David A. Damm – white, age 58

Sentenced in Jo Daviess County, Illinois
By: a jury
Date of crime: October 27, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Damm hired Bruce Burt to kill Donnisha Hill (age 13) to end a sexual abuse investigation. The prosecution presented three death eligibility factors; any one of which would have made Damm death eligible: he acquired someone to commit murder in return for money or goods; he committed murder to prevent someone from testifying; or he killed the victim because she had already helped with the investigation. The jury found Damm guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. Damm was found death eligible because he paid for Hill’s murder.
Prosecutor(s): Richard Schwind
Defense lawyer(s): Mark Lyon, Stephen Richards
Sources: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier 10/15/08 (2008 WLNR 19629953), 10/16/08 (2008 WLNR 19698001); 10/17/08 (2008 WLNR 19802916); www.galenagazette.com/main.asp?SectionID=142&SubSectionID=344&ArticleID=12681&TM=35211.59

Eric C. Hanson – white, age 28

Sentenced in DuPage County, Illinois
By: a jury
Date of crime: September 28, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hanson murdered his parents, his sister and her husband. On September 29, 2005, police discovered the bludgeoned bodies of Katherin Hanson-Tsao (age 31) and her husband Jimmy Tsao (age 34) in their home. Terrance Hanson (age 57) and his wife, Mary Hanson (age 55), were also found at the Tsao’s home. Hanson’s parents were shot once in the head, while they slept in their bed and then taken to Katherine Hanson-Tsao’s home. Prosecutors argued the murders stemmed from the family’s discovery that Hanson had defrauded his parents of more than $140,000.
Prosecutor(s): Joseph Birkett, Nancy Wolfe, Robert Berlin
Defense lawyer(s): Robert Miller
Sources: Daily Herald 5/2/08 (2008 WLNR 18941789); Chicago Tribune 5/2/08 (2008 WLNR 8185108); www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=183428; chicagoist.com/2008/02/28/eric_hanson_sen.php

Gary D. Pate – white, age 35

Sentenced in White County, Illinois
By: a jury
Date of crime: May 15, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Pate fatally shot his estranged wife Kathleen Pate (age 41) and her daughter Amanda Jeffers (age 19). The victims were shot multiple times in their home.
Prosecutor(s): Scott Webb
Defense lawyer(s): Jerry Crisel, Matt Vaughn
Sources: Evansville Courier & Press 3/16/08 (2008 WLNR 5308293); AP Alert 3/16/08 – IL 13:53:25; www.carmitimes.com/homepage/x617071413