Saturday, January 1, 2011

Leroy White: Zero

Leroy White is scheduled to be executed by the state of Alabama on 13 January 2010. I have reviewed his case for any possibility of actual innocence. I find none.

I repeat below the facts of the case as presented in White v. State 587 So.2d 1218 (1990). Brackets are in the original.
The victim in this case, Ruby White, was the estranged wife of the defendant, Leroy White. The parties had separated during the month of August or September, 1988, when Ruby White left the marital dwelling at 2217 Evans Drive, Huntsville, Alabama, and moved into a shelter for abused spouses. During previous difficulties between the defendant and his wife, the defendant had shot her in the leg.
Following their separation, Ruby White employed an attorney and filed a petition for divorce. A ... hearing was scheduled at which time the defendant and Ruby White verbally agreed that the defendant would move out of the dwelling at 2217 Evans Drive and would allow Ruby White and her two children to return to the dwelling. The residence at 2217 Evans Drive was owned solely by Ruby White prior to her marriage to the defendant.
After her return to 2217 Evans Drive, Ruby White changed the door locks and her sister, Stella Lanier, moved in with Ruby and her two children. The children were Brian Smith, age 16, son of Ruby White and a former husband [John Smith] and Latonia White, age 17 months, daughter of Ruby White and Leroy White.
On the afternoon of October 17, 1988, the defendant, Leroy White, purchased a shotgun from Blue Springs Pawn Shop. After purchasing the shotgun, he went to Larry's Pawn Shop and purchased some double-aught shotgun shells. After making these purchases, the defendant drove to the home of Ruby White at 2217 Evans Drive. The testimony indicated that the defendant had been drinking alcoholic beverages during the day. On his first arrival at the home on Evans Drive, the defendant pulled his car into the driveway and almost ran over his 17 month old daughter. Stella Lanier observed this and the defendant and Stella got into an argument about his driving. The defendant then placed his daughter in the car and drove off.
At approximately 5:15 p.m. the defendant returned to the Evans Drive residence of his wife and exited his vehicle armed with a [12 gauge] shotgun and a [.38 caliber] pistol. Ruby and Stella observed the defendant pull up and get out of his car with the shotgun and pistol. They went into the house and locked the doors. Brian Smith was sent to a rear bedroom by his mother and told to hide under the bed. Latonia White was still in the defendant's car.
The defendant then came up to the front door of 2217 Evans Drive and finding it locked, shot the glass out of the storm door and shot the lock off the wooden front door. He then kicked the door open, entered the house and began to scuffle with Ruby and her sister, Stella. As Stella tried to flee the house, the defendant ran out on the front porch and shot four times. Stella fell in the yard [having been wounded in her right arm and right leg].
The defendant then went back in the house and confronted Ruby who was begging and pleading for her life. After a brief confrontation, Ruby ran out into the front yard at which time the defendant told her to stop or he would blow her legs off. She stopped and the defendant confronted her with the shotgun. Ruby grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and continued to plead for her life. Her daughter Latonia was in the defendant's car and her son Brian was in the house.
Finally, the defendant shoved Ruby away from the gun and fired at her at point blank range with the double-aught buckshot. The blast tore the flesh from her right arm as she tried to shield herself and the pellets penetrated her chest and abdomen. Ruby fell to the ground moaning but she was not dead. Testimony revealed that the defendant then went back into the house and called for Brian to come out of his hiding place. When Brian came out, the defendant told him to tell his daddy that "... when I get out of this, I'm going to kill him, too."
The defendant then went back outside, walked up to where Ruby lay on the ground moaning and said, "Bitch, you ain't dead yet." He then went to his car, re-loaded the shotgun, picked up his 17 month old daughter and walked back over to where Ruby lay on the ground. As he placed the muzzle of the shotgun to her neck, he said, "Bitch, this is the last thing you will see." He then smiled and pulled the trigger.
The blast tore a hole in Ruby's neck where the gun shot entered and blew off the back side of her head where it exited.
At this time, the police arrived and the defendant surrendered without incident.
With respect to the death penalty in the case of Leroy White, I stand mute.

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