Jamaal K. Abeokuto – black, age 22

Sentenced to death in Baltimore County, Maryland
By: A judge
Date of crime: December 9, 2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Abeokuto was found guilty of murdering 8 year-old Marciana Ringo, the daughter of his girlfriend. Ringo’s frozen, partially snow-covered body was found in the woods 9 days after she disappeared. Abeokuto claims that voices told him to murder the child, believing it would bring Ringo’s mother and him closer together if he killed her daughter. Prosecutor(s): Joseph I. Cassily Defense lawyer(s): Warren Brown Sources: The Baltimore Sun 11/16/2004 (2004 WL 96475686)
Jason Taylor—white, age 23 Sentenced to death in Harrison County, Mississippi By: A jury Date of crime: 10/12/02 Prosecution’s case/defense response: Taylor robbed a General Nutrition Center where he had formerly worked, and beat 18-year-old clerk Chelle Cazeaux to death with some barbells, in addition to shooting her in the back. He had a prior conviction at age 16 for kidnapping a woman and her 6-year-old daughter, and robbing the woman. Taylor was in violation of the terms of his probation at the time her murdered Cazeaux. No information is available concerning the defense approach to the case.
Prosecutor(s): Lisa Dotson, Chris Fisher
Defense lawyer(s): Glenn Rishel, Donald Rafferty
Sources: Sun Herald (Biloxi) 10/15/02 (2002 WL 101464307), 10/19/02 (2002 WL 101464548), 11/4/04 (2004 WL 92789535), 11/5/04 (2004 WL 98821156), Baton Rouge Advocate (2002 WL 5047615)