Richard D. Davis – white, age 41

Sentenced in Jackson County, Missouri
By: a jury
Date of crime: May 14, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Davis, a repeat sex offender, and his girlfriend Dena D. Riley (age 39) kidnapped, raped, sexually tortured and murdered Marsha Spicer (age 41). Davis provided much of the prosecution’s evidence when he videotaped himself and Davis raping and suffocating Spicer. The defense argued that Davis was a physical abuse and sex abuse victim as a child. The jury sentenced Davis to death for the first degree murder of Spicer.
Prosecutor(s): Ted Hunt
Defense lawyer(s): Tom Jacquinot
Sources: Kansas City Star 8/2/08 (2008 WLNR 14394203), 8/6/08 (2008 WLNR 14628559), 10/11/08 (2008 WLNR 19371390); St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/11/08 (2008 WLNR 19404909);

Carmen L. Deck – white, age 31 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced in Jefferson County, Missouri
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crime: July 8, 1996
Prosecution’s case/defense response: In 1998, a jury convicted and sentenced Deck to death, for first degree murder in the 1996 shooting of James Long, (age 69) and his wife, Zelma Long (age 67) during a robbery at their home. Deck and his sister, Tonia Cummings, robbed the Longs before ordering the two to lie down on their bed; shooting each in the head twice. That same year, Deck’s attorney appealed, arguing that a jury instruction had been omitted in the trial and the death sentence was overturned. Then, in 2003, a second jury recommended the death sentence and the judge approved. During the new penalty phase, Deck was required to wear arm and leg restraints and a belly chain in plain view of the jury. On appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered a new penalty phase after the U.S. Supreme Court said, in May 2005, that jurors could have been prejudiced by seeing the defendants in shackles. The U.S. Supreme Court said the restraints were unconstitutional because the lower court had not shown that Deck needed restraints. In this third resentening Deck again received a death sentence.
Defense lawyer(s):
Sources: Kansas City Star 8/31/05 (2005 WLNR 13657126); St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11/7/08 (2008 WLNR 21330853), 9/21/08 (2008 WLNR 17951408);;

Kevin Johnson – black, age 19

Sentenced in St. Louis County, Missouri
By: a jury
Date of crime: July 5, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Johnson fatally shot Kirkwood police officer Sgt. William McEntee (age 43). The prosecution argued since Johnson had already shot McEntee and that shooting him again while he was disabled was an act of deliberation. McEntee was in his police car talking to three juveniles when Johnson walked up to the police car, fired several shots into it, and walked away. After being shot, McEntee still managed to get his car in gear and drive about 200 feet before he crashed. With help from neighbors, McEntee was able to get out of the car. He was on his hands and knees when Johnson walked up and shot him in the back of the head. In all, McEntee was shot seven times. The defense argued that Johnson was distraught over the death of his bother – who had died earlier that day from congenital heart failure – and unable to reflect coolly or act deliberately that night.
Prosecutor(s): Robert P. McCulloch
Defense lawyer(s): Karen Kraft, Robert Steele
Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/1/08 (2008 WLNR 1957258), 2/2/08 (2008 WLNR 1998844); Daily Record (St. Louis, MO/St. Louis Countian) 2/4/08 (2008 WLNR 2225490);;

Leonard S. Taylor – black, age 39

Sentenced in St. Louis County, Missouri
By: a jury
Date of crime: November 22. 2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Taylor fatally shot his girlfriend Angela Rowe (age 28) and her three children: Alexus Conley (age 10), AcQreya Conley (age 5) and Tyrese Conley (age 5). The defense argued that Taylor had left town before the murders occurred. Angela Rowe had been shot four times. DNA evidence, witnesses and phone records indicated he murdered the family before boarding a plane for California on November 26, 2004. Alexus Conley was shot twice in the back of the head and AcQreya Conley was shot twice in the temple. Tyrese Conley was shot once in the back of the head. Taylor received a death sentence for each murder.
Prosecutor(s): Alan Key, J.D. Lasater
Defense lawyer(s): Karen Kraft, Bob Wolfrum
Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/21/08 (2008 WLNR 3402417), 2/26/08 (2008 WLNR 3730976), 4/18/08 (2008 WLNR 7288248);;;