Kenneth Barrett—white, age 38

Sentenced to death in Federal court, E. D. Oklahoma
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/24/99
Prosecution case/defense response:  Oklahoma police officers were driving up to Barrett’s house to serve a search warrant for a drug operation when Barrett opened fire on them with a rifle.  He killed Officer David “Rocky” Eales, and wounded Officer “Buddy” Hamilton.  The defense argued that as a drug dealer, Barrett thought someone was coming to his house to rob him, and he did not know the cars were occupied by police officers.  The defense also argued that the prosecution was unfair because Barrett had been tried twice in death penalty cases in Oklahoma state court: the first jury deadlocked at the guilt/innocence phase, and the second returned a verdict of first-degree manslaughter with a recommendation of a 30-year sentence.
Prosecutor(s): Sheldon Sperling
Defense counsel: Roger Hilfiger
Sources: AP Alert—Oklahoma 11/4/05, 11/11/05, 11/18/05, 12/19/05, available in Westlaw USNEWS database

Len Davis—black, age unknown (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Federal court, E.D. Louisiana
By: A jury
Date of crime: 10/13/94
Prosecution case/defense response: Davis was one of a renegade band of New Orleans police officers who shook down and brutalized drug dealers, and laughed that their superiors could do nothing about it.  Kim Groves filed a police brutality complaint against one of the corrupt officers.  The next day, over the police radio, Davis ordered another of the band, Paul “Cool” Hardy, to kill Groves.  The F.B.I. was at the time monitoring Davis’s calls, and recorded his conversation, as well as Davis’s gleeful reaction when he was told that Groves had been killed.  Davis’s original death sentence was reversed by the federal Fifth Circuit when it vacated one of his convictions for tampering with a federal witness.  At the re-sentencing, Davis acted as his own primary attorney, and argued that he had merely been trying to get Hardy to set Groves up for a drug bust, and that Groves had been killed by an unknown person before Hardy got there.  Davis declined to present any of the usual mitigation evidence, and reportedly was glad for the death sentence, because it will give him more opportunities to appeal.
Prosecutor(s): Mike McMahon, Mark Miller
Defense counsel (standby): Julian Murray, Carol Kolinchak
Sources: New Orleans Times-Picayune 7/26/05 (2005 WLNR 11695996), 7/27/05 (2005 WLNR 11780547), 8/2/05 (2005 WLNR 12142777), 8/3/05 (2005 WLNR 12214884), 8/4/05 (2005 WLNR 12267433), 8/10/05 (2005 WLNR 12586519), 10/26/05 (2005 WLNR 17335731)

Edward Leon Fields, Jr.—white, age 36

Sentenced to death in Federal court, E. D. Oklahoma
By: A jury
Date of crime: 7/10/03
Prosecution case/defense response: Fields donned camouflage fatigues and watched the campsite of Charles and Shirley Chick in the Ouachita National Park for hours.  Then, using a rifle, he shot Charles in the head from a distance, then cornered Shirley and shot her to death at point-blank range.  Fields then returned to Charles and shot him in the head.  Fields returned hours later to steal the couple’s belongings.  The defense argued that Fields had been mentally ill, and hearing voices, for years.
Prosecutor(s): Sheldon Sperling, Dennis Fries
Defense counsel: Julia O’Connell
Sources: Fort Worth Star-Telegram 7/1/05 (2005 WLNR 10356455), 7/16/05 (2005 WLNR 11169468), 7/23/05 (2005 WLNR 11576589), AP Alert—Oklahoma 7/20/05, 11/9/05, available in Westlaw USNEWS database.

Dustin Honken—white, age 27

Sentenced to death in Federal court, N. D. Iowa
By: A jury
Date of crime: 1993
Prosecution case/defense response:  Honken was a methamphetamine dealer.  Angela Johnson was his girlfriend and cohort.  Terry DeGeus was going to testify against Honken in a pending drug case, so Honken and Johnson kidnapped and killed him, and then buried his body.  Greg Nicholson was another witness against Honken.  Honken and Johnson tracked him to a home where he was staying with Lori Duncan and her two daughters, Kandi (age 10) and Amber (age 6).  Honken and Johnson kidnapped and bound all four of them, shot them to death, and buried their bodies.  The bodies were not discovered until seven years later, when Johnson drew a map of their location for a fellow prisoner who was a jailhouse informant.  As mitigation, the defense offered evidence that Honken’s father had been an alcoholic bank robber.
Prosecutor(s): C.J. Williams
Defense counsel: Alfredo Parrish, Leon Spies
Sources: Des Moines Register 10/19/04 (2005 WL 90799661), 10/28/04 (2005 WL 90800301)

Angela Johnson—white, age 29

Sentenced to death in Federal court, N. D. Iowa
By: A jury
Date of crime: 1993
Prosecution case/defense response:  See Dustin Honken, above, although Johnson was tried separately.  In mitigation for Johnson, the defense offered evidence that she had been raise by an unstable mother who engaged in religious practices like exorcism and speaking in tongues.
Prosecutor(s): C. J. Williams
Defense counsel: Al Willette, Patrick Berrigan, Dean Stowers
Sources:  See sources for Dustin Honken, above.  Also AP Alert Crime 6/22/05, available in Westlaw USNEWS database

Branden Basham – white, age 21

Sentenced to death in federal district court for the District of South Carolina
By: a jury
Date of crime: 11/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Basham and his co-defendant, Chadrick Fulks, carjacked, kidnapped, raped and killed Alice Donovan, a law professor. The men attacked her in a Wal-Mart parking lot after they escaped from a Kentucky jail. They are also accused of kidnapping another man, as well as kidnapping and killing Samantha Burns, a 19-year-old West Virginia college student. When the federal judge said Basham could not have tobacco dip in the courtroom, Basham had to be wrestled to the floor by authorities twice during trial – but the jury was not present for the altercations. Neither Donovan’s nor Burns’s body has been found. During another attempted carjacking, Basham pointed a gun at Deanna Francis and her daughter, Andrea, in a Wal-Mart parking lot and tried to force his way into her car. The defense attempted to show Fulks was manipulative and was the leader of the pair and emphasized Basham’s shaky mental health. The prosecution pointed to Basham’s criminal and violent history.
Prosecutor(s): Scott Schools Defense Lawyer(s): Jack Swerling, Greg Harris
Sources: Myrtle Beach Sun-News 9/12/04, 9/21/04, 9/22/04, 10/29/04, 11/3/04, 11/7/04; Charlotte Observer 9/22/04, 9/28/04, 10/3/04, 10/14/04; The State (Columbia) 11/5/04; The Lexington Herald Leader 12/14/04; Charleston Daily Mail 2/15/05