|SAMRA, MICHAEL BRANDON|
|Institution:||HOLMAN DEATH ROW|
Michael Brandon Samra 42 is set to be executed May 16th, 2019 in Atmore prison in Alabama.
He was convicted of capital murder in 1998 when he was 19 years old and was sentenced to death for his role in killing his friend’s father, his father’s fiancé and her two daughters ages 6 and 7.
Marc Anthony Duke 16 came up with the murder plot after his father Randy refused to allow him to use the pickup truck.
Mark Duke, Michael Samra, David Collums, and Michael Ellison went to the Duke home. Ellison and Collums waited outside while Samra and Mark Duke went inside.
Mark Duke shot and killed his father, Samra wounded Debra Mims Hunt before Mark Duke shot her to death.
Mark Duke proceeded to slit 6-year-old Chelisa Nicole Hunt’s throat and Samra slit 7-year-old Chelsea Hunt’s throat while Mark Duke held her down.
Samra appeal focused on 2 claims. one that his appellate lawyer was ineffective and 2 that his trial lawyer was ineffective for failing to investigate evidence of brain dysfunction and introduced evidence that Samra was a member of a satanic gang called Forever Our Lord King Satan.
In 2005 a 3 member Parole Board of the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower courts denial of the appeal.
Mark Duke was sentenced to death in 2005. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals overturned his death penalty because Duke was 16 at the time of the murders.
In 2013 Samra argued his punishment was unfair because Dukes was reversed. He lost his appeal.
Samra claims his constitutional rights were violated.
Samra’s lawyer Steven Sears and Alan Freedman argue that the 8th Amendments bans the execution of offenders like Samra who were under 21 of the time of the crime.
They petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case and now have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to stay Samra’s execution.
Sears states that “Kentucky courts have already held that the reasoning [case law] banning the execution of offenders under 18 has now been shown to apply to those offenders under 21 years old”.
Sears called the slaying a “horrific tragedy” but said he in his co-council “don’t think that killing another person will help. It’s not fair to kill the small fish and let the big whale go”. Sears said, referring to Mark Duke’s sentence.
Mark Duke is also now eligible for a re-sentencing hearing where a judge will decide whether he should continue serving a life sentence or if he should be eligible for a shot at parole.
Collums and Ellison were convicted of lesser crimes and served time in prison.