In my mind it never happened”—juror Mae Puckett, “It was the state’s place to prove that Rocky Myers was in the home and committed that crime. That same year, Delaware’s Supreme Court banned the practice in that state.38, Alabama’s use of judicial override was the most notorious. “I kept waiting for that word that was going to tell me what happened and there was never one. In a declaration that Marzell signed in late 2004, he said his testimony during Rocky’s trial was “not truthful. Rocky Myers, an intellectually disabled man in Alabama, will soon face the execution chamber despite mounting evidence of his innocence. inline_cta_2_button_text_305203 = ''; A few weeks later, a local man who’d known Cool Breeze for nearly 30 years came forward to claim it, saying that he’d seen someone else cross the road near Ludie Mae’s house with a VCR tucked under his arm on the night of the murder. Marzell was an associate of Butch’s who, in his own words, “sold drugs, watched houses, and did basically anything he needed at the time.” He and Rocky knew each other well from around the neighborhood. These 8 Epic Mountains In Alabama Will Totally Drop Your Jaw. Dr. William Myers, MD is a Family Medicine Specialist in Huntsville, AL and has over 21 years of experience in the medical field. The only chance for Rocky to avoid execution now is a grant of clemency from Governor Kay Ivey. Tucker in Decatur, Alabama and the initial suspect in that case: Anthony “Cool Breeze” Ballentine. Schwarz worked on Rocky’s case for over five years, as it made its way through the state appeals process. Franklin Myers in Alabama. Rocky says that being separated from his family has taken a toll: “It’s one of the worst things that I’m going through. From the bench, he said the jury had been too “emotional” in choosing not to recommend the death penalty on its own and described Rocky as a “threat to society.”, “I never thought for a moment that he did it,” said Puckett, her voice cracking. I just don’t show it because it don’t do any good to other people. “It was the state’s place to prove that Rocky Myers was in the home and committed that crime. Today, he’s one of 175 prisoners on death row in Alabama, in the same prison where Dominique Ray was recently executed. Detectives called him for a urine test, which he failed—a violation of his probation. “I knowed he was doing something to her.”. “And federal court—where judges are appointed and not elected—is a very different atmosphere for a prisoner.”, But by then, Schwarz had begun working at a new law firm, and inexplicably, he didn’t tell Rocky that his state appeal had been denied. “Mr. “They had all these people, witnesses coming up, and they would have a given name and a nickname, and then a street nickname,” said Mae Puckett, a juror who served on the case. magazine_text_305203 = '

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'; I couldn’t move,” Dutton later told police. Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! }, To Kacey Keeton, a federal defender who picked up Rocky’s appeal in 2007, the case is a checklist for everything that’s wrong with the death penalty in America. Distance between Fort Myers FL and Decatur AL. 32. var magazine_button_text_305203 = ''; I have grandkids that are growing up without me.”, Rocky’s legal team checks in on him regularly with in-person visits or by phone. cta_2_check_305203 = true; Finally, Rocky took the stand. Richard Kim She heard Ludie Mae say that her husband was in the other room—a strange comment, given that she wasn’t married. Until 2017 Alabama did not automatically provide counsel to death row inmates during this stage of their appeal, so the American Bar Association and other legal advocacy groups sought out lawyers like Schwarz to work pro bono on death penalty appeals in the state. The prosecutor told the jury a straightforward story: Rocky’s drug addiction had overwhelmed his judgment, and after Butch refused to give him crack on credit he broke into Ludie Mae’s house and killed her for her VCR. targeting:{ Website Directions Services (256) 350-1264. slotId: "thenation_article_indent", } In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s judicial override statute was unconstitutional. View phone number, address, email, public, court and driving records. After questioning, the two men signed statements saying that a regular customer of the shot house, Anthony “Cool Breeze” Ballentine, had traded the VCR for crack on the night of Ludie Mae’s murder. inline_cta_2_bg_color_305203 = '#cc0e0e'; “I just don’t show it because it don’t do any good to other people. jQuery("#magazine_text_305203").html(magazine_text_305203); Although he was a heavy crack user, his family was respected, with deep roots in Decatur. In a recent interview, Rocky said when he realized what the letter meant, “It scared the hell out of me. There was never that ‘aha’ moment.”31 He was agitated, and said he’d been in a car crash and needed to use the telephone to call his family. 7. } In that case, Rocky would be retried in front of a new jury that could have even fewer sympathetic members, and increasing the chances that he would be sentenced to death. University Of Alabama Hospital 7 COMMENTS 2 AWARDS 2 SPECIALTIES 2 Location ... Take a minute to learn about Dr. William S Myers, MD - Emergency Medicine in Decatur, AL, in this video. Rocky Myers is an intellectually disabled black man from New Jersey facing execution in Alabama for a crime he did not commit. That litigation was dropped last year after the state agreed to offer asphyxiation by nitrogen gas as an execution option. A couple of guys calmed me down and told me what to do.”, The prisoner who’d read the letter to Rocky was represented by the Equal Justice Initiative, and he reached out to the organization to ask for help. tn_articleid: [305203], For years when she’d visit him in prison, for example, she found it strange that he would refuse her offer to eat while they talked about his case—until she realized that he didn’t know how to operate a vending machine.22 Linnea Johnson, San Jose, CA, United States. Seeking clemency for Rocky Myers, an intellectually disabled inmate sentenced under an unjust law and now awaiting execution on Alabama's death row. var magazine_text_305203 = ''; Dr. William S Myers is a General Practice Specialist in Decatur, Alabama. But it wasn’t Ballentine who was convicted of the fatal stabbing of Tucker; instead, it was Robin “Rocky” Myers, a fish out of water from New Jersey, and his defense at first might seem as implausible as the one presented in My Cousin Vinny. VIDEO: People in Denmark Are a Lot Happier Than People in the United States. It didn’t entirely contradict the prosecution’s narrative—Rocky had, after all, already admitted to trading the VCR to Butch—but it raised powerful questions about the conduct of Decatur police during the investigation. But there was one major change. So you have someone who’s intellectually disabled fumbling it, and sounding like somebody fumbling it.”. His death sentence was imposed by a judge who overrode the jury’s recommendation for life without parole through a procedural option that is no longer legal. var inline_cta_2_bg_color_305203 = ''; Cool Breeze was released, and Rocky was charged with the capital murder of Ludie Mae Tucker.24, Rocky’s trial began two years later. When Rocky lost his last appeal, he told me that he did not want clemency. He testified that on the afternoon of Ludie Mae’s murder he’d bought crack from Butch and smoked it back at his house. That litigation was dropped last year after the state agreed to offer asphyxiation by nitrogen gas as an execution option. Rocky had terrible eczema—even the detectives who interrogated him noted his flaky, scaly skin—yet despite the prosecution’s contention that he’d been in a violent struggle with Ludie Mae, no skin flakes were found at the scene. “Mr. Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM; Huntsville, AL Showroom Hours. tn_subject: ['criminal-j', 'death-pena', 'jails-and-', 'racism-and', 'social-jus', 'states'], Schwarz decided that he could no longer represent Rocky, but unfortunately he just sat in a room and said that quietly to himself,” said Keeton. From the bench, he said the jury had been too “emotional” in choosing not to recommend the death penalty on its own and described Rocky as a “threat to society.”36, “I never thought for a moment that he did it,” said Puckett, her voice cracking. magazine_text_305203 = '

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'; Ryder is the leader in fleet management solutions, as well as supply chain management and logistics for businesses of all sizes. if( inline_cta_2_text_305203 !='' ){ Be sure to call ahead with Dr. Myers to book an appointment. When detectives pressed him on the timing of his story about finding the VCR and taking it to Butch, he faltered—first, it was 40 minutes before police arrived at Ludie Mae’s house, then 10 minutes, and finally, he said he couldn’t remember clearly. To submit a correction for our consideration, click here. Find the obituary of Herman C. Myers (1927 - 2020) from Decatur, AL.

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