The S. Ct. Order in Coleman v. Stephens is at:
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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014 | via Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Arlington woman executed for abused boy’s death
By Michael Graczyk | Associated Press
HUNTSVILLE — Lisa Coleman, an Arlington woman convicted of starving and torturing her girlfriend’s 9-year-old son to death a decade ago, was executed Wednesday evening.
Coleman, 38, received a lethal injection of pentobarbital about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal.
Coleman smiled and nodded to several friends and an aunt who watched through a window, thanking them and expressing her love. She also said she loved the other women on Death Row and urged them to “keep their heads up.”
“I’m all right,” she said. “Tell them I finished strong. God is good.”
She mouthed a kiss and laughed and nodded to her witnesses in the seconds before the lethal drug took effect.
“Love you all,” she said just before closing her eyes and taking a couple of short breaths. Then there was no further movement.
She was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m.
Coleman was the first woman from Tarrant County to be executed. Statewide this year, she was the ninth convicted killer and second woman to receive a lethal injection.
Nationally, she’s the 15th woman executed since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. During that time, nearly 1,400 men have been put to death.
Coleman was condemned for the death of Davontae Williams, whose emaciated body was found in July 2004 in the Arlington apartment that Coleman shared with his mother, Marcella Williams.
Paramedics who found him dead said at her trial that they were shocked to learn his age. He weighed 36 pounds, about half the weight of a normal 9-year-old.
A pediatrician testified that he had more than 250 injuries, including burns from cigarettes or cigars and scars from ligatures, and that a lack of food made him stop growing.
“There was not an inch on his body that had not been bruised or scarred or injured,” said Dixie Bersano, one of the prosecutors.
Coleman’s trial attorneys said the boy’s death was an accident. They said that he may have had mental-health issues that made him hard to handle and that Coleman and Williams didn’t know how to deal with him.
After a Tarrant County jury sent Coleman to Death Row in 2006, Williams took a plea bargain and accepted a life sentence. Now 33, she’s not eligible for parole until 2044.
Coleman’s appeals lawyer, John Stickels, argued to the high court that while the child’s hands were tied with clothesline at times, it was “mostly a misguided means of discipline” used by both women.
Tarrant County prosecutors were incorrect to apply kidnapping to the charge, making it a capital murder case, he said. The jury’s conviction on that charge was also incorrect, Stickels contended.
Jefferson Clendenin, an assistant Texas attorney general, told the justices that Coleman’s arguments “had no merit.”
As of Jan. 1, 60 women were on Death Row in the United States, representing about 2 percent of the Death Row population, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based organization that opposes capital punishment.
Coleman’s execution leaves seven women on Death Row in Texas, none from Tarrant County. No men from Tarrant County have executions scheduled.
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Wednesday 17 September 2014 – 20.16 EDT | The Guardian
Lisa Coleman executed by lethal injection after final appeal rejected
Coleman, 38, was put to death in Texas for her role in the starvation death and torture of her partner’s nine-year-old son
by Tom Dart in Houston | theguardian.com
Lisa Coleman became the fifteenth American woman to be executed since 1976 when she was given a lethal injection in Texas on Wednesday evening for her role in the starvation death and torture of her partner’s nine-year-old son.
The US supreme court rejected Coleman’s final appeal for a stay earlier in the day. That cleared the path for the 38-year-old to be put to death using compounded pentobarbital from a supplier that Texas has refused to disclose, amid questions about its expiration date and quality.
Nearly 1,400 people have been executed in the US since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Even though women commit about 10% of all homicides they comprise 1% of inmates put to death, according to figures from the Death Penalty Information Centre. Only seven states – Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas and Virginia – have executed female prisoners in the past three decades.
Court documents indicated that Davontae Williams had been restrained and repeatedly beaten before his death from malnutrition with pneumonia in July 2004. A pediatrician testified that the boy’s emaciated corpse showed more than 250 separate injuries, including burns and scars. A blood stain suggested he had been struck with a golf club.
Paramedics found his body at the home in an apartment complex in Arlington, near Dallas, that Coleman shared with her lover, Marcella Williams. He weighed less than 36 pounds (16.3 kg), about the average weight for a boy half his age.
Committing murder during a kidnapping is among the criteria which can raise a charge in Texas to capital murder. While not denying Coleman’s part in the crime, her attorneys had argued in appeals that she was innocent of capital murder because she did not kidnap the child by hiding him inside the apartment. They produced witnesses who testified that they had seen him outside on several occasions. But appeals courts decided that even though he was not taken from his home, Coleman had effectively kidnapped Davontae because he had been restrained and kept away from others.
Coleman’s trial defence team argued that the death was accidental and that she had endured a deeply troubled upbringing, including suffering physical and sexual assaults, which left her with psychological scars and little sense of how to behave appropriately towards a child in her care. Texas child protective services investigated the couple on several occasions but eventually lost track of them.
Marcella Williams was tried after Coleman, took a plea deal and was given a life sentence. The 33-year-old will be eligible for parole in 2044. Texas is by far the nation’s executions leader, with 517 inmates put to death in the past 32 years. That represents 37% of the national total, though Texas comprises about 8% of the US population. The state has carried out nine executions this year and has another eight scheduled between 15 October and 18 March. The three most recent executions of women in the US have been in Texas: Coleman, Suzanne Basso last February and Kimberly McCarthy in June last year. Seven women remain on Texas death row, including Linda Carty, a British citizen born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts.
In the death chamber, Coleman reportedly smiled and acknowledged friends and an aunt who were watching through a window, said she loved the other women on Texas’ death row and that they should “keep their heads up”. She mouthed an audible kiss and added: “I’m all right. Tell them I finished strong … God is good.” Shortly before she closed her eyes and stopped moving, she said, “Love you all.”
Coleman was pronounced dead at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, near Houston, at 6.24pm central time, 12 minutes after officials began to administer the lethal dose of the sedative.
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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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September 18, 2014 | Los Angeles Times
Texas executes woman after Supreme Court denies last-minute appeal
by Michael Muskal
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Supreme Court rejects last-minute appeal of woman facing execution for torturing, starving a 9-year-old
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Lisa Coleman, a 38-year-old Texas woman convicted of torturing and starving to death a friend’s 9-year-old son, was executed Wednesday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court denied her last-minute appeal.
Coleman was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. Central time, Texas officials said.
Her last words included, “I just want to tell my family I love them, my son, I love him. The girls on the row I love them and keep their heads up…. I’m done.”
She was the ninth person, and the second woman, to be executed in Texas this year.
In July 2004, Coleman was living in a Texas apartment with a friend, Marcella Williams, and her son, Davontae Williams. The child’s body weighed about 36 pounds, about half the normal weight of a 9-year-old child. Williams, 33, is serving a life sentence in prison for her role in the death.
Coleman’s trial lawyers argued that the death was an accident and the result of failed efforts to control and discipline the child.
Coleman’s current lawyer John Stickels argued that his client was incorrectly charged with a capital crime.
“The position of Lisa Coleman is that she is not guilty of a capital crime as required by Texas law and should not be executed,” he told the justices, according to the Associated Press.
Texas disagreed with that assessment, according to a 43-page brief opposing the requested delay in the execution.
Times staff writers Lauren Raab, Julie Westfall and Connie Stewart contributed to this Report.
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Follow @latimesmuskal for national news
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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From Eric Freedman:
Lisa Coleman Becomes The Sixth Woman Executed By Texas Since 1982
by Tasneem Nashrulla | BuzzFeed Staff and Claudia Koerner | BuzzFeed Staff
. . .
Coleman was executed at 6:24 p.m. CT, after making this final statement:
“I just want to tell my family I love them, my son, I love him. The girls on the row I love them and keep their heads up. Tell Darlie I love her, hand in hand. God bless y’all. I’m alright, tell them I finished strong. I love y’all, I’m done. I love you Richie. I love you. Thank you Brad and John, all of y’all. God is good, I love you Auntie. I’m done.”
Via Texas Department of Criminal Justice
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Texas Executes Woman for Murder of 9-Year-Old
by Elizabeth Barber
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The StandDown Texas Project
PO Box 13475
Austin, TX 78711
September 20, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: a 38-year-old Texas woman convicted of torturing and starving to death a friend’s 9-year-old son, according to the Associated Press., and the second woman, “I just want to tell my family I love them, “The position of Lisa Coleman is that she is not guilty of a capital crime as required by Texas law and should not be executed, ” he told the justices, Coleman’s current lawyer John Stickels argued that his client was incorrectly charged with a capital crime., Her last words included, I love him. The girls on the row I love them and keep their heads up.... I’m done.”, Julie Westfall and Connie Stewart contributed to this Report., Lisa Coleman, my son, She was the ninth person, Texas Executes Woman for Murder of 9-Year-Old, Times staff writers Lauren Raab, to be executed in Texas this year. | Leave a comment