[floridaleft] [death penalty] Oklahoma to Execute a Brain-Damaged Black Woman (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sun Dec 31 06:57:33 MST 2000

forwarded by Michael Hoover

> Oklahoma to Execute a Brain-Damaged Black Woman
> Run Date: 12/18/00
> (WOMENSENEWS)--An Oklahoma death-penalty panel refused to grant
> clemency to a 41-year-old black woman said to be brain damaged.
> Wanda Jean Allen is expected to die January 11 and will join eight
> others on Oklahoma's death row to be executed in a four-week period
> in January, a historic peak.
> Allen, convicted of murdering her female lover, faced a five-person
> state pardon and parole board that in 10 years has yet to approve a
> clemency request. Last Thursday, Dec. 14, it voted 3-1 to deny
> clemency. Since reinstating the death penalty in 1990, the state has
> executed 30 people. Gov. Frank Keating has no power to overrule the
> panel and could only extend a 60-day stay to Allen.
> Allen was convicted of murdering her lover, Gloria Leathers, during
> a lengthy dispute that began in their home and ended in front of a
> police station. Allen claimed Leathers had attacked her with a rake.
> Leathers was known to be violent and had murdered a woman in 1979 in
> Tulsa, Okla.
> Allen's supporters say she has an IQ of 69 as a result of brain
> damage she suffered as a teen when she was struck by a truck and, in
> a separate incident, stabbed in the temple. Others say that her
> sexual orientation prejudiced the prosecutor, influencing his
> decision to seek the death penalty and the manner in which the trial
> was conducted.
> Allen's lawyer, having never tried a capital case, tried twice to
> withdraw from the case, once after he was paid only $800 of his
> $5,000 fee, and again after the state announced it would seek the
> death penalty. Both times his motions were denied.
> If she is executed, Allen will become the first black woman executed
> in the United States since 1954 and the first black woman executed
> in Oklahoma since 1903.

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