Bredesen commutes death sentence, pardons 22
Posted in the Greeneville Forum
#1 Jan 12, 2011
http://www.wbir.com/news/article/151917/2/Bre... |topnews|text|FRONTPAGE|defaul t|tPardons
-- Robert G. Payne, forgery and receiving stolen property.
-- Jonathan McClain, burglary of motor vehicle, grand larceny and petty larceny.
-- Paul Spano, attempted felony.
-- Catherine Hicks, obtaining money by false pretense.
-- Vickie Jean Burden Humble, accessory before the fact to unlawful possession of controlled substance with intent to sell and attempt to sell controlled substance.
-- Ruth Todos, passing worthless check.
-- John Collie Evans, conspiracy to sell marijuana.
-- Derrel Hooker, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and deliver.
-- Daniel Keith Hutto, criminal attempt to sell a controlled substance.
-- Jessica Dawn Fagan, possession of a controlled substance.
-- Mark Daniel Lejsek, sale of a controlled substance, distribution of marijuana, possession of marijuana and DUI.
-- Jacky Wilmon Moore, selling a controlled substance.
-- Brooke Barnett, theft under $500.
-- Kim Menshouse, domestic assault.
-- Lisa Willis, murder.
-- Terry Kincaid, armed robbery, burglary.
-- James R. Shea, grand larceny.
-- John Benbow, possession of marijuana with intent to resell.
-- Larry Williams, burglary and larceny.
-- Sotirios Sarantos, passing worthless checks over $1,000.
-- Rosalind Aldridge, forgery.
-- Roger Wayne Chambers, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver.
-- Cheryl Copas, sale of marijuana.
-- Donald Ray Clemmons, aggravated robbery and murder.
-- Kenneth Melton, delivery of a controlled substance in a school zone.
-- Shawnda James, murder.
-- Edward Jerome Harbison, murder.
-- James Green, attempted especially aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual battery.
#2 Jan 12, 2011
http://www.wbir.com/news/article/151917/2/Bre... |topnews|text|FRONTPAGE|defaul t|t
NASHVILLE, Tenn.(AP)-- Gov. Phil Bredesen has commuted a Tennessee inmate's death sentence to life in prison without parole.
Bredesen told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Tuesday that he thinks Edward Jerome Harbison's crime was heinous but didn't rise to the level of the death penalty.
Bredesen also exonerated one man, commuted the sentences of three inmates and issued 22 pardons.
Harbison was convicted in Chattanooga of the 1983 slaying of Edith Russell, a woman for whom he had done handy work. He initially confessed but later claimed he was forced to do that because police threatened to arrest his girlfriend and put her children in foster care.
Here are the pardons, commutations and exoneration announced Tuesday by Gov. Phil Bredesen
#3 Jan 12, 2011
I cannot speak on the other cases, as I do not know the specifics of the case files. However, the commutation of the sentence of Shawnda James is long overdue. She should be pardoned. At age 14 this young woman (now 29) was convicted for murdering her aunt, who had abused her. Shawnda has served 15 years. Bredesen has certainly "righted a wrong" and allowed some justice to come to this young woman. Her family did not protect her. Society did not protect her. The "justice" system failed to protect her. She protected herself at 14 years old and she has had to pay for it with at least 15 years of her life. Thank you Governor Bredesen. The true victim here was Shawnda James- a child at the time who had to become a woman behind bars. She can now have hope for a future and productive life- without crime, without abuse and in knowing she did what no one else would do for her- protect herself.
#4 Jan 12, 2011
my aunt never abused her ever u don't know crap about this case so stop pretending like you do . i was THERE multiple days and my aunt kelly never so much as raised a hand to her HER FREAKING UNCLE slapped her on the leg for back talking her why dont u get ur facts straight MORON! she jammed the first weapon and switched and got a 2nd weapon to MURDER my aunt in her sleep! and then stole her car and took my cousin corey outta state ! but not before totaling her camero and giving corey a concussion! you don't know crap about anything so just keep ur stupid comments to yourself! did you see my aunt in a freaking CASKET . my aunt was the sweetest person you would have ever met. but you'd rather defend a freaking murderer and a spoilled brat ! she was upset b/c she was punished over not cleaning up after herself and having to do chores is why she killed my aunt TO GET BACK AT MY UNCLE !
#5 Jan 12, 2011
MY AUNT NEVER ABUSED ANYONE! she was a sweet loving mother and took shawnda in out of the kindness of here own heart and what did she get for it? murdered! My aunt was a wonderful person and had a laugh that was contagious. Shawnda was a spoiled brat runaway who had NEVER lived in a house with any rules . and once she moved in with my aunt kelly and uncle doug she had rules to follow and she couldn't stand that. shawnda wanted to move back to michigan to live with her grandma and had ran away before. LET ME SAY AGAIN MY AUNT KELLY JAMES NEVER EVER EVER ABUSED HER. OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER! I lived 1 mile away from her and saw her with shawnda all the time she never TOUCHED HER! so you dawsongrey get your freaking facts straight! did you ever go to any of the trial i bet not. i was ! were u ever there with my aunt kelly? no you never were! did you see how much love my aunt had in her heart! no you didnt and i did. so keep ur ignorant comments to yourself b/c u don't know crap! the JUSTICE SYSTEM FAILED MY AUNT KELLY BY LETTING THIS LIL HOOD RAT MURDERER OUT ON PARDON!
#6 Jan 14, 2011
Mr. Grey, I am a close personal friend of Doug and Corey James.I did not know the family when Kelly was murdered but I feel as though I know her personally.The home she was murdered in is still full of pictures of Kelly, memories of Kelly, and love for Kelly.I have spent many hours with Doug and watched him drowning in sorrow and grief-yes, 15 years later.Shawnda has spent 15 years behind bars for a crime she chose to commit.Doug and Corey and the rest of the family have spent 15 years in emotional hell for the same vicious murder that Shawnda chose to commit.Corey has grown up without ever knowing the love of a mother because Shawnda made a choice. At 14 years old Shawnda had the ability to use the resources that this nation has set forth to protect abused kids.I am not saying that she was abused by any means!To justify her murdering an innocent woman and kidnapping her child "because she was abused" is sick and completley an ignorant stance on the matter.Are you capable of putting yourself in the shoes of Doug,Corey, or any member of this family?Could you for one moment imagine coming home to find your wife murdered and son missing!?Your opinions and I emphasize opinions, are your own and have no consideration for the son who lost his mother or family that lost their beloved Kelly.The 17 year old boy that sits at home and listens to this on the news and reads the things you have written now has to endure the hurtful lies about his mother that your opinions have produced.Did you ever think of anyone here other than Shawnda James?You have passed judgement on the deceased who is not here to defend herself.Do you really beleive the "poor me" words of a convicted killer?you must be an incredibly miserable man and I pity you.You have poured salt into a deep wound of a child,a still grieving husband and family.The Lord says judge not less ye be judged. He also says an eye for an eye.
#7 Jan 14, 2011
And I am well aware of Shawndas medical history due to abuse as a child, Dougs alcoholism stemming from PTSD in the Gulf War- and the abuse he filled Shawndas life with. Also well aware of the KKK connections in Giles County this case. Shawnda is 1/2 Hispanic? Yes, she is. Aware of so many things that were covered up in trial.
As for "resources that this nation has set"- Shawnda did reach out to the local resource in Giles County- the sheriff- Eddie Bass- with a black eye and broken nose- Mr. Bass had Doug pick her up- then take her back home... to more abuse.
These are not opinions. These are facts.
Unfortunately at the time, Shawnda had no voice. But she has MANY now and will have even more in 18 months. The son? My sympathies to the child who is now three years older than Shawnda was- yet still a child- just as Shawnda was when convicted and sent to prison.
No one is "justifying a murder"- only allowing the truth of the murder to be known. There was an abused child in a less than desirable home, no one protected the child- even after reaching out for help- the child protected herself- as many would. Especially one who only has the cognitive ability of a 14 year old CHILD.
Jodie, I understand your opinion. Anyone who is close to her family will have this opinion and much stronger ones. But truths do eventually come to surface regardless of how much time passes and how many people attempt to cover it up. Shawndas truth is finally coming to surface and unfortunately for them, so are others.
#8 Jan 15, 2011
SHAWNDA JAMES WAS NEVER EVER ABUSED BY MY AUNT KELLY OR UNCLE DOUG! dawson why dont u go to hell ! OUR FAMILY HAS NO CONNECTION TO KKK u piece of crap. can you name one of our family members besides shawnda corey kelly or doug no you cant DOUG DOESN'T HAVE PTSD from the gulf war he was a helo mechanic! he wasn't in combat you moron. eddie bass never ever picked up shawnda with a broken eye or nose. in fact i was with shawnda AT MY HOUSE DAYS BEFORE SHE MURDERED MY AUNT. i saw her everyday AT SCHOOL she never missed a day she never had a scratch on her. EVER. I SAW HER WITH MY OWN DAMN EYES. the truth of this is you dont know shit so stop causing my family pain by implying stuff that never ever happened. why dont u go defend a pedofile while ur at it creep.
#9 Jan 15, 2011
oh and btw my son is half hispanic too ... and guess what my WHOLE family loves his very much in fact he is with my family right now ! and guess what my uncle doug has baby sat my son for me and guess what he did SPOILED HIM ROTTEN so the whole poor shawnda b/c she is half hispanic is actually BULLCRAP. what were u one of the GUARD she screwed in prison ?? i bet thats why ur defending the lil hooker aren't u ...apple didn't fall far from the tree.. or maybe your her grandma who paid for her trial lawyer. who knows but whatever the MURDERER told you is pure crap. I think God has a special place in hell for you and shawnda.
#10 Jan 15, 2011
Bottoms questioned whether the Governor had been mislead about some facts in the case when he commuted James' life sentence.
"Kelly James was asleep in bed. She shot her in cold blood," said Bottoms who prosecuted the case. He went on to say there was no intense argument leading up to the murder as the Governor had indicated in granting James a pardon.
Kelly James had been caring for her niece from Michigan after a series of deaths in the child's family.
"We're not out of the ball game, of course," said Bottoms. "The family, my office and the previous sheriff will be there to oppose her parole in 18 months."
#11 Jan 15, 2011
As far as being "mislead about some facts in the case"~ Bredesen, unlike those involved in the case years ago... Bredesen actually TOOK THE TIME to review the facts of the case and other medical records, legal documentation, etc... which is yet another reason for commutation. There was no misleading Governor Bredesen. Unfortunately we cannot say that about the jurors, judge, DA and others during trial. But as I have said, the truth always comes to surface. And Shawndas truth is speaking quiet loudly.
There is really nothing else worth responding to here. Atleast not with those who have posted so far.
#12 Jan 15, 2011
As far as being "mislead about some facts in the case"~ Bredesen,(unlike those involved in the case years ago)... Bredesen actually TOOK THE TIME to review the facts of the case and other medical records, legal documentation, etc... which is yet another reason for commutation. There was no misleading Governor Bredesen. Unfortunately we cannot say that about the jurors, judge, DA and others during trial. But as I have said, the truth always comes to surface. And Shawndas truth is speaking quiet loudly.
There is really nothing else worth responding to here. Atleast not with those who have posted so far.
#13 Jan 16, 2011
and how would u know what he looked at ? were u there? pls tell me what the medical records say? um u cant you have yet to reply to anything i have said. B/C YOU KNOW NOTHING! OBVIOUSLY Bredesen didn't take ANY freaking time b/c he didn't ask ONE of the victims family for there side. instead he believed the words of a MURDERER who was also a COMPULSIVE LIAR! I was a witness to Shawnda's life at my aunts house YOU WERE NOT. Shawnda spent the nite at my HOUSE SEVERAL TIMES. We all let that lil MURDERER into our lives with open arms. She was a spoiled BRAT who was used to her Grandmother giving her , her way. So you're say the police covered up facts WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT WHAT WOULD BE THEIR GAIN. THEY WOULDN'T GAIN ANYTHING AND IM SURE THEY WOULDN'T STICK THEIR NECK OUT OR COVER UP SIGNS OF ABUSE. THERE WAS NO ABUSE EVER EVER EVER. I lived with my uncle doug when i was 17 and guess what he never so much as even YELLED at me. so why don't u stop writing on here and upsetting my PREGNANT cousin who was like a daughter to my aunt Kelly. You dont know anything , you're pulling crap out of your rear end that you know nothing about!
#14 Jan 16, 2011
THANK YOU GOVENOR BREDESEN,Its about time that someone has seen the truth,Im sorry that someone lost their mother over this but the fact is that Shawnda did in fact seek help from Mr.Bass (the sheriff in Giles Co.) the fact is she did have evidence of abuse and he returned her to the same home in which the abuse occured.at the age of fourteen a person does not have the ability to make rational decisions, she was trying to protect herself when NO ONE ELSE WOULD. Whats in the dark will always come to light, Im just sorry and it's a crime in its self that it has taken 15 years.
#15 Jan 17, 2011
there were plenty of family members who were aroung kelly and doug and shawnda . she never once said a word about abuse ever. she ran away b/c she didn't like having rules. MY aunt never abused shawnda ever. and its funny how AFTER she murdered my aunt she wanted to claim abuse. You know I can say a PIG FLIES but that doesnt make it TRUE! I find it AWFULLY convient that SHE NEVER EVER EVER HAD A MARK ON HER NEVER ASKED ANYONE FOR HELP NEVER MISSED A DAY OF SCHOOL. WAS AT MY HOUSE ALL THE TIME N SHE WAS HAPPY,. ME AND MY BROTHERS WERE CLOSE TO SHAWNDA AND SHE NEVER SAID A WORD. DON'T U THINK SHE WOULD SPEAK UP TO HER PEERS.??? SHE NEVER DID B/C THERE WAS NOTHING TO SPEAK UP ABOUT! KELLY JAMES WAS AN HONORABLE WOMAN AND LOVING PERSON AND I WONT LET YOU PEOPLE DISCREDIT HER HONOR OVER THE WORDS OF A MURDERER! Shawnda's IQ is off the charts , She is decieving all of you . WHAT COP WOULD RETURN A CHILD TO ABUSE. no one. there wasn't ever abuse. EVER!!! SO STOP TRASHING MY DEAD AUNT'S NAME OVER WHAT YOU "HEARD" FROM A MURDERER!
#16 Jan 17, 2011
I always wondered why the person murdered was always the nicest sweetest person in the world, They never did anything so horriable that someone would want to kill them.
Crap happens the sentence was commuted, nothing you can do about it but trash other people and if you are any indication of the up bringing Yeah I'm so believing that your aunt was the sweetest person on this earth.
So good luck in your whing,moaning and complaining your a real winner.
#17 Jan 17, 2011
If you read the list he is releasing two murders and some sexual offerders as well, my prayers goes out to the family that lost their aunt, wife and mother. I think our gov. is doing us as a people a grave injusdice and sending a very bad message to others, returning these misfits back into our communty into our and our children's lives.
#18 Jan 17, 2011
Actually, Shawnda did have marks on her.. and there are statements from her teachers that said so.. along with statements from people in Michigan who she called... and from others who admit but now regret that they did not go and pick her up when she called them.
You are right, Shawndas IQ is off the charts- she is brilliant. The State of TN refused to educate her formally while incarcerated, so she read every book she could find... textbook... ANY book and received her GED - which is amazing considering what she was up against.
Your statement of "abuse being claimed after the murder" is untrue. Abuse was claimed long before. Just one bit of proof of this are the medical records of her nose being broke so many times that she has problems with it now... not only because it was broken, but because it was not "set" by a doctor. You should ask her "uncle" about that. It has never been broken during her incarceration.
Again, the truth always does come to surface and it has here... and it will again.
And too, you are a perfect example and representation of your family. Your temperament, the name calling, the hostility- proof perfect of what I am saying. Further proof that it is true-(not that it is needed) I do have many audio tapes left by your family of death threats for Shawndas family.. and letters calling Shawnda's little brother .. and Shawnda herself a N*****. So please do not tell me how honorable your family and grandfather- or anyone else is.
The TRUTH often hurts. It would certainly hurt me if I was on the receiving end of this truth- just as your family is.
#19 Jan 17, 2011
Why at age 14 was she not allowed some kind of education? At least until she was 18.
#20 Jan 17, 2011
Thank you for the question.
Shawnda, being a juvenile, and out of "general population" due to her age- BUT being tried as an adult- was housed, essentially on Death Row because she was in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. So when she was moved to Tennessee Prison for Women at 16, she had no human contact except for the guards that would transfer her for exercise, showers, etc... She had a television and the books her grandmother would provide for her- nothing formal. Her grandmother would just provide any book for her they would allow her to have.
Her IQ is extremely high. She continues to educate herself through different programs and has mentored many women during incarceration. Shawndas Mother (deceased when Shawnda was a child) was incarcerated for a while when Shawnda little and Shawnda tries to help Mothers who are incarcerated understand the pain their children experience and help women to see what their addictions do to their children. Basically, she counsels women, Mothers, addicts in prison. She has had disciplinary write-ups while incarcerated- as any one would who was forced unjustly to grow up in prison. BUT never has she had any type of disciplinary regarding drugs, alcohol- or abuse of anyone. She simply refuses to be a part of it. Shawnda has also been very vocal in gun reform... and has corresponded with children all over the United States in regards to guns, abuse and addiction. The response from children in their letters to what she has to say is always a gift to her.
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