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Armband Alert: 05/01/12, Selsor,OK; 05/02/12,Bartee,TX

May 1, 2012


Please wear a black wrist band today and tomorrow, 05/01/12 and 05/02/12, in silent protest of the executions of Michael Selsor (today)  by the government of the state of Oklahoma and of Anthony Bartee (tomorrow) by the government of the state of Texas.  Mr. Selsor will be poisoned to death for the 1975 murder of Clayton Chandler, with the help of an accomplice, during a convenience store robbery.  Mr. Bartee will be killed for the 1996 murder of David Cook.

There are many problems with the case of Michael Selsor.  The only eye witness implicated not Mr. Selsor, but rather his accomplice. Further, the same lawyer represented both Mr. Selsor and his accomplice in separate trials, creating a serious conflict of interest.  Not surprisingly, Michael Selsor received incompetent representation at trial by the already compromised lawyer,  who missed the clear double jeopardy issue.  Mr. Selsor was convicted of both the murder and of the underlying felony that made the crime qualify for the death penalty.  Each of those felony convictions carried its own punishment resulting in double punishment for the same crime.  The appeals court of Oklahoma agreed with the double jeopardy error but said that because Mr. Selsor’s demonstrably incompetent lawyer did not raise the issue at trial, it could not be raised on appeal.  With all of the flaws in  this case, Michael Selsor has not yet received his constitutionally guaranteed fair trial.  Oklahoma may not send Michael Selsor to his death!

The case of Anthony Bartee is unrecoverably flawed by many injustices, like most of the executions in your Texas are.  Only weeks ago a judge order Mr. Bartee’s earlier execution date delayed so new evidence could be DNA tested.  Although that testing has not yet  happened, Texas has set next tomorrow to kill Anthony Bartee anyway.  Further, one of his original lawyers knew the victim’s family and abandoned Mr. Bartee at a crucial time in his original trial.  Also, prosecutors handed out lighter sentences to two accomplices for their testimony against Mr. Bartee, failing to inform the defense.  Finally, during the appeals process, a prosecutor improperly informed the jury of the highly prejudicial information that Mr. Bartee did not take the stand in his own defense at the original trial.  Texas must stay this execution to allow its legal proceedings to catch up to the law of the land and the demands of justice.

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