Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pro Death Penalty USA

Parolee who killed self, 5 others had vowed to change

7 March 2009

A man who killed himself a day after allegedly killing his wife and four others told a judge in 2005 that he was ready to be a law-abiding citizen who would not let society down if he was released from prison. "I swear to you from the bottom of my heart that I 'WILL NOT' let you down. Let my wife or children down. Let my family down. Let society down. Or especially, let myself down," Davon Crawford wrote to Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Russo as part of a motion for release. Crawford, who was freed in 2007, shot himself in the head Friday afternoon when confronted by police in the bathroom of a house not far from the house where his wife, along with his sister-in-law and her three young children were found dead, said Police Lt. Thomas Stacho. Police said Crawford is suspected of killing them. Cuyahoga County coroner's spokesman Powell Cesar confirmed Saturday that all five victims were shot in the head. Crawford, 33, was divorced from his first wife about three months after writing the letter to Russo, records show. He married again only on Monday of the same week, according to Lamar Arnold, the father of his new wife, 30-year-old Lechea Crawford. She was one of the women killed in the couple's home Thursday night, and police say a 2-month-old baby girl, Laylah was found unharmed in the home. The two-story red-and-yellow wood frame home where Crawford died is located in a densely populated Cleveland neighborhood. Several dozen people lined up behind yellow police tape across the street, cheering as a sheet-covered stretcher was removed from the house, and cheering again when a van left the neighborhood with the body Friday evening. Dozens also gathered Friday evening about four blocks away, on the street where Thursday's slayings took place, to hold a candlelight vigil and rally. A memorial of more than a dozen stuffed animals had grown on the front steps. Crawford was convicted in 1995 of a plea-bargained voluntary manslaughter charge after killing 22-year-old Joseph Smith in a dispute over a girlfriend. "I didn't mean to take a life, but a life is took," Crawford said during his trial. "I apologize to the family [of Smith], but I did what I had to do." He was released in 2000 and sent back to prison in 2002 on a felonious assault conviction involving domestic violence, endangering children, having a weapon while on parole and failure to comply with an officer's order. In the 2005 letter, Crawford apologizes for firing a gun in his home and says, "I made an insensible choice in a moment of anger that could have actually cost me my wife and children.... I now realize that when I make bad impulsive decisions, that I do not only hurt myself, but that I hurt everyone that love and cares for me as well, and especially my children." He wrote that his then-wife had lung cancer and that he had a job and supporting family waiting for him. His wife, mother and others wrote Russo on his behalf, noting that he had three children at the time and had taken parenting and anger management courses and was studying dental lab technology. While on parole, which ended last year, Crawford passed several drug tests, paid his child support, had a full-time job and no run-ins with authorities, according to Andrea Carson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. However relatives said he had recently failed a drug test and was worried about having to go back to prison. Police searching for Crawford on Friday received a tip about his whereabouts and set up surveillance at the house where he was later seen by authorities, Stacho said. Officers forced their way through the front door and found Crawford hiding in the bathtub, officials said. He fired one shot from a handgun, killing himself, said Jeff Carter, a U.S. Marshals Service spokesman. "There was no standoff," Stacho said. "As they confronted him, he shot himself." Stacho said officials believe a relative of Crawford lives at the house. He said a woman was found in another part of the home, but police did not release any information about her connection to Crawford. Police Chief Michael McGrath said it appears that some sort of domestic argument sparked Thursday's shootings. Besides Lechea Wiggins Crawford, killed were her sister Rose Stevens, 25, and Stevens' three children: 4-year-old Destanee Woods and 2-year-old twins Dion and Davion Primm. Lechea's 7-year-old son Kamar was wounded and was being treated at MetroHealth Medical Center. Two other boys in the house, ages 12 and 13, escaped unharmed and one called 911, officials said.

Singapore Story: Soh Loo Ban the Salakau

I am here to share a case from my country.

Before that,
Salakau, which literally means '369' in Hokkien, is a street gang or secret society based in Singapore. The numbers 3, 6 and 9 add up to 18, which was the name of an older gang; the number signified the 18 lorhans (principal disciples) of Shaolin.

Corporal Hoi Kim Heng (1970-21 May 1994) was a police officer of the Singapore Police Force who was stabbed to death at the age of 24 by Soh Loo Ban after a chase near Fook Hai Building in Singapore on 21 May 1994. He was the second last police officer to be murdered in the line of duty, the last being that of SI Boo Tiang Huat which occurred on 30 November 1994. The year 1994 was then considered a dark year for the police force.

The murder
Hoi, a regular police officer with the Central Police Division, was on regular patrol with his partner, Corporal Tan Huang Yee in their Fast Response Car in the Chinatown area when they spotted Soh along Nankin Street. They stopped and stepped out to check on Soh, who was known for his history of crimes as a drug addict and mobster. When corporal Tan asked Soh for his identity card, he pretended to reach for his card, and produced a 10 centremetre-long knife instead, which he used to stab Corporal Tan on his left arm before turning to run.

Both officers chased after Soh down Nankin Street. When reaching the Fook Hai Building, Soh stopped, turned and dashed into the pursuing officers, colliding into Corporal Hoi and sending both men to the ground. As they collided, Soh stabbed Hoi in the neck with his knife, before continuing on his escape with Corporal Tan still in pursuit.

Soh was chased to the Hong Lim Food Centre. Corporal Tan sustained more stab wounds from Soh, but he fired shots at Soh with his revolver. Soh was shot in the chest and a stray bullet also struck a passerby.

Other officers arriving at the scene found Corporal Hoi barely alive and was rushed to the hospital, but he and Soh did not survive. Both Corporal Tan and the passerby recovered from their injuries.

Corporal Hoi was given a rare field promotion posthumously on 23 May 1994 to the rank of Sergeant, and was given a police ceremonial cremation with full police honours, and awarded the Pingat Keberanian Polis. Corporal Tan was also promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

The case made front page news in the local media, and led to the public writing letters to the press expressing concerns over the possibility of police procedures preventing the officer from defending himself adequately. Existing police procedures forbade officers from drawing their weapons except when there was imminent signs of danger to himself or others. Hoi's death contributed to a review of these procedures, which now permit officers to draw their weapons based on personal judgement and assessment of the situation presented before him.

Article published March 12, 2010
It's insane to save death-row inmate only to kill him

UNLIKE other bleeding-heart liberals, I have never opposed the death penalty. In the past, I've written about how my views on capital punishment hardened after my first cousin was murdered.
Anne was only 24 years old when she was viciously stabbed multiple times and left to die on a street a few blocks from her home. Her killer has never been caught. But if that day ever comes, I'd want a life for a life.
Recent events on death row in Ohio have made me doubt my convictions. I've begun to wonder whether state executions, with their complications and cost, are more insane than indispensable.
Not long ago the state made national headlines when it couldn't seem to kill its condemned inmates effectively. Botched attempts to execute inmates by lethal injection were awkward, to say the least.
Executioners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville struggled to find suitable veins in doomed inmates to administer a three-drug concoction that opponents decried as excruciatingly painful and inhumane.
To avoid more do-over executions, the state adopted a one-drug method and established backup plans in the death chamber, so even inmates with uncooperative portals could receive the single lethal dose. But after the new procedure was tested on three executed inmates, prison officials faced another conundrum.Just hours before he was to be lethally injected at Lucasville, a death-row inmate reportedly tried to kill himself with a drug overdose. It was the first such dilemma for waiting executioners at the state's death house.
This is where the case for capital punishment gets crazy. Although inmate Lawrence Reynolds was on a "death watch" to prevent him from killing himself before the state could, the Akron man apparently attempted death on his own terms with his own drugs.
He was found unconscious in his cell less than 36 hours before his scheduled execution and rushed to a hospital. He remained in serious condition until the following day, when his medical status was upgraded to stable.
How fortunate that officials at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, where Reynolds is housed, reacted quickly to the alleged suicide attempt. That allowed the medical staff at a Youngstown hospital to treat the patient, who evidently overdosed on prescribed pills, in time.
Ordinarily, someone who survives a life-threatening drug overdose might be kept in the hospital under observation. But that protocol operates on the assumption that the goal is to help that person become stronger, healthier, and better equipped to withstand relapse.
Why apply the same standards to Lawrence Reynolds, a man sentenced to die for killing a neighbor in 1994? Is it not lunacy for doctors to bring him back from the brink of death to make him healthy enough to be executed?
Is it not madness for the state to foot the hospital bill and related medical costs for Reynolds to recover from his apparent drug overdose, just so it can inject him with an overdose of thiopental sodium?
I don't care a whit about Reynolds. He tried to rape a 67-year-old woman before strangling and beating her with a tent pole. He bragged about the murder to friends. He's scum.
But when this inmate's life was in danger, prison guards and medical personnel instinctively tried to save it. The human response to a life-threatening emergency was to challenge death.
We simply can't reconcile ourselves to do what comes naturally in terms of saving lives and what comes collectively from deeply ingrained beliefs about getting our pound of flesh. So why do it?
Why pay to nurse a life back to health a week before the state executes it? Why force the state to pay a small fortune over years of lengthy court appeals when there are alternatives to execution that, some suggest, could be enacted at a fraction of the cost?
Maybe it's time to re-examine our costly commitment to the death penalty in Ohio before we become the next Texas. The insanity of our flawed system has already exacted a high price from the state.
Marilou Johanek is a Blade commentary writer.
Contact her at: