Did You Know?

Twenty-three men and no women have

been executed in the United States in 2017.

Scheduled Executions

Updated: December 13, 2017

Please pray for these men and women. Pray for salvation if unsaved, peace if saved, and that the innocent shall be revealed before they are executed. "The Lord is slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 ESV).

 

Due to ongoing legal challenges, Ohio has rescheduled multiple executions, multiple times.  Beginning with 2018, this list contains only current Ohio executions.  Click here for more information about Ohio's legal challenges.

December 2017

  • 01 - Bobby Stone, South Carolina - Stayed
  • 14 - Juan Castillo, Texas - Rescheduled from September 7, 2017; Stayed
  • 29 - Michael Pruitt, Pennsylvania

    Read more...

December 26, 2017

 

Vernon Madison is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Thursday, January 25, 2018, at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.  Sixty-seven-year-old Vernon is convicted of the murder of Officer Julius Schulte on April 18, 1985, in Mobile, Alabama.  Vernon has spent the last 32 years on Alabama’s death row.

 

On April 18, 1985, Officer Julius Schulte was dispatched to the home of Cheryl Green to investigate the disappearance of Cheryl’s 11-year-old daughter.  Schulte was not in uniform or in a marked car, however, he was wearing a badge that identified him as a member of the Mobile Police Department.  Upon his arrival, Cheryl’s daughter had already returned, however, neighbors has the police officer to stay until Cheryl’s ex-boyfriend, Vernon Madison left, as the two were having a domestic dispute.

 

Cheryl and Madison had broken up a few days before and he had returned to Cheryl’s home in order to retrieve some of his belongings.  Madison was angry, believing that Cheryl had called the police on him.  When Officer Schulte arrived, both Cheryl and Madison approached him in his vehicle and spoke with him.  Madison left the building a short time later.  Madison walked a block away to where a former girlfriend was waiting in her car.

 

Madison retrieved a pistol from the car and returned to the apartment building.  He walked up behind Officer Schulte, who was still in his vehicle and shot him twice in the head at point-blank range.  Officer Schulte died later that day.  He then shot twice at Cheryl before fleeing the scene.  She survived her injuries.  He later admitted to an acquaintance that he had “just killed a cop.”

 

Madison was arrested the following day.  He was convicted and sentenced to death in November of 1985.  He had his sentence twice overturned and each time he was re-sentenced to death.

 

Madison was previously scheduled to be executed in 2016, however, his execution was stayed due to concerns over his competency.  According to his attorneys, Madison has suffered multiple strokes while in prison and is unable to understand why he is being executed.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Julius Schulte.  Please pray for strength for the family of Vernon Madison.  Please pray that if Vernon is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution.  Please pray that Vernon may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017  10:09 am EST

 

Juan Edward Castillo was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Thirty-six-year-old Juan is convicted of the murder of 19-year-old Tommy Garcia, Jr., on December 3, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas.  Juan has spent the last 12 years of his life on Texas’ death row.

 

 

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has stayed the execution of Jua in order to allow time for a lower court to investigate claims of false testimony.  A witness at Juan's trial is now claiming that his testimony was false in an attempt to "help himself."  There were also other witnesses at the trial whose testimony helped convict Juan.

 

Juan had previously worked as a cook and a laborer.  He was previously convicted of deadly conduct with a firearm.  During the trial, witnesses also testified that Juan was a violent man, threatening and beating the mother of his child.  Additionally, he had previously shot a man during a road rage incident, boasted about similar crimes, and bragged about committing home invasions and robberies.

 

In December 2003, Juan Castillo was dating Debra Espinosa.  Late on December 2, and during the early morning hours of December 3, 2003, the couple was with Francisco Gonzales, a friend of Castillo, and Gonzales’ girlfriend Teresa Quintero.  The four of them created a plan to rob Tommy Garcia, Jr., with whom Espinosa had previously been intimate.  

 

Espinosa was to take Tommy to secluded spot in a residential neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas.  Castillo and Gonzales, in masks and armed with guns, would storm the car and rob Tommy.  Espinosa would play along, as if she were a victim too.  Quintero would serve as the get away driver from Castillo and Gonzales.  During the ensuing robbery, Tommy was shot and killed by Castillo, according to the others.

 

Gonzales was arrested by the police as he fled from the scene, with Espinosa arrested a short time later.  Both agreed to testify against Castillo in exchange for a reduced charge and a sentence of forty years in prison.  Gonzales and Espinosa testified that Castillo took the lead in planning the robbery.  They also testified that he was the person who shot and killed Tommy.

Read more...

Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017  10:12 am EST

 

Michael Pruitt is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Friday, December 29, 2017, at the State Correctional Institute Rockview, in Rockview, Pennsylvania.  Fifty-three-year-old Michael is convicted of the rape and murder of 69-year-old Greta Gougler on September 28, 2002, in Reading, Pennsylvania.  Michael has spent the last 12 years of his life on Pennsylvania’s death row.

 

Michael dropped out of Reading High School after the 10th grade.  He struggled to hold down a job and had two children.  He had previously been arrested at least 11 times on several different charges including assault, rape, burglary, and interim dating witnesses.

 

On September 28, 2002, Michael Pruitt observed Greta Gougler, a longtime Sunday school teacher, outside her home.  When she entered her home, Pruitt followed.  Inside, Pruitt beat Greta, raped her, and strangled her to death.  Pruitt then robbed the home before fleeing the scene.  

 

After Pruitt was arrested, he confessed to the murder, but denied the rape allegation.  DNA testing later proved that Pruitt had raped Greta.  

 

During his trial, Pruitt alleged that he was high on cocaine at the time of the attack, however there was no evidence to verify the allegation.  Pruitt’s attorneys further alleged that Pruitt was mentally incompetent and could not stand trial.

 

Michael Pruitt’s notice of execution was issued by Department of Corrections Secretary John Wentzel, as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has refused to sign any execution warrants.  If the Governor does not sign an execution notice within a specified time frame, state law requires the corrections secretary to issue the execution notice.

 

Michael’s execution has not yet been stayed, but is unlikely to be carried out.  On Friday, February 13, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a moratorium on executions in the state, until he receives and reviews a report on capital punishment in the state, a report which was ordered in 2011.  In his announcement, he called the death penalty in Pennsylvania a "flawed system," "ineffective," "unjust," and "expensive."  Read more about the announcement here.  

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Greta.  Please pray for strength for the family of Michael.  Please pray that if Michael is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution.  Please pray that Michael may come to find peace through a personal relationship with the Lord, if he has not already.

Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017  10:11 am EST

 

Sheldon Anthony Hannibal was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at the State Correctional Institute Rockview, in Rockview, Pennsylvania.  Sheldon’s execution has been stayed.  Forty-five-year-old Michael is convicted of the rape and murder of 69-year-old Peter LaCourt on October 25, 1992, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Michael has spent the last 23 years of his life on Pennsylvania’s death row.

 

Sheldon’s execution has been stayed by the US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. 

 

On October 25, 1992, Sheldon Hannibal and Tanesha Robinson encountered Peter LaCourt and Barbara Halley in the stairway of the Cambridge Mall housing project.  Peter attempted to sell a gold chain to Hannibal, which resulted in an argument over the authenticity of the chain.  When Hannibal refused to give the chain back to Peter, Hannibal pulled out a gun and began beating Peter with it.  Hannibal knocked on the door of Larry Gregory, who joined in the beating of Peter.  

 

As Peter pled for the men to stop their beating, Barbara ran to the guard station or obtain help and Tanesha ran up the stairs.  Shortly after leaving, Tanesha reported that she heard approximately ten gunshots.  Before she could testify at Hannibal’s trial, she, along with two other women were shot and killed at her apartment.  She was killed to stop her from testifying.

 

Peter was found by the police lying in the stairway, dead.  Pieces of the gold chain were found around him.  An autopsy revealed that he had been severely beaten, and shot six times, one of which killed him by severing his brain stem.

 

Sheldon was convicted and sentenced to death on October 25, 1994.

 

Sheldon Hannibal’s notice of execution was issued by Department of Corrections Secretary John Wentzel, as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has refused to sign any execution warrants.  If the Governor does not sign an execution notice within a specified time frame, state law requires the corrections secretary to issue the execution notice.

 

On Friday, February 13, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a moratorium on executions in the state, until he receives and reviews a report on capital punishment in the state, a report which was ordered in 2011.  In his announcement, he called the death penalty in Pennsylvania a "flawed system," "ineffective," "unjust," and "expensive."  Read more about the announcement here.  

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Greta.  Please pray for strength for the family of Sheldon.  Please pray that if Sheldon is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution.  Please pray that Sheldon may come to find peace through a personal relationship with the Lord, if he has not already.

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