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SCOTUS Denies Stay For Murder of David Cook

The US Supreme Court today denied a stay of execution to Anthony Bartee, who murdered David Cook in San Antonio 15 years ago just because he wanted Cook's Harley.  No dissent is noted.  Michael Graczyk has this earlier story for AP.  Update:  Michele Mondo at the San Antonio Express-News has this story on a last-minute stay by a federal district judge for yet more DNA testing.  Update 2:  Michael Graczyk has this follow-up story for AP.

Over at the loony lefty Daily Kos, a blogger by the handle of laserhaas writes:
    You will not see much sympathy for the execution slotted in Texas for Anthony Bartee on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Mr. Bartee has a bad previous history of serving 12 years on aggravated rape. Nor is he too brite a murderer. He purportedly tried to hire people to Kill a "white guy" named David. The slain, stabbed in the back, throat cut and shot in the head victim was David Cook.

       Then, the criminal master-mind Anthony Bartee decided to take David Cook's motorcycle and prance around town boasting the ride was his own.

        But, be that as it may, I have to apologize to Anthony Bartee and my fellow Abolish the Death Penalty readers. For a few minutes, after learning about this issue late today, I was tempted to not report this story. For that, I am ashamed.

You need to get in better touch with your inner self, laserhaas.  Your gut had it right, and your first instinct was correct.


Judge Biery--Clinton Judge.

This is ridiculous. Once I again, another example of the utter irresponsibility of the federal judiciary. Texas should insist on proper service etc. Absent that, the drugs should flow.

The Fifth Circuit has upheld this completely irresponsible and cruel stay. Bartee had an original execution date of February 28, 2012. That was stayed to allow testing of certain items. Now, at the last minute, Bartee files another motion for a stay, and it's granted. This is an affront to the dignity of the State of Texas and the victims. It's also a complete debasement of the federal judiciary. Courts should not allow themselves to be gamed by any litigant, least of all, capital litigants. There is simply no chance of innocence here. None.

The three judges on the panel and the Chief Judge ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They obviously know nothing of "our Federalism" and consequently have shown themselves unfit for judicial office.

According to news reports, the Fifth Circuit panel needed more information. Well, whose fault was the lack of information--the convicted murderer's. So why did he get to benefit from that lack of information.

This is a thoroughly disgusting state of affairs, and the victim's family has been re-victimized, this time by cowardly and lawless judges who don't have the intestinal fortitude to follow the law. These judges have disgraced their offices.

The USCA5 docket does not show a denial of the motion to vacate the stay, but it doesn't show a grant either, and the court let the execution date pass without ruling on the motion.

The action by the court on the docket is, "COURT DIRECTIVE ISSUED requesting supplemental briefing [7078464-2] A/Pet Supplemental Brief due on 05/08/2012 for Appellant Susan D Reed.. E/Res Supplemental Brief due on 05/10/2012 for Appellee Anthony Bartee.. [12-70012]" The text of the directive isn't there.

Thanks. In some respects, this is more of an indictment of the panel. Since the panel needs supplemental briefing, the panel obviously doesn't have the information that it needs in front of it. Whose fault is that? Where the court doesn't have the information to balance equities etc., the risk should be placed on the party who has had years of appeals and plenty of opportunity not to be making a last minute filing. Federal court acquiescence to last-minute filings make a mockery of federalism and victims. The judicial process is not for gamesmanship, and these judges are falling down on their duty to prevent such shenanigans.

The fault ultimately lies with the Supreme Court, which has been far too solicitous of vicious killers getting multiple bites at the federal apple.

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