Inmate Executed for slaying of fellow inmate: Michael Graczyk reports on the execution of Ricardo Ortiz, a high-ranking Texas prison gang member with violent criminal history, including aggrevated robbery to homicide. Upset over Gerardo Garcia's "snitching in a robbery case against him," Ortiz injected Garcia with a heroin dose "three times more potent than the amount that could kill him." Ortiz made two last-minute appeals: one to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming he "should get federal money to pay for legal representation to file a state clemency request," an issue presently pending there in Harbison v. Bell, and the other to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals alleging a violation of his constitutional rights in that the prosecutors stated he was affiliated with the Texas Syndicate prison gang. Both courts denied the appeals and on January 29, 2009 at 6:18 p.m. CST, Ortiz was pronounced dead from execution by lethal injection.
Death Row inmate assists in discovery of victim's body: Jeffery Collins of the Associated Press reports that Chadrick Fulks, an inmate on death row, replied to a letter written by Monica Caison, founder of Community United Effort- Center of Missing Persons. Alice Donovan, a 44-year old mother of two, went missing in 2002 and Fulks was convicted of murdering her. Caison received "a map, color photos of the area he says he left Donovan's body six years earlier, and instructions to look where searchers had not looked before." Upon following instructions, "after seven hours of searching, dozens of volunteers and four dogs, bones were found in thick brush and thorns 150 feet from a dirt road on the North Carolina line." DNA tests for positive ID are pending. Fulks' lawyer is hoping "prosecutors will rescind the death penalty," but the aggravating circumstance, such as Fulks' escape from jail, carjacking, additional homicide, and attacking of two police officers before murdering Donovan make that seem highly unlikely. "An eye for an eye," said one of Donovan's daughters, "You don't go around killing and expect your consequences are going to change because you told us where the body is."