Powell granted execution delay-- Friday, February 9, 2007
Twice-convicted capital murderer Paul Warner Powell will not be executed Feb. 15, according to a federal judge's order. U.S. Eastern District Judge T.S. Ellis III granted Powell's motion for a stay of execution Jan. 25, about a week after his execution date was set in Prince William Circuit Court.
"It doesn't surprise me," said Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert. "I knew when [the date] was set it would be a one in a million chance that it would go through on schedule."
The Virginia Attorney General's office did not oppose the stay, which will continue "until further order of the court," according to attorney general spokesman David Clementson.
Powell, 28, of Manassas, was convicted of the January 1999 attack on two teenage sisters in their Yorkshire home.
In 2001, the Virginia Supreme Court overturned Powell's capital conviction for raping and stabbing 14-year-old Kristie Reed and murdering 16-year-old Stacie Reed.
The justices declared Powell's actions two separate crimes and therefore ineligible for the death penalty.
Powell was later rescheduled for a first-degree murder trial.
While awaiting that trial, he sent Ebert a letter including information Ebert used to convict him of capital murder a second time.
The second jury recommended the death sentence for Powell in May 2003.
Ebert said Powell has exhausted all state appeals and that the state Supreme Court has upheld his convictions.
"It just shows how ridiculous it is to continue to afford these folks appeal after appeal to attack their convictions at the taxpayers' expense," Ebert said.
Ebert said another major criticism about the United States appeals system is that it's "so slow."
"And as they say, justice delayed is justice denied," Ebert said.
Clementson said Powell's attorneys have until March 9 to file his federal habeas corpus petition, and the Attorney General's office is required to respond by April 10.
Condemned killer Paul Warner Powell won another reprieve yesterday, this time from the U.S. Supreme Court, which stayed his execution set for tonight in Virginia's electric chair.
Powell, 31, was sentenced to die for the Jan. 29, 1999, capital murder of Stacie Lynn Reed, 16, in her Manassas-area home. After he stabbed Stacie to death, Powell raped and attempted to kill her 14-year-old sister, Kristie, and left her for dead.
The justices granted the stay in a brief order yesterday afternoon. The stay will last at least until Sept. 29, when the court has its regular conference to consider which cases to take up.
Powell is claiming to be the victim of double jeopardy. In his first trial, he was sentenced to death, but that sentence was overturned on appeal, and the Virginia Supreme Court ordered him to be retried on a first-degree murder charge. However, prosecutors tried him again for capital murder after he wrote a taunting letter in which he admitted to the crime.
If the court decides to hear the appeal, the stay will continue until the case is decided. If the justices decline to hear the appeal, the stay will be lifted automatically.
Powell earlier was scheduled to be executed in February 2007 but was granted a stay by a U.S. District Court judge.
Lawyers on both sides expressed concern yesterday for the family of the victims. Their mother, Lorraine Reed Whoberry, who now lives in Ohio, has endured two capital-murder trials and taunting letters from Powell.
Whoberry says she has forgiven Powell but believes the execution -- which she planned to witness -- should be carried out. She declined to comment on yesterday's stay but said she may go through with a news conference planned for this afternoon.
David Clementson, a spokesman for the attorney general, said, "We will continue to defend the capital conviction through the legal system. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers remain with Stacie Reed's family and friends."
Jonathan P. Sheldon, one of Powell's lawyers, said he was relieved for Powell, but "what a terrible thing for the Reeds. . . . The yo-yo back and forth -- another reason why death sentences are just terrible for everybody."
Powell was prosecuted for the capital murder twice. The first death sentence was overturned by the Virginia Supreme Court, which ruled that it had to have been proven he had raped, robbed or attempted to rape or rob Stacie in addition to killing her.
The justices sent the case back to be tried for first-degree murder, for which the stiffest sentence is life in prison.
Powell, thinking he no longer faced the death penalty, bragged in a letter to the prosecutor that he had attempted to rape Stacie before he killed her. He was charged with capital murder again, the letter was used against him, and he was sentenced to death again.
Among other things, Powell's lawyers argue his retrial on capital murder constituted double jeopardy. Similar appeals had failed in other courts earlier, most recently by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In their petition filed with the high court, Powell's lawyers argue his second capital-murder conviction is unconstitutional because you cannot be tried for the same crime twice.
In 1995, Virginia inmates were given the choice to be executed by electrocution or lethal injection. Since then, 75 have been executed by injection and four by electrocution.
Powell chose the electric chair. Sheldon said he did so because he helped talk the last man to be executed in the chair, Brandon Hedrick, to do so.
Hedrick, 27, was executed in 2006. Sheldon said Powell has concerns about the way lethal injection is carried out.
Sheldon said that although Powell has written cruel letters to others in the past, he has not done so in years and that he feels for remorse for his crimes. Whoberry has said she has not seen any remorse from him.
Beth Panilaitis, executive director of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said the group was relieved. "The constitutional rights of individuals must be protected, and this is greatly heightened in death-penalty cases when it is truly a matter of life or death," she said.
Powell's lawyers, who do not dispute that Powell killed Stacie and brutally attacked Kristie, agree. They also had a clemency petition filed with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
That is bullcrap. People have been resentenced to death before. Double-Jeopardy my butt! He fricking admitted to it in those letters.
Euro-weenie (taken from the urban dictionary) - A European, or American who wishes he/she were European, with an ultra-liberal view of the world, who believes that the United States should roll over like a bunch of pussies and become testicle-less Socialist wimps like they are.
I agree....our justice system is way broken when the killer even ADMITS HIMSELF what he did, but he cannot be tried again. Not only that, but they give this garbage HIS CHOICE of disposition method!! Maybe the tax payers could also get him a nice lazy boy recliner for his cell so he could watch his big flat screen! I hope they wise up on this one, or this shithead will be back on the streets plotting his next crime.
seriously: I think Obama should have made them liquidate all their assets both business AND PERSONAL so they could climb over their own pile of s***; instead of expecting the American tax payers to do it.
Sept 1, 2019 20:35:38 GMT -5
seriously: Wake up people! Don't you realize that WE THE PEOPLE don't need the rich, THEY NEED US...to do the work that makes them richer so they don't have to clean their own toilets; and all we get is industrialized meats and crops, GMO's, antibiotic resistance.
Sept 1, 2019 20:38:53 GMT -5
seriously: Patented seed crops, running small farmer's out of business, toxic waste, poisoned water, dirty air, deforestation, global warming. By the way, who even wants to live in a GLOBAL GOVERNMENT world with a GLOBAL ECONOMY?
Sept 1, 2019 20:41:57 GMT -5
seriously: America should be more like Switzerland, fix our own 'broken wagon' and let the rest of the world fix theirs...it's not an U.S.A. problem. Screw oil, it pollutes the earth...GO SOLAR, WIND, WATER POWER! Screw the utility companies!
Sept 1, 2019 20:48:33 GMT -5
seriously: That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Best way to topple the rich...eliminate money and go back to the barter system; let the rich wipe their own bums and clean their own toilets...for a change! No more "Groom of the stool" for them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:51:50 GMT -5
seriously: Then banks and wall street can crash all they want; why should we be dragged down with them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:53:16 GMT -5
alanthony 007: hi, its alanthony; attorney " bartner and solicitor " for Miss Darlie Routier. I was out of town working on a high profile case. I'm back with an unusual part of the Law that will set my client free, so shall we proceed. first, everyone must listen to
Nov 27, 2019 20:52:02 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: Walter Barton (Arkie) has been on Missouri's capital punishment row for many, many years. He has been through 5 trials! Each time is guilty. He'll finally go to hell on May 19, 2020...
Feb 22, 2020 20:23:42 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: This site has a locked ARKIE BOARD shouting out his innocence. Shout it out to the devil that his son will be home soon...
Feb 22, 2020 20:25:41 GMT -5
alanthony 008: why would anyone give a s*** about Barton, he is convicted of killing a nobody, and he,s one too.
Mar 20, 2020 4:19:50 GMT -5
alanthony 008: you know.. two pieces of tailor trash, its a waist were even typing about it .. so off he goes, who cares.
Mar 20, 2020 4:30:41 GMT -5