Death Penalty and Death Row in USA

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Information about individuals executed 1997


    Michael Lee Lockhart, 37, 97-12-09, Texas

The execution of a drifter who killed two young girls and a police officer brought applause and cheers from nearly 100 Beaumont police officers who showed up to mark his death by injection.
Michael Lockhart, 37, said he would have gone on killing had he not been captured. He had death sentences in Indiana and Florida, but his conviction in Texas came first and he was put to death here Tuesday night for fatally shooting Beaumont Officer Paul Hulsey Jr. in 1988.
Two hours later, Michael Charles Satcher, 29, was executed by injection in Virginia for raping and stabbing to death a woman walking to her 23rd birthday party.
Lockhart became the 37th inmate executed in Texas this year, extending a state record.
"I am deeply sorry," Lockhart said, turning his head to five members of his victims' families who watched a few feet away. "It is my hope my death will give you some kind of comfort."
He acknowledged all three murders, beginning with the October 1987 slaying of Windy Gallagher, 16, of Griffith, Ind. Three months later, he killed Jennifer Colhouer, 14, of Land O'Lakes, Fla. Both girls were raped and savagely stabbed, their bodies discovered in their homes by relatives.
Hulsey spotted Lockhart speeding through Beaumont on March 22, 1988, in a red Corvette that had been reported stolen. He was shot three times as he tried to arrest Lockhart.
"I don't think I could have stopped," Lockhart said last week. "I was fortunate to get caught."
"After all these years of waiting, it's finally happened," Hulsey's father, Paul Sr., said after watching Lockhart die. "I'm pleased it's over. It's thumbs-up all the way. Forgiveness is not in my vocabulary."
As witnesses emerged from the prison, they were greeted with cheers from the Beaumont officers.
"We're not here to celebrate an execution, but to pay respect to the victims and the families of the victims," detective Jimmy Carpenter said.
In Virginia, Satcher was executed despite claims by his lawyers that the DNA evidence used to convict him of the March, 31, 1990, murder was flawed.
The victim, Anne Elizabeth Borghesani, was stabbed 21 times and her body was found near a bike trail near where she was walking to the party. Another woman attacked the same night identified Satcher as her assailant and he was arrested a few months later.
In a statement, Satcher thanked his family and others who tried to help him.
"To my friends on death row, ... I would like to say, 'See all of you on the other side," he said.
His lawyers claimed an independent test in 1995 showed that Satcher's DNA did not match genetic material found at the crime scene. His attorneys fought unsuccessfully for two years to test crime scene evidence for DNA.
Source: AP

    Gary Burris, 40, 97-20-11, Indiana

Date of Murder: January 29, 1980
Victim(s): Kenneth W. Chambers B/M/31 (No relationship to Burris)
Method of Murder: shooting with .38 handgun
Summary: Kenneth Chambers was a cab driver in Indianapolis. His nude body was found in an alley near Fall Creek Parkway, face down and stuck to the ground by a pool of his frozen blood. There was a small caliber gunshot wound to the right temple. The cab company log revealed that Burris had called for a cab and was Chambers' last fare. A witness testified that Burris returned to his apartment with Emmett Merriweather and James Thompson with wads of money and a cab driver's run sheet and clipboard. Burris was arrested at the apartment of his girlfriend where a .38 caliber handgun was found. The ISP Lab confirmed it to be the murder weapon.
Conviction: Felony-Murder
Sentencing: February 20, 1981 (Death Sentence)
Aggravating Circumstances: b(1) Robbery
Mitigating Circumstances: sociopathic personality, accomplices could have committed murder, acts were insufficient to warrant death, abandoned by his parents (presented at 2nd trial), raised in house of prostitution, at age 12 he was declared a ward of county due to neglect, obtained GED

    David Lee Herman, 39, 1997-04-02, Texas

A former owner of a topless nightclub who killed a woman while robbing the place was executed Wednesday night, 1 day after he tried to slash his throat and wrist with a disposable plastic razor.
David Lee Herman, 39, was put to death by lethal injection about 38 hours after a guard on death row spotted the injuries. He spent 3 hours in a hospital getting his wounds stitched before being returned to his cell.
Herman was convited of killing Jennifer Burns, 21, in a Dec. 20, 1989, robbery at Lace, a nightclub in Arlington he had managed 2 years earlier.
He confronted club manager Clay Griffin at gunpoint and ordered him to the office where Ms. Burns worked as a bookkeeper and another woman, Sally Fogle, who checked customer IDs, were preparing to open for the day.
Herman ordered Burns to put $11,200 in a canvas bag, then tried to rape her. When he couldn't, he became enraged and shot all 3 with a .357 caliber gun, killing Ms. Burns, court records show.
He was arrested 10 days later and much of the money was recovered. The 2 shooting survivors testified against him and a jury took only 15 minutes to convict him of capital murder. Greg Pipes, the prosecutor, said the jury could not have had a more clear-cut case, adding that "it is always nice to have 2 people come in and say: "He shot me and shot my friend and he killed this young lady."