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  1. #1
    Michael's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Michael Angelo Morales - California Death Row

    Terri Lynn Winchell


    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted of the January 8, 1981 rape and murder of Terri Winchell, a 17-year-old Lodi high school student. He was sentenced to death on June 14, 1983.

    His execution has been on hold pending a legal challenge to California's lethal injection protocol.

  2. #2
    September 1, 2010

    Morales' execution derailed----Ruling further clouds status of state capital punishment

    For a few days anyway, San Joaquin County prosecutors had marked Oct. 19 on their calendars as the date they would finally witness the execution of Stockton murderer Michael Angelo Morales.

    But on Tuesday, Marin County Superior Court Judge Verna Adams derailed their plans - yet again - saying the execution of Morales, 50, and any of California's death-row inmates must wait "unless and until" she rules.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in response ordered state Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal Adams' ruling, which could be filed by the week's end.

    These developments further fracture the status of capital punishment in California, which was brought to a halt by Morales' attorneys in early 2006.

    Including Morales, six California men have exhausted their appeals and await execution. On Monday, Riverside County prosecutors obtained a warrant to execute Albert Brown on Sept. 29 for murdering a 15-year-old girl who was walking to school 30 years ago.

    Morales' lawyers first won a delay, arguing California's lethal-injection procedure might cause unconstitutional levels of pain. In 1981, Morales raped and murdered 17-year-old Tokay High School senior Terri Lynn Winchell.

    Morales' attorneys also won on a 2nd front, accusing the state of changing its lethal-injection procedure without putting it through a public comment period as required by the state's Administrative Procedures Act.

    It was the 2nd argument that led to Tuesday's ruling in a Marin courtroom.

    Attorneys for Morales and Mitchell Sims, who was sentenced to death from Los Angeles, convinced Judge Adams that state prison officials were in contempt for trying to resume executions before showing they had complied with the APA.

    A different Marin judge in 2007 ordered a statewide injunction on lethal injections.

    Attorney Sara Eisenberg, who represents Sims, said that so far state officials pushing to resume executions have not demonstrated that they have brought the new lethal injection procedure into compliance.

    Yet Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said her office has complied with the public hearing requirement. The state officially adopted the revised lethal injection protocol Sunday. That prompted prosecutors to begin seeking death warrants.

    Until correctional officials hear otherwise, Thornton said her office is moving ahead with plans to carry out Brown's execution at the end of this month.

    "Right now, the CDCR is exploring all of its options," she said.

    Other inmates awaiting to be scheduled for execution are Kevin Cooper, David Raley and Stevie Lamar Fields. A hearing to seek Fields' execution was put off until he can get an attorney.

    (source: Stockton Record)

  3. #3
    September 25, 2010

    Family of Murdered Teen Reacts to Execution Decision

    It's been 30 years since Michael Morales murdered 17-year-old Terri Winchell.

    "She was the light of our life and when Morales took her from us, the light went out in our life," Winchell's mother, Barbara Christian said, from her Wilton home Friday night. "We've had 30 years of misery and it's just dragging on too long. We want to shut the door on Morales. Just send him to his maker and have him answer to him."

    And with the judge's ruling to resume lethal injection executions, it gives the Terri's family hope that Morales will finally be put to death.

    So what would that mean to the family?

    "We could just breathe a sigh of relief and put this all behind us and realize Terri had been vindicated and justice had been served finally," Christian said.

    "Let's see if they really have enough guts to go ahead and do this and politics doesn't get in the way to stop this for Brown. But Morales should be next one up," Terri's brother, David Winchell said. Albert Greenwood Brown of Riverside County is scheduled to die on Wednesday.

    After all, the family has been disappointed in the past, when Morales' scheduled execution was stopped hours before he was set to die.

    "Let's see how quick they get Morales up there and I'll jump for joy. I could care less whether he lives or dies," David Winchell said.

    They know his death won't bring Terri back, but it will help to heal the wounds inflicted so many years ago.

    "Terri's with me, she's by my side all the time. But I reach out to her and she's not there and my heart aches everyday for her," her mother said. "Morales will meet his maker sooner or later and pay for this. But we'd like to see it before we move over to the other world."

    (source: KTXL News)

  4. #4
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Lawsuit seeks drug change to speed execution of death-row inmate

    The killer of a woman brutally murdered more than 30 years ago still sits on death row. The victim's brother is suing to resume executions in California. The lawsuit seeks to end the legal logjam that has put a hold on executions at San Quentin State Prison for six years. The delays involve questions over the use of lethal injections.

    More than 700 inmates sit on California's death row. Not one has been executed in six years. Former governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian are on a team of lawyers seeking to help the families of murdered victims.

    "I get sick to my stomach," said Bradley Winchell, the victim's brother. "I am asking this court to set it right."

    Bradley Winchell says he's been waiting more than three decades for closure. His sister Terri was brutally murdered and raped in 1981 in a Lodi vineyard.

    Her convicted killer, Michael Morales, sits on San Quentin's death row and is one of 14 inmates who have exhausted all their appeals.

    But just as Morales was about to be executed in 2006, a judge granted a reprieve, allowing Morales's lawsuit to move forward after he claimed the three-drug lethal injection method was cruel and unusual punishment.

    Winchell just filed a lawsuit of his own, saying he's waited long enough. He wants the state to resume executions by moving to a one-drug process currently used in other states.

    "I consider 31 years excessive delay, injury to not only myself but my family," said Winchell.

    California's death penalty has been criticized for many years. Delays often result in decades passing before an execution is carried out.

    "It's a sad state of affairs when those officials with the duty to execute the law care so little about the rights of victims of crime," said Kent Scheidegger, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

    Opponents of California's death penalty have been trying to get rid of it for years, citing a report that found it costs taxpayers $184 million per year to operate. They say if Winchell and his attorneys want to change the three-drug protocol, they can formally ask the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    "They need to put that into procedure, they need to submit it for public comment, they need to have a hearing and do exactly what they did when they set up the three-drug," said Christine Thomas, Campaign to End the Death Penalty.

    The Corrections Dept. can't comment because it hasn't been served with the lawsuit, but Winchell's attorneys say they've been unsuccessful in trying to get the agency use the one-drug method.

    Winchell thinks the courts are the only way to let his sister rest in peace.

    "This will add a little bit of closure if we do get the executions back on track," said Winchell.

    Five states in as many years abolished the death penalty. Next week, opponents of the death penalty are expected to announce that they've qualified an initiative to do the same and let California voters decide.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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