Aug. 12 TEXAS: please see (and sign): https://www.change.org/p/dallas-da-susan-hawk-dallas-da-susan-hawk-reopen-the-darlie-routier-case?recruiter=759443utm_source=share_petitionutm_medium=emailutm_campaign=share_email_responsive Dallas DA Susan Hawk Dallas DA, Susan Hawk , reopen the Darlie Routier case. Dear Madam District Attorney, we the signees , kindly request that you open the Darlie Routier case. She has been on DR since 1997 for something she did not do. She did not kill her sons; Damon and Devon and there is plenty evidence to back that up. Some of it is dealt with , but still there is a lot to be done. At the time of the investigation chaos ruled. Items in the home were touched and moved improperly so that many of the pictures did give the wrong ideas, evidence was mishandled. If you look at the time frame in which it is suggested the crime was staged, and compare with the 911 call, you will see it does not add up. There was no time for staging. Pictures of Darlie proves she could not have done it herself. There are many things and DNA tests that still need to be done. Madam, please look into the case. It has been too long and it is high time the whole truth came out. It is time for the real killer to face justice. Darlie and her family deserve that much, so does the entire state of Texas. Thank you for your attention! (source: EW/RH) *** Man accused of killing son, 7 others: 'I'm only human' In a jailhouse interview, the man being held without bond for allegedly murdering a family of eight inside their north Harris County, Texas, home, repeatedly said, I'm only human. Advised not to talk about the night his ex-girlfriend, her husband and 6 children - including his own son - were tied up and killed, David Conley did admit to being in the home. Conley, 48, is charged with capital murder in the case. 13 years ago, Conley could have been in prison for life after being charged with felony retaliation against Valerie Jackson - his on-again, off-again girlfriend who he is now accused of killing. Because of 2 previous felony convictions, Conley could have received 25 years to life if convicted on that third felony. However, Devon Anderson, the current Harris County district attorney who oversaw the court handling of the case as a prosecutor, signed off on a five-year plea deal for Conley. Her office said Jackson forced the prosecution's hand in how it handled the case. Basically what happened to that case is what happens with so many domestic violence cases: The victim recanted her story, said Jeff McShan with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. McShan said not only did Jackson say on several occasions that the incident never happened, she blamed it on an ex-boyfriend. But because of Conley's long, violent history, including domestic violence against Jackson, McShan said prosecutors pursued the case for months. We went all the way up to the trial date hoping she would tell the truth about what happened, show up for court, but we couldn't even locate her, McShan said. Complicating things even further were Jackson's open warrants from Wisconsin for theft and bail jumping, along with previous convictions, including 3 for prostitution in 2001 and 1 for trespass in 1995. Conley served 5 years. During his jailhouse interview, Conley said he had been living with Jackson for some time, and that her husband was out of the picture. But he said, the 2 started having problems, so he moved out. That's when Jackson's husband moved back in. Conley said he was in shock when he found out. Conley said his son Nathaniel had become a problem child. He described his 13-year-old son as disrespectful, saying Jackson wouldn't all him to discipline the boy. He admitted he was at a breaking point, and admitted he was in the home the night of the murders. When asked whether he had a gun, Conley said he wasn't allowed to own any. Asked whether his son was in a better place, without admitting anything, Conley altered a scripture from the Bible. Thou shall honor your mother and father or your days are short, he said. At the end of Conley's interview, he broke down crying. He said he prays all the time and is sad so many people are dead. Anderson's office has another chance to put Conley away for good, but this time they could ask for the death penalty. On Monday, Anderson said it could be three or four months before that decision is made. Conley's next court appearance is Sept. 15. (source: KHOU TV news) FLORIDA: Man accused in 2013 Metro PCS slaying is scheduled to go on trial in May 2016 A trial date has been set for the man accused of the 2013 execution-like killing of 20-year-old phone store manager Shelby Farah, but the trial will not take place for almost a year. Circuit Judge Tatiana Salvador scheduled May 2, 2016, for James Xavier Rhodes, who is facing a potential death sentence.
April 10 TEXAS: Mandatory DNA testing bill advances A DNA-testing bill seeking to prevent wrongful convictions, restore faith in the state's justice system and prevent costly delays to state executions passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday in a unanimous vote. Senate Bill 1292 requires the state pay for all biological evidence to be collected and DNA tested prior to a trial in cases where the defendant could receive the death penalty. This modest but vitally important reform will help reduce the possibility that the ultimate mistake is made with someone receiving the ultimate penalty, said Houston Democrat Sen. Rodney Ellis, who partnered with Attorney General Greg Abbott to write the legislation, in a press release. The fact of the matter is that we have already dodged just such a bullet thanks to advocates for the wrongfully convicted. Anthony Graves, who was exonerated in 2010, spent 16 years on death row for a murder he did not commit. He's not alone. Texas has paid more than $50 million to more than 80 exonerees since enacting legislation to compensate the wrongfully convicted for time spent in prison, although only some of them faced the death penalty and would have been affected by this bill. DNA testing fueled a growing national movement to keep the innocent out of prisons and convict the true perpetrators. To date, there have been 303 post-conviction DNA exonerations nationwide, according to the national Innocence Project. (source: Houston Chronicle) FLORIDAexecution Mann executed for murdering 10-year-old Pinellas girl Larry Eugene Mann was executed Wednesday night for the 1980 murder of 10-year-old Elisa Nelson of Palm Harbor. Mann's death ended a 32-year quest for justice that has tormented her family. Thank God it's over, said Katy DeCarolis, Elisa's cousin. Mann, one of the longest-serving inmates on Florida's death row, was put to death by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 7:19 p.m. at Florida State Prison in Starke, according to Melissa Sellers, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott's office. The condemned man answered Uh, uh, no sir, when asked if he had any last words before the procedure began. Mann's final written statement, released by the state Department of Corrections about an hour after his death, was a Bible verse, Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. There were 28 witnesses to the execution, including media and corrections personnel, and a group of Elisa's relatives sat in the front row wearing buttons with her photo on them. The family sent out a statement, also through the Department of Corrections, written by Elisa's brother, Jeff Nelson. It is glaringly apparent that there is something fundamentally flawed with a justice system that takes over 32 years to bring to justice a pedophile who confessed to kidnapping and murdering a 10-year-old-girl, the statement reads. There are no winners here. His death does not bring Elisa back, nor does it end our sorrow, but we will no longer be tortured by his defense attorneys' endless legal wrangling. Larry Mann alone made the decisions that dragged us all into this hell, Nelson writes toward the end of the 5-page statement, which includes colorful photos of Elisa with family, playing baseball and cheerleading - a few of the things she loved. We certainly did not ask to be a part it. He alone set in motion the wheels of his own destruction. The world is now a better place without him. The death sentence was carried out more than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Mann's latest appeal. Mann's lawyers appealed to the high court on Monday, arguing that his death sentence should be overturned because the jury that recommended it wasn't unanimous. They also argued that Mann's constitutional rights were violated because Scott used a secret and standardless process before signing his death warrant. Shortly before the 59-year-old former oil well driller from Dunedin was scheduled to be executed, roughly a dozen people gathered at an anti-death penalty vigil at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg. People sang hymns, listened to readings and prayed - that the killer's life would be spared. Outside the prison, there were 43 people gathered in favor of the execution and, in a separate area, 38 people were protesting the death penalty. In 1981, Mann was convicted of killing Elisa, who was last seen riding her bike to Palm Harbor Middle School on Nov. 4, 1980. She had a note in her pocket explaining she was late because of a dentist appointment. Mann kidnapped her near the school, took her to an orange grove, cut her throat and then beat her head with a pipe that had a concrete base attached to it. Then he went home and tried to kill himself, later telling police officers he had done something stupid. On Nov. 8, Mann's