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AG Horne wants speedier death penalty appeals

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne attends the official election canvass approval signing at the Historic Senate Chambers at the Capitol, Monday Dec. 3, 2012, in Phoenix. Horne is being investigated by the State Bar over allegations stemming from an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wants a court to force the Justice Department to act on his request to fast-track federal death penalty appeals in Arizona cases.

Horne filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Monday. The planned suit will ask the court to review the Justice Department’s decision to delay acting on Horne’s request.

The state asked the Justice Department to allow it to participate in a program that brings quicker action on appeals. The department responded last month by saying it was still working on rules for the program and would consider Arizona’s request when the rules are completed.

Death penalty cases in the western U.S. now take nearly 20 years for the appeals process to be exhausted.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

8 comments

  1. The AG should focus his energy and our tax dollars on fixing Arizona’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws that has put hundreds of thousands of men and women in prison for decades. NON-violent, first offenders given 75 years — a defacto life sentences. THAT WOULD SAVE TAXPAYERS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of $$$’s, just as other conservative states have done.

    Fix the justice system for the people, not the political cronies. Restore peoples’ rights, freedom and liberty in the state of Arizona (those who pay your salaries, benefits and lucrative pensions). This should be TOP Priority.

    Read the Ninth Circuit Court Chief Judge Kozinski’s scathing opinion of Arizona’s justice system — a decades long pattern of manifest injustice.

    Why the rush now? To cover up decades of malfeasance? Think Ray Krone, now Debra Milke, Ron Macumber, Louis Taylor, to name a few…

    DEBRA MILKE V RYAN 9th Circuit Court Opinion overturning her conviction and sentencing

    Turn to page 54 for Chief Judge Kozinski’s scathing report of Arizona’s justice system. Opinion sent to the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Federal Attorney for investigation of the Maricopa County Attorney’s office and the Phoenix Police Dept.
    detective Saldate.

    http://1.usa.gov/13hYclk

    And read:

    MCAO Bill Montgomery Opposes Ethics Rule Requiring Prosecutors to Reveal Evidence of Wrongful Convictions – Phoenix – News – Feathered B**tard

    http://bit.ly/16plGqV

    The AG and MCAO are stating there are NO wrongful convictions in Arizona, while the Exoneration Registry show over 1,170 exonerations since 1989. What does that say about the integrity of those who drive the justice system?

    Browse the National Registry of Exonerations created by University of Michigan and the Northwestern University School of Law:
    http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/browse.aspx

    Exoneration Detail List:
    http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/detaillist.aspx

  2. http://www.wral.com/sbi-agrees-to-pay-4-6-million-to-exonerated-durham-man/12768303/

    SBI agrees to pay $4.6M to exonerated Durham man

    RELATED
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    DURHAM, N.C. — An exonerated Durham man said Monday that the State Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay him $4.6 million after he was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 17 years behind bars.

    Greg Taylor sued the agency after an independent review found questionable practices at its state crime lab. Taylor’s conviction was bolstered in part by blood evidence analysis from the lab that has since been discredited.

    Taylor said the settlement was reached through mediation and that it officially ends his legal battles with the state.

    “I am just glad it’s over,” he said. “If I never see another courtroom, I will be happy.”

    Since his exoneration in 2010, Taylor is doing things he never thought possible. He celebrated his mother’s birthday this past weekend and has plans to visit friends on the West Coast soon, but there are also daily reminders of what he went through.

    “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about prison,” he said.

    He had hoped to have a job by now, possibly in telecommunications – the industry he worked in before his incarceration.

    “When I got out of prison, I had never spoken on a cellphone, so a lot of that has passed me by,” Taylor said. “Mainly I am just happy to be around my family and friends and enjoy a free life.”

    When Gov. Bev Perdue pardoned Taylor in May 2010, he received $750,000 in compensation to be paid to him at $50,000 a year.

    The state also settled a lawsuit filed by Floyd Brown, of Anson County, who was locked up at Dorothea Dix hospital for 14 years awaiting trial on a murder charge. Brown will receive $7.85 million.

    Reporter: Adam Owens
    Photographer: Pete James
    Web Editor: Bridget Whelan

  3. “What kind of a person is Horne? When AZ became an MMJ state he complained to Brewer that he couldn’t arrest MMJ patients and throw them in prison anymore. Now he wants speedier death penalty appeals so he can kill people quicker. Both of these incidents reveal his true nature. He’s a man who enjoys putting MMJ patients in prison and killing people.” concerned constituent.

  4. AG Horne likes playing God with other peoples’ lives, while ignoring his own misconduct which would put an “ordinary” person in prison for decades. Tired of the hypocrisy. The AG should resign. NOW!

    In Arizona, a NON-violent, first offender is sentenced to 75 years! A defacto-life sentence. For “touching” in a public swimming pool?

    Wake up folks, its time to STOP absolute immunity for prosecutors who have abused their power and do NOT represent the people, but their own political and financial agenda!

  5. Anyone, who speaks truth to power in Arizona will have their lives and families destroyed while those in power keep on moving on and up — off our taxpayer dollars.

    Those who remain silent are complicit in the self-destruction of Arizona’s people and the state’s future.

  6. “I Am Troy Davis” by Jen Marlowe, Martina-Correia Davis, Troy Davis, Helen Prejean

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CKDH76K/ref=oh_d__o01_details_o01__i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    “In 1991 On September 21, 2011 Troy Anthony Davis was put to death by the State of Georgia. Davis’ execution was protested by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, and Pope Benedict XVI, President Jimmy Carter, and 51 members of Congress all appealed for clemency. How did one man capture the world’s imagination, and become the iconic face for the campaign to end the death penalty?

    I Am Troy Davis, coauthored by Jen Marlowe and Davis’ sister Martina, tells the intimate story of an ordinary man caught up in an inexorable tragedy. From his childhood in racially-charged Savannah; to the confused events that led to the 1989 shooting of a police officer; to Davis’ sudden arrest, conviction, and two-decade fight to prove his innocence; I Am Troy Davis takes us inside a broken legal system where life and death hangs in the balance. It is also an inspiring testament to the unbreakable bond of family, to the resilience of love, and that even when you reach the end of justice, voices from across the world will rise together in chorus and proclaim, “I am Troy Davis,” I stand with you.”

  7. Solution to saving taxpayers dollars: END THE DEATH PENALTY!

    What is an AG born in Canada doing determining who should live and who should die in Arizona? This raises questions about who “owns” Arizona anyway?

    Rather than wasting taxpayers dollars on grandstanding at the U.S. Supreme Court for his political agenda — FIX ARIZONA BROKEN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM!! That would save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and save innocent lives and families.

    MCSC: CRIMINAL COURT, DID YOU KNOW?

    http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/MediaRelationsDepartment/docs/newsletters/Aug13.pdf

    That amounts to 1,300 cases per year that go to trial. Who is studying these cases? Nobody. Because the truth is that if anybody really cared about the 65,000 and keeping the wrongfully convicted out of prison the courts would already be monitored. That court monitoring does not take place is solely the result of public apathy and the false belief our court system is so good that wrongful convictions don’t happen or happen so rarely as to not be a problem. But don’t worry. At 12 million arrests per year it won’t be long before the truth comes to visit everyone’s front door (Gideon’s Army The Movie).

    Concerned citizen and veteran
    Beauty often seduces us on the path to truth. (Dr. James Wilson)

    MCSC: CRIMINAL COURT, DID YOU KNOW?

    http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/MediaRelationsDepartment/docs/newsletters/Aug13.pdf

    “Read the “stats” on pg. 4 that should interest everyone. Who is getting fair justice when there is no time to actually study a case? Only 2% go to trial. No one would dare go to trial in AZ unless they were innocent. So what is done to the 2%?

    Each year, approximately 65,000 defendants are “processed” through Initial Appearance Court (divide that by the amount of court hours).

    They aren’t mentioning the “plea bargain” court with dozens lined up raising their hands taken an oath to become a felon / convict (who can’t vote and can’t get a meaningful job or live in public housing). Designedto fail the people.

    This is all unsustainable for the taxpayers and society.”

  8. The AG should focus on the state where hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars could be saved:

    1. End the death penalty which has been nothing but a politician’s tool.

    2. Clemency, Parole, Good-Time Credits, and Crowded Prisons: Reconsidering Early Release

    Paul J. Larkin Jr.
    The Heritage Foundation

    July 29, 2013

    Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2013

    Abstract:
    “For most of our history, clemency, parole, and good-time credits have offered prisoners an opportunity for early release. Over the last 40 years, however, clemency has fallen into disuse, and many jurisdictions have repealed their parole laws in favor of determinate sentencing. Given our increasingly crowded prisons and expanding correctional budgets, governments are beginning to rethink our approach to punishment. It is unlikely that clemency or parole will come back into fashion any time soon, however, or that severe sentencing laws will quickly disappear.

    But the federal and state governments have continued to use good-time credits as a means of rewarding inmates for positive, in-prison behavior, and legislators may believe that expanding the current good-time laws is the best solution. That approach is reasonable as a policy matter and sellable as a political matter because prisoners must earn good time credits. We therefore may see legislators seek to address prison overcrowding through an expanded good-time system.”

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