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Indybay Feature
Fri Dec 31 2004
Donald Beardslee Killed by State of California
Clemency Denied, Execution and Vigil Took Place as Planned
1/19/2005: Donald Beardslee was declared dead at 12:29am, nearly 24 years after the crimes he was convicted of participating in were committed. None of the other men who were involved in the murders of two San Mateo County women received a death sentence. He was the first man to be executed in Calfornia in nearly three years. On January 18th, Governor Schwarzenegger (aka "The Terminator") denied Donald Beardslee's clemency request, and the Supreme Court declined hearing the two remaining appeals in the case.

A protest against the execution took place outside of San Quentin on Tuesday night from 8pm until confirmation of Beardslee's death was received. The vigil honored people who were executed in California, as well as their victims. List of vigils statewide

1/16/2005: As the scheduled date for the execution of Donald Beardslee approaches, the the options for delaying or cancelling his death are diminishing. 1/15-16 Updates On Friday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge by Beardslee's attorneys in which they tried to claim that lethal injection would take away their client's right of free speech because he would be unable to speak or shout to indicate the level of pain that he would be experiencing as he died. There is a chance that this could be appealed to the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit has also rejected and declined to rehear, Beardslee's claim that jurors, when rendering a death verdict, were prejudiced into voting that way. The appeals court did rule that jurors had wrongly considered that the women were killed to keep them from serving as witnesses in court against Beardslee and a co-defendant. The court said that this error did not prejudice the jury's conclusion. That challenge is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Beardslee has requested that the Supreme Court grant a Stay of Execution. Beardslee has asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemency, which would commute the death sentence to life without parole. Beardslee, 61, says that the right hemisphere of his brain was inoperative when he committed the murders. The governor's decision is expected to be released on Tuesday, and many organizations are urging people to call, fax, or email the Governor, and to write letters to mainstream media editors. Some websites have set up easy ways to write to the Governor: State of California email | Governor's District Offices

Earlier this year, Beardslee's attorneys attempted to argue before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that errors in the penalty trial had affected the jury's verdict- the Court ruled that this was not the case. Articles about Beardslee's Case from Dec. 2004. A Press Conference/Rally was held on Tuesday, January 11th at the California State Building. Video: 1 | 2 The Board of Prison Terms held a requested Clemency Hearing on January 14th in the Auditorium of the Capitol East End Facility. The state parole board met in closed session after Friday's testimony to make a recommendation on whether Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should grant clemency. Schwarzenegger is expected to make his decision Tuesday.Read more about these events Past protests: Monday at the East Gate of San Quentin: there was a press conference at 10am, followed by a demonstration at 11am. Tuesday morning at 7am, there was a march from San Francisco's Palace of the Legion of Honor to the gates of San Quentin.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) urges anti-death penalty activists to "start mobilizing now and show the state of California that we oppose this and all executions." This year, the California state Senate established a commission to study the flaws of the death penalty system. (Death Penalty Focus Statement) According to CEDP, "We need to demand a moratorium on ALL executions while this study is taking place!"

Anarchist analysis of the death penalty | Beardslee Fact Sheet | Stop the Execution of Donald Beardslee! | Death Penalty Focus | Californians for a Moratorium on Executions | California Department of Correction's Webpage about Beardslee | Habeas Corpus Resource Center documents.
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