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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It ain’t Over ‘Til the Racist, Black, Mass Murderer-Rapist Wins: Mischievous Federal Judges, Lawyer, Seek to Save Life of Robert Simon Jr., Who

Murdered 4 Members of the White Parker Family in Miss. in 1990, in “Most Heinous Crime in Recent State History”
 

Murder victim Mrs. Bobbie Jo Parker

 

Murder victim Carl "Bubba" Parker

 

Racist mass murderer-rapist Robert Simon Jr.

 
By Nicholas Stix

The Quitman County Atrocity

Mass murderer-rapist Robert Simon Jr. is putting on a very sophisticated defense of why he is mentally incompetent, and therefore cannot be executed for the crimes that he and his partner Anthony Carr committed in 1990, in Walnut, Quitman County, Mississippi.

In the novel Catch-22, the protagonist Yossarian, an American bomber pilot, tries to get out of combat, by telling the company sawbones, Doc Daneeka, that he is crazy. The Doc explains to Yossarian that the fact that he says he’s crazy proves that he isn’t, because not wanting to drop bombs on people is proof of one’s sanity: “That’s the catch. Catch-22.”

Similarly, I maintain, arguing that one is too crazy to be punished for one’s crimes is proof of one’s sanity. Unfortunately, the folks running the criminal justice system do not have much of a taste for irony. Instead, the pro-black killer mischief makers in the defense bar and on the federal bench are in cahoots to save the life of the monstrous Robert Simon Jr. by any means necessary.

On Friday, February 2, 1990, Robert Simon Jr. and Anthony Carr raped and sodomized, and then shot nine-year-old Charlotte Jo Parker four times; shot her father, Carl “Bubba” Parker, 58; Parker's wife, Bobbie Jo, 45; and their 12-year-old son, Gregory. But Simon and Carr didn’t shoot any of the Parkers to death. That would have been insufficiently sadistic for their tastes. Instead, they bound everyone, before shooting to wound them, chopping off one of Mr. Parker's fingers, in order to steal his wedding ring, and setting the house on fire, leaving their victims to burn alive.

Mrs. Parker’s corpse was so badly burned that the medical examiner couldn’t determine if she had been raped and/or sodomized, but given what Simon and Carr did to little Charlotte Jo, it’s a dead certainty that they did likewise to her mother. In what has become a ritual for racist black felons, they made Mr. Parker watch the whole thing.

Simon’s lawyer’s story is that Simon fell in his cell 11 years ago, and suffered a boo-boo to this head that rendered him mentally incompetent.

* * *

Death row case review set
Federal panel says mental exam process for inmate unfair
10:11 PM, Mar. 2, 2012 |
ByJack Elliott Jr.
The Associated Press/[Gannett’s] Clarion Ledger
9 Comments

A federal appeals panel ruled that Mississippi used an unfair process to evaluate the mental competency of death row inmate Robert Simon Jr. and ordered a federal judge to take another look at Simon's case.

As a result of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel's ruling, which was released Thursday, Simon will get an independent mental evaluation and a chance to argue in court his mental incompetence, Simon's attorney, Tom Freeland of Oxford, said.

"We expect the District Court to allow time for an independent evaluation of what Robert's condition is and to hold a hearing" on the results of the examination, Freeland said.

Freeland said the three-judge appeals panel clearly found the handling of Simon's case in the Mississippi courts "didn't allow for due process as required by the Constitution."

Simon was sentenced to death for the 1990 killings of three members of a Quitman County family. He received a life sentence in the death of a fourth family member. A 5th Circuit panel stopped Simon's execution last May because of questions about the procedure and directed attorneys to file briefs on the mental evaluation issue.

Earlier, in April, the Mississippi Supreme Court had temporarily delayed Simon's execution to give prosecutors and the defense time to review Simon's medical records. That ruling came amid a claim by Simon's attorney that the inmate had suffered a fall and could not understand his case and had trouble carrying on conversations.

Court records show Simon was found unconscious in his cell on Jan. 7, 2001. He spent several days in the hospital at the State Penitentiary at Parchman. He was examined by mental health experts chosen by the prison.

The Mississippi court denied Simon's request to be evaluated by his own mental health expert. Instead, Simon relied on an affidavit from a mental health expert who reviewed Simon's medical records. That expert reported the medical records indicated Simon may have suffered some neuropsychological damage from the fall. The expert said a complete mental evaluation would determine how much damage Simon suffered.

The attorney general's office responded with affidavits from the two prison-selected experts.

The Mississippi court ruled Simon's medical records showed no sign of impairment. A federal judge sided with the state in a May 2011 decision. Simon appealed to the 5th Circuit.

The three-judge panel said it was difficult to view the process as fair when Simon was not allowed a mental evaluation from someone other than a prison expert. The panelists said they weren't asserting that prisoners are entitled to experts to prove their incompetence, but that the procedure allowing only one side to present expert evaluations "violated fundamental fairness and due process."

"The competency evaluation must at all times be a process that is fundamentally fair to the prisoner alleging his own incompetence, and the process Simon received did not meet that standard," they said.

Attorney General Jim Hood was not immediately available for comment.

In May, Hood said if Simon got a new mental evaluation based on the fall, Mississippi could expect more such claims from death row inmates.

"We're going to see a rash of knot heads at Parchman," Hood told The Associated Press. "We'll have to put cameras into every cell on death row because they are all going to claim they fell and bumped their head."

Last May, the 5th Circuit panel said it was concerned the deficiencies in Simon's petition resulted from the state's refusal to allow an evaluation of Simon by a doctor hired by the defense.

Hood said then that it appeared the 5th Circuit was given more information than it could digest in a short time, and that was partly the fault of defense attorneys who waited until the last minute to file Simon's petition.

Simon, now 47, was convicted and sentenced to death in the slayings of Carl Parker; Parker's wife, Bobbie Jo; and their 12-year-old son, Gregory. They were killed a few hours after returning to their rural Quitman County home from church services.

Simon also was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of 9-year-old Charlotte Parker, daughter of the slain couple.

Also convicted in the killings was Anthony Carr, now 45, who also is on death row.

This is not the first time Mississippi death row inmates have claimed they were denied access to their own mental health experts.

Attorneys for Edwin Hart Turner had argued a state policy dating to the 1990s prevented Turner from getting independent tests and exams that could prove he was mentally ill. Turner was executed in February.
* * *

Posted in Sid Salter's Blog
May 24th, 2011, 11:28 pm
Stay of execution granted for Death Row inmate Robert Simon at the 5th U.S. Circuit for his role in the most heinous crime this writer ever covered

Today’s scheduled execution of Mississippi Death Row inmate Robert Simon at Parchman has been stayed.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an indefinite stay of execution for Mississippi Death Row inmate Robert Simon. Simon was facing the death penalty for 1990 Quitman County murders of Carl “Bubba” Parker, 58; his wife Bobbi Jo Parker, 45; their son Gregory, 12; and their daughter Charlotte, 9.

This crime was the most heinous crime this reporter ever covered. Thankfully, I didn’t cover the crime scene. But I did an extensive story on this crime back in 2003.

Simon’s appeal is based in part on the fact that he suffered a head injury at Parchman in January of this year. His attorney, Tom Freeland, has argued that that the injury impacted Simon’s mental competency.

My 2003 story on the Parker family murders appears below, reprinted from The Clarion-Ledger on June 3, 2003:

a 2003 photo Scott Parker, whose family was murdered in 1990 by Robert Simon, at the Parker family gravesite in Lambert

POOR JUSTICE?
Massacre of Delta family stirs indigent defense debate
Surviving son believes state, not county, should pay for killers’ defense
By Sid Salter, The Clarion-Ledger

“Reason and reflection require us to recognize that, in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person hauled into court who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to be an obvious truth.”
- Justice Hugo Black, Gideon vs. Wainwright, 1963.

MARKS – Haunted by tormenting realities, Scott Parker is a man with indelible imprints on his mind, body and soul.

“Indigent defense” – the provision of legal counsel for those defendants who cannot afford it – is not a formal phrase with which Parker was readily familiar.

But he understands the concept of indigent defense better than perhaps any man in Mississippi – because the $40 extra he’s paying in county taxes each year really ticks him off.

Parker lost his family in what many consider perhaps the single most heinous crime in recent state history. Thirteen years after the murders, the case has sparked a serious constitutional debate.

Circuit Judge Ann Lamar of the state’s 17th judicial district will receive post-trial briefs here Monday in a complex case that could fundamentally redefine indigent defense in this state. Most poor Mississippi felons have part-time public defenders appointed for them by the Circuit Court in which they are tried.

Quitman County has sued the state to force creation of a statewide public defender system that would provide lawyers for the poor at state expense – unlike the present system in which counties pay part-time public defenders in the state’s trial courts.

Scott Parker watches the case – and waits on justice.

Parker’s arms are marked with vibrant tattoos – one on his left arm of a Confederate flag with the words “Mississippi Rebel” and another on his right arm of a rose surrounded by the words: “Mom, I love you.”

Parker’s tattoos – souvenirs of a 10-year hitch in the Navy – are the scars one can readily see. But there are deeper scars that have yet to heal.

“I’m not looking for sympathy,” he said over a cup of coffee in Brenda’s Restaurant a couple of blocks away from the Quitman County Courthouse. “I just don’t think people who haven’t lived through what I have can really understand what it’s about.”

What’s “it” about? In essence, it’s about the $40.

Parker is billed an extra $40 in taxes each year for the sole purpose of paying the legal fees of the men convicted of killing his family. Every taxpayer in Quitman County shares in that tax burden.

Parker, 38, of Crowder, works at the Cooper Tire plant in Clarksdale to support his wife and two daughters. By his own description, Parker “makes a minimal living” working in the tire factory.

He drives a vintage Ford Ranger. He plays a little golf at what locals in Marks call their “country” country club. Like most ex-servicemen, Parker is excruciatingly polite. “Yes, sir,” he says by rote. “Forty dollars. That’s how much my county property taxes went up after the county had to raise taxes and borrow $150,000 to pay for all that.”

Why did the taxpayers of Quitman County have to pay those expenses?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark 1963 case Gideon vs. Wainwright that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment required that persons brought to trial in state courts on felony charges are entitled to have a court-appointed attorney if they could not afford to pay for one of their own.

The amount Parker pays to provide legal defense expenses for the men convicted of murdering his family – $40 – is a tragic, ironic reminder of the crime.

“That’s about the same amount of cash my father had in his pocket the night those two killed him,” Parker said, staring at a spot on the clean floor in Brenda’s. “It’s just not right.”

He takes a long pull on the discount cigarette cupped in his hand and is quiet for a time – remembering when he was first marked with the deeper scars on a cold, rainy Delta night.

The Parker family nightmare began Friday, Feb. 2, 1990. The facts of the case, as recorded in trial and appeal transcripts, are chilling.

The family left the Riverside Baptist Church Bible study class at about 9 p.m. to return to their Walnut community home some 10 miles away on Hwy. 322 southwest of Lambert.

Carl Webster “Bubba” Parker, 58; his wife Bobbie Jo, 45; daughter Charlotte Jo, 9; and son Gregory, 12, were active in the church where Bobbie Jo served as the church secretary and pianist.

The family entered the isolated rural home in the midst of an apparent burglary, Quitman County investigators later testified.

The killers tied Greg’s hands and feet and shot him in the back. One of the items recovered by lawmen from the burglary was the small boy’s glasses.

Charlotte Jo – a child who still wore pigtails in her last photograph – was sodomized and raped. She had been shot three times in the back and once in the hip. Lawmen said she apparently broke free from her tormentors and tried to run.

Investigators believe Bubba Parker was forced to watch his daughter’s attack.

Firefighters said he had almost severed his own wrists struggling against the extension cord used to bind his hands and feet.

After shooting all four family members, raping the little girl and finally cutting off Mr. Parker’s finger to steal his wedding ring, the killers set fire to the home and left the wounded family to burn alive.

A neighbor saw the flames in the night sky and called authorities at about 10:30 p.m.

Firefighters were able to remove the bodies of Carl, Greg and Charlotte Jo. The charred body of Bobbie Jo Parker was found on the remnants of her bed when the fire was extinguished. She had been shot.

Her body was too damaged for investigators to determine whether or not she had been sexually assaulted.

As he stood in the Lambert Cemetery last week at his family’s grave site after recounting the awful tale yet again, Scott Parker’s jaw almost imperceptibly trembled. “I need to get out of here before I get upset,” he said.

Anthony Carr, 37, and Robert Simon Jr., 39, have both been on death row at Parchman since 1990 after being convicted of the murders of the Parker family. Both have post-conviction appeals pending before the state Supreme Court.

Assistant Attorney General Marvin “Sonny” White estimates that the pair have at least five years of additional state and federal appeals pending before their executions can be carried out.

Scott Parker said the fact that the county had to borrow money and raise taxes to pay for Carr’s and Simon’s appeals “makes me sick.”

“These two (Carr and Simon) are state prisoners,” said Parker. “Why shouldn’t the state pay for their appeals?”

Quitman County has taken the state to court, claiming it can’t afford to properly represent the poor charged with crimes. One of the architects of that strategy is Quitman County Chancery Clerk T.H. “Butch” Scipper.

Quitman County, with a population of just over 10,000, is one of the state’s poorest counties. The clerk said the county’s total budget, including the Quitman County School District, is about $4 million.

“We had to raise taxes about 2.78 mills for about a three percent increase,” said Scipper, who has held the post since 1992. “It’s hard politically to raise taxes for indigent defense. All of our supervisors are homeowners and landowners and when they raise taxes, they feel it, too.”

Scipper said that even before the expense of the trials in the Parker family murders, small counties across Mississippi “were playing Russian roulette” with their budget due to the expense of major trials and post-conviction appeals.

“Let’s put it this way,” he said. “Quitman County had a flood in 1989, the Parker trials in 1990-91, and another flood in 1992. All three events were about equal economic catastrophes.”

Scipper said there was no doubt in his mind that “roads didn’t get paved, the county didn’t buy the sheriff a patrol car he needed and other needs went unaddressed because of the Parker murder trial expenses.”

But Scipper, 50, says he has a broader interest in the Quitman County lawsuit against the state over indigent defense.

“Americans as a whole don’t have a lot of confidence in the legal system,” he said. “They feel the wealthy get off and the poor go to jail. Nobody’s advocating that we provide a Rolls-Royce defense, just the middle of the road so that all people can feel that they are adequately represented.”

But state officials, including White and Special Assistant Attorney General Harold Pizzetta, say that county arguments over inadequate representation ring hollow.

“No case out of that Quitman County has ever been reversed on grounds of inadequate representation of counsel,” said Pizzetta. “They claim systemic problems with part-time public defenders, but that fact flies in the face of that argument.”

Pizzetta also says that Quitman County taxpayers are arguing for a relief to which they aren’t entitled. “Quitman County spends more on the public library than for public defenders,” he said. “The county collected $135,000 in fines and spent $38,000 on public defenders.”

But Scipper told The American Lawyer in March that Quitman County last year ran a deficit after spending $240,000 on the courts and taking in only $165,000 in fines. Pizzetta identifies that as an “apples-and-oranges” argument.

“In order for the plaintiffs to get the judge to override the Legislature, they have to establish that rights have been violated,” he said. “Counties don’t have rights to criminal defense. Defendants do. The judge would have to find that defendants have lost their rights, then defendants would argue their rights to new hearing.”

Pizzetta said that Mississippi law on public defenders follows the majority of other states.

“Federal courts in north Mississippi use part-time public defenders,” he said.

“Mississippi would be the only state to say it is unconstitutional to use part-time public defenders if the plaintiffs win this case.”

Pizzetta said Quitman County public defenders aren’t under-funded.

“Hinds County in 2001 spent $996,506 on public defenders who handled between 2,500 and 3,000 cases,” he said. “That averages between $330 and $500 per case.

Quitman County spent $38,361 on 20-40 cases a year that averaged between $1,000 and $2,000 per case.”

Pizzetta also said that many “dedicated part-time public defenders” in the state would be out of jobs. “It’s just something that’s not required in the Constitution,” he said.

He said that all attorneys are, in essence, part time.

“All attorneys have to balance their caseloads. In effect, we’re all part time,” Pizzetta said. “Nobody works all the time on any one case.”

Pizzetta also raises the question of what happens to Mississippi felons convicted while represented by part-time public defenders in the past if Quitman County prevails in this case. “Do they all get a new trial?,” asked Pizzetta. “If so, who pays for that?”

“If Quitman County wins this suit and the state Supreme Court upholds it, we will see convicts challenging their convictions and we will see federal lawsuits seeking monetary damages on behalf of inmates claiming that the state intentionally violated their rights,” said Pizzetta. “But remember, no court has ever ordered a legislature to appoint a statewide public defender system.”

But Jackson attorney Rob McDuff, a longtime death penalty opponent who has been an advocate for the poor, calls that claim by the state “ridiculous.”

“The notion that all these convictions would be set aside is completely wrong,” McDuff said. “In order to set aside a conviction, not only would the individual defendants have to prove that a deficient job was done at trial but that the trial’s outcome would have been different if the part-time lawyer had done a better job.”

As a practical matter, McDuff says that “can’t happen.” But he continues to advocate a full-time public defender system.

“It’s about getting everyone a decent lawyer, not just the ones who can afford it,” McDuff said. “Defense is a full-time job. Attorneys need to have a relationship with their clients.”

The state Supreme Court in January 1999 said death row inmates are entitled to county-paid attorneys on second and subsequent appeals in state court. The county had previously paid only for the trial and first appeal.

Pizzetta said Quitman County should have the matter addressed by the Legislature and not the court.

He said that state lawmakers acted in 2000 to remove some of the financial strain of defending the indigent by creating the Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel and the Office of Capital Defense Counsel to pay for the defense of the poor charged with capital murder and the death row appeals of inmates.

“Both offices have more staff than the state does in prosecuting death penalty appeals,” White said.

Four of the state’s 82 counties have full-time public defenders.

Pizzetta said the bill also created the state Public Defender Task Force to study the next step after the two state appeal offices were created.

The task force issued a report which recommended that the state hold off on creating a full-time public defender system. But other Southern states are moving in that direction.

Arkansas has a full-time Public Defender Commission staffed by more than 230 lawyers and funded by $14.2 million annually. Georgia will have a full-time system in place by 2005 that mirrors the state’s system of prosecuting attorneys.
Louisiana is studying the question as well.

“If I can understand why this case matters, I think anybody can,” said Scott Parker. “The poor – guilty or innocent – have to have good lawyers or it slows the process down for everybody. I’ll pay more than $40 a year to make sure other families don’t have to wait and wait like we have for justice for my family.”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This story made me shudder. This means that the little girl died, not of gunshot wounds, but of smoke inhalation. Why did they not just put her out of her misery?

sugarlanskee said...

Does NSU have a snail-mail address? Can send a small check--wish it could be more.

Appreciate so much these updates, as tragic as they are, in that there needs to be a record of what these heinous reverse-racists have done and continue to do.

Anonymous said...

Uh, maybe somebody understands why lynching happens.
I am not in favor of it mind you, but egregious examples of injustice has the tendency to fire up the hoi polloi and the riff raff.
It's not rocket science, Werner.

bellesouth said...

I'd wager a bet that the "mischievous lawyer" is only doing this to get paid by the State. He, obviously, has no scruples.

Anonymous said...

Subanimal niggers must be exterminated.