Christopher Arceneaux—black, age 18

Sentenced to death in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: 10/27/02
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Arceneaux and another man—Richard LaViolette—approached neighbor Dena Mansour and her daughter who were cleaning out their car in their driveway. Arceneaux pointed the gun at the daughter and demanded “everything you’ve got.” When Dena said, “Call the police,” Arceneaux shot her in the chest. She died in the backseat of the car. The defense claimed the robbery scheme had been concocted by LaViolette (LaViolette argued in a later trial in which he was convicted of second-degree murder that he was an innocent bystander), but did not deny that Arceneaux fired the shot. Arceneaux claimed in a tearful recorded confession that he had panicked and fired accidentally. The daughter disputed this. In mitigation the defense presented members of Arceneaux’s church to testify that he had been a good child.
Prosecutor(s): Donnie Rowan, Doug Freese
Defense lawyer(s): Lee Faulkner, Cesar Vasquez
Sources: New Orleans Times-Picayune 3/18/04, 3/19/04

LaDerrick Campbell—black, age 19

Sentenced to death in Caddo Parish, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: 2/11/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Kathy Parker was working behind the counter of a liquor store. Campbell and his cohort James Edward Washington approached the counter and committed robbery by demanding money. Parker told them she would give them everything and not to hurt her. But Campbell stuck his shotgun across the counter and shot her in the chest, killing her. Campbell argued that the eyewitnesses had mistakenly identified him. He rejected a plea deal offered by the prosecution that would have allowed him to avoid the death penalty.
Prosecutor(s): Edward M. Brossette
Defense lawyer(s): Alan Golden, Kurt Goins, although Campbell fired them before the guilt/innocence phase and represented himself.
Sources: Shreveport Times 9/23/04 (2004 WL 80299917), Baton Rouge Advocate 9/26/04 (2004 WL 58415823)

Darrell Draughn—black, age 28

Sentenced to death in Caddo Parish, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: April 2000
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Draughn burglarized the home of his 64-year-old neighbor Lauretta White to rob her. In the process, he stabbed her about 60 times, killing her. At the penalty phase the prosecution presented evidence that Draughn had killed a teenager in an execution-style killing, and had committed another serious assault. No information is available on the defense approach to the case. Draughn was convicted in mid-2003, but final imposition of sentence was delayed until late in 2004 because of post-trial motions.
Prosecutor(s): Mike Pitman
Defense lawyer(s): Joe Clark, Gary Book
Sources: Shreveport Times 6/27/03 (2003 WL 19283137), 6/29/03 (2003 WL 19283496), 6/29/03 (2003 WL 4877984), 7/1/03 (2003 WL 19283607)

Dustin Dressner – white, age 18

Sentenced to death in Jefferson Parish County, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: 6/6/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Dressner killed Paul Fasullo and tried to kill Fasullo’s wife by stabbing her 20 times, while she attempted to protect her 2-year-old daughter. Dressner was one of three attackers who went to the Fasullo home. Fasullo’s wife identified Dressner as the attacker. The defense argued Dressner went to the Fasullo home for drugs and not to kill them. In mitigation, the defense said Dressner had a history of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder. The defense also urged the jury to consider that Dressner’s co-defendant received a life sentence, instead of the death penalty.
Prosecutor(s): Cameron Mary
Defense lawyer(s): Lee Faulker, Linda Davis-Short
Sources: The Baton Rouge Advocate 11/25/03, 5/26/04; Times-Picayune 11/21/03, 11/23/03, 12/30/03, 5/22/04, 5/25/04

Derrick Lee – black, age 34

Sentenced to death in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: May 31, 2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lee savagely killed 22 year-old Charlotte Murray Pace by raping and then stabbing her over 81 times with a knife and a 12-inch flat-blade screwdriver. By the time it was over, her skull was fractured, her face disfigured and her hands bruised, suggesting that she fought her attacker. Authorities say they have linked Lee through DNA evidence to the deaths of seven women from 1998-2003. Defense attorneys argued that Lee should be spared the death penalty because he is retarded, putting on evidence from a neuropsychologist. The prosecution rejects these claims, saying its psychologist and psychiatrist examined Lee and found him not to be retarded.
Prosecutor(s): John Sinquefield & Dana Cummings & Doug Moreau
Defense lawyer(s): Bruce Unangst & Mike Mitchell & Nelvil Hollingsworth
Sources: Houston Chronicle 10/14/2004 (2004 WL 83672635); Times Picayune 9/12/2004 (2004 WL 83877343); 10/15/2004 (2004 WL 83884311); 10/16/2004 (2004 WL 83884416); Charleston Gazette 9/14/2004 (2004 WL 59660424); The Baton Rouge Advocate 9/21/2004 (2004 WL 58415216); 9/22/2004 (2004 WL 58415373); The Sun Herald 9/22/2004 (2004 WL 92785870); 9/24/2004 (2004 WL 92786089)

Donald Leger—white, age 32

Sentenced to death in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: 12/11/01
Prosecution’s case/defense response: During a dispute with his ex-girlfriend, Leger pulled a gun, bound her hands, and forced her into his van. As he was driving, she managed to escape and went into a house to call the police. Leger searched for her and ended up at a mobile home where he thought she was hiding. He shot the couple in that home, Troy Salone (who died) and Evelyn Salone (who was seriously wounded, but survived to identify him at trial). His ex-girlfriend testified against him, also. The defense attempted to show that his confession was coerced. At the penalty phase, the defense put on evidence through his brother to show that Leger had a bad childhood.
Prosecutor(s): Jim McClelland, Vincent Borne
Defense lawyer(s): Craig Colwart, Natalie Broussard
Sources: AP 12/11/01; Telephone call to Vanessa Prichett, Managing Editor of the St. Mary & Franklin Banner-Tribune (who covered the case) 9/27/04

Jason Reeves – white, age 26

Sentenced to death in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: 11/12/2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Reeves kidnapped, raped and stabbed 4-year old Mary Jean Thigpen 16 times and left her in the woods. Reeves confessed to molesting the girl but did not remember killing her. In mitigation, Reeves was essentially raised by his sister until he was ten and saw an 18-wheeler crush and kill her. As a child, Reeves also was raped by a neighbor and never received any counseling. In aggravation, Reeves has a child molestation case pending. Reeves was tried previously, but the trial ended in a mistrial after a juror would not vote to convict Reeves of murder.
Prosecutor(s): Rick Bryant, Cynthia Killingsworth, Wayne Frey
Defense lawyer(s): Ron Ware, Charles St. Dizier, Richard White
Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate 10/13/04 (2004 WL 58417570), 11/8/04 (2004 WL 58420418), 11/9/04 (2004 WL 58420482); Associated Press Newswires 11/6/04 11/9/04