[saymaListserv] Death Sentence, 2/7/01: Stanley Lingar
Michael Austin Shell
bright_crow at mindspring.com
Sun Feb 4 11:21:04 JEST 2001
Our friend John Todd send Jim the following email last night. Please
consider it and hold the people involved in the Light.
If you are led to, please contact the governor of Missouri and urge him to
commute the death sentence of Stanley Lingar.
Subj: my letter what do u think
Date: 2/3/2001 2:02:29 AM Eastern Standard Time
Friends I come to you asking for your help and prayers. I have never felt
more strongly about anything. I have spent the last few hours in tears and
prayers over this. And the words of Christ keep echoing thru my heart:
"And the King will answer, 'In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this
to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.'"
Right now one of our brothers needs our Christian love desperately. In
just a few days the State of Missouri will end his life by lethal
injection. His name is Stanley Lingar, one of the "least of these
brothers." His crime was horrible. In 1985 he and his partner abducted,
sexually assaulted and brutally murdered a young man sixteen years old.
There's not a lot of sympathy or love for him around. But as Christians we
must show compassion and the love of Christ. And there are serious
questions about the degree of his involvement in the murder. His partner
testified against him in exchange for leniency. (Now released after serving
ten years.) It was Stanley's attorneys first death penalty case. And the
prosecution made an issue of his orientation to sway a small town jury.
Based on those facts is an attempt to persuade Gov. Bob Holden to commute
his sentence to life in prison, but it's success is doubtful. And John
Ashcroft was Missouri Attorney General at the time of the crime and
pretrial. There's not a lot of sympathy for Stanley. But there must be
Christian love. And there are things we can do. I will tell you more about
that later. But let's all pray for Stanley. That he knows Jesus' love or
that he will find him before he dies. I only learned of Stanley today.
But he has been heavy on my heart. I am trying to reach Stanley's
attorney. To find out if Stanley would welcome someone to visit and
minister to him. I would be willing to go. Or perhaps a member of our
Clergy staff. He may be abandoned by his family. Someone needs to be
there for him if he wishes. Also the Missouri Coalition to Oppose the
Death Penalty will hold a vigil during the execution. Anyone interested in
attending may contact me.
I hope the execution can be stopped. Follows is a posting I have been
putting up around the Internet. It includes some background, news stories
and links. And actions you can take.
It was a heinous crime but I am opposed to the death penalty in any case.
However it is likely the jury was swayed because of the orientation of the
perpetrators. This is a highly charged and emotional issue. Also John
Ashcroft was Missouri Attorney General at the time of the crime and
pretrial. Please, especially Missourians contact:
Gov. Bob Holden
Missouri Capitol Building, Room 216
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0720
Telephone: (573) 751-3222
FAX: (573) 751-1495
Asking him to commute the sentence of Stanley Lingar to life in prison.
Based on the fact that the jury was likely influenced by small town
homophobia. Ineffective counsel and other issues as detailed below.
Also see Amnesty International: Program to Abolish the Death Penalty
http://www.amnesty-usa.org/abolish/index.html "Not only had his lawyer
never handled a capital case before, but the prosecution based its claims
on the testimony of a co-defendant who was granted leniency in return for
testifying. A pathologist later testified at a post-conviction hearing that
his testimony was inconsistent with medical evidence." Amnesty International.
Man who killed boy asks Holden to reduce sentence
By Tim O'Neil
Of The Post-Dispatch
postnet.com | News | Man who killed boy asks Holden to reduce sentence
A man who is to be executed next Wednesday for the murder of a teen-age boy
in 1985 is arguing that prosecutors inflamed a rural jury by revealing his
homosexual relationship with the co-defendant.
Lawyers for Stanley Lingar, 37, made that a key argument in their appeal
for clemency to Gov. Bob Holden to reduce the sentence to life in prison.
Lingar is the first condemned man in Missouri whose execution has come up
since Holden took office.
Lingar is to die by lethal injection for the murder on Jan. 6, 1985, of
Thomas S. Allen, 16, of Doniphan, Mo., whose car had run out of gas on the
way home from a date. Lingar and his friend David L. Smith, both of whom
also lived in Doniphan, gave the stranded Allen a ride and then ordered him
to disrobe and masturbate.
After Allen refused, they killed him and dumped his body in the Eleven
Point River, 25 miles west of Doniphan, the seat of Ripley County in far
southeast Missouri. Smith pleaded guilty of second-degree murder and
testified against Lingar during a trial in 1986.
That trial took place in the St. Francois County courthouse in Farmington,
on a change of venue.
Smith testified that Lingar shot Allen, beat him with a tire tool and
finally killed him by running over him with his Mustang. During the penalty
phase of the trial, Smith also testified that he and Lingar were homosexual
"The reason the prosecution raised that was to offend the sensibilities of
a rural jury," said Kent Gipson, a lawyer in Kansas City who is handling
Lingar's appeals. "It was a blatant appeal to homophobia. How is it
relevant to this case that you're gay?"
Gipson also has an appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Other
courts already have considered and rejected appeals that raised the
Ripley County prosecutor Christopher Miller, whose first term included the
Allen case, said he believed the murder itself persuaded the jury to
recommend death. Miller said Lingar and Smith's relationship was not
central to the case but possibly relevant to their demands upon Allen.
"They were telling their victim to masturbate for them, so the offense has
a sexual nature," said Miller. "The sheer brutality of the murder is what
did it. Look at the number of times they tried to make him dead. They shot
him, they beat him, they clubbed him, and he wouldn't die."
Smith received a 10-year sentence and is out of prison. Lingar has
maintained all along that he was too drunk to remember anything about that
night, Gipson said.
Amnesty International's OUTFront program, which specializes in cases of
alleged bias against gays, is protesting the execution with an argument
similar to Gipson's. So has Queer Watch, a gay rights group in New York
that opposes the death penalty.
As for the protests from other groups, Miller said: "The claim has no
merit. But the anti-death-penalty lobby is very strong, and I believe it
will leave no stone unturned."
A spokesman for Holden said his office was reviewing the appeal for
clemency. Lingar is to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday in the Potosi
Correctional Center. He would be the 47th put to death in Missouri since
the state resumed carrying out the penalty in 1989.
In the petition for clemency, Gipson also argues that Lingar had an
inadequate defense and that Smith may have committed the murder but then
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