Wesley Ira Purkey, 67, is scheduled to be performed on December 13, 2019
Lawyers for one of the five federal death cell prisoners recently scheduled for execution have opened multiple legal challenges to save his life, including requesting President Donald Trump for mercy.
Wesley Ira Purkey, 67, is scheduled to be executed on December 13, 2019 for the rape, murder and dismantling of 16-year-old Jennifer Long at his home in Kansas in 1998. He was also convicted of beating the 80-year-old Mary Balen dead with a hammer.
Last month Attorney General Bill Barr announced that the federal government would resume executions for the first time since 2003 and set the execution dates for Purkey and four other prisoners in death row he & # 39; the worst criminals & # 39; called.
& # 39; Purkey is not & # 39; the worst of the worst & # 39 ;, & # 39; said his lawyer Rebecca Woodman on Tuesday in a statement to DailyMail.com. & # 39; He is a man who grew up in a house of horrors, beaten and humiliated by both of his parents and subjected to extensive and continuous sexual abuse by members of his family. & # 39;
The federal death chamber can be seen on a file photo in Terre Haute, Indiana. The federal government has not executed anyone since 2003, but the executions will resume
Woodman went on to say that Purkey was & # 39; humiliated and violent & # 39; and & # 39; was repeatedly abused & # 39; by a priest.
& # 39; Had the jury heard this information, at least one would have voted for a life sentence, & # 39; said Woodman.
On Tuesday, the Purkey legal team filed a suspension of execution, arguing that his litigation lawyer had not investigated his traumatic youth.
In court cases, Purkey & # 39; s lawyers describe his upbringing by abusive and alcoholic parents.
They claim that Purkey & # 39; s mother started molesting him sexually after his parents separated when he was eight.
When he was nine or ten years old, his mother taught him to practice oral sex with her, and eventually forced him to have sex with her, the file reports.
The submission also claims that Purkey & # 39; s father paid prostitutes to caress and touch him when he was 12, and that his grandmother often paraded naked around the house and & # 39; naked with him & night 39 hugged & # 39 ;.
Furthermore, Purkey was often sexually abused by a pastor in a period of three years, from eleven to thirteen years, the archives.
Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and then tore it apart, burned it and dumped the young girl's body into a septic pond. His lawyers say he was terribly abused as a boy
Complete statement from Purkey's lawyer
Rebecca Woodman, attorney for Wesley Purkey, issued the following statement to DailyMail.com on August 27:
& # 39; Purkey is not "the worst of the worst". He is a man who grew up in a house of atrocities, beaten and humiliated by both of his parents and subjected to extensive and constant sexual abuse by members of his family. Where school was perhaps a safe haven, he went to a notorious Catholic school where the nuns humiliated him and cruelly. Where the church could have taken refuge, he was repeatedly abused by a priest. Mr. trauma history Purkey and other vital evidence from his past could have helped explain why he committed the crime that led to his federal conviction. If the jury had heard this information, at least one of them would have voted for a life sentence. But because Mr. litigation attorney Purkey did not even do the most basic research, the jury never heard about his life history or the implications for his case.
& # 39; Any person who is faced with a criminal charge is legally entitled to a lawyer who will properly represent him. This is essential in a case where the life of a defendant is at stake. It is because in the specific case the jury has to make a moral decision that a lawyer for a main defendant must seek and present a full and complete picture of the life experiences and history of the defendant so that the jury can make a legal decision to convict. That did not happen in the case of Mr. Purkey.
& # 39; Today we ask the Federal Court in Indiana to finally give Mr. Purkey a meaningful assessment of claims regarding the serious failures of his litigation attorney and to consider the impact that the wealth of available mitigation evidence could have had his capital punishment. At the same time, we ask President Trump to use his executive clemency power to turn his death penalty into life without the possibility of conditional release. Purkey should not be executed if the courts have still not had the full opportunity to address these issues, and both his long-proven remorse and the dementia he is currently experiencing, allowing him to serve his natural life in prison.
Purkey & # 39; s childhood trauma led him on a path of alcohol and drug abuse and crime, the submission argues.
In a separate petition filed Friday, Purkey's lawyers are also asking for Trump's mercy, urging him to turn Purkey's death penalty into a life in prison without the possibility of conditional release. They cited his diagnosis of dementia and his regret.
& # 39; He has not forgiven himself and therefore cannot ask forgiveness from you or your office, & # 39; his lawyers wrote in his leniency application. & # 39; He is only asking for your intervention, so that he could simply die in the late phase of his life in prison. & # 39;
Purkey & # 39; s heinous murders
On January 22, 1998, Purkey drove from his home in Kansas to Kansas City, Missouri for an interview with a plumbing company, according to Purkey's confession to the FBI.
After the interview, Purkey smoked half a rock crack and started driving down the street as he passed 16-year-old Jennifer Long who was walking on the sidewalk.
He stopped asking Jennifer if she wanted to & # 39; party & # 39; and then took her to a liquor store to buy her gin and orange juice.
Jennifer Long was only 16 when Purkey kidnapped, raped and killed her
After buying the gin for her, Jennifer told him to go back to his home in Kansas. She asked to be released from his truck.
Instead, Purkey reached into the glove box, grabbed a boning knife, and placed it under his thigh.
With the knife he threatened the girl and made it clear that she could not leave, according to his original confession – which he later partially retired, saying that he confessed that he had received a federal punishment and avoided the state prison.
When they arrived at his home in Lansing, about 30 miles away, Purkey took Jennifer to a room in his basement.
He held a knife and ordered her to take off her clothes and lie down on the floor where he raped her.
After Purkey ended the despicable sexual assault, Jennifer told him she had been a virgin.
He confessed that he was afraid she would tell the police, and while Jennifer tried to escape from his house, he grabbed her leg and forced her to the ground.
The two struggled shortly before Purkey became furious and repeatedly stabbed Jennifer in the chest, neck and face with the boning knife, and finally broke the knife into her body.
Investigators are looking for the remains of Jennifer in the septic field after her murder in 1998
When he confessed, he told FBI agent Dirk Tarpley: & # 39; It's not like in the movies. They don't die right away. It took her some time to die. & # 39;
Purkey dissected Jenny's body with a chainsaw and tried to burn the body parts in his fireplace while his wife and stepchildren were at work and at school.
He collected the ashes and bone fragments that were left in garbage bags and threw them in a septic pond 200 miles away.
He was also sentenced to court for using a claw hammer to club an 80-year-old woman suffering from polio and walking with a cane.
Nine months after Jennifer Long was raped and murdered, Purkey was employed by a plumbing company when he met Mary Ruth Bales, 80, during a service visit to her home on the evening of October 26, 1998.
Purkey told Bales that his employer charged a lot for the specific job she needed, and he offered to return later to do the work under the table if she paid him $ 70 in advance, according to legal documents.
Purkey was also convicted of killing 80-year-old Mary Bales (above) with a hammer
She paid and Purkey left with the help of Bales & # 39; money to hire a prostitute and buy several stone crack cocaine the next morning.
Purkey and the prostitute withdrew for a few hours in a motel room where they had sex and smoked the crack cocaine before they drove together to Bales' house.
Telling the prostitute that someone living in the house owed him money, Purkey went inside with a toolbox from his truck and killed Balen in her bedroom with a claw hammer.
Researchers determined that Bales died of blunt force trauma as a result of repeated blows on her skull with the claw side of the hammer.
On November 5, 2003, a jury in the US court of western Missouri district found Purkey guilty of abducting a child resulting in the child's death, and was sentenced to death.
He is currently being held in the federal death row on USP Terre Haute in Indiana.
Watchtowers rise above the terrain of the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex in Indiana. Purkey is one of the five men who will be executed there in the coming months
Together with Purkey, four other men had set their federal execution dates last month.
Daniel Lewis Lee, 46; Lezmond Charles Mitchell, 37; Alfred Bourgeois, 55; and Dustin Lee Honken, 51, are scheduled to run in December or January.
The Ministry of Justice says that each one has exhausted his appeal options and after being convicted and that there are no legal obstacles to their implementation.
The mother of the teenage victim of Purkey, Glenda Lamont, the Kansas City Star that she was overjoyed when she heard that Purkey would be executed.
She plans to attend the performance at USP Terre Haute on December 13 if it goes according to plan.
& # 39; I don't want to say I'm happy, & # 39; Lamont said in July. & # 39; At the same time he is a crazy man who in my opinion no longer deserves to breathe. & # 39;
Why federal executions were interrupted
In July, the Justice Department said it would resume federal executions for the first time since 2003.
Since a decision by the Supreme Court in 1976 lifted a four-year moratorium on the death penalty, the federal government has only executed three men: two in 2001 and one in 2003.
However, in the same period since 1976, individual states carried out more than 1500 executions.
In 2014, an execution in Oklahoma was already problematic enough to violate then-president Barack Obama a moratorium on the federal death penalty.
Although a moratorium never came true, the Democratic Party's national platform approved this two years later, and no federal executions have been planned since.
President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has repeatedly endorsed the death penalty for serious crimes.
On July 25, the Justice Department said the federal implementation protocol had been amended to replace the old three-drug procedure previously used in federal executions with a single drug – pentobarbital.
& # 39; Since 2010, 14 states have used pentobarbital in more than 200 executions, and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have repeatedly confirmed the use of pentobarbital in executions as consistent with the eighth amendment, & # 39; DOJ said in a statement.
There are currently 62 prisoners in the federal death row, including the five men scheduled for the death room in December and January.
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