Monday, April 9, 2012

The Impending Execution of Mark Wiles

Mark Wayne Wiles sits on death row awaiting execution by the people of Ohio. The execution is scheduled for 18 April. I present a summary of his case from the adverse appellate decision of Wiles v. Bagley, 2009.
Mark Wiles murdered a fifteen-year-old boy with a kitchen knife during a botched burglary in 1985. After he waived his right to a jury trial, a panel of three Ohio judges convicted him of aggravated murder and aggravated burglary, then sentenced him to death. … 
In 1982, Wiles went to work as a part-time laborer for Charles and Carol Klima on their horse farm, where they lived with their son Mark. One day in early 1983, the family learned that $200 in cash was missing. That same day, Wiles had reported for work, but he could not be found after the Klimas learned of the missing cash, and he did not return to collect his paycheck or for that matter return to work any longer on the farm. In the spring of that year, Wiles began serving a 4 - 25 year sentence in an Ohio prison for an unrelated burglary he had committed the previous year. 
On August 7, 1985, after serving eighteen months of this sentence, Wiles returned to the Klima farm, entered the unlocked house while the family was gone and began to search the house for valuables. While he was still in the house, Mark Klima returned and confronted him. Wiles stabbed the boy 24 times with a kitchen knife, stole approximately $260 and fled. Carol Klima returned home to find her unconscious son lying on the floor with a knife buried in his back. Later that day, Mark Klima died in a hospital emergency room. 
Wiles initially fled from the authorities. Five days after the murder, however, he turned himself in to the police in Savannah, Georgia, telling them that he was wanted for murder in Ohio. After being informed of his rights, he told the police what he had done and signed a confession admitting that he had killed Klima. 
A state grand jury indicted Wiles for aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated burglary -- one for the 1985 home invasion, one for the 1983 $200 theft. He waived his right to a jury, and a three-judge panel heard his case. After the guilt phase of the proceedings, the court determined that there was insufficient evidence that he had committed the 1983 burglary but convicted him on the aggravated-murder and the other aggravated-burglary count. After a mitigation hearing, the court determined that neither Wiles' youth (he was 22-years old at the time of the murder) nor his confession outweighed the aggravating circumstances of his crime. The court imposed a death sentence, and the Ohio Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence.
No one claims, not even Mark Wiles himself, that he is factually innocent of the crime for which he is scheduled to die. I offer this excerpt from Ohioans to Stop Executions.
Ohio is planning to execute Mark Wiles on April 18, 2012. Mr. Wiles was convited of murdering 15-year old Mark Klima in 1985 in Portage County. Mark Wiles accepts full responsibility for his actions and expresses sincere and profound remorse. He has been attempting to apologize to the Klima family since 2005.
I oppose any execution in which the person to be executed may be factually innocent of the crime for which he is to be executed. In all other cases, I stand mute.

In the case of Mark Wayne Wiles, I stand mute.

The Impending Execution of Carey Grayson

Carey Dale Grayson sits on death row awaiting execution by the people of Alabama. The execution is scheduled for 12 April. I offer a summary of his case from the adverse appellate decision Grayson v. State, 1999.
On the night of [February 21, 1994,] Vickie Deblieux, age 37, was dropped off by a friend on 1-59 near Chattanooga, Tennessee, to hitchhike to her mother's home in Louisiana
Four teenagers, the defendant, Kenny Loggins, Trace Duncan, and Louis Mangione, all who had been drinking alcohol and using drugs, saw her hitchhiking on 1-59 at the Trussville exit in Jefferson County, Alabama. They offered to take her to Louisiana; instead they took her to a wooded area, on the pretense of picking up another vehicle. 
After arriving in this area, they all got out of the vehicle, and began to drink. The defendant, along with the others threw bottles at Ms. Deblieux, who began to run from them. They tackled her to the ground and began to kick her repeatedly all over her body. When they noticed that she was still alive, one of them stood on her throat, supported by the Defendant, until she gurgled blood and said “Okay, I'll party,” then died. 
They then put her body in the back of a pickup truck and took her and her luggage to Bald Rock Mountain, after removing her clothing and a ring, and they played with her body and then threw her off a cliff. 
They then went to a car wash in Pell City to wash the blood out of the truck. After rummaging through her luggage, they hid the luggage in the woods. 
On their return to Birmingham, they took Mangione home and then returned to Bald Rock Mountain, where they began to mutilate the body by stabbing and cutting her 180 times, removing part of a lung, and removing her fingers and thumbs. 
The next morning defendant's girlfriend found the three of them in Birmingham asleep in the truck all covered in mud and blood. The defendant told her they got blood on them from a dog. 
On [February 26, 1994,] three rock climbers found Ms. Deblieux's body and called the police. Her body was taken to the medical examiner's office. 
The medical examiner found the following injuries; almost every bone in her skull was fractured, every bone in her face was fractured at least once, lacerations on the face over these fractures, a missing tooth, left eye was collapsed, right eye was hemorrhaged, tongue discolored, 180 stab wounds (postmortem), two large incisions in her chest, her left lung had been removed and all her fingers and both thumbs were cut off. 
The medical examiner opined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that she was alive during the beating. 
All defendants were later arrested after Mangione began showing one of Ms. Deblieux's fingers to friends. 
Defendant's Case: 
Ralph Wiley, the defendant's uncle testified that he [Carey Grayson] was disabled because of a bipolar disorder, which is a prevalent disorder in the defendant's family. That Defendant's mother died when he was age three and his father has been married four or five times. He had not been around defendant in many years. 
Dora Roper, the defendant's second cousin testified that her mother had mental problems for which she had to be hospitalized. 
Jan Arnett, testified that she was defendant's junior high school teacher when he was ages 13-16. That he was hyperactive in class, not interested in school, and wouldn't do classwork or homework. ... She tried to get defendant's father to help the defendant. That defendant was not violent and knew right from wrong. ... 
Dr. Rebert, a forensic psychologist for the State of Alabama, Department of Mental Health, opined that the defendant at the time of the incident suffered from a mental disease or defect. She described this as a bipolar disorder and said he was in a manic state at the time of the incident; however, he did know the difference between right and wrong and was able to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of his acts. 
Dr. Goff, a private psychologist who opined that at the time of the incident the defendant suffered from a mental disease or defect, bipolar I disorder, which involves extreme mood swings. However, the defendant did know right from wrong but would not be able to respond to the rightness or wrongness of his acts. 
Jan Deblieux, the victim's mother testified that she was not involved in a lawsuit filed by her daughter's estranged husband. 
The record further indicates that, although the investigation originally involved suspects in Chattanooga because the victim was from that area, the investigation eventually led the police to the Jefferson County jail, where the appellant was incarcerated. He was interviewed by the police at the jail where he agreed to give a statement, indicating that "they were not hanging this case on him and [he wanted] to tell his side of the story." The appellant then gave the following statement which was admitted at trial:
"Kenny, T.R., Louis and myself were all drinking very heavily when T.R. and Louis suggested that we get into a fight. We left and went riding around and found a hitchhiker at 1-59 exit in Trussville, Alabama. We picked her up and took her to the pipeline. ... Medical Center East. We were all talking when she made a remark about killing us all when I threw a beer bottle at her, then Kenny hit her with his bottle, Louis hit her with his and T.R. with his. After that she began to run when Kenny got her in the back of the head with another bottle, causing her to fall. We all ran over and began to kick her and hit her. When she stopped moving, Kenny saw she was still alive and stood on her throat [until] she died. Then we took her to Pell City and left the body. We then went to the car wash and washed out the bed of Kenny's truck and we took Louis home. When we got back to my car, T.R. and Kenny asked me to show them the way to the body and I did. When we got there, T.R. and Kenny began to mutilate the body by cutting off the fingers and cutting open the stomach. T.R. had found a bottle and shoved it into the [vagina] while Kenny took out her eyes. After this we dumped the body and left for T.R.'s house. Kenny and I returned to my car and we went ... to Hardee's in Chalkville and all three of us fell asleep in the truck, where Kenny's girlfriend woke us up later that morning."
Upon further questioning, by the authorities, the appellant made other statements concerning the details of the offense. The appellant stated that while T.R. was standing on the victim's throat, he placed his hands on the appellant for balance. He further indicated that, when they dumped the victim's clothes over the cliff, T.R. took some of the clothing and Kenny took a ring from the victim. The appellant indicated that he took nothing from her. The appellant was then asked why he and his accomplices had killed the victim; the appellant responded that he did not know why they had killed her, "but it was not his problem." The officer who took the appellant's statement noted that he was very cooperative and that his attitude was "almost one of humor. He had a smile during the entire time we were speaking with him.
I find nobody, not even Carey Grayson, claiming he is factually guilty innocent of the crime. I oppose the execution of someone who might be factually innocent of the crime for which they are to die. With respect to all other executions, I stand mute.

With respect to the execution of Carey Grayson, I stand mute.