Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

News :: Civil & Human Rights

Execution Alert


Donald Jay Beardslee, a California death row inmate, has been given an execution date of January 19, 2005 at 12:01am.

While Mr. Beardslee has not yet exhausted all of his legal challenges, we now consider his scheduled execution date to be extremely serious. Some of the legal challenges that remain include a request for an en banc hearing by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and appeal to the US Supreme Court, an appeal for Clemency to the Governor of California, and a third party challenge to the lethal injection procedure itself.

1) No execution should be carried out in California while the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (created by SR 44 - Burton) is conducting research on the causes of wrongful conviction and the application of the death penalty in California.

2) Mr. Beardslee warrants executive clemency for three compelling reasons, none of which were available to the jury that sentenced him to death (for more detailed information, please visit ).

a. The jury was unaware of the extent to which Mr. Beardlee's action were controlled by severe brain damage that has impaired his functioning since birth. This brain damage was exacerbated by a car accident that occurred in 1961 and a falling tree which struck Mr. Beardslee in the head in 1968. (View supporting scientific documents at )

b. Although the jury requested information from the trial court about the punishments imposed on Mr. Beardslee's co-defendants, the court refused to provide any information. Thus the jury was left without the ability to weigh the relative culpability of the various participants. Mr. Bearslee's role in the crimes, especially when compared to those of the co-participants and when taking into consideration his limited mental functioning, does not warrant the ultimate punishment.

c. The jury's decision to sentence Mr. Beardslee to death was based upon the mistaken belief that he would pose a danger if sentenced to Life Without Parole; however, Mr. Beardslee has been a model prisoner for more than 20 years and has fully cooperated with the prison staff.

3) For general talking points on state killing, visit:


Please contact Gov. Schwarzenegger and ask him to grant clemency to Donald Beardslee.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633

To send an Email, please visit:

To contact a district office:

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