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Cover story

Due for execution

The following men and women were scheduled to be executed this month in Oklahoma. The executions will take place at 9 p.m. Prayer vigils in McAlester will begin at 7:30 p.m. before each execution at the front gate of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. All of these inmates have exhausted their appeals in both the state and federal courts

Anti-death penalty groups argue that many of the condemned men and women suffer from mental illness, were abused as children, or had abused alcohol or drugs before committing their crimes.

As of December, Oklahoma had executed 30 men since 1976, the year the state legislature reinstated the death penalty.

Thursday, Jan. 4

Robert “Randy” Clayton, age 39

Clayton was convicted of the 1986 murder of Rhonda Kay Timmons, age 19, in Tulsa. Timmons was found strangled and stabbed more than a dozen times in her Tulsa apartment. Clayton was an employee of the apartment complex. His appeals attorneys argued that he has a low IQ and noted that DNA evidence had been destroyed. On Nov. 30, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-0 against clemency. (DNA evidence surfaced 24 hours before his scheduled execution, and Clayton was granted a 30-day stay.)

Tuesday, Jan. 9

Eddie Leroy Trice, age 48

Trice was convicted of the 1987 murder of Earnestine Jones, age 84, in Oklahoma County. Jones was raped and beaten to death. Her 54-year-old mentally retarded son, Emanuel Jones, was also beaten. On Nov. 3, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-0 against recommending clemency. Trice was executed Jan. 9.

Thursday, Jan. 11

Wanda Jean Allen, age 41

Allen was convicted of the 1986 murder of Gloria Leathers, in Oklahoma City. Allen and Leathers had been in a volatile relationship over a three-year period. Allen shot Leathers outside an Oklahoma City police station. At the time, Allen was on probation after serving prison time for a 1981 manslaughter conviction. Allen has a low IQ, variously reported as 69 or 80. A clemency hearing was held Dec. 15. If the sentence is carried out, Allen will be the first woman executed since Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and the first black woman executed in the United States since l954.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Floyd Medlock, age 29

Medlock was convicted of the 1990 murder of Katherine Ann Busch, age 7, in Oklahoma City. Busch was sexually assaulted and stabbed repeatedly. Medlock had been diagnosed with a multiple-personality disorder. He has waived his right to a clemency hearing.

Thursday, Jan.18

Dion Smallwood, age 31

Smallwood was convicted of the 1992 murder of Louis Frederick in Oklahoma County. On Dec. 4, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-0 against recommending clemency for Smallwood.

Tuesday, Jan. 23

Mark Anthony Fowler, age 35

Fowler was convicted of his part in crimes also committed by Billy Ray Fox, below.

Thursday, Jan. 25

Billy Ray Fox, age 34

Fox was convicted of the 1986 murders of Rick Cast, Chumpon Chaowasin, and John Barrier, in Edmond, Okla. Cast, Chaowasin and Barrier were killed execution style at Wynn’s IGA grocery during a robbery. Fox, a former employee of the store, and Fowler blamed each other for the murders. Each claimed to be on drugs at the time. A clemency hearing for Fowler was held on Jan. 3 at which the board voted 4-0 against clemency. Fox is expected to waive his right to a clemency hearing.

Tuesday, Jan. 30

Loyd Lafevers, age 35

Lafevers was convicted of the 1985 murder of Addie Mae Hawley in Oklahoma City. Lafevers, along with Randall Cannon, was convicted of abducting, beating and setting Hawley on fire. Both Lafevers and Cannon received the death penalty. Lafevers came within hours of execution in March 2000, when a stay was granted.

Thursday, Feb. 1

D. L. Jones, age 60

Jones was convicted of the 1979 murder of Stanley Buck Sr. in Lawton, Okla. Jones shot Buck dead and wounded two others in a bar. A motive for the crime was never established. Jones is the longest-serving inmate on Oklahoma’s death row.

National Catholic Reporter, January 19, 2001