Thursday, November 19, 2009

Most of the Vance Jury Favored Death—Except Three

By Nicholas Stix

On the night of November 13, I got the following note and link from my reader-researcher, David in Tennessee, regarding the trial in which Curtis Lavelle Vance was convicted on all counts of burgling, raping, and murdering Anne Pressly, but was sentenced only to “life without [read: until] parole.”


This is an account of what happened. You can read between the lines. Remember there were 4 black women on the jury.


Arkansas Blog

Vance jury favored death

Fox 16 has done some jury research work and finds that the jury leaned in favor of the death penalty for Curtis Vance, convicted of capital murder in the beating death of Anne Pressly. But as many as three might have been reluctant, even though verdict forms indicated the jury agreed unanimously that aggravating circumstances outweighed mitigating circumstances in the sentencing decision. [In other words, they were legally obligated to sentence Vance to death.]

Friday afternoon one of the jurors in the Curtis Vance murder trial called into Dave Elswicks radio show on our content partner KARN. The man does not want his name released but says both the prosecution and defense put on strong cases. He also says there were a few mild arguments during deliberations and that the toughest decision came at the end.

"I don't mind...telling you I wasn't for just staying in prison. I wanted the capital punishment I wanted him to face his charges," the juror said. "But there were a few that wouldn't let us do that and they stopped us and there wasn't anything we could do. We tried to talk to them, they had their reasons and we had our reasons and we just had to go on. Nothing saying bad about them at all."

This is in line with what a juror told a law enforcement source of ours -- that one, perhaps, two jurors stood firmly against the death penalty, when a unanimous verdict was required. Defense testimony in mitigation was critical -- about Vance's tough childhood, about his possible brain damage from abuse, about his children (who played outside in a court hallway while their mother pleaded that their father be spared). That verdict was not unexpected, by either Pressly's family or prosecution.

Posted by Max Brantley on November 13, 2009 06:11 PM Permalink


I would be interested to know if the holdouts were African-American; my gut tells me it is likely that at least one was. If so, I'd love to know why they did what they did; did they identify with Vance or his monster of a mother, or could they not identify sufficiently with the white victims.

If they "stood firmly" against death simply because they're anti-death penalty, then they lied during jury selection; they were ringers for the defense. The whole thing is sickening.

The interesting thing is that I bet anything the Plumerville cop-killer (who will be tried in Conway County) will get death, even though his crime, while also abhorrent, is in a way more excusable; he was in a stolen car, panicked when pulled over, and shot the officer. That is nothing compared to the vermin Vance who, after Anne fought back (unlike the Marianna lady) instead of submitting to rape/sodomy, decided to beat her brains in.

Posted by: FromThePines | November 13, 2009 07:24 PM

After that, the socialists took over, and even the poster above backed off from his obvious point.

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