ILNews

Supreme Court sets execution date

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court has set the execution date for a death row inmate whose requests for successive post-conviction proceedings were denied Monday.

David Leon Woods is set for execution by injection before sunrise May 4. He is being put to death for the stabbing of an elderly DeKalb County man during a robbery in 1984.

A Boone County jury convicted Woods of murder and robbery in the 1980s. He was found guilty of the murder of 77-year-old Juan Placenia, who was an acquaintance of Woods and his mother. Woods and two others had devised a plan to steal Placenia ;s television, but during the robbery Woods fatally stabbed Placenia 21 times in the face, neck, and torso.

The Supreme Court issued a 7-page order Monday stating that Woods did not meet his burden of establishing a reasonable probability that he ;s entitled to relief based on claims he is mentally retarded and had a disagreement with his attorneys about strategy.

The order states that Woods did not prove he is mentally retarded, citing no expert testimony despite one doctor ;s description of "clear evidence of brain damage." A second claim relating to a "conflict of interest" with post-conviction counsel was raised too late, the justices ruled, and that doesn ;t diminish other courts ; conclusions that Woods received a fair post-conviction hearing.

Woods would be the first person to be put to death in Indiana since January 2006, when Marvin Bieghler was executed. The high court temporarily stayed the January execution of Norman Timberlake while the Supreme Court of the United States reviews a similar legal issue involving what constitutes mental illness in relation to execution.
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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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