Brandon Rhode

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on September 24, 2010

Brandon Joseph Rhode is scheduled to be executed at 7:00 p.m. tonight. Mr. Rhode was convicted of the murder of Bryan, Steven, and Kristin Moss during a robbery on April 23, 1998. (11 year old Bryan confronted the burglars with a baseball bat.) Daniel Anthony Lucas also participated in the crime, and has been sentenced to die.

Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright prosecuted the case. Because of the brutality of the crime, a plea bargain was not offered. Mr. Bright wanted the death penalty.
“I vividly remember in the guilt-innocence portion of the trial, when the jury had been out five hours, the attorneys asked me about a manslaughter plea. My response was ‘read my lips, I’m not even interested in offering life without parole’.”
The case went through the required series of appeals and reviews. Lawyers claimed that other lawyers did not do a good job, and that it was really Mr. Lucas who did the killing. There seems to be little doubt that Mr. Rhode was at the crime scene at the time of the murders. On Sept. 17, 2009 the verdict was issued.
“Brandon Rhode, a Georgia death row inmate, appeals from the district court’s denial of his federal habeas corpus petition. The court granted a certificate of appealability (“COA”) as to Rhode’s claim of ineffective penalty phase investigation and presentation of mitigation evidence by his trial counsel. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the district court’s denial of Rhode’s petition.”
The mitigating circumstances deal largely with Mr. Rhode’s mental capacity. Amnesty International tells the story.
Brandon Rhode was born in Mississippi to a young mother, who as a 15-year-old was not even aware she was pregnant for the first five months. During this time she consumed alcohol and drugs. Brandon Rhode has been diagnosed as suffering from organic brain damage, and in 2010, using modern methods of testing, experts concluded that he “definitely suffers from a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder” (FASD), and that his development was significantly delayed as a result of his exposure to alcohol as a foetus. Dr Richard Adler has said that “what we now know for certain in 2010… is that the brain of a healthy child continues to grow and develop and mature into the early 20s. During that time, the executive functions of the brain – impulse control, judgment, planning, appreciation of consequences, empathy, ability to course-correct – are the last areas of brain functioning to develop. This is why adolescents – even 18 year old teenagers like Brandon Rhode was in 1998 – are definitely impaired in these areas of functioning as compared to adults. Furthermore, the characteristic deficits associated with FASD only exacerbate the impairments associated with adolescent brain immaturity… In effect, Brandon was functioning… at a considerably younger level than his chronological age at the time of the subject crimes”.
Brandon Rhode began drinking alcohol at the age of 11, and by the age of 13 was abusing alcohol and drugs regularly. He was hospitalized at the age of 13 after a suicide attempt. At 15, he dropped out of school and was sent by his mother to live with his biological father who was a drug addict and alcoholic. The teenager’s own substance abuse escalated and he began to burgle houses in the pursuit of money to buy alcohol and drugs”

As this is written, Brandon Rhode is held in restraints. He attempted suicide before his scheduled execution Tuesday night. As the fishwrapper tells the story
“Rhode tried to kill himself by slitting the side of his neck and both arms. By the time he was discovered, Rhode was unconscious and had lost half the blood in his body; he was revived at the hospital in nearby Griffin…Rhode had concealed the razor blade he used to cut his neck and arms while lying under a blanket, said Joe Drolet, a lawyer for the state attorney general’s office. He was being observed by guards, but they could not see what was happening under the blanket and took action when they saw blood.”
There are reports that the razor was given to Mr. Rhode by a prison guard. This is denied by the officials.
“There’s not a pattern of recklessly handing out razors to suicidal death row inmates,” They do not deny that Mr. Rhode was being observed, by guards, while he cut himself under a blanket.
The state is still planning to poison Brandon Rhode tonight at 7:00 p.m. Until that time ,
“Two guards — and not the guards who were assigned to watch Rhode at the time he tried to kill himself — must be assigned continuously to observe Rhode.”
There have been other suicides on death row recently. On January 1, 2010, Leeland Mark Braley was found hanging in his cell. And then there is the case of Timothy Pruitt.

Timothy Woodrow Pruitt tried to hang himself on November 19. He died on December 6. ( PG is puzzled why it would take 17 days for a botched suicide to have the desired effect). When announcing his demise, the Department of Corrections referred to an “alleged suicide attempt” that is under investigation.

On January 8 ,
“Georgia’s top Department of Corrections official has now acknowledged that one of two recent reported suicides on Georgia’s death row may not have been a suicide.” And now, there are reports of guards giving an unstable inmate razor blades, on the eve of his execution.
Pictures are from the Georgia Department of Corrections and ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
UPDATE: The Georgia Supreme Court has granted another stay of execution. The procedure is now scheduled for Monday, September 27, at 4:00 p.m..
UPDATE2: Brandon Rhode died Monday night, September 27. He did not make a final statement.

8 Responses

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  1. Morgan K Freeberg said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Ayn Rand wrote that mercy is the opposite of justice.

    She had it pegged. We’ve made a lot of attempts to work mercy into our justice system, and the results have been very similar to what you’d get if you tried to turn a bordello into a nunnery, or vice versa.

    • Paul Grajnert said, on April 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      But then Ayn Rand was a sociopath herself. She worshipped William Hickman. As to the bordello v. nunnery lame-analogy — from medieval days through the renaissance – the terms were interchangeable.

  2. The Big Al said, on February 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    So the state of Georgia murders a man in retaliation for murder. Congratulations, state of Georgia. You’re now as bad as he is – worse, really, given his mental incompetence and your (supposed) maturity. The account above also insinuates obvious corruption in the Georgia correction system.

    • Anonymous said, on December 19, 2014 at 3:00 am

      the boy he kill was my friend i was 9 at the time he did not have to kill them

  3. […] eight executions. William Earl Lynd , Curtis Osborne , William Mark Mize , Mark McCain , Brandon Rhode, Emmanuel Hammond, Roy Blankenship , Andrew Grant […]

  4. […] has executed ten men. William Earl Lynd ~ Curtis Osborne ~ William Mark Mize ~ Mark McCain ~ Brandon Rhode ~ Emmanuel Hammond ~ Roy Blankenship ~ Andrew Grant DeYoung ~ Troy Davis ~ Andrew Cook This […]

  5. […] man. Robert Holsey had an i.q. of 70, and came from a background of horrific childhood abuse. Brandon Rhode “was born in Mississippi to a young mother, who as a 15-year-old was not even aware she was […]

  6. […] April 23, 1998, on Griswoldville Road in Jones County, near Macon. The co-defendant in the case, Brandon Rhode, was executed September 27, 2010. Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens issed a press advisory about […]

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