Taurus Carroll — black, age 32

Sentenced to death in St. Clair County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)
Date of crime: September 14, 2009
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Carroll stabbed his fellow inmate, Michael Darrell Turner, multiple times with a makeshift prison knife. The stabbing was provoked by Carroll’s belief that Turner had stolen his contraband cell phone. Carroll was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after being convicted of capital murder in 1997 after the armed robbery of a Laundromat. Carroll was 17 at the time.
Sources: Mobile Register (AL) 8/28/99 (1999 WLNR 7245694), Birmingham News (AL) 7/31/02 (2002 WLNR 13163430), Birmingham News (AL) 8/10/02 (2002 WLNR 13156063), Alabama Media Group (AL) 11/20/12 (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/11/convicted_killer_who_barely_es.html), Daily Home (AL) 11/21/12 (2012 WLNR 24883354).

Gregory Lance Henderson — white, age 31

Sentenced to death in Lee County, Alabama
By: a judge overriding jury recommendation of life without parole (9-3)
Date of crime: September 24, 2009
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Henderson ran over a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy while fleeing from a routine traffic stop. Henderson was no stranger to the law and had served time in prison a few times prior to the incident. Defense attorneys entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect on behalf of Henderson. Other mitigating factors that were presented included: troubled childhood, borderline intellectual ability, and history of drug abuse. Henderson claims he was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana at the time, but prosecutors claimed he was coherent enough to know right from wrong.
Sources: WTVM (GA) 9/21/12 (http://www.wtvm.com/story/19597227/2012/09/20/judge-overrules-jury-sentences-gregory-lance-henderson-to-death), 9/21/12 AP Alert – AL 09:01:47.

Derek Tyler Horton — white, age 18

Sentenced to death in Mobile County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10-2)
Date of crime: April 10, 2010
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Horton robbed Jeanette Romprey (age 59) at her home, before shooting her twice and setting her trailer on fire. He then drove off in her car. In mitigation, Horton’s grandmother testified that her daughter, Horton’s mother, was under the influence of drugs and alcohol most of the time during and after her pregnancy, as well as prostituted herself out for drug money. She also testified that Horton’s father remains unknown.
Sources: Press-Register (AL) 9/1/12 (2012 WLNR 18706299), 9/1/12 AP Alert – AL 02:23:50, Press-Register (AL) 8/31/12 (2012 WLNR 18705989), Birmingham News (AL) 8/31/12 (2012 WLNR 20214000), Press-Register (AL) 10/14/12 (2012 WLNR 25943562).

Jessie Phillips — black, age 29

Sentenced to death in Marshall County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)
Date of crime: February 27, 2009
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Phillips was convicted of shooting and killing his wife, Erica Droze (age 23), and her unborn child at a car wash following an argument. Prosecutors said Phillips was the first person tried under “Brody’s Law,” a state law that makes it a capital crime to harm an unborn child.
Sources: Huntsville Times (AL) 3/1/09 AP Alert – AL 19:49:42, Huntsville Times (AL) 6/20/12 (2012 WLNR 13260349), 9/6/12 AP Alert – AL 15:57:05.

Clayton Shanklin — black, age 23

Sentenced to death in Walker County, Alabama
By: a judge overriding a jury recommendation of life without parole
Date of crime: October 12, 2009
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Shanklin was found guilty of first-degree capital murder during a robbery, first-degree capital murder during a burglary and attempted murder due to his involvement in the crime. Shanklin and his cousin, Kevin (age 23) robbed Michael Crumpton (age 21) in his home. Crumpton was shot four times in the back and Crumpton’s wife, Ashley (age 22), was shot in the leg and testified that one of the men put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger three times but the gun malfunctioned. The family’s two young children were also home during the incident. Defense attorneys argued there was a lack of DNA, fingerprints, and evidence in general linking Shanklin to the crime. Ashley Crumpton identified Shanklin by a scar above his right eye.
Sources: Daily Mountain Eagle (AL) 10/20/11 (2011 WLNR 21566946), Daily Mountain Eagle (AL) 10/26/11 (2011 WLNR 22002234), Daily Mountain Eagle (AL) 10/27/11 (2011 WLNR 22230293), Daily Mountain Eagle (AL) 12/6/11 (2011 WLNR 25313600), Daily Mountain Eagle (AL) 4/5/12 (2012 WLNR 7250003).

Marqueze Smith — black, age 23

Sentenced to death in Morgan County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crime: August 11, 2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Smith was one of three men charged in the robbery and shooting death of Jeremy McKinley Black (age 22). Black was shot twice in the back and seven times in the chest. Defense attorneys urged Black’s lack of a significant criminal history to be considered as a mitigating circumstance. The prosecution argued that because it was Smith who called upon Black to deliver Marijuana. When Black arrived the three men kidnapped him, drove him to a secluded area, stripped him of his clothes and shot him.
Sources: Decatur Daily (AL) 9/17/09 (2009 WLNR 18244373), Decatur Daily (AL) 5/4/12 (2012 WLNR 9412098), Decatur Daily (AL) 5/5/12 (2012 WLNR 9487949), Decatur Daily (AL) 5/8/12 (2012 WLNR 9664320), Decatur Daily (AL) 8/4/12 (2012 WLNR 16423342).

Jerry Jerome Smith — black, age 25 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Houston County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)
Date of crime: October 19, 1996
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Smith was convicted in the shooting death of Willie James Flournoy (age 40), Theresa Ann Helms (age 26), and David Lee Bennett (age 29) in a residence described by police as a crack house. Smith attempted to shoot a fourth person but was deterred when his gun jammed. Defense attorneys argued Smith was mentally retarded with an IQ of 67. However, the prosecution pointed to evidence that showed Smith ran his own drug operation, paid out money, was his own attorney and often went to the prison law library. His two prior death sentences were reversed on appeal.
Sources: The Dothan Eagle (AL) 11/10/04 AP Alert – AL 19:43:26, The Dothan Eagle (AL) 4/18/12 (2012 WLNR 8185099).