Steven Barnes – Black, age 23

Sentenced in Edgefield County, South Carolina
By: a jury
Date of crime: September 3, 2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Barnes was found guilty of kidnapping and killing Samuel James Sturrup, Jr. (age 16).  The prosecutors described Barnes as a pimp, drug dealer and robber with a long history (armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, terroristic threats, drug dealing, prostitution, beatings and weapons possessions.  Barnes killed Sturrup after believing that he stole something from him.
Sources: Columbia State (SC) 4/10/06 (2006 WLNR 5994143), Augusta Chronicle (GA) 9/6/06 (2006 WLNR 15843665), Augusta Chronicle (GA) 11/19/10 (2010 WLNR 23301086), Columbia State (SC) 11/23/10 (2010 WLNR 23353588).

Raymondez Rivera – Latino, age 27

Sentenced in Anderson County, South Carolina
By: a jury
Date of crime: December 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Rivera was found guilty of the murder of Asha Wiley (age 27) and testified at trial that she begged for her life as he strangled her.  Rivera was also found guilty of the murder of Kwana Rainey Burns, a mother of two who was found dead in her home.  Rivera’s defense argued his grandmother physically abused him as a child.  Upon conviction, Rivera apologized to the Burns’ family and stated that taking the death penalty was the only thing left for him to do.
Sources: Greenville News (Greenville, S.C.) 2/8/08 (2008 WLNR 26732513), Anderson Independent-Mail 6/9/09 AP Alert – SC 13:43:38, Anderson Independent-Mail 12/2/09 AP Alert – SC 13:09:46, 2/15/10 AP Alert – SC 21:01:49, 2/19/10 AP Alert – SC 11:39:40.