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The Supreme Court of Kentucky has just issued an order that will set forth the execution of Marco Allen Chapman, a 36-year old felon convicted of two counts of murder. In addition to these murder charges, Chapman has also been convicted of one count of rape, one count burglary and PFO II (indicating that he’s a persistent felony offender).

Interestingly, the Court’s ruling may be the final word in the manner, as Chapman filed an affidavit in 2007 asking that public defenders not be able to file further appeals on his behalf. In explanation, Chapman has stated that he wants to die for his crimes.

What Led to His Death Sentence: Chapman’s Crimes

On August 23, 2002, Chapman broke into a home located in Warsaw, Ky., where he brutally stabbed and then slit the throats of Cody Sharon, 6, and Chelbi Sharon, 7. During his rampage, Chapman also:

  • Stabbed the victims’ 10-year old sister, Courtney Sharon, several times (the 10-year old victim ultimately survived the attack by playing dead)
  • Bound, raped and stabbed the children’s mother, Carolyn Marksberry

Like her 10-year old daughter, Marksberry survived the attack. Chapman left her for dead after breaking a small knife in her chest and then stabbing her with a larger knife.

Following these heinous crimes, Chapman proceeded to rob the home before he fled the scene. Later that same day, Chapman was captured and arrested in West Virginia.

The Controversy: A Defense Lawyer’s Nightmare

While Chapman’s crimes are shocking and indefensible, his act of preventing appeals on his behalf has raised an interesting legal controversy.

Is Chapman incompetent for asking to be put to death? And, if so, shouldn’t execution be out of the question, as Chapman doesn’t understand what he’s asking for? Or, is Chapman’s request sane and rational? If this happens to be the case, shouldn’t he be obligated to fulfill the terms of his sentence, which includes death by lethal injection?

Although Chapman’s defense lawyers say they are unsure of what to do next, given the presence of their client’s affidavit, they haven’t given up. Chapman’s group of attorneys are still working on possible strategies for preventing the execution.

However, barring their success, Chapman is scheduled to be put to death Nov. 21, 2008.

(Source: New York Times)

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