Thursday, November 06, 2008

Texas Execution To Be Carried Out Today

Elkie Lee Taylor is scheduled to be killed by Texas today, November 6.

He would be the 15th Texas inmate executed this year in Texas and the first of six scheduled for lethal injection this month in the nation's most active death penalty state.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Taylor, originally from Milwaukee, had been on parole for about three months at the time of the murder that sent him to death row.

Taylor's lawyers filed appeals challenging the validity of instructions given to jurors at his 1994 trial. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and then the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected the attempt to stop the execution.

Attorney James Rasmussen said Wednesday he was taking the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He did not file a clemency petition with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Taylor, who declined to speak with reporters in the weeks preceding his scheduled punishment, had been set to die in 2003. However, two days before that execution date, he won a reprieve from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals after state prison records showed he may be mentally retarded and ineligible for execution under U.S. Supreme Court guidelines.

The reprieve later was lifted and federal appeals courts upheld lower court rulings that Taylor was not mentally retarded.

"One of the defenses at his trial and then talked about for years now was he's slow, ain't too smart, not the sharpest knife in the drawer," Terri Moore, the former Tarrant County district attorney who prosecuted Taylor, recalled this week. "But Elkie had some pretty good little skills, scheming and conniving skills."

Authorities contended Taylor and an accomplice took jewelry, cash, a television and other items in the robbery at Otis Flake Flake's house so they could be sold to buy crack cocaine. Prison records showed they got $16 for the loot.

Taylor admitted to his involvement in a similar slaying of an 87-year-old Fort Worth man seven blocks from Flake's home and 11 days before his murder. But Taylor, like in Flake's killing, blamed the murder on a partner.

His accomplice, Darryl Birdow, was sentenced in 1994 to life in prison for Flake's death. Taylor told police he bound and gagged Flake but insisted Birdow strangled the man.

"He was an animal who preyed on the weakest of people," Renee Harris Toliver, Flake's niece, said Tuesday. "The only thing that stopped him was that he got caught."

Taylor was arrested after steering a stolen 18-wheeler cab for over 150 miles, leading police on a chase from Fort Worth to Waco that ended when a state trooper shot out the truck's tires. In the chase, he tried to ram police cars and run over two troopers standing on the side of a road.

Two more executions are scheduled for next week.

George Whitaker III, 36, was to die Nov. 12 for the shooting death of Kiki Carrier, the sister of his ex-girlfriend, at her home outside Crosby in Harris County, east of Houston. Two others, including a 5-year-old girl, were wounded in the attack.

Then the following day, Nov. 13, Denard Manns, 42, faced execution for the 1998 fatal shooting of Christine Robson, 26, at her apartment in Killeen. Robson was in the Army and based at nearby Fort Hood.
To send the Governor of Texas an email denouncing this execution, go to:

You can also call and leave him a message:

Telephone numbers for Governor Rick Perry of Texas

* Citizen's Opinion Hotline [for Texas callers] :
(800) 252-9600
* Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers] :
(512) 463-1782
* Office of the Governor Main Switchboard [office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST] :
(512) 463-2000
* Citizen's Assistance Telecommunications Device
If you are using a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD),
call 711 to reach Relay Texas

* Office of the Governor Fax:
(512) 463-1849

Mailing Address

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Statewide Execution Vigils

Google Map

Huntsville - Corner of 12th Street and Avenue I (in front of the Walls Unit) at 5:00 p.m.

Austin - At the Texas Capitol on the sidewalk on 11th Street facing South down Congress Avenue from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

Beaumont - Diocese of Beaumont, Diocesan Pastoral Office, 703 Archie St. @ 4:00 p.m. on the day of an execution.

College Station - 6 to 7 PM on execution days, corner of Texas Avenue and University Drive.

Corpus Christi - at 6 PM in front of Incarnate Word Convent at 2910 Alameda Street

Dallas - 5:30 pm, at the SMU Women's Center, 3116 Fondren Drive

Houston - To learn location or if a stay has been granted before you come out, call Burnham Terrell, 713/921-0948.

Lewisville - St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 1897 W. Main Street. Peace & Justice Ministry conducts Vigils of Witness Against Capital Punishment at 6:00 pm on the day executions are scheduled in Texas.

McKinney - St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Community located at 110 St. Gabriel Way. We gather the last Sunday of the month, following the 11:00 Mass to pray for those men/women scheduled to be executed in the next month and to remember the victims, their families, and all lives touched, including us as a society.

San Antonio (Site 1) - Archdiocese of San Antonio, in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Chancery, 2718 W. Woodlawn Ave. (1 mile east of Bandera Rd.) at 11:30 a.m. on the day of execution. Broadcast on Catholic Television of San Antonio (Time-Warner cable channel 15) at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the day of execution.

San Antonio (Site 2) - Main Plaza across from Bexar County Courthouse and San Fernando Cathedral - Noon

Spring - Prayer Vigil at 6 PM on evenings of executions at St Edward Catholic Community, 2601 Spring Stuebner Rd for the murder victim, for family and friends of the murder victim, the prison guards and correctional officers, for the family of the condemn man/woman, for the man/woman to be executed and to an end to the death penalty.

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