Call the Governor!

    If you hate death and state-sponsored killing, please call Brad Henry, Governor of Oklahoma today at 405-521-2342 to urge him to grant clemency tonight to Jackie Willingham.

    There are currently ongoing civil disobedience actions today at the state capitol and I’m sure there will be at the Governor’s mansion and at the scheduled place for the killing (the prison at McAlester). Please remember those participating in your prayers today.

    Here is some background on the Willingham case from the OCADP listserve:

      *****Action Alert*****

      Execution of Jackie Lee Willingham

      Jackie Lee Willingham is scheduled to be executed on July 24, 2003

      FLOOD THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE WITH CALLS

      521-2342

      ASK FOR CLEMENCY FOR JACKIE LEE WILLINGHAM:

      ? JURORS WERE NEVER GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER WHETHER WILLINGHAM

      COULD HAVE BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF SECOND-DEGREE MURDER, INSTEAD OF

      FIRST-DEGREE MURDER

      ? WILLINGHAM’S IS THE ONLY DEATH PENALTY CASE IN HISTORY OF THE STATE IN

      WHICH EVIDENCE SUPPORTED A 2ND-DEGREE MURDER INSTRUCTION, BUT NONE WAS GIVEN

      AND THE DEFENDANT WAS NOT GRANTED A NEW TRIAL

      ? THE PARDON AND PAROLE BOARD VOTED FOR CLEMENCY 3-2

      ? ALL THREE ATTORNEY BOARD MEMBERS VOTED FOR CLEMENCY

      ? PATRICK MORGAN DECLARED WILLINGHAM’S CASE TO BE ONE OF THE “CLOSEST CASES”

      HE HAS SEEN IN HIS 3 1/2 YEARS ON THE BOARD

      Background

      On December 20, 1994, Lawton civic leader, Jayne Van Wey, was beaten in the

      ladies room of an office building. In video taped confessions, Jackie Lee

      Willingham admitted he had a hot temper and “snapped” when Jayne Van Wey was

      rude to him after he tried to sell her perfume and she ordered him out. He

      followed her to the ladies room and hit her three times with is fist,

      slammed her head into the wall and kicked her in the head. He asserted she

      was alive and breathing when he left her. Jackie Lee Willingham was

      convicted of Murder in the First Degree and sentenced to death in 1995. His

      execution is scheduled for July 24, 2003

      Willingham’s attorney, Fred Staggs, has argued that jurors should have been

      given the option to convict Willingham of 2nd-degree murder for what he

      described as a crime of passion. Willingham’s attorney asserted that the

      jury was not even allowed to consider a second-degree murder, therefore, the

      jury found him guilty of first-degree murder.

      On June 26, 2003, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended clemency.

      The board voted 3-2 to approve Jackie Lee Willingham’s application. It is

      obvious that the court’s denial to instruct the jury on second-degree murder

      troubled the three Pardon and Parole Board attorneys. All three Board

      attorneys voted for clemency. Board Chair, Patrick Morgan, stated, “This is

      one of the closest cases I’ve seen in my 3 1/2 years on the board; I think

      too close. It’s for the governor to decide.”