Did You Know?

Twenty-one men and no women have

been executed in the United States in 2017.

News

March 20, 2014

 

Shortly after 6 pm EDT, on March 20, 2014, Robert Laverne Henry was executed by the state of Florida.The execution was carried out at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida.Robert was 55 years of age.Robert was executed for the murder of 53-year-old Phyllis Harris and 35-years old Janet Thermidor, whom he worked with at the Deerfield Beach fabric store in Deerfield Beach, Florida.Robert spent the last 25 years of his life on Florida's death row.

 

Around 9:30 pm on November 1, 1987, fire fighters and police officers responded to a fire at the Deerfield Beach fabric store.Phyllis Harris was found on the floor of the men’s restroom.She had been hit in the back of the head with a hammer and was already dead.Janet Thermidor was found on the floor of the women’s restroom.She too had been hit on the back of the head with a hammer.She also had burns on over 90 percent of her body.She was conscious when police found her.

 

Janet was rushed to the local hospital, where she told police that the store’s maintenance man, Robert Henry was responsible for her injuries.Henry had entered the office, hit her on the head, and stole the store’s money.Henry briefly left the office, but returned with a liquid he threw on her and then set on fire.She ran to the women’s restroom to attempt to put out the fire.Janet died the following morning.

 

Henry was arrested on November 3, 1987.Initially, Henry alleged that three unknown men robbed the store and abducted him.Henry later made self-incriminating statements.Henry was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and arson.He was given a death sentence for each murder.

 

Prior to the murders, Robert Henry did not have a criminal history.Robert allegedly had an abusive and neglectful childhood.Robert also alleges he had organic brain damage and suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.Robert had served in the Marine Corps, during which time he had repeated drug related infractions, which led to his other than honorable discharge.At the time of his discharge, he was listed as a deserter.Allegedly, Robert was addicted to cocaine and was under a cocaine-induced psychosis during the time of the crime.Robert also claims that his drug addiction is scientifically recognized brain disease.Robert’s brother testified that he had seen Robert “smoke marijuana, ingest hashish, THA, alcohol, opium, acid, and hash oil” while in high school.Additionally, Robert’s friend testified that he had seen him in possession of crack cocaine, although he had never seen Robert using it.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of the Phyllis Harris and Janet Thermidor.Please pray for strength for the family of Robert Henry.

 

 

Date not affirmed by the state court.  Click here for the full story.

 

Update: March 26, 2014

The report that an execution date of March 26, 2014, had been set for Charles Ray Crawford was erroneous. On February 24, 2014, Attorney General Jim Hood requested March 26 as an execution date, however according to a spokesperson for the Mississippi Supreme Court, the justices have yet to act on that request and set a date for execution. Click here for the full story.


March 20, 2014

 

Charles Ray Crawford's execution is scheduled for 6 pm CDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi. Forty-eight-year-old Charles is convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering 20-year-old Kristy Ray, on Friday, January 29, 1993, in Tippah County, Mississippi. Charles has spent the last 19 years on Mississippi's death row.

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Date not affirmed by state court.  Click here for the full story.

 

Update: March 26, 2014

The report that an execution date of March 27, 2014, had been set for Michelle Byrom was erroneous. On February 24, 2014, Attorney General Jim Hood requested March 27 as an execution date, however according to a spokesperson for the Mississippi Supreme Court, the justices have yet to act on that request and set a date for execution. Click here for the full story.

 

March 20, 2014

 

Michelle E. Byrom's execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CDT on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi. Fifty-seven-year-old Michelle is convicted of arranging the murder of her husband, 56-year-old Edward Byrom, Sr., on June 4, 1999, in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Michelle has spent the last 14 years on Mississippi's death row. She is one of two women currently on death row in Mississippi.

According to Michelle, she had a difficult childhood. Allegedly her step-father sexually abused her for years before forcing her to work as a prostitute. At the age of 15, Michelle ran away from home and became a stripper. Shortly thereafter, she met Edward Byrom, Sr., a man who was 16 years her senior. They had a son together three years later and married when he was five. According to Michelle, Edward physically and verbally abused her. He forced Michelle to have sex with men while he videotaped her. Edward was also physically and verbally abusive towards their son. Michelle claims she tried to leave several times, but was forced to stay by threats of violence.

During her trial, a psychiatrist diagnosed Michelle with depression, alcoholism, a borderline personality disorder, and Muenchausen syndrome, a mental illness which makes people purposefully harm themselves in order to garner sympathy and attention. In Michelle's case, she would ingest rat poison to make herself ill, which led to numerous other problems.

According to prosecutors, Michelle Byrom began looking for someone to kill her husband in late May/early June of 1999, in order to acquire his life insurance. Michelle eventually hired Joey Gillis for $15,000, which would be paid from the life insurance. The Byrom's son, Edward Byrom, Jr. assisted his mother in finding the killer and was aware that one had been hired. Gillis attempted but failed to kill Edward on two separate occasions.

 

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Update: April 23, 2014 1:21 am EDT

William Rousan has been executed.  Read the full story here.


Update: April 23, 2014 12:10 am EDT

William Rousan has been denied clemency by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.


Update: April 22, 2014 9:25 pm EDT

William Rousan has been denied a request for a stay of execution by the Supreme Court of the United States. Their denial came hours after a denial by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals. William also has a request for clemency before Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

 

 

Update: April 22, 2014 4:20 pm EDT

William Rousan is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 am on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Fifty-seven-year-old William is convicted for his part in the murder of 67-year-old Charles Lewis and his wife 62-year-old Grace Lewis on September 21, 1993, in Bonne Terre, Missouri. William has spent the last 17 years on Missouri’s death row.

On Monday, April 21, 2014, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for a stay of execution by Missouri death row inmate William Rousan. William and his attorney's requested a stay of execution because the state refused to identify the source of the execution drugs. Missouri has classified compounding pharmacies, from which they obtain execution drugs, as members of the execution team, whose identities are kept secret by state law. William and his attorney plan to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of the United States.

William Rousan, his son Brent, and his brother Robert got together on September 21, 1993, and decided to steal some cattle from Charles and Grace Lewis. The put together a plan and set out. On the way to the Lewis farm, the trio discussed killing Charles and Grace. They agreed that “if it had to be done it had to be done. They parked two miles from the farm, walking the rest of the way. Before they set out on foot, William removed a .22 caliber rifle, which belonged to his girlfriend Mary Lambing, with whom he lived. William loaded the rifle. William and Brent argued over who was to carry the gun, with Brent finally saying he was “man enough to do whatever needed to be done and that he would use the weapon. William, after some hesitation agreed and the group began walking.

During the walk, William made the comment that if they were caught, they would “fry.” Upon arriving at the home, the trio hid and waited behind a fallen tree.

Charles and Grace arrived home between 3 and 4 pm. Charles began mowing the lawn. Grace spoke to her daughter who called around 4 pm. It was around this time that Brent grew tired of waiting, exclaiming he wanted to “do it.”

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Update: April 7, 2014

The execution of Nickolus Johnson has been stayed in order to allow him to complete his appeals.

 

 

March 25, 2014


Nickolus L. Johnson’s execution is scheduled for 7:10 pm CST, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. Thirty-five-year-old Nickolus is convicted of killing Police Officer Mark Vance on November 27, 2004, in Bristol, Tennessee. Nickolus has spent the last six years on Tennessee’s death row.

Nickolus was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived there for two or three years before moving to Bristol, Virginia. Friends who knew Nickolus as a child and teenager testified that he was a “good guy” and a caring person. In 1996, while still a juvenile, he was convicted of concealing merchandise. The following year, he was convicted as an adult for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, burglary, and the offense of malicious wounding. Nickolus has two children with two women, one born just three months before shooting Officer Vance. Both women testified that he was a doting and attentive father.

During the late summer of 2004, a 17-year-old girl engaged in consensual sex with then 26-year-old Nickolus Johnson. As a result, the girl ended up pregnant. When Johnson was informed of the pregnancy, he pressured the girl to have an abortion. The girl agreed, but later refused.

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