Randy Guzek – White, age 18 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced in Deschutes County, Oregon
By: a jury
Date of crime: June 28, 1987
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Guzek was found guilty of the murder of Rod and Lois Houser during a late night robbery.  Lois was shot three times by Guzek who then chased her up a staircase and shot her for the last time as she hid inside a closet.  Before leaving he stole the rings she was wearing on her fingers.  Rod was shot 20 times by Guzek’s accomplice, Mark Wilson, who received a life sentence.  Another accomplice, Donald Cathey, is also serving a life sentence for participating in the crime despite not killing anyone. This was Guzek’s fourth death sentence—the earlier three were reversed.
Sources: 4/25/05 AP Alert – OR 19:37:48, The Oregonian (OR) 12/7/05 (2005 WLNR 23959641), The Oregonian (OR) 6/8/10 (2010 WLNR 11657351), The Oregonian (OR) 2/19/11 (2011 WLNR 3345155).

Ricardo Serrano – Latino, age 31

Sentenced in Washington County, Oregon
By: a jury
Date of crime: November 2, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Serrano was convicted of the shooting deaths of Melody Dang (age 37), and her two sons, Steven (age 15) and Jimmy (age 12).  Moreover, the motive behind the murders was an act of vengeance against Dang’s live-in boyfriend, Mike Nguyen, who had an affair with Serrano’s wife leaving her pregnant.  Prosecutors referred to Serrano’s violent past; beating and raping his wife, sexually assaulting women, using an assault rifle to threaten a man and carrying a gun in his car were reasons to invoke a death sentence.  In addition, prosecutors also noted the heinous nature of the executions and the careful planning on Serrano’s part.
Sources: Portland Oregonian (Portland, OR) 11/30/06 (2006 WLNR 20752100), Portland Oregonian (Portland, OR) 8/29/08 (2008 WLNR 16717987), Portland Oregonian (Portland, OR) 3/5/10 (2010 WLNR 4743309), Portland Oregonian (Portland, OR) 3/10/10 (2010 WLNR 5018823), Portland Oregonian (Portland, OR) 3/12/10 (2010 WLNR 5273375).

Michael Washington – Black, age 32

Sentenced in Clackamas County, Oregon
By: a jury
Date of crime: July 2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Washington was sentenced to death for the shooting of Mohamed Jabbie (age 39) who had testified against Washington the day before the murder.  Jabbie testified about Washington’s previous assault on him for which Washington received a one-year sentence.  Washington was arrested on charges of aggravated murder, first-degree murder and possession of methamphetamine.  Shirleen Stafford (age 39) was also arrested and testified to being romantically involved with both Jabbie and Washington.  Thus, it was speculated that Washington’s motive to kill Jabbie was to keep himself out of jail and pay him back for his relationship with Stafford.
Sources: The Portland Oregonian (OR) 12/16/07 (2007 WLNR 25011877), The Portland Oregonian (OR) 4/23/10 (2010 WLNR 8540779), The Oregonian (OR) 4/23/10 www.oregonlive.com.