Thursday, March 15, 2012

While Stemple Died

I went for a walk this afternoon. Writing is too sedentary and I need to walk. While the people of Oklahoma put Timothy Shaun Stemple to death, I was walking.

The sky was more noticeably blue today. The eucalyptus trees were seemingly taller and more stately than usual. The diffracted red from the hummingbird's breast made the tiny creature barely visible high in a still leafless tree.

As we humanely injected poison into Stemple's vein, I listened to Glenn Frey sing "I've Got Mine."

I more fully appreciated being alive. I suspect I won't miss it when my time comes, but it sure feels now as if I will.

I offer my condolences to everyone who has lost so much in this case. I realize that condolences can provide only minuscule comfort at best. As I was walking though, I decided I could perhaps do something more than offer condolences. I could keep trying to make a case that we have a problem with wrongful convictions.

Maybe someday that will help someone in need.

The Stayed Execution of Garry Thomas Allen

Gary Allen sits on death row awaiting execution by the people of Oklahoma. Though scheduled to die tomorrow (16 March), his execution has been stayed to determine if he is insane.

I offer the following summary of his case which I extracted from the adverse appellate decision Allen v. State (1996).
Garry T. Allen pled guilty to First Degree Murder and was sentenced to death in Oklahoma County District Court Case CRF-86-6295 ... 
Allen shot and killed his girl friend, Gail Titsworth, three days after she moved out with their sons, six-year-old Anthony and two year old Adrian. Angry confrontations punctuated those three days, as Allen tried repeatedly to persuade Titsworth to come back to him. Their last argument occurred on November 21, 1986 when Titsworth came to pick up their sons at Beulah's Day Care Center on N.W. 8th Street in Oklahoma City. 
Allen confronted Titsworth inside the center, and the two moved to an empty room to argue. Allen left just ahead of Titsworth and the boys. When Titsworth opened the door of her truck, Allen came up behind her and shut it. She opened it again; again he shut it. This argument ended when Allen reached into his sock, pulled out a .38 caliber snubnosed revolver, and shot Titsworth once in the chest. She fell, and he looked under her blouse before walking away. 
A day care employee ran to Titsworth to help her into the day care center. Just as she and Titsworth reached the front door, Allen pushed the woman inside and pushed Titsworth down on the outside steps. Allen shot her three times in the back at close range and walked away. He was captured in an alley less than a block away by the police officer who responded to the 911 call.
Because there is no doubt regarding Allen's factual guilt, I stand mute regarding the propriety of his execution.