Electric Chair Execution Set in Tennessee for Nov. 1

Edmund Zagorski asked to die by electrocution rather than a controversial lethal injection method that experts said causes several minutes of severe pain. A court ordered the state to comply.

The Tennessee Supreme Court set Nov. 1 for the execution  of Edmund Zagorski after a  delay to accommodate his request for the electric chair, The Tennessean reports. The execution date for Zagorski, 63, seems final. The U.S. Supreme Court already rejected delays based on other remaining legal challenges. Gov. Bill Haslam gave Zagorski a brief reprieve this month to allow the state to prepare to use the electric chair. Zagorski asked to die by electrocution rather than a controversial lethal injection method that experts said causes several minutes of severe pain.

The state initially denied his request, saying he had asked too late, but a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from using lethal injection to kill Zagorski. Haslam said he stepped in to give the state extra time to get ready for the electrocution. The Department of Correction protocol calls for additional staff training in the lead up to an execution using the electric chair. Zagorski faces death for the 1983 killings of John Dale Dotson and Jimmy Porter. He was convicted of shooting them, slitting their throats and stealing their money and a truck. The two men had expected to buy 100 pounds of marijuana from Zagorski. Justice Sharon Lee, who has been a vocal critic of the way the high court has scheduled new executions, dissented from the order setting Zagorski’s new date.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Only 49% Say Death Penalty is Applied Fairly

The percentage has dipped below 50 percent for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 2000. The survey reports 49 percent of Americans say the death penalty is applied fairly, and 45 percent say it is applied unfairly.

The share of Americans who say they believe the death penalty is applied fairly has hit a record-low of 49 percent, says a new Gallup survey, the Hill reports. The percentage has dipped below 50 percent for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 2000. The survey says 49 percent of Americans say the death penalty is applied fairly, and 45 percent say it is applied unfairly. Among Republicans, 73 percent say the death penalty is applied fairly, more than twice as large as the share of Democrats who say the same – just 31 percent.

Americans are also more likely than ever to say that the death penalty is applied too often, at 29 percent. Some 37 percent said the death penalty is not used often enough, a significant drop from its highest level in 2005, when 53 percent shared that view. The poll was conducted before the Washington state Supreme Court ruled the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional, saying it is imposed “in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.” There are now just 30 states that allow the death penalty.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Washington High Court Strikes Down Death Penalty

The unanimous ruling made Washington the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. The last execution in the state was in 2010.

The Washington state Supreme Court unanimously struck down the death penalty as unconstitutional Thursday, ruling the state’s 37-year-old capital-punishment law “invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.” The ruling in the appeal by murderer Allen Gregory means he and seven other men now on death row for aggravated-murder convictions will have their sentences commuted to life in prison without a chance for parole, the Seattle Times reports. Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst said the court concluded that the death penalty violates Washington’s constitutional prohibition on “cruel punishment” and “lacks fundamental fairness.” The opinion cited an analysis of capital-murder cases by University of Washington sociologists that found significant “county-by-county variations” in death sentences, and that black defendants are about four times more likely to get the death penalty than white offenders.

The last inmate to be executed in Washington was Cal Coburn Brown in 2010. “The death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant,” Fairhurst wrote on behalf of five justices. Four other justices agreed, but emphasized that “additional constitutional factors” also undermine the legality of Washington’s death penalty. Washington becomes the 20th state to overturn or abolish death as a legal punishment. Three previous versions of Washington’s death penalty were invalidated by the Supreme Court, but the state revised the punishment each time. Because Thursday’s ruling was based on Washington’s constitution, it cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a death-penalty opponent. Gov. Jay Inslee, who once supported capital punishment but issued a moratorium on executions in 2014, said he expected the ruling to end the debate over capital punishment in the state.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Tennessee Agrees to Electric Chair Execution

Three hours before Edmund Zagorski was scheduled to die, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delayed his execution so the state could prepare to use the electric chair to kill him. The U.S. Supreme Court eliminated two other legal hurdles, making the execution likely to happen soon.

Three hours before Edmund Zagorski was scheduled to die, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delayed his execution so the state could prepare to use the electric chair to kill him, reports The Tennessean. Haslam said a short delay would give the state time to accommodate Zagorski’s preference for the electric chair over a controversial lethal injection cocktail. Thursday night, the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated two other legal hurdles that might have derailed the execution, making it more likely to move forward soon. Haslam’s reprieve was for 10 days, but it could take longer for a new execution date to be set by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down two stays Thursday, essentially ending his remaining legal options to avoid execution. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals had planned to weigh whether Zagorski may pursue claims his trial attorneys made errors in representing him.

A majority of justices rejected a request from Zagorski’s attorneys for another stay so the high court could review a constitutional challenge to Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented, saying they would have reviewed the lethal injection protocol. “Capital prisoners are not entitled to pleasant deaths under the Eighth Amend­ment, but they are entitled to humane deaths,” Sotomayor wrote. “The longer we stand silent amid growing evidence of inhumanity in execution methods like Tennessee’s, the longer we extend our own complicity in state-sponsored brutality.” Zagorski sued to force the state to use the electric chair for his execution, saying the pain of electrocution would be preferable to the controversial lethal injection. The state initially refused Zagorski’s request to be executed by the electric chair, saying he was too late and hadn’t given two weeks’ notice.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Split Appeals Court Delays Tennessee Execution

The Supreme Court still could allow Edmund Zagorski’s execution on Thursday but he has requested the electric chair, which the state rejected.

In a surprise move amid a flurry of legal filings, a federal appeals court granted a request to delay Edmund Zagorski’s execution in Tennessee, which was scheduled for Thursday, reports The Tennessean. It still is possible that the U.S. Supreme Court could allow the execution to go forward. Zagorski asked federal courts to reconsider unexamined claims of ineffective trial counsel.  A federal judge in Nashville rejected that argument but a panel of 6th Circuit judges, by a 2-1 vote, said the argument was provocative enough to merit full consideration.

It was the latest in a series of legal wrangling over the method and timing of Zagorski’s execution. A parallel request to delay the execution based on a challenge to Tennessee’s lethal injection drugs is pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. Separately, Zagorski continued to push for the use of the electric chair if he is executed. He asked the state to use it this week after a Tennessee Supreme Court decision that found the state’s lethal injection drugs to be constitutional. The state rejected that request, saying Zagorski had missed the deadline to choose the electric chair. Death row inmates can choose the electric chair if their crime occurred before 1999. While state law doesn’t give a deadline, prison protocol requires notification two weeks before an execution date.

from https://thecrimereport.org

‘Obsolete Laws, Unfair Trials’ Created North Carolina’s Outsized Death Row: Study

Although North Carolina hasn’t carried out an execution since 2006, more than 140 men and women remain on death row—and more than three-quarters of them were sentenced under penalty laws that have long since been abandoned in favor of reforms that de-emphasize capital punishment, according to an investigation by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.

Although North Carolina hasn’t carried out an execution since 2006, more than 140 men and women remain on death row—and more than three-quarters of them were sentenced under penalty guidelines that have long since been abandoned in favor of reforms that de-emphasize capital punishment, according to an investigation by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.

“North Carolina has the sixth largest death row in the nation,” said the Center’s report. “It is a relic of another era.”

The report, entitled “Unequal Justice,” found that 92 percent, or 131, of the current death row inmates were tried before a 2008 package of reforms intended to prevent false confessions and mistaken eyewitness identifications.  The new laws require interrogations and confessions to be recorded in homicide cases and set strict guidelines for eyewitness line-up procedures.

Moreover, 84 percent (119 inmates) were tried before a law granting defendants the right to see all the evidence in the prosecutor’s file — including information that might help reduce their sentence or prove their innocence.

The sentences were a consequence of the “tough-on-crime” era of the 1980s, when harsh punishments were celebrated as deterrents to crime. In one example cited by the study, a North Carolina prosecutor marked new death sentences by handing out noose lapel pins to his assistant prosecutors.

Juries have recommended only a single new death sentence in the past four years, said the Center, a non-profit law firm that provides direct representation to inmates on North Carolina’s death row and advocates against the death penalty.

“Today, we are living in a different world from when these men and women were sent to death row, said Gretchen M. Engel, executive director of the Center. “Public support for the death penalty is at a 50-year-low.

“Juries now see life without parole as a harsh and adequate punishment for the worst crimes. The fact is, if these people on death row had been tried under modern laws, most of them would be serving life without parole sentences instead of facing execution.”

A Gallup Poll in 2017 found 55 per cent of U.S. adults in favor of the death penalty, the lowest support seen in 45 years.

A full version of the report and a video are available here.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Tennessee Inmate Seeks Execution by Electric Chair

Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski, who is scheduled to die on Thursday, told prison officials Monday he would prefer to be executed using the electric chair rather than die by lethal injection. No state has used an electric chair since 2013.

Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski told prison officials Monday he would prefer to be executed using the electric chair rather than die by lethal injection, The Tennessean reports. Zagorski, 63, who is scheduled to die Thursday, made the decision within hours of a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling approving the state’s controversial lethal injection protocol. “Mr. Zagorski has indicated that if his execution is to move forward, he believes that the electric chair is the lesser of two evils,” said federal public defender Kelley Henry. Henry cited the expert testimony by doctors that the state’s lethal injection drugs would make an inmate feel like they were drowning and burning alive at the same time: “Ten to 18 minutes of drowning, suffocation and chemical burning is unspeakable.”

State law allows inmates who were sentenced to death for a crime committed before 1999 to sign a waiver choosing death by electrocution. Tennessee last used the electric chair in 2007. Tennessee could be the first state to use it since 2013. Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor said she  did not know if the electric chair would be used. Zagorski a statement Monday saying that while he believes that both lethal injection and the electric chair are unconstitutional, “between two unconstitutional choices I choose electrocution.” He added, “I do not want to be subjected to the torture of the current lethal injection method.” He said he would continue fighting to stop or delay his execution, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

from https://thecrimereport.org

High Court Issue: Can Man Who Forgot Crime Be Executed?

Vernon Madison, on Alabama’s death row for 30 years for killing a police officer, can’t remember the crime. Attorney Bryan Stevenson says executing him would be cruel and unusual punishment. The state says it is justified in “seeking retribution for a horrible crime.”

The Supreme Court grappled with a difficult death penalty issue Tuesday: Does it violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment to execute a murderer who has such severe dementia that he doesn’t remember the crime he committed? In 1985, Vernon Madison shot and killed a police officer who sat outside in his car to provide protection for his girlfriend, NPR reports. Madison was sentenced to death twice, but the convictions were overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. The third time he was convicted, the jury recommended life in prison, but a judge overruled the jury and sentenced him again to death. Madison has been on death row in solitary confinement in Alabama for more than 30 years. An MRI shows part of his brain is dead, and there is no dispute that he suffers from severe vascular dementia.

Attorney Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative says Madison is so disoriented that he doesn’t know what day, month or year it is. He is legally blind, has difficulty walking, and slurs his speech. “He has no memory of the crime, the thing which the state seeks to execute him for,” Stevenson says. He told the justices that executing a man so incompetent is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. The court has restricted the ability of states to execute juvenile, intellectually challenged or otherwise mentally incompetent prisoners. With Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, the justices appeared closely divided. Alabama Deputy Attorney General Thomas Govan told the court that the state still has “a strong interest in seeking retribution for a horrible crime.” He said Madison understands that he is in prison because of a murder, and he does understand the meaning of a death sentence, even if he has no memory of the crime.

from https://thecrimereport.org

With or Without Kavanaugh, Court Docket is a ‘Law Prof’s Dream’

If and when Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court, he will join the other justices to rule on cases that could have a far-reaching impact on criminal law. For Court handicappers, here’s a list of what’s ahead, starting next month.

Applying a broad definition, 13 of the 38 cases in which the Supreme Court has granted review for the upcoming October 2018 term raise criminal law and related issues. (A few more are likely to be granted in the “long conference” order list scheduled for release Thursday.)

This is about average: Between a quarter to a third of cases decided by the court every year are criminal-law-related. But this term the docket feels a bit special: As I explained to the American Bar Association in my “Annual Review of the Supreme Court’s Term, Criminal Cases, October Term 2018 might be described as a criminal law professor’s dream.

Below is a list of what’s ahead.

What Are the “Elements” of Burglary and Robbery?

In every criminal case, the prosecution is constitutionally required to prove the “elements” of the crime —that is, the “facts necessary to constitute the crime,” as the court put it in 1970 in In re Winship. “What are the elements of Crime X?” is the stuff of first-year final exams, as well as multiple-choice questions found on the Multistate Bar Exam.

On Oct. 9, the court will spend two hours hearing oral arguments in three cases (two are consolidated) that ask what the “generic” elements of the common law crimes of “robbery” and “burglary” are. The answer to that question is needed in order to apply the Armed Career Criminal Act, a federal law that dramatically enhances prison sentences for persons who unlawfully possess a firearm and who also have been previously convicted of three drug crimes or violent felonies.

“Violent felony” is statutorily defined to include the state-law offense of “burglary,” and also any crime that “has as an element the use … or threatened use of physical force,” which normally includes robbery.

The Supreme Court has ruled that because state-law definitions of crimes may differ among the states, federal courts should use the “generic” definition of burglary or robbery. But what that definition is, precisely, has repeatedly split lower federal courts. On Oct. 9, the justices will wrestle with that question, first as it applies to robbery, in Stokeling v. United States, and then, in two consolidated cases, Stitt and Sims v. United States, in the context of burglary.

The common law distinguished robbery from simple theft by requiring an element of force. Over time, a number of jurisdictions have ruled that even minimal force can count, which allows “snatchings” of purses or necklaces to qualify for the enhanced sentences that a robbery conviction often permits.

Other jurisdictions disagree.

Denard Stokeling was previously convicted under Florida’s robbery law, which defines force as “sufficient to overcome a victim’s resistance.” But should that be the “generic” federal definition? Because the ACCA requires a “categorical” approach to deciding what types of felonies permit its enhanced federal sentences, the court is asked to decide whether “minimal force” suffices and how it should be defined for the national federal statute.

Right after Stokeling, the court will consider similar questions regarding burglary.

Although the common law applied the crime of burglary strictly to invasion of homes, most modern statutes have extended the crime to the entry of a “structure” with the intent to commit a crime inside it. (“Intent to commit a felony therein” is the first introduction of many law students to “legalese” that horrifies and amuses their nonlawyer friends.)

In Victor Stitt’s home state of Tennessee, the statutory requirement of “habitation” has been interpreted to include vehicles. In Jason Sims’ home state of Arkansas, the statutory term is “residential occupiable structure,” which has been interpreted to include a car or a boat if a person is even occasionally living in it. As in Stokeling, the court here must decide whether the “categorical” definition of burglary should encompass the broad modern definitions that have extended the crime beyond its common-law borders.

All three of these cases may be further influenced by the fact that the proper interpretation of the ACCA has troubled the court for decades now, so much so that in 2015, in Johnson v. United States, the court declared a nearby definitional subsection of the statute invalid as unconstitutionally vague.

“Double Jeopardy,” “Excessive Fines” and the Death Penalty

After the first year of law school, most law students have to take criminal procedure, affectionately shortened to “Crim Pro.” I like to call that class “Constitutional Law III: The Fun Parts!” At least four cases to be argued this fall suggest that OT 2018 will be a joy for us Crim Pro professors as well.

In Gamble v. U.S., the court will consider whether to overrule the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment, which provides that “[n]o person shall … be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb.” The common understanding of this awkwardly written clause is that a person may not be tried twice for the same offense. But despite the absolute-sounding nature of the constitutional text, the Supreme Court has ruled for well over a century that the clause allows “separate sovereigns” to each try a single defendant for what sure sounds like the “same offense.”

For example, two states may prosecute the same person for a kidnapping-murder in two trials, one after the other, one in each state, and upon conviction impose two independent sentences for the same crime. Similarly, a state may prosecute someone for the same crime that the federal government has already tried the person for, and vice versa: Those of us old enough to recall the 1991 Rodney King police assault case remember the federal government prosecuting the offending officers after they had already been tried and acquitted by the state.

Although there is no lower-court split of authorities on this question, scholars have long criticized this “separate sovereigns” atextual exception to the double jeopardy clause. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that last spring, when the pace of certiorari grants was slow, “textualist” and due-process-oriented justices alike were able to agree to revisit the question this term.

Meanwhile, Timbs v. Indiana will address another persistent question that has appeared on bar exams for years: “[W]hat provisions in the Bill of Rights have not yet been ‘incorporated’ against the States?” “Incorporation” is the legal doctrine developed in the mid-20th century that holds that various protections found in the federal Bill of Rights may also be applied to conduct by the states, by “incorporating” those protections into the “[n]o State shall … deny due process” guarantee of the 14th Amendment.

In McDonald v. Chicago, the court in 2010 ruled that the Second Amendment applies against the states, so now only three provisions in the Bill of Rights have not been incorporated. Timbs will address one of these: the “no excessive fines” provision in the Eighth Amendment. (The other two? The grand jury clause, see 1884’s Hurtado v. California, and the Third Amendment’s rule against quartering troops in times of peace, which has never arisen in a Supreme Court case, although lower courts have suggested that it is “incorporated.”)

Timbs now seeks to eliminate that easy Crim Pro exam question. The context is criminal asset forfeiture. When Tyson Timbs was convicted in Indiana of selling four grams of heroin, the state sought forfeiture of his $42,000 Land Rover because it had been used to transport the drugs. The state trial court ruled that “[w]hile the negative impact of [drug] trafficking … is substantial, … a forfeiture of approximately four times the maximum monetary fine is disproportional” under the Eighth Amendment.

The Indiana Court of  Appeals agreed that the excessive fines clause should be applied (incorporated) against the states. But the Indiana Supreme Court reversed, ruling that it would not “impose federal obligations on the State that the federal government itself has not mandated.” A persistent split on the question, involving at least 18 states’ courts and two federal courts of appeals, led to a grant of certiorari here.

Finally, another aspect of the Eighth Amendment, the constitutional administration of capital punishment, finds a spot on the Supreme Court’s docket almost every year. This term the court will hear argument in two cases involving the death penalty. On the second day of the term, Oct. 2, in Madison v. Alabama, the court will consider whether the Eighth Amendment permits the execution of a prisoner whose severe and deteriorating medical condition leaves him mentally disabled such that he is unable to remember his offense.

Brian Stevenson

Brian Stevenson. Photo by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr

Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, will be arguing for Vernon Madison. The court has previously ruled that the state may not constitutionally execute the mentally insane (Ford v. Wainwright, in 1986) nor the mentally disabled (Atkins v. Virginia, in 2002). But in 2007, in Panetti v. Quarterman, the court declined to set specific standards for evaluating mental competency-to-be-executed claims.

Madison provides an opportunity to further develop this constitutional concept. (The 2007 decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who left the court in July — whether he will be replaced by October 2 is presently unsettled.)

In a second death penalty case, to be argued on November 6, the court will consider, once again, the appropriate rules for challenging a “method of execution.” In Glossip v. Gross, the court in 2015 issued a lengthy 5-4 decision attempting to set constitutional standards and litigation rules for lower courts to follow when an inmate contends that the method by which the state proposes to execute him is “cruel and unusual.” Glossip also approved “lethal injection” as a generally acceptable method. Russell Bucklew, however, suffers from an unusual medical condition (cavernous hemangioma) that he alleges “makes it very likely that his execution by Missouri’s lethal injection protocol will be gruesome and involve excruciating suffering.”

In Bucklew v. Precythe, Bucklew argues that an execution by lethal gas will be far more humane for him, and that Missouri is constitutionally required to use that method instead. Missouri law allows execution by either method, although it has no written protocols for gas executions. The Eighth Circuit twice affirmed denials of Bucklew’s challenges, but the Supreme Court twice issued last-minute stays before finally granting review.

The Rest of the Criminal Law Docket This Term

Here are brief descriptions of the other six criminal-law-or-related cases on the Supreme Court’s docket (so far) this term:

  1. Gundy v. United States (Oct. 2 argument): Does Congress’ delegation of authority to the attorney general to set sex-offender regulations, including deciding whether to retroactively apply the criminal statute, violate the Constitution’s “nondelegation” principle? (There hasn’t been a successful nondelegation case since 1935, so this case carries special interest for constitutional law professors.)
  2. Nielsen v. Preap (Oct. 10 argument): Is a criminal alien exempt from otherwise mandatory detention if, after the person is released from criminal custody, the Department of Homeland Security does not immediately take the person into custody?
  3. Garza v. Idaho (Oct. 30 argument): Does the “presumption of prejudice” regarding a lawyer’s ineffective assistance apply, when a defense lawyer was instructed by the defendant to file an appeal but the lawyer did not file an appeal because the plea agreement contained an appeal waiver?
  4. Herrera v. Wyoming: Did Wyoming’s admission as a state, or the statutory establishment of the Bighorn National Forest, abrogate the Crow Tribe’s 1868 federal treaty right to hunt on “unoccupied lands of the United States,” thereby permitting the criminal conviction of Clayvin Herrera, a Crow Tribe member, who was allegedly engaged in subsistence hunting for his family?
  5. Lorenzo v. Securities and Exchange Commission.: May the government’s securities-fraud claim that does not meet the elements that 2011’s Janus Capital Group v. Derivative Traders requires for “fraudulent statements” be filed as a “fraudulent scheme” claim and thereby avoid the bar of Janus?
  6. Nieves v. Bartlett: Is a First Amendment claim for retaliatory arrest automatically defeated because there was probable cause for the arrest? (This is a follow-on to the unanswered question in last term’s Lozman v. Riviera Beach.)
Rory Little

Rory Little

Rory Little is a Professor of Law at U.C. Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, a former clerk to Justices Potter Stewart (ret.) and William Brennan, and author of the American Bar Association’s “Annual Review of the Supreme Court’s Term, Criminal Cases.” He is also “Of Counsel” to the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery on discrete appellate matters. The Crime Report is pleased to reproduce this essay with the permission of SCOTUSblog. The full essay is available here. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Texas Holds First of Two Executions This Week

Troy Clark, 51, was convicted in the 1998  kidnapping and murder of Christina Muse, and he had been accused of two other murders and a slew of other crimes. There were no last-minute legal challenges.

The first of two scheduled Texas executions this week took place Wednesday evening, the Texas Tribune reports. Troy Clark, 51, was convicted in the 1998  kidnapping and murder of Christina Muse, and he had been accused of two other murders and a slew of other crimes. The prosecution said Clark beat and drowned Muse before stuffing her body in a barrel with concrete and hiding it on his landlord’s property. With no last-minute legal challenges, Clark was placed on the gurney in the execution chamber shortly after 6 p.m.

“I’m not the one that killed Christina, so whatever makes y’all happy,” Clark said. “I love y’all. I’ll see you on the other side.” His conviction had been questioned by anti-death penalty advocates because it was largely based on the testimony of his then-girlfriend who also faced a murder charge. For years, his legal fight had focused on a lack of evidence presented at trial that could have swayed the jury to opt for the lesser sentence of life, like his suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. At the time of Muse’s murder, Clark was living with his girlfriend, Tory Bush. The three would do drugs together. Bush testified that on May 19, 1998, Muse came over and Clark tased her with a stun gun, taped her hands, ankles and mouth and then put her in a closet. Several hours later, he took her to the bathroom, beat her over the head with a wooden board and had Bush help him drown her in the bathtub, according to Bush.

from https://thecrimereport.org