Execution Watch: James Garrett Freeman, Texas

A guest post by Mark R.

Tonight James Garrett Freeman is scheduled to be executed.
On March 17, 2007, Freeman was spotted by Justin Hurst, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden, illegally hunting from his truck. Instead of complying with Warden Hurst’s instructions, he led Hurst on a 90 minute car chase, reaching speeds of 130 mph at one point, before getting into a shootout with officers. Warden Hurst was fatally wounded in the shootout; he died on what would have been his 34th birthday.
In Texas, Game Wardens are fully-commissioned peace officers who can arrest for any violation of the law. As such, Freeman was charged with capital murder for knowingly killing a peace officer. He was convicted and sentenced to death; all the standard rounds of appeals (direct and habeas) were in all cases DENIED.
This case is somewhat unusual in that Freeman had no substantial prior criminal record (he was on probation for DUI at the time). As such, in addition to the usual “ineffective assistance of counsel” argument, the antis are arguing that his lack of a prior criminal record should have spared him from the chamber, and that suffered from “heavy alcohol use and severe depression” and wanted to die via “suicide by cop” (he almost did get his wish in the shootout). However, the prosecution argued that Freeman had an “uncontrollable and unpredictable temper” and was about to have his probation revoked for failure to comply (both could explain a high-speed chase and shootout). It should be noted that John Battaglia (the sorry CPA who killed his kids while on the phone with their mother) also had no prior criminal record; his is coming March 30.
It will be interesting to see what Freeman’s last words are once they are posted.
NBC DFW story on Freeman’s execution:
http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Man-to-Be-Executed-for-Texas-Game-Wardens-Death-in-Shootout-366607651.html?_osource=SocialFlowFB_DFWBrand
Texas Attorney General’s Press Release:
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/media-advisory-james-garrett-freeman-scheduled-for-execution

In Remembrance of John/N2L

A guest post by Crochunter

 

As you all know I have known John for many years. A few years back John introduced me to the blogging world and I started to dabble in writing. One day I asked John what advice he would give to make me a better writer, without hesitation he told me to “write from the heart”. Looking back that is what gave John the passion along with his wit to become a great writer. Using his advice, yours truly will attempt to write and see where it takes me. I’m going to attempt to give a better insight into the private man we knew and loved.
The times that John opened up and talked about his family he always had a sparkle in eyes especially when he was going to visit. He loved them very much. I got introduced to John’s mom before she passed away. She was a sweetheart.
One of John’s other hobbies was cooking. It seemed like when he wasn’t working, the rest of the time was spent in the kitchen honing his skills as a house chef. A few hours before college football Saturday was to start he would be fixing a meal and/or snacks so he could concentrate on the football games of the day especially when his beloved Oklahoma Sooners were on the gridiron. Anybody who knew John soon realized not to bother him during a OU game, you might get a response at halftime otherwise it was after the game.
Debating was second nature to John, I have not seen many better. Politics was his strong suit and he would leave many of our liberal co-workers in tears, soon they learned to scatter like rats when John was around. He could rip-em up and down both sides and have a big grin on his face in the process.
Blogging was another one of his passions, to spend time with his internet friends and to give opinions that mattered to him. Oh yeah, to give them pesky lib-turds hell.
As a friend it was hard to find any better, if you needed help he would be there as soon as he could. John was a unique man and did things his way and time frame. As friends I know he cared about us all in his own way.
We all have different memories of the good and compassionate man that we called John/N2L. May we all treasure those memories until we all unite in heaven.
Rest in peace my friend,
Crochunter

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Execution Watch: Richard Masterson, Texas

Texas carried out her first scheduled execution of 2016 yesterday.

Richard Masterson, 43, was pronounced dead at 6.53pm.

I am pleased to announce that Mark R. has agreed to become the new Execution Watch editor for the Blog.  I appreciate his dedication and his friendship.  He was invited to come aboard by N2L after Robbie decided to retire from blogging.  I am posting Mark’s notes from last night in this entry, however, he will assume full authorship with his next post.  Please join me in welcoming Mark to the gang.

As always, each Execution Watch will show up on the main page of the Blog, and follow up will appear on the Execution Watch page.

Tonight, as my SO celebrates her birthday (no I’m not telling which one), Texas expects to execute Richard Masterson.

Masterson was convicted in the murder of Darin Honeycutt. Masterson claimed that it was an accidental death caused during a gay sexual encounter (you can read the AG link for details, children may be present). Eight days later in Tampa, Florida Masterson tried to kill another gay man in the same manner, and admitted that he tried to kill him and “there was nothing sexual about it” with the only difference being that the Floridian survived while Honeycutt didn’t.

He made the generally stupid mistake of testifying in his own defense (the attorney tried to warn him about doing so, but just as the prosecution cannot force the defendant to testify, the defense attorney cannot force the defendant not to testify) which, of course, resulted in a guilty conviction.

In the punishment phase, the State presented six cases of prior violent acts (involving both former girlfriends, fellow inmates, and correctional officers). Masterson (apparently not learning his lesson from testifying the first time) once again testified in the punishment phase, and flat out admitted that he would be a future danger and that “everyone has to live and die by their choices”. And for his admission he got a death sentence.

His appeals were generally unsuccessful with the SCOTUS, on June 15 of last year, DENYING review.

Although I don’t agree with the belief that a person is born gay or straight, even a pervert doesn’t deserve to die violently at the hands of another pervert (or one claiming to be).

Links:
Attorney General news release: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/media-advisory-richard-allen-masterson-scheduled-for-execution

TDCJ info:
http://tdcj.state.tx.us/death_row/dr_info/mastersonrichard.html

For the record, I have been offered an opportunity by the leader of this forum to take over our dearly departed friend N2L’s duties in Execution Watch, which I have accepted. At some point he will provide privileges so I can provide real articles (I’m looking forward to the Battaglia case, the sorry CPA who stained my honorable profession).

Updates:    I forgot to mention that the case has gotten notoriety because Pope Francis has been following it, appealing for mercy:

For John

It has been difficult over this past week.

The news of No2Liberal’s death has hit me like a ton of bricks.

I shall miss him.

We all will.

So long, amigo.

Rest easy.

 

RIP David Bowie

 

David Bowie has died.  Hundreds of memories of my youth, I absolutely loved his music, his look, his swagger.

On the last night of the legendary Rock station WZZQ, the last song played before they signed off for the last time was Bowie’s “Station to Station.”  I guess it was their way of saying it’s time to move on, time to see what else is out there.

And now, Bowie has moved on.  RIP.  Time to see what else is out there.

 

 

 

 

Special request

prayerI’ve just been made aware that a dear friend is in Intensive Care after suffering a heart attack.

He would be uncomfortable if I were to mention him by name, so I make this request of all our friends to lift my friend to The Almighty in prayer for comfort and healing.

Thank you.

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