, 2005, a jury in the Eastern District of Oklahoma recommended a death sentence for Fields, who is a former prison guard. Fields pleaded guilty to the murder on July 10, 2003 of two campers, Charles and Shirley Chick, in the Ouachita National Forest while wearing his homemade sniper suit. There was some evidence that Fields was mentally ill. A federal judge sentenced him to death on November 8, 2005.

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    July 20, 2005

    Voices drove campground stalker to double killing, psychologist testifies

    The man who confessed to the sniper shootings of two campers in 2003 is bipolar and hears voices, a psychologist said Tuesday in federal court.

    Testimony continued in the sentencing trial of Edward Leon Fields Jr. He pleaded guilty last month to the first-degree murder of Charles and Shirley Chick.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Jurors also have the option of life in prison without possibility of release. Testimony will continue today.

    A family doctor diagnosed Fields with depression three months before the slayings, said Dr. Bradley Grinage, a forensic psychiatrist hired by defense lawyers.

    Fields wore a camouflage suit when he crawled on his belly to an Ouachita National Forest campsite and shot the Hurst, Texas, couple.

    Fields told doctors he heard a man's voice say "just shoot them" over and over, until the killings were complete, Grinage testified.

    SourceOn April 6, 2009, the United States Supreme Court denied Fields' direct appeal.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/08-6504.htm

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On April 6, 2010, Fields filed a petition for post-conviction relief in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/okl...cv00115/19315/

  4. #4
    On December 15, 2016, Fields' habeas petition was DENIED in Federal District Court.

    https://docs.justia.com/cases/federa...0115/19315/125
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    Last edited by GregFromSanJose; 01-16-2017 at 11:12 PM.

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On November 20, 2019, oral argument will be heard in Fields' appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

    https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/sites/...r_2019_Cal.pdf

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Fields' panel will be made up of Judges Briscoe (Clinton), McHugh (Obama) and Carson (Trump).

    https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/sites/...2019_Final.pdf

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    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Oklahoma killer urges US court to overturn death penalty

    A man sentenced to death for killing a Texas couple as they camped in Oklahoma nearly 20 years ago is asking a federal appeals court for a chance to prove he should be spared the death penalty, pointing to brain damage, a troubled childhood and biblical references by prosecutors.

    Edward Leon Fields' public defender argued Wednesday at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that a former lawyer was ineffective at the sentencing hearing.

    The former attorney failed to call an expert witness who could have testified about how brain damage impaired Fields' judgment, reasoning and decision making when he shot and killed Charles and Shirley Chick of Hurst, Texas, in the Ouachita National Forest in 2003, public defender Hunter Labovitz said.

    The lawyer also failed to introduce background on Fields' troubled childhood and object to a prosecutor's reference to a Bible story during closing arguments, Labovitz said.

    Fields' previous public defender, Julia O'Connell, did not have much experience with death penalty cases at the time and said in a written declaration that she was overwhelmed by the case.

    Fields' lawyers claim that jurors should have been told about his brain damage and background to help them decide whether he deserved the death penalty, noting that at least one may have voted instead for a life sentence.

    They want an appeals court to order a federal court in Oklahoma to hold a new sentencing hearing or at least consider evidence about whether Fields, a former prison guard, was represented fairly.

    The judges noted the former attorney portrayed the killings as a result of a medicine-induced "manic flip." They pushed Labovitz on whether the previous lawyer may have chosen not to present evidence about Fields' frontal lobe dysfunction or his childhood because that may have undercut that argument.

    Labovitz said the brain damage does not negate the manic flip explanation. Judge Joel M. Carson said a lawyer might decide for strategic reasons to focus on part of the evidence.

    Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Kahan told the three-judge panel that government experts did not find that Fields had brain damage. He said the damage found by the defense was mild, affecting his impulsivity and attention span. But despite that, Fields was able to stalk the Chicks for several days as he prepared to kill them, planning for days if not months, Kahan said.

    Fields' lawyers also are objecting to a reference to a Bible story that prosecutors mentioned in closing arguments at the sentencing hearing. In the Book of Daniel, King Belshazzar is found wanting and condemned to death. The prosecutor had argued that Fields also should be "weighed in the balance" and "found wanting."

    They say courts have found that biblical references during sentencing are inappropriate because they can give the impression that the death penalty is mandatory and make jurors feel like they do not have to decide the issue themselves.

    However, unlike in other cases, the prosecutor did not specifically mention the Bible or God or any biblical figure by name.

    (source: Associated Press)
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  8. #8
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    In today's opinions, the Tenth Circuit REMANDED Fields' case to Federal District Court for further hearings on his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim.

    https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/17/17-7031.pdf

  9. #9
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Bobsicles's Avatar
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    Final appeal distributed for conference September 29, 2020.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/19-8614.html
    Last edited by Bobsicles; 08-28-2020 at 08:34 PM.
    I believe in the death penalty

    ~James Dobson

  10. #10
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    This isn't his final appeal. He's appealing the claims that weren't remanded by the Tenth.
    Trying to get married before I turn 27.

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