David Brown – Black, age 26 (see also Jeffrey Cameron Clark)

Sentenced in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: 1999
Victim: David Knapps, 49
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Brown held down prison guard Knapps while four other inmates beat and stabbed him.  The defense argued that irregularities in evidence handling and documentation raise questions regarding Brown’s role.  Further, Brown cannot reasonably have wanted Knapps hurt since clean (rather than bloody) uniforms were necessary for the escape plan.  The defense also raised Brown’s turbulent childhood as a cause of his PTSD.  The prosecution countered that Brown’s commission of aggravated kidnapping during aggravated escape and likely future escape attempts combined with his criminal history and his impact on his victims demanded the death penalty.
Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate (LA) 10/28/11 B4 (2011WLNR 22237848), Baton Rouge Advocate (LA) 10/29/11 B1 (2011 WLNR 22414936).

Jeffrey Cameron Clark – White, age 38 (see also David Brown)

Sentenced in St. Tammany parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: December, 1999
Victim: David Knapps, 49
Prosecution’s case/defense response: During a failed prison escape attempt, Clark and other inmates beat and stabbed a security officer to death.  The prosecution introduced recordings of Clark’s interview and confession.  Clark claimed the confession was under duress due to the interviewers beating him and showed photographic evidence of the injuries.  The prosecution brought in medical experts to testify that the wounds were self-inflicted.  Clark also brought in a forensics expert to dispute the prosecution’s narrative and argue that Clark was probably trying to get the other inmates to stop the beating of the officer.  Several inmates testified to Clark’s ill treatment by the guards.
Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate 5/13/11 B3 (2011WLNR 9593297), Baton Rouge Advocate 5/15/11 B1 (2011WLNR 9751284), 5/24/11 AP Alert – LA 13:53:04.

Isaiah Doyle – Black, age 22 

Sentenced in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: August 2005
Victim: Hwa Lee, 26
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Doyle gunned down Lee during the armed robbery of a convenience store despite her compliance with all demands.  The defense pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and entered into evidence a long documented history of mental deficiencies and mental retardation as well as a history of drug abuse.  The defense also argued that Doyle had been threatened by a local gang that they would kill him if he didn’t carry out a series of robberies.  Doyle took the stand against the advice of counsel and threatened the jury during his testimony.  The prosecution countered with expert medical testimony that Doyle was faking insanity, was in fact very cleverly adapting his story to fit his plea, and his long history of violent crimes applied aggravating factors to this case.  The court noted the complete irrationality of killing a complying victim and his utter remorselessness and disrespect throughout the trial.
Sources: New Orleans Times Picayune (LA) 3/25/11 (2011WLNR 5827351), New Orleans Times Picayune (LA) 3/26/11 (2011 WLNR 5896763), New Orleans Times Picayune (LA) 7/28/11 (2011 WLNR 14890117).

Eric Mickelson – White, age 42 

Sentenced in Caddo Parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: 2007
Victim: Charles Martin, 86
Prosecution’s case/defense response:   Mickelson and an accomplice broke into Martin’s house, robbed him, strangled him, dismembered his corpse, and dumped the pieces in different businesses’ dumpsters around town.  The prosecution entered evidence of Mickelson’s confession of this murder and another ten years earlier.  The defense argued that Mickelson is mentally ill and was under the sway of his accomplice whom he was supporting at the time.  The court noted the gruesomeness of the crime at sentencing.
Sources:  KSLA 12 (LA) 8/7/11 (http://www.ksla.com/story/15219170/jury-deliberating-life-or-death-for-eric-mickelson), 8/6/11 AP Alert – LA 21:33:54, KTBS (LA) 9/9/11 (http://www.ktbs.com/news/Death-Penalty-Trial-of-Eric-Mickelson-Begins-Today/-/144844/763116/-/okcub8z/-/index.html).

LaMondre Tucker – Black, age 18

Sentenced in Caddo Parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: 2008
Victims: Tavia Sills, 18, Sills’ unborn child
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Tucker killed Sills, his ex-girlfriend, after she told him that she was pregnant with his child.  The defense brought in several character witnesses and argued for the immaturity of a teenager making a one-time mistake.  The defense noted a troubled childhood of a broken home and witnessing his mother being repeatedly abused.  The prosecution countered by arguing the absence of any belief in the sanctity of human life and his criminal past.
Sources: Times (Shreveport, La.) 3/24/11 (Pg. Unavail. Online) (2011 WLNR 5731870), 6/29/11 AP Alert – LA 22:15:46.