Missouri to Execute Man Whose Death Sentence Has Been Overturned Three Times

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Missouri is due to execute a man in May whose death sentence has been overturned three times, after the state Supreme Court upheld the sentence on Monday.

Carman Deck was first sentenced to death in 1998 for the murders of an elderly couple, James and Zelma Long, during a home robbery in De Soto, Missouri. Deck entered their home alongside his sister and shot the couple in execution style, after posing as someone asking for directions.

A photo of Carman Deck, a Missouri man who is due to be executed in May 2022 after having already had his death sentence overturned three times.

(United States Supreme Court)

The Missouri Supreme Court handed down his first death sentence, arguing that his attorney made mistakes. The United States Supreme Court overturned his second death sentence, handed down in 2005, arguing that the proceedings were unfairly tainted by Deck being chained during the trial.

He was sentenced for a third time in 2008, but the appeals process continued for another decade, and a federal judge in 2017 found the sentence was “fundamentally unfair before it even began”, arguing that key witnesses were either missing or dead. point.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry added that Deck’s attorneys were “ineffectivenot to rain down a long-awaited constitutional challenge in the prosecution of the case.

However, in October 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit reinstated Deck’s execution, finding that he should have appealed in state rather than federal court.

Deck’s attorney, Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, said the man has a developmental disability and they plan to appeal the execution order. Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, an advocacy group, says it is at work on a leniency application.

Linda Davis, a daughter-in-law of the Long family, says she is happy the execution is continuing.

“We were all very happy with the decision,” she said. say it Counter Chief Jefferson last year, when the execution was reinstated. “It has been a long time coming and we hope it will progress through the justice system. It’s a long time coming.

Michael Zoosman, an interfaith chaplain and opponent of the death penalty, said on Twitter on Tuesday that the execution was an “abomination”.

“It’s an ABOMINATION!” Missouri can do BETTER! he wrote.

The independent and the non-profit association Responsible Business for Justice Initiative (RBIJ) launched a joint campaign calling for an end to the death penalty in the United States. The RBIJ has attracted over 150 well-known signatories to its Statement of Business Leaders Against the Death Penalty – with The Independent as the latest on the list. We join high-profile leaders like Ariana Huffington, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson in this initiative and pledge to highlight the injustices of the death penalty in our coverage. .

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