<< News Scan | Main | Yet Another Unanimous Summary Reversal on AEDPA >>


A Victim's Plea for Justice

| 7 Comments
C&C has received the following letter from Ali Aziz. His brother and sister were murdered by Abdul Hamin Awkal, and he requests assistance, writing letters:

Dear All,

I am urgently in need for your help concerning the brutal murder of my beloved brother and sister which took place on January 7, 1992 at the County Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio. Details of this gruesome and heinous crime can easily be found on the internet once you google the name Awkal (murder). [Editor's note:  See links below the letter.]

It has been 21 years of aggravation, stress, and constant agony until an execution date was finally set for Abdul Awkal on June 6, 2012. Unfortunately, this criminal since day one has been feigning insanity and mental illness, by malingering and manipulating psychiatrists. His defense attorney, David Singleton, who is a big opponent of the death penalty, used his connections to rally support for this criminal and so far he has succeeded by using facebook, youtube, and having high profile individuals such as the William Robinson (President of the American Bar Association) and executive director of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to write articles against executing a man with mental illness. In addition, David Singleton sought the help of a forensic psychiatrist, who is an outspoken opponent of the death penalty, by the name of Dr. Pablo Stewart, who stated that this criminal is incompetent to be executed due to severe mental illness.

The unfortunate part is that no one is mentioning the victims or their families or anything related to justice for the victims. The focus is saving this criminal's life, yet he robbed two individuals in their twenties of their lives and stated in a Fox Interview from 1998 that he would repeat the murders "a million times." He has shown absolutley no remorse. He is not insane, he is a liar and a manipulator and above all a big malingerer.
I am very helpless. I need your help in bringing the victim's rights, points of views to the media at both the national and state levels by contacting Ohio Governor John Kasich's office, Cuyahoga county prosecutors in Ohio, local newspapers across Ohio.

They are ignoring the rights of the victims and the continued suffering of their family. The victims have been forgotten and the focus is on the perpetrator. We need to stand out for these people who are doing nothing but encouraging crime and creating an environment for criminals to be set free. The public has to be awrae of these facts and your help is urgently needed. I can't do it on my own. A hearing has been scheduled for June 12, 2012 to assess this criminal's mental competency after Ohio Governor John Kasich issued a 2 week reprieve until June 20, 2012. Please help out, send articles, and educate the Ohio residents about this vicious and brutal crime as soon as possible. Time is of the essence.

Please refer to these articles that have been written in support of the murder, Abdul Awkal.

Mentally ill inmate shouldn't be executed; Terry Russell is executive director of NAMI Ohio, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120603/EDIT/306030092/Mentally-ill-inmate-shouldn-t-executed

Exercise caution before executing the severely mentally ill: William T. Robinson III, President of the American Bar Association http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/06/exercise_caution_before_execut.html

God Bless you all
Ali
Brother of the victims

For more information on this case, see this article by Aaron Marshall in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Clemency Report from the Ohio Parole Board, recommending 8-1 against clemency.

Among the findings of all but one of the parole board members:

"Contrary to the claim of spontaneity, this was a planned murder."

"The murder was not the result of any psychotic breakdown."

"Doctors Noffsinger, Resnick and Piel recently concluded that Awkal is competent to be executed."
The ABA president says we should exercise caution.  Of course, but Ohio has exercised caution.  He complains that no court has examined the claims.  Courts have no more expertise than parole boards in making these determinations.  Both listen to the evaluations of mental health experts, who often have conflicting opinions, and judge their relative credibility.

Governor Kasich's contact info is here.

Update:  See also Alex Samsonov's comment and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's opposition to the stay request.

7 Comments

My view is a little different. I am utterly appalled by Governor Kasich's lack of intestinal fortitude; he is a moral coward. He is willing to whipsaw a victim's family who has waited for 21 years for justice. At this point, I simply do not care whether or not this killer is mentally competent. He's had his chances, and it's time for justice to be carried out.

Ultimately, this is about risk allocation and consideration for the victims' families. And on my scale, the possibility of executing an incompetent killer (which is small given all the review) is far outweighed by the need for certainty and finality.

I feel for Mr. Aziz. Governor Kasich has chosen to kick him in the teeth. And I bet he feels good about his decision. What a pitiable coward--unworthy of high office.

It’s actually much worse than just what you would gather from Mr. Aziz’s letter.

If you read the State of Ohio’s motion in opposition to Awkal’s stay request in the Ohio Supreme Court (http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/tempx/708586.pdf), you’ll see just how badly Awkal and his lawyers have scammed the system. Awkal originally filed his request for a Ford hearing on April 9. The trial court dismissed his petition without a hearing after both court-appointed psychiatrists found that he was competent (Dr. Phil Resnick at Awkal’s request and Dr. Stephen Noffsinger at the State’s). It was only then that Mr. Singleton got involved.

David Singleton is not only Awkal’s attorney on an unrelated civil matter, but he actually testified in front of the Ohio Parole Board on Awkal’s behalf at his clemency hearing on May 10. Singleton stated that Awkal was his friend and that he loved him. After Singleton’s attempt to convince the Ohio Parole board failed (they recommended 8-1 against clemency), Singleton retained Dr. Pablo Stewart on his own to interview Awkal in hopes of obtaining a new, contrary result.

Stewart is a hardened abolitionist. He has spoken against the death penalty all across the country, including speeches in which he has said that “this is a time when our friends on the row need our support more than ever,” and “everyone I work with is mentally ill.” His credibility and his integrity have been repeatedly questioned by federal courts. He has no training in forensic psychiatry and is not licensed in the state of Ohio. Most egregiously, Stewart chose to conduct his interview of Awkal in the presence of both Singleton (Awkal’s friend) and Singleton’s law clerk. Stewart interviewed Awkal on May 25 for the first time ever, and the next day produced a report in which – despite noting that Awkal told him that he was going to die for the murders of his wife and her brother – he concluded that Awkal was incompetent because he did not understand the reason for his execution.

(Only, of course, because that was the diagnosis required to meet the standard laid down in Ford. If Ford had said that states could not execute purple people-eaters, you can rest assured that Dr. Stewart would have concluded that Abdul Awkal is, in fact, a purple people-eater.)

After Singleton got the result he wanted from Stewart, he went to the press with the story of what an injustice it was that the state of Ohio was about to execute a man who had now been found incompetent. Sadly, this tactic worked. Media outlets, including the New York Times, started to run with the story that Awkal was going to die without an adjudication of the competency issue, ignoring the fact that the issue already had been adjudicated so conclusively that the trial court found that Awkal had failed to even meet the threshold showing. But it was enough to slant public opinion.

On June 4 – two days before the execution – the trial court suddenly reconsidered and reversed his previous decision to dismiss his petition. The trial court judge felt that Stewart’s conclusion that Awkal was incompetent was enough to create probable cause sufficient to justify a hearing. Because there were only two days left, Awkal demanded a stay so he could have his hearing (keep in mind that this execution date was set almost a calendar year ago, on June 11, 2011, and that it wasn’t until 12 days before the execution that Stewart got around to interviewing Awkal).

Based on the above trainwreck of an incompetence claim, and the fact that the delay was unquestionably the sole fault of Awkal, the Ohio Supreme Court denied Awkal’s request for a stay. The NYT was outraged by this decision not to hear Awkal’s competency issue, but couldn’t bring itself to note that Awkal had very recently been evaluated twice and found competent both times. Nor did it mention the obvious questions of bias and unprofessionalism surrounding Stewart’s opinion or the bad faith delay tactics that Singleton had relied on in waiting until mere weeks before the execution to retain Stewart, thereby necessitating the stay. That was enough for Kasich, who is looking for any excuse to seem moderate and reasonable following the failure of Senate Bill 5 last year at the polls.

But this is how things work in our current system. Abolitionist attorneys wait until the last possible moment to advance arguments that have been litigated repeatedly over a course of 20 years, hand-pick members of the minute percentage of experts from across the country that they know will give them the outcome they desire, and then call everyone else unreasonable when these doctored results are not enough to carry the day. Their unquestioning allies at the NYT swallow this story without a moment’s hesitation.

Wow. It seems that I was dead on about Mr. Kasich. What an embarrassment.

This reminds me of Rick Perry's disgusting pandering in the Kenneth Foster case. Whatever one thinks of the law of the parties, a guy who joins a scheme to drive around town and stick guns in people's faces is clearly responsible for any deaths that might result.

We are losing the battle here. That this circus is happening is all you need to know. Kasich is a politician and can stick his finger in the air.

They were brutally killed and did not have any second chances or appeals or hearings! This criminal is just a clever liar and manipulator. I have not heard any mention of the victims whatsoever? Did he give them mercy? No! And now he is pretending to be crazy and psychiatrists, the judge, and his lawyers are falling for that? This is just ridiculous!

He knew exactly what he was doing. He carefully planned the murder, purchased a gun months prior, changed his mailing address, wrote a check to his brother for all his assets in the bank, and packed his car with supplies for his daughter and himself the day of the murders. He acted with premeditation and knew right from wrong.
3 different psychiatrists examined this criminal and all concluded that he is competent to be executed and understands the reason for this punishment.
Where are the stories regarding the ripple effects of this heinous crime that this murderer committed? He made his own daughter an orphan by killing her mother who was only 22 years old at the time and killing his disabled brother-in-law who wore a brace up to his hip as a result of a polio infection as a child. He cheated on his wife and gave her a venereal disease.
If this murderer gets away with this crime, it will make all murderers think they can commit crimes without consequence.
Crime disturbs just order, for the criminal takes from people their lives, peace, liberties, and worldly goods in order to give himself undeserved benefits. Deserved punishment protects society morally by restoring this just order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done.
Awkal has shown absolutely no remorse, in fact he stated in an interview that he would repeat this murder a million times.
We should all send letters to Governor Kasich and support the victims' family who has been seeking justice for their loved ones for 21 years. It is not fair to force them to endure these constant hearings, endless appeals. It has been 21 years, justice is long overdue.
We should stop this insanity Judge! Its been 21 years, justice for the victims is due! Feel sorry for the victims and their families who continue to suffer, not this monster! Don't believe any of his lies!
I can't believe someone like you is rallying for criminals and murderers and completing forgetting about the victims and their rights. This is just appalling that someone with your caliber is defending criminals and ignoring the victims and their families. That is not fair! Just wake up!
My condolences go out to the family of Mahmoud and Latife Abdul-Aziz. I pray for the justice that you have been seeking, so that your loved ones who were killed so young, can finally rest in peace.

DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HIS PUNISHMENT!!!! WHAT A TOTAL LIE?? HE COMPLETELY KNOWS WHAT HE DID AND WOULD DO IT AGAIN IN A HEARTBEAT!! Fox 8 news recently showed a video clip from 1998 where Awkal was interviewed. When asked if he would commit the brutal murder of the mother of his child and brother in law, he replied with no hesitation and much vehemence, "Yes, I would do it a million times more!" Is this someone who sounds remorseful or "mentally ill?" No absolutely not. This is all a facade created by an evil man, who values his life so much that he will sink to any despicable level to save himself. He places so much value on his own life, while he showed no remorse or value for the lives of his murdered wife, the mother of his only child, and his brother in law. Moreover, he failed to even consider his only child's life. Imagine how difficult it must be to live without one's mother and father? Awkal is a selfless psychopath who disregarded the welfare of his child to the point where he even placed the barrel of a gun to her head in an attempt to fend off the police. Why is this evil criminal's life being given so much importance???? WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS?? WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?? WHY DOES SOMEONE WHO IS SO EVIL DESERVE AN OUNCE OF CONSIDERATION??? SOMEONE WITH SUCH AN EVIL SOUL SHOULD BE ERADICATED FROM SOCIETY!! He is not nuts!! He is a skillful manipulator who preplanned his murder scheme, and was found to be competent by psychiatrists. Thus, he was competent at the time of the murder and in the 1998 interview. This is all a well fabricated act that he and his defense team are using to save his miserable soul. The closer he got to his execution date, the more mentally ill he has made himself appear.

PLEASE CONTACT GOVERNOR KASICH TO SAY: "AWKAL SHOULD BE EXECUTED IN ORDER TO PROCTECT THE VICTIM'S SURVIVING FAMILY AND ALL OF SOCIETY"

You can call 614-466-3555, e-mail his Chief of Staff at Beth.Hansen@governor.ohio.gov,
or e-mail his Director of Constituent Services at Brad.Reynolds@governor.ohio.gov.

Kimberly A. Kutschbach (assistant chief counsel) @ kim.kutschbach@governor.ohio.gov

Dr. Noffsinger is on to this criminal's game and lies---he is just making up the CIA story to save his miserable life. Anyone can act crazy and say irrational things to save their life. He is truly a monster, let's get the show on the road already! Just do it! He sentenced his victims to the penalty of death and they received no hearings or reprieves---give him the same sentence.

I read his wife's letter to the judge that she wrote before she was murdered. It is really an eye-opening letter---this man is truly a monster. She states that he was very verbally and physically abusive to her and to his infant daughter. He would hit and bite his infant daughter who was not even 4 months old---child services was called by neighbors. He threatened his wife and told her not to say anything or he would beat her.
He even had the health insurance canceled for his daughter, did not care if she was sick or hungry. He would force his daughter to eat something she did not like. He would hold the baby upside down and squeeze her really tight until she screamed. He would not even let his wife go to college. He did not let her finish high school, she only had 3 months left. He even forced her to have sex with him even though the physician told him not to have any intercourse, after he was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. He gave the sexually transmitted disease to his wife. She was sick for a whole year and he would not even take her to the doctor. He would tell her to go alone. When she went to the gynecologist, he left his infant crying on the floor and left his wife at the doctor's office.
He would not let his wife visit with her family and parents or go out. She would have to be up until 2 AM to cook food for him. She felt like a slave. He was broke because of all the money he spent on hookers---police found him naked in cars with hookers.
His wife even said in the letter that he is "a pathological professional actor and liar who would say anything to make himself appear innocent and not guilty."
I suggest you all read this letter. The link is below. It starts on page 89.

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/tempx/708586.pdf

Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/cleveland_metro/psychiatrist-ohio-killer-of-2-abdul-awkal-is-mentally-competent#ixzz1xhgC1Q3K

Look at Awkal's blog, he continually blames the victims for creating the circumstances that led him to kill them. He has no remorse. In his case documentation (at the link below), he continually explains his rationale and justifies his actions. Until this day, he has absolutely shown NO REMORSE. The only reason he is saying so now is to save his life! Just view the Fox 8 interview from 1998 where Awkal stated "I would repeat the murder a million times!!."

http://www.deathrow-usa.com/AbdulAwkalOH.htm

Also, his defense lawyer David Singleton lacks credibility---he is a HUGE opponent of the death penalty! He even said he loves Awkal and that he is a brother to him. Singleton's testimony cannot be taken seriously---he is BIASED!!He is just doing this for fame and the anti-death penalty campaign vs pro-death penalty without any regard to the victims or their family!

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives