Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Walter L. DYE





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: July 22, 1996
Date of birth: October 2, 1964
Victims profile: Hannah Clay, 14 (wife's daughter), Celeste Jones, 7, Lawrence Cowherd, 2 (wife's grandchildren)
Method of murder: Beaten with pry bar, strangled, and stabbed
Location: Marion County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on January 20, 1998. Commuted to life in prison on June 29, 2001



DOB: 10-02-64
987990 Black Male

Marion County Superior Court
Judge Patricia Gifford

Prosecutor: Scott C. Newman, Barbara Trathen, Stephanie Schankerman

Defense: Jack Crawford, Carolyn W. Rader, Kimberly Devane

Date of Murder: 07-22-96

Victim(s): Hannah Clay (B/F/14) (wife's daughter), Celeste Jones (B/F/7), Lawrence Cowherd (B/M/2) (wife's grandchildren)

Method of Murder: Jones & Cowherd (beaten and strangled) Clay (beaten with pry bar, strangled, and stabbed)

Summary: Dye was married to Myrna Dye, who was the mother of 14 year old Hannah Clay. Following marital arguments, Myrna and Hannah moved out of the marital home.

One week later while Myrna was at work, Hannah was babysitting at their new residence for her 7 year old niece (Celeste Jones) and her 2 year old nephew (Lawrence Cowherd). Dye went to the residence and brutally assaulted the children in revenge for Myrna leaving him. He had a history of violence against Myrna and had threatened Hannah.

Hannah was found beaten to death with a pry bar, strangled and stabbed. The bodies of the two young children were found beaten and strangled, stuffed into garbage bags in a nearby alley.

Conviction: Murder (3 counts)

Sentencing: January 20, 1998 (Death Sentence on murder of Celeste Jones; other murder convictions merged.)

Aggravating Circumstances: 3 murders

Mitigating Circumstances: Innocence


In the Supreme Court of Indiana

Cause No. 49S00-9801-DP-55

Walter Dye, Appellant (Defendant Below),
State of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below). 

Appeal From The Marion Superior Court
The Honorable Patricia J. Gifford, Judge
Cause No. 49G04-9608-CF-112831

On Direct Appeal

September 30, 1999

BOEHM, Justice.

Walter Dye was convicted of the murder of Hannah Clay, age fourteen, Celeste Jones,age seven, and Lawrence Cowherd III, age two. A jury recommended that the death sentence be imposed, and the trial court imposed the death sentence. In this direct appeal Dyecontends that (1) the State committed numerous discovery violations; (2) his right to be freefrom self-incrimination was violated when he was questioned without Miranda warnings; (3)the trial court erred by excusing a juror for cause on the State's motion and failing to excusetwo jurors for cause upon his motion; (4) his jury was not selected from a representativecross-section of the community; (5) the trial court erred when it modified his tenderedpenalty phase instruction on clemency; and (6) death is not the appropriate sentence basedon the weighing of aggravating and mitigating circumstances and the “residual doubt” of hisguilt. We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

Myrna Dye decided to leave Dye, her husband of four years, in early July, 1996. According to Myrna, the couple constantly fought, their sexual relationship had becomenonexistent, and Dye had become “real grouchy” toward Myrna's daughter Hannah Clay,who lived with the couple. On Monday July 15, Myrna signed a lease for a furnishedapartment located seven blocks from where she and Dye resided. That evening Dyeconfronted Myrna about her plans to leave, and she confirmed his suspicions. According toMyrna, Dye appeared “kind of angry” and told her “I can have something done to you andhave an alibi because I would be at work.” He added, “I'm going to make sure you sufferthe rest of your life, and everybody is going to know who been there.” The next day, whileDye was at work, Myrna and Hannah moved out.

The following Sunday, July 21, Myrna and another of her daughters, Potrena Jones, went to work the night shift at a nursing home. Hannah remained at the apartment withMyrna's two grandchildren, Lawrence Cowherd III, age two, and Celeste Jones, age seven.Lawrence was Potrena's son, and Celeste was the daughter of Theresa Jones, another ofMyrna's daughters. Theresa was supposed to have worked the afternoon shift at the samenursing home where Myrna and Potrena went to work, but had not shown up for work.Myrna was angry and called Theresa at the home Theresa shared with Potrena and their twochildren. Theresa's boyfriend, John Jennings, eventually answered the phone, and Myrnahad harsh words for both of them.

At the end of their shift, Myrna and Potrena took the bus home. As they approachedthe apartment at about 8:00 a.m., they saw several police cars. They soon learned thatHannah's partially nude body had been found in the apartment and that Celeste andLawrence were missing. An autopsy later revealed that Hannah had been beaten with whatthe pathologist believed to be a crowbar and a hammer. Her body sustained blunt forceinjuries as well as ligature strangulation and stab wounds to the neck and hand. The bluntforce injuries were applied with such force “to have crushed the front of the chest wall backtoward the spine, crushing the heart and the lungs in between.” A rape kit was collectedduring the autopsy. Although the swabs of her body showed no evidence of sperm, a wetwashcloth containing seminal fluid was found on a bed near Hannah's body.

A search for Celeste and Lawrence was promptly begun. At about 2:00 p.m., a policeofficer found a bundled comforter among some tall weeds along an alley near Myrna'sapartment. Two trash bags containing the lifeless bodies of Celeste and Lawrence were found in the comforter. Both children had sustained injuries consistent with being hit on thehead with a fist. Lawrence had also been hit in the left lower chest and liver, and Celeste hadbeen stabbed with a knife. Lawrence had been strangled with a lamp cord taken fromMyrna's apartment, and Celeste had been strangled with an extension cord.

Investigators collected a great deal of physical evidence that pointed to Dye as thekiller. Dye's palmprints were found on a nightstand near Hannah's body. Dye's fingerprint,made in Hannah's blood, was found on a clothing tag near her body. Dye's shoeprints werefound on papers strewn on the bedroom floor. One of these papers had the palmprints inHannah's blood from both Dye and Hannah. Police seized Dye's shoes during the executionof a search warrant at his residence, and Hannah's blood was found in the inner stitching andfibers of the shoes. Finally, analysis of DNA in the sperm found on the washcloth matchedDye's with odds of 1 in 39 billion.See footnote 1

Dye initially told police that he had never been to Myrna's apartment and had not lefthis residence on the night of the murders. However, he testified at trial that he walked to getcigarettes at about 2:45 a.m. on the night of the killing and kept walking to Myrna'sapartment, because Myrna had told him days earlier that she would be off work on Sundaynight. He testified that upon his arrival at Myrna's apartment he found the door open,walked inside, saw a foot, walked over to Hannah's body, touched her, concluded she was dead, and left. He did not call the police. He returned home but could not sleep, andclocked in at work at 5:26 a.m.

A jury convicted Dye of three counts of murder. The jury recommended that thedeath penalty be imposed, and the trial court followed that recommendation and sentencedDye to death.

I. Alleged Discovery Violations

Dye contends that the State violated the discovery rules of Marion County bybelatedly disclosing several pieces of evidence. He also argues that these “egregious”violations deprived him of his “state and federal due process rights and his right to presenta defense.”See footnote 2 Trial courts are given wide discretion in discovery matters because they havethe duty to promote the discovery of truth and to guide and control the proceedings. Braswell v. State, 550 N.E.2d 1280, 1283 (Ind. 1990). They are granted deference indetermining what constitutes substantial compliance with discovery orders, and we willaffirm their determinations as to violations and sanctions absent clear error and resultingprejudice. Id.; Kindred v. State, 524 N.E.2d 279, 287 (Ind. 1988). When remedial measuresare warranted, a continuance is usually the proper remedy, but exclusion of evidence maybe appropriate where the violation “has been flagrant and deliberate, or so misleading or insuch bad faith as to impair the right of fair trial.” Kindred, 524 N.E.2d at 287.

A. The Crowbar

The day after the killings a crowbar was discovered in the alley running behindMyrna's apartment. The crowbar's existence was promptly disclosed to the defense, as wasa report that it had been tested for the presence of human blood and tested positive. OnMarch 13, 1997, detectives, at the direction of the prosecutor's office, again interviewedMyrna and Theresa. Myrna confirmed that Dye had owned a crowbar similar or identicalto the one found. The detective promptly advised a deputy prosecutor of what he hadlearned, and the deputy instructed him to write an interdepartmental memo memorializingthe conversation. The detective wrote the memo and gave it to a paralegal in the prosecutor'soffice. The paralegal apparently misfiled the memo and failed to route it to the prosecutorsor defense attorneys who would try the case.See footnote 3 As a result, Myrna's statements that thecrowbar belonged to Dye were not disclosed to the defense until August 13, 1997, threeweeks before Dye's trial was to begin. Upon receipt of the memo, defense counsel filed a motion to exclude any evidence relating to the crowbar, contending that the State's belateddisclosure of the interdepartmental memo “is in total and complete violation of the Rules ofDiscovery of the Marion Superior Court, is contemptuous, and is deserving of the most severe sanctions.” The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion and denied the motionto exclude the evidence, observing that “[t]here are other remedies available to thedefendant.”

Dye points to Rule 7 of the Rules of Organization and Procedure of the MarionSuperior Court, Criminal Division. Section 1(a) of that rule provides that “[t]he court atinitial hearing will automatically order the State to disclose and furnish all relevant items andinformation under this Rule to the defendant(s) within twenty (20) days from the date of theinitial hearing . . . .” The information here, however, was not known to exist within twentydays of the initial hearing, but rather was uncovered by the State months later during thecourse of its preparation for trial. Under these circumstances, the State nevertheless had theobligation to make timely disclosure of the evidence to the defense. The five month delayhere can hardly be viewed as timely. Nevertheless, accepting the State's explanation at facevalue, the belated disclosure was not flagrant or deliberate, and disclosure neverthelessoccurred three weeks before trial. This was sufficient time to allow defense counsel to re-depose the necessary witnesses before trial, which was done. Under these circumstances,the trial court's denial of Dye's request to exclude the evidence and motion for continuancewas not clear error, and in any event he has not demonstrated any resulting prejudice.See footnote 4 Kindred, 524 N.E.2d at 287.

Dye also asserts error based on the State's belated disclosure of Theresa Jones' March13 statement to detectives. Theresa told police that she had owned a crowbar similar to theone described by Myrna, but after being shown the crowbar found near the crime scene toldpolice that it was not hers. She also told police that she could not recall whether her crowbarwas in the trunk of her car when it was repossessed. This conversation was alsomemorialized in the same misfiled memo described above and not disclosed to the defenseuntil the memo surfaced three weeks before trial. Dye argues that, because of the belateddisclosure, he had an “inadequate opportunity to effectively use this information. Had timeallowed, the defense could have explored the repossession of Theresa's car and if thecrowbar was, indeed, in the trunk.” He contends that the State's belated disclosure of thisevidence constitutes a violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed.2d 215 (1963). We disagree.

As a threshold matter, there was no Brady violation because the evidence wasdisclosed to the defense three weeks before trial, see Williams v. State,714 N.E.2d 644, 648-49 (Ind. 1999), and the defense had ample opportunity to pursue any avenues raised by itsdisclosure and to adjust its strategy accordingly. Moreover, Brady and its progeny apply toevidence that is “material” to guilt or punishment, i.e., evidence that creates a reasonableprobability of a different result of a proceeding. See, e.g., United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S.667, 682, 105 S. Ct. 3375, 87 L. Ed. 2d 481 (1985). Theresa's statement to the police ishardly exculpatory or material to Dye's guilt. She told police that her crowbar was differentfrom the one found near the crime scene, and questioning those individuals who repossessed her car would, in the best case scenario to the defense, have disclosed that no crowbar wasfound in her trunk. This would not exculpate Dye nor would it materially add to his defensein light of the overwhelming physical evidence connecting him to the crime.

B. Fingerprints and DNA Testing of John JenningsSee footnote 5

On August 22, 1997, after her deposition was taken by the defense, fingerprintexaminer Diane Donnelly took the fingerprints of Theresa Jones' boyfriend, John Jennings. Donnelly generated a report, dated September 2, the first day of jury selection, that compareda number of unidentified latent fingerprints from the crime scene with those submitted byJennings, and found no matches. According to the State, it did not receive Donnelly's reportuntil the evening of September 9, and it turned the report over to the defense early thefollowing morning. In addition, the prosecutor's office directed a detective to transportJennings for a blood draw on August 22. DNA analysis excluded Jennings as the contributorof any of the unknown DNA from the crime scene. Defense counsel objected to both theadmission of the fingerprint comparisons and DNA analysis of Jennings on the ground of itslate disclosure. The State responded that it requested this analysis after identifying thedefense theory that someone else, possibly Jennings, had committed the murders. Dyeinitially sought exclusion of the evidence, but was instead granted a continuance until thenoon hour. The trial court observed that it agreed “with the State in that I believe that theyhad a duty and an obligation to try to compare these prints, even at this late date. So although it is a violation of discovery rules, due to the circumstances there will be nosanctions imposed.”

We find the State's explanation for the belated disclosure more than adequate underthe circumstances. Although its late decision to test these materials was a reasonableresponse to an expected defense trial theory, it nevertheless ran the risk, in the event of eithera fingerprint or DNA match, of providing the defense with powerful evidence to bolster itscase. However, the results instead exculpated Jennings. This at most forced a minoradjustment to the defense theory that some unidentified person may have committed thekillings.

Dye alleges prejudice based on his opening statement to the jury in which he“hemmed himself in . . . by telling the jury that there would be no dispute about the scientificevidence . . . . [Dye] could not later challenge the scientific evidence about which he did notyet know.” In addition, Dye's opening statement spoke in generalities about the possibilitythat someone other than Dye had committed the killings: “We are not going to be able to tellyou who killed these children. We do not know.” However, Dye made no specific mentionof Jennings by name as the possible perpetrator during opening statement. His expresseddecision not to challenge the scientific evidence hardly prevented him from challengingscientific evidence not yet known at the time of his opening statement. The trial courtgranted a continuance to allow Dye's expert to compare the fingerprints. Had Dye's expertconcluded that any of the prints found at the crime scene were Jennings', he could havepresented this to the jury through his expert and also pointed out the belated disclosure of the State's comparisons in cross-examination of Donnelly. Dye did not offer the testimonyof his fingerprint expert, and the obvious inference is that his expert's conclusions weresimilar to those of Donnelly. The trial court's continuance until the noon hour was anadequate remedy under these circumstances and Dye has demonstrated no prejudice as aresult of this ruling.

C. Other Alleged Violations

As a final point, Dye quotes from his pretrial motion for continuance, filed daysbefore trial, which alleged other discovery violations. However, Dye makes no separateargument regarding these alleged violations and accordingly any claim of error is waived forthe failure to present a cogent argument. Ind. Appellate Rule 8.3(A)(7).See footnote 6

II. Failure to Provide Miranda Warnings

Dye argues that some statements he made to police should have been suppressedbecause police failed to provide him with the Miranda warnings before questioning him.See footnote 7 At about noon on July 22, two detectives went to Dye's place of employment to talk to himabout Hannah's murder and the disappearance of Lawrence and Celeste. They informed Dye that he was neither a suspect nor under arrest but that they needed to ask him some questionsin light of allegations by the family that he had made threats towards Myrna. He agreed toaccompany the detectives to the police station, and they explained that police departmentpolicy required that he be handcuffed and placed in the backseat during his ride there. Thehandcuffs were removed upon arrival and Dye was taken to an interview room, where hespoke to detectives for about forty-five minutes. Dye told the detectives that he had neverbeen to Myrna's apartment but had a pretty good idea where it was located. He also said thathe had never left his residence on the night of the murder. When asked if he were capableof committing this crime, Dye replied “[i]f I ever had the thought, never the kids.” Thisstatement was made before the bodies of Celeste and Lawrence had been discovered. Muchlater in the day,See footnote 8 the detectives arranged a time on Wednesday at which to pick Dye up fromwork to transport him for a blood draw. Detectives explained that they sought a bloodsample because it was possible that Hannah had been raped. At the agreed upon time onWednesday, a detective picked Dye up at work. Dye rode, unrestrained, in the front seat ofthe detective's car. En route to the blood draw, the detective heard Dye breathing heavilyand asked him what was wrong. Dye replied that he had never given a semen sample before. The detective responded that “[a]ll we've ever agreed to was you said you would provide ablood sample, nothing more. . . .”

Miranda warnings are required only in the context of custodial interrogation. SeeMiranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966). Custodialinterrogation is “questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has beentaken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.” Id. The Supreme Court has further explained interrogation as “either express questioningor its functional equivalent.” Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 300-01, 100 S. Ct. 1682,64 L. Ed. 2d 297 (1980). Custody has been described as “whether there [was] a 'formalarrest or restraint on freedom of movement' of the degree associated with a formal arrest.” Stansbury v. California, 511 U.S. 318, 322, 114 S. Ct. 1526, 128 L. Ed. 2d 293 (1994) (percuriam) (quoting California v. Beheler, 463 U.S. 1121, 1125, 103 S. Ct. 3517, 77 L. Ed. 3d1275 (1983) (per curiam) (in turn quoting Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495, 97 S. Ct.711, 50 L. Ed. 2d 714 (1977) (per curiam)). Based on these authorities, this Court hasdescribed the custody issue as whether a reasonable person in the accused's circumstanceswould believe that he or she is free to leave. Cliver v. State, 666 N.E.2d 59, 66 (Ind. 1996). A police officer's unarticulated plan to arrest or suspicions about a suspect has no bearingon the issue; rather, “the only relevant inquiry is how a reasonable man in the suspect'sposition would have understood his situation.” Stansbury, 511 U.S. at 324 (quotingBerkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 442, 104 S. Ct. 3138, 82 L. Ed. 2d 317 (1984)).

As to the statements made during the initial interview with police, the State does notcontest that the police questioned Dye. Accordingly, the issue turns on whether Dye was incustody at the time. Dye relies on Loving v. State, 647 N.E.2d 1123 (Ind. 1995), in which this Court reversed a conviction because the defendant was subjected to custodialinterrogation without being advised of his Miranda rights. Although the officers in Lovingdid not consider the defendant a suspect, they never communicated that belief to him. Moreover, Loving was questioned at the crime scene by several police officers, thenhandcuffed and placed in the back of a marked police car to be taken to the police stationwhere he was questioned without ever being told that he was free to leave. Id. at 1125. ThisCourt held that, “[p]articularly in view of the initial use of handcuffs, . . . a reasonable personin the defendant's circumstances would not have believed himself to be free to leave butwould instead have considered his freedom of movement to have been restrained to the'degree associated with a formal arrest.'” Id. at 1126 (quoting Beheler, 463 U.S. at 1125).

Unlike Loving, Dye was told by police that he was not a suspect and was specificallytold that he was being handcuffed as a matter of standard procedure during transportation tothe police station, where the handcuffs were immediately removed as promised. Bothdetectives testified at the suppression hearing that Dye was free to leave the interview at anytime, and the totality of the circumstances surrounding the interview lead us to conclude thata reasonable person in these circumstances would not have considered his freedom ofmovement restrained to the degree associated with a formal arrest. Accordingly, the trialcourt did not err when it denied Dye's motion to suppress the statements made during hisinitial interview with police.

The alleged Miranda violation en route to the blood draw presents issues of bothinterrogation and custody. Here, the detective's asking Dye what was wrong does not constitute interrogation under Miranda or the functional equivalent of questioning underInnis. See Hopkins v. State, 582 N.E.2d 345, 348 (Ind. 1991) (“volunteered statements areadmissible absent Miranda warnings”); see also Loving, 647 N.E.2d at 1126. Moreover, Dyewas not in custody at the time the statement was made. The blood draw was arranged inadvance to take place over Dye's lunch hour, and he was transported in the front seat of thepolice car without any type of restraint. The trial court properly denied Dye's motion tosuppress.

III. Rulings on Challenges for Cause

Dye argues that the trial court improperly excluded one juror for cause anderroneously denied his motion to exclude two other jurors for cause. He contends that thisviolated his “state and federal rights to due process and to an impartial jury.”See footnote 9

A. Excused for Cause

The trial court excluded for cause one juror who expressed strong views opposing thedeath penalty. In response to a question on the jury questionnaire about the circumstancesunder which he believed the death penalty would be appropriate, the juror responded “[t]osave society or mankind as a whole when there is no defense.” The prospective juror furtherexplained this as “[t]he Hitler argument” and was then questioned at some length by the trialcourt, State, and defense counsel. The prospective juror stated during this questioning thathe could recommend the death penalty in a case of an individual similar to Adolph Hitler and possibly Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. However, he later observed that thiscase involved the alleged killing of three individuals and agreed that he “could neverconsider” recommending the death penalty for such a crime. When asked whether he wouldbe able to follow his oath as a juror and consider the death penalty “as a viable option in thiscase” he stated that he would not.

1. Juror Exclusion Under the Federal Constitution

The relevant inquiry for exclusion of jurors for cause under the federal constitutionis “whether the juror's views would 'prevent or substantially impair the performance of hisduties as a juror in accordance with his instructions and his oath.'” Wainwright v. Witt, 469U.S. 412, 424, 105 S. Ct. 844, 83 L. Ed. 2d 841 (1985) (quoting Adams v. Texas, 448 U.S.38, 45, 100 S. Ct. 2521, 65 L. Ed. 2d 581 (1980)). As the Court explained in Witt, “the questis for jurors who will conscientiously apply the law and find the facts. That is what an'impartial' jury consists of . . . .” 469 U.S. at 423. The Witt “standard does not require thata juror's bias be proved with unmistakable clarity. Deference must be paid to the trial courtwho was able to see the prospective jurors and listen to their responses during voir dire.” Underwood v. State, 535 N.E.2d 507, 513 (Ind. 1989).

In Indiana, juries in capital cases are instructed that they must consider whether theState has proven an aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt, and if that is done,they must then weigh the aggravator(s) against any mitigating evidence. Jurors who state atthe outset that they will not recommend a death sentence even if the State proves one or morestatutory aggravating circumstance are incapable of following the court's instructions and are accordingly properly excused for cause. The questioning described above demonstratedthat this prospective juror's views on the death penalty would have prevented him fromfollowing the court's instructions and his oath.

Dye contends that it was nevertheless error for the trial court to excuse the juror forcause because he stated that he “could consider the death penalty under certain circumstancesand in fact, believed it to be an appropriate penalty.” As explained above, the relevantinquiry is not whether the prospective juror could recommend the death penalty in anyconceivable case, including genocide or the most famous of mass murders. Rather, the issueis whether the jury can follow the court's instructions and the juror's oath in this case.

In most reported cases, excused prospective jurors have stated blanket opposition tothe death penalty. See, e.g., Davis v. State, 598 N.E.2d 1041, 1047 (Ind. 1992) (after beingasked if there are “any circumstances” under which prospective juror could vote torecommend the death penalty, juror responded “No sir”); Benirschke v. State, 577 N.E.2d576, 582-83 (Ind. 1991) (prospective jurors indicated they were opposed to the death penaltyand “could not find a case where it would be appropriate”); Underwood, 535 N.E.2d at 513(prospective juror “candidly expressed several times that she could not consider the deathpenalty”); Burris v. State, 465 N.E.2d 171, 178 (Ind. 1984) (“all of the excused veniremenstated that under no circumstances would they consider imposition of the death penalty”). We find no case from this Court directly addressing the issue Dye raises. However, severalcases imply that the necessary inquiry is whether the prospective juror could recommend thedeath penalty in the case on trial, not in any case. In Davis, 598 N.E.2d at 1047, the prosecutor asked if a prospective juror could recommend the death penalty “[u]nder anycircumstances that you can imagine uh, as have been described to you in this case[.]” Thejuror responded “No” and this Court upheld the removal for cause under Witt. We observedthat “[t]here need be no ritualistic adherence to a requirement that a prospective juror makeit unmistakably clear that he or she would automatically vote against the imposition of capitalpunishment.” Id. Similarly, in Daniels v. State, 453 N.E.2d 160, 167 (Ind. 1983), this Courtreviewed the removal for cause of a prospective juror who, after initially stating he did notbelieve in the death penalty, stated that he thought it might be warranted in the case of theassassination of a president. The following colloquy then took place between the trial courtand the prospective juror:

Q. “Then other than the president you can't think of any instances or any circumstances involving a murder that you would feel would warrant recommendationof the death sentence?”

A. “No.”

Q. “And your feelings would preclude you from recommending the death penalty if     the Defendant was found guilty, is that right?”

A. “Yes, Ma'am.”

Id. at 167. Applying the then-existing federal constitutional standard of Witherspoon,See footnote 10 this Court upheld the exclusion.

The basic logic of Witt is that it is proper to excuse jurors who are unable to carry outtheir duties in the case before them. A juror's willingness to recommend a death sentenceunder other circumstances is irrelevant to that inquiry. Because the prospective juror herestated that his views on the death penalty would render him unable to follow the court'sinstructions and his oath, exclusion was proper under the federal constitutional standard ofWitt.

2. Exclusion Under Indiana Code § 35-37-1-5(a)(3)

Most of our death penalty cases have been resolved under federal constitutionalstandards, presumably because that was how the issue was framed at trial and on appeal. See, e.g., Davis, 598 N.E.2d at 1046-47 (applying Witt); Jackson v. State, 597 N.E.2d 950,961 (Ind. 1992) (applying Witherspoon); Benirschke, 577 N.E.2d at 582-83 (applying Witt);Evans v. State, 563 N.E.2d 1251, 1257 (Ind. 1990) (applying Witherspoon while also quotingthe statute); Underwood, 535 N.E.2d at 513 (applying Witt). However, Dye also objectedat trial on the basis of Indiana Code § 35-37-1-5(a)(3), which provides as one of several“good causes for challenge” that “[i]f the State is seeking a death sentence, that the personentertains such conscientious opinions as would preclude the person from recommending thatthe death penalty be imposed.” Accordingly, we must address whether the exclusion of thisjuror violated the statute, which arguably sets a higher bar than Witt. See generally 16B William Andrew Kerr, Indiana Practice § 21.6d at 151-52 (1998).See footnote 11

Dye suggests that exclusion was improper under the statute because the prospectivejuror stated that he could consider the death penalty under some circumstances. The statutespeaks in terms of preclusion from recommending the death penalty and does not specificallyaddress whether the preclusion must be in the particular case only or in all cases, no matterhow far afield their facts may be from the case at bar.

The prospective juror in Dye's case stated opposition to the death penalty with a verynarrow exception (Hitler) that did not apply to Dye's case. The juror went on to explain hisunequivocal opposition to the death penalty under his limited knowledge of the facts ofDye's case (the killing of three children). Although his opinions may not have precluded arecommendation of death in every hypothetical case, they did preclude a recommendationof the death penalty in this case. For the same reasons already explained, we believe this isall that is required under the statute. Accordingly, because the prospective juror'sconscientious opinions precluded him from recommending the death penalty in this case,exclusion was proper under Indiana Code § 35-37-1-5(a)(3).See footnote 12

B. Failure to Excuse for Cause

Dye also argues that the trial court erred by failing to excuse two prospective jurorsfor cause upon his motion. Although both of these jurors at some point expressed the viewthat they would automatically vote to impose the death penalty in the case of a knowing orintentional murder, their views were tempered by subsequent questioning. Both jurors weretold that the law required them to make a recommendation after weighing the aggravatingand mitigating circumstances. The first juror agreed that there was a “possibility” that shewould not recommend the death penalty and agreed she could set aside her personal beliefsand follow the law and her oath. The other juror also stated that it was “possible” that hewould vote against the death penalty and agreed that he would weigh the aggravators andmitigators in good faith and apply the law as it was given to him.

Dye contends that exclusion for cause was required by Morgan v. Illinois, 504 U.S.719, 112 S. Ct. 2222, 119 L. Ed. 2d 492 (1992). In Morgan, the Supreme Court held that thetrial court's refusal to inquire whether prospective jurors would automatically vote to imposethe death penalty upon conviction violated the Due Process Clause of the FourteenthAmendment. However, in this case the trial court did inquire about the possibility that thesejurors would vote automatically to impose the death penalty and defense counsel wereafforded the same opportunity to inquire. This questioning revealed that these prospectivejurors understood that both the law and their oath were contrary to their view favoring anautomatic recommendation of death and agreed that they would follow the law and their oath. The trial court did not err by excluding them.See footnote 13

IV. Fair Cross-Section of the Jury Pool

Dye argues that his jury was not selected from a venire that represented a fair cross-section of the community. Before trial 150 prospective jurors completed questionnaires thatincluded a question about race. After reviewing the questionnaires, Dye discovered that onlyeighteen of the 150 potential jurors identified themselves as African-American.See footnote 14 He fileda “Motion to Stay Proceedings or Dismiss the Information Based upon Racial Discriminationin the Jury Venire” which sought either time to allow investigation of the racial disparity,supplementation of the venire pursuant to Indiana Code § 33-4-5-2(d)&(e), or dismissal ofthe information. The trial court denied the motion.

In order to make a prima facie showing of a violation of the fair cross-sectionrequirement, a defendant must establish

(1) that the group alleged to be excluded is a “distinctive” group in the community;

(2) that the representation of this group in venires from which juries are selected is not fair and reasonable in relation to the number of such persons in the community;

and (3) that this underrepresentation is due to systematic exclusion of the group in the jury-selection process.

Duren v. Missouri, 439 U.S. 357, 364, 99 S. Ct. 664, 58 L. Ed. 2d 579 (1979).

Dye acknowledges that he bears the burden of establishing a Duren violation, see, e.g., Bond v.State, 533 N.E.2d 589, 591 (Ind. 1989), and concedes that he cannot meet the third prong ofDuren based on the record before us. He nevertheless asserts error based on the trial court'sdenial of his motion to stay the proceedings or supplement the venire pursuant to IndianaCode § 33-4-5-2(d)&(e). That statute provides that “[t]he jury commissioners maysupplement voter registration lists and tax schedules . . . with names from lists of personsresiding in the county that the jury commissioners may designate as necessary to obtain across section of the population of each county commissioner's district. . . .” Ind. Code § 33-4-5-2(d) (1998). The supplemental sources “may consist of such lists as those of utilitycustomers, persons filing income tax returns, motor vehicle registrations, city directories,telephone directories, and driver's licenses. . . .” Id. § 33-4-8-2(e). As noted above, Dyemade no showing that supplementation was necessary to comply with Duren, and we see nobasis for requiring trial courts under such circumstances to utilize this discretionary statutoryprovision for supplementation.

The use of voter registration lists complied with statute. See Ind. Code § 33-4-5-2(1998).See footnote 15 In addition, the trial court also had a duty to comply the constitutionalrequirements set forth in Duren, which it did. It was not required to supplement the voter's registration lists. See Bradley v. State, 649 N.E.2d 100, 103-04 (Ind. 1995) (“Absentconstitutional infirmity, however, we decline to construe [Indiana Code § 33-4-5-2(d)] so asto convert an option into a mandate.”). Nor was the trial court required to grant Dye a stayfor further investigation of systematic exclusion. Dye did not raise the issue until daysbefore trial when a lengthy continuance would have been required to conduct the study Dyerequested.See footnote 16 We review a trial court's denial of a continuance for an abuse of discretion. Perry v. State, 638 N.E.2d 1236, 1241 (Ind. 1994). Under these circumstances, the denialof Dye's motion for a stay was not an abuse of discretion.

V. The Clemency Instruction

Dye contends that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on clemency. Indiana Code § 35-50-2-9(d) provides, in relevant part, that “[t]he court shall instruct the juryconcerning . . . the availability of good time credit and clemency.”See footnote 17 Dye tendered aninstruction that provided:

The Governor of Indiana has the power, under Indiana Constitution, to grant reprieve, commutation, or pardon to a person convicted and sentenced for murder. The Constitution leaves it entirely up to the Governor whether and how to use this power. This power is used sparingly and its imposition, while possible, should not be considered as a likely result.

Over Dye's objection, the trial court struck the last sentence of this tendered instruction. Dye argues on appeal that “what trial counsel sought to do was eliminate speculation throughcomplete and accurate information about the possibility of clemency. . . . The speculationthat jury could have entertained is endless.”See footnote 18

A trial court erroneously refuses a tendered instruction, or part of a tendered instruction, when: (1) the instruction correctly sets out the law; (2) evidence supports thegiving of the instruction; and (3) the substance of the tendered instruction is not covered bythe other instructions given. Byers v. State, 709 N.E.2d 1024, 1028-29 (Ind. 1999). The lastsentence of Dye's tendered instruction fails on both the first and second prongs.

A correct statement of the law regarding clemency is provided for by the Indiana Constitution and by statute. See footnote 19 The part of Dye's tendered instruction that was refused by thetrial court was not a statement of law at all. Rather, it was a statement of historical practicesurrounding clemency in Indiana. Moreover, not only is this language not legal in nature, there is no basis to conclude that it was correct, if viewed as a prediction of futureGovernors' actions. Although the exercise of the power to grant clemency may have beenrare under current and prior Indiana Governors, there is no way to determine whether afuture Governor may alter this trend of executive restraint and grant clemency to a significant number of inmates. See generally Isabel Wilkerson, Clemency Granted to 25 Women Convicted for Assault or Murder, N.Y. Times, Dec. 22, 1990, at 1 (discussing the grant ofclemency by former Ohio Governor Richard Celeste to women convicted of killing orassaulting husbands or companions alleged to have physically abused them). The trial courtdid not err by modifying Dye's tendered instruction on clemency.

VI. Appropriateness of the Death Sentence

As a final point, Dye attacks the appropriateness of his death sentence. According tostatute, a death sentence is subject to “automatic review” by this Court. See Ind. Code § 35-50-2-9(j)(1998). Although this Court has the constitutional authority to review and revisesentences, Ind. Const. art. VII, § 4, it will not do so unless the sentence imposed is“manifestly unreasonable in light of the nature of the offense and the character of theoffender.” Ind. Appellate Rule 17(B). The Court has explained this standard as “notwhether in our judgment the sentence is unreasonable, but whether it is clearly, plainly, andobviously so.” Prowell v. State, 687 N.E.2d 563, 568 (Ind. 1997), cert. denied, ___ U. S.___, 119 S. Ct. 104, 142 L. Ed. 2d 83 (1998)). In reviewing a death sentence, however, wehave noted that “these harsh requirements 'stand more as guideposts for our appellate reviewthan as immovable pillars supporting a sentence decision.'” Id. (quoting Spranger v. State, 498 N.E.2d 931, 947 n.2 (1986)).

Dye contends that the death sentence is not appropriate when the one aggravating circumstance is weighed against the mitigating evidence presented, particularly the alleged“residual doubt” surrounding his guilt. See generally Miller v. State, 702 N.E.2d 1053, 1069(Ind. 1998) (describing “residual doubt” and holding that the failure to argue it to a jury doesnot constitute ineffective assistance of counsel). The State alleged as an aggravating circumstance that Dye killed Celeste after having murdered Hannah.See footnote 20 See Ind. Code § 35-50-2-9(b)(8) (1998). Dye offered the testimony of six witnesses at his penalty phase.See footnote 21 Thejury found that the aggravator outweighed any mitigators and recommended that the deathpenalty be imposed. After a sentencing hearing at which Dye presented the testimony of anadditional witness, the trial court agreedSee footnote 22 and imposed the death sentence.

The trial court's sentencing order explicitly rejected Dye's “residual doubt” argument, finding that the evidence “was more than sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt thatthe defendant committed the murders with which he was charged. There is no 'residual doubt' when considering the reasonable doubt standard.” The trial court's sentencing orderrecounted some of the evidence against Dye including that his left palmprint was found ona table near where Hannah was found, that his bloody fingerprint was found on a garmenttag lying near Hannah's body, and that his semen was found on a wash cloth found next toher body.

Dye's residual doubt argument on appeal focuses on a few pieces of unidentified evidence, specifically hairs found on Hannah's chest, a dried crusty substance found on herthigh and pubic hair, as well as the absence of Dye's footprints outside the apartment, theabsence of his fingerprints in the area where he must have picked up a knife and the absence of fingerprints on the hammer believed to have been used to bludgeon Hannah and Celeste. He also points to a fingerprint that was found on a glass in Myrna's apartment and was compared to twenty people who may have been inside the apartment (including Dye), but remained unidentified. Defense counsel was free to argue -- and did argue -- these items tothe jury in both the guilt and penalty phases and to the trial court at sentencing. However,in light of the significant physical evidence that connected Dye to these murders, the jury andtrial court were not persuaded by these few loose ends. Some of this evidence is arguably attributable, as the State points out, to the fact that Myrna's furnished apartment “was afilthy, oft-rented unit with used carpeting, used furniture and a dirty mattress.” We are no more persuaded by Dye's residual doubt argument than were the jury and trial court. Residual doubt presents no basis for reversal here.

As a final point, we observe that Dye points to no other alleged mitigating circumstances, save his lack of a significant criminal history found by the trial court. Considering the nature of the offense and the character of the offender as presented throughthe proffered mitigating evidence,See footnote 23 we are not persuaded to revise this sentence.


Walter Dye's convictions for murder and death sentence are affirmed.

SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON and SELBY, JJ., concur.

SULLIVAN, J., concurs with separate opinion.


SULLIVAN, Justice, concurring.

    I concur in the Court's opinion. I write to provide additional review of theappropriateness of the death sentence imposed here. Cooper v. State, 540 N.E.2d 1216,1218 (Ind. 1989) (“In contrast to appellate review of prison terms and its accompanyingstrong presumption that the trial court's sentence is appropriate, this Court's review of capital cases under article 7 is part and parcel of the sentencing process. Rather than relyingon the judgment of the trial court, this Court conducts its own review of the mitigating andaggravating circumstances 'to examine whether the sentence of death is appropriate.' . . .The thoroughness and relative independence of this Court's review is a part of what makesIndiana's capital punishment statute constitutional.”) (citations omitted).

    As to the appropriateness of the death penalty in this case, the statute guides thisCourt's review by setting forth standards governing imposition of death sentences. Following completion of the guilt phase of the trial and the rendering of the jury's verdict,the trial court reconvenes for the penalty phase. Before a death sentence can be imposed,our death penalty statute requires the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt at least oneaggravating circumstance listed in subsections (b)(1) through (b)(12) of the statute. Ind.Code § 35-50-2-9 (Supp. 1996). Here the State supported its request for the death penaltywith the aggravating circumstance that Dye committed multiple murders (those of HannahClay and Celeste Jones), id. § 35-50-2-9(b)(8).

    To prove the existence of this aggravating circumstance at the penalty phase of thetrial, the State relied upon the evidence from the earlier guilt phase of the trial (with respectto which the jury had found Dye guilty of the two murders, as well as the murder ofLawrence Cowherd). The death penalty statute requires that any mitigating circumstancesbe weighed against any properly proven aggravating circumstances. The Court's opinion accurately describes Dye's argument in favor of mitigating circumstances. The juryreturned a unanimous recommendation that a sentence of death be imposed.

    Once the jury has made its recommendation, the jury is dismissed, and the trial courthas the duty of making the final sentencing determination. First, the trial court must findthat the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one of the aggravatingcircumstances listed in the death penalty statute exists. Ind. Code § 35-50-2-9(k)(1) (Supp.1996). Second, the trial court must find that any mitigating circumstances that exist areoutweighed by the aggravating circumstance or circumstances. Id. § 35-50-2-9(k)(2). Third, before making the final determination of the sentence, the trial court must considerthe jury's recommendation. Id. § 35-50-2-9(e). The trial court must make a record of itsreasons for selecting the sentence that it imposes. Id. § 35-38-1-3 (1988).

    In imposing the death sentence, the trial court found that the State proved beyond areasonable doubt a charged aggravating circumstance listed in the death penalty statute _that Dye had committed multiple murders. The record and the law supports this finding.

    The trial court found little in the way of mitigating circumstances to exist. The courtfound only that Dye's history of prior criminal conduct was not significant (he had beenconvicted of two Class A misdemeanors _ Driving While License Suspended in 1989 andBattery in 1992). However, the court did note that the circumstances surrounding the battery were significant because the victim of the battery was Myrna Dye. The court alsoconsidered, but did not find to exist, additional statutory mitigating circumstances and otherpurported mitigating circumstances offered by Dye. I agree with the trial court's and thisCourt's analyses of the mitigation in this case and find the mitigating weight to be in the lowrange.

    As required by our death penalty statute, the trial court specifically found that theaggravating circumstance outweighed the mitigating circumstances. The trial court alsogave consideration to the jury's recommendation. The trial court imposed the sentence ofdeath.

    Based on my review of the record and the law, I agree that the State has provenbeyond a reasonable doubt an aggravating circumstance authorized by our death penaltystatute and that the mitigating circumstances that exist are outweighed by that aggravatingcircumstance. I conclude that the death penalty is appropriate for Dye's murder of HannahClay, Celeste Jones and Lawrence Cowherd III.



Footnote:      1 Dye testified at trial that, in the course of his sexual practices with Myrna, he would sometimesejaculate in a washcloth and had done so the Wednesday before Myrna left him. Myrna testified that, afterDye had ejaculated on her, she would either take a bath or clean herself with a washcloth. However, shetestified that her last sexual contact with Dye was in the early part of June and that she had taken no dirtywashcloths with her when she moved.

Footnote:      2 “Due process” is a term found in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It does notappear in the Indiana Constitution. The closest state analog is the “due course of law” provision in ArticleI, Section 12. Dye does not cite that provision, let alone offer a separate analysis based on the stateconstitution. Accordingly, any state constitutional claim is waived. Valentin v. State, 688 N.E.2d 412(Ind. 1997).

Footnote:      3 Rule 5.3(b) of our Rules of Professional Conduct require that “[a] lawyer having directsupervisory authority over [a] nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person's conductis compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer.” Although sending a memorandum to theappropriate attorneys is a clerical task appropriately assigned to a paralegal, the prosecutors assigned to acase nevertheless bear the ultimate burden of ensuring compliance with the discovery rules. This isespecially true under the circumstances here, where a deputy prosecutor knew of -- indeed, requested thatdetectives take -- an important statement from a crucial witness. That this is a death penalty case onlyheightens the need for attorneys within the prosecutor's office to ensure that paralegals are turning over alldiscovery in a timely manner.

Footnote:      4 Dye also suggests that he was misled by some answers given by State's witnesses during pretrialdepositions. However, he does not contend that these answers were not correct according to the witness'sknowledge at the time of their respective depositions. Moreover, Dye had the opportunity to re-deposethese witnesses before trial, in light of the information belatedly disclosed to him on August 13. Thispresents no basis for reversal.

Footnote:      5 Dye also mentions evidence of shoeprints but then notes that the trial court excluded thisevidence. Accordingly, any belated disclosure of this evidence presents no basis for reversal.

Footnote:      6 The State does not assert waiver but instead addresses the issue on its merits, pointing out thatthree of the witnesses mentioned in the motion were not called at trial by the State, the complained ofportion of another witness's testimony was not presented at trial, an expert's report was timely disclosed,an amended transcript of a witness's statement was issued merely to correct “inaudibles” from an earliertranscript, and Dye learned of the oral statements of two other witnesses more than a week in advance oftrial which was sufficient time to render them nonprejudicial to his case.

Footnote:      7 Dye captions his argument in terms of “state and federal rights self-incrimination and to counsel”but merely cites Article I, Sections 11-13 without making any separate analysis based on the stateconstitution. Any claim of error under the Indiana Constitution is waived. See Valentin v. State, 688N.E.2d 412 (Ind. 1997).

Footnote:      8 After this interview with police, Dye spent several more hours with police but points to nostatements made during this time that should be suppressed. Accordingly, we need not address whether anycustodial interrogation occurred subsequent to the initial interview described above.

Footnote:      9 Once again, any state constitutional claim is waived for the failure to make a separate argumentunder the Indiana Constitution. See supra notes 2 and 7.

Footnote:      10 See Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510, 88 S. Ct. 1770, 20 L. Ed. 2d 776 (1968). TheWitherspoon standard, as commonly applied at the time, permitted excusing only those jurors who make“unmistakably clear (1) that they would automatically vote against the imposition of capital punishmentwithout regard to any evidence that might be developed at the trial of the case before them, or (2) that theirattitude toward the death penalty would prevent them from making an impartial decision as to thedefendant's guilt .” Id. at 522 n.21 (emphasis in original). In Witt, the Supreme Court made clear that theCourt's holding in Witherspoon “focused only on circumstances under which prospective jurors could not be excluded; under Witherspoon's facts it was unnecessary to decide when they could  be.” Witt, 469 422 (emphasis in original). Witt concluded that the quoted footnote language from Witherspoon was“dicta” and “not controlling.” Id.

Footnote:      11 Dye contends that this statute is a codification of the standard set forth by the United StatesSupreme Court in Witherspoon. This is incorrect. Although the statutory language is somewhat similar toWitherspoon, the statutory provision has been on the books in a virtually identical form for over a century -- long before Witherspoon. See Kerr, supra § 21.6d, at 149 n.42.

Footnote:      12 Dye quotes the following language from this Court's opinion in Baird v. State, 604 N.E.2d 1170,1185 (Ind. 1992), “[o]nly jurors who state, without equivocation or self-contradiction, that they would notvote for death in any case can be excluded . . . .” Baird cites Witherspoon and Lamar v. State, 266 Ind.689, 366 N.E.2d 652 (1977), an Indiana case applying Witherspoon, as support. Baird does not cite thestatute, and Lamar cites the statute without quoting the language of subsection (3). Lamar instead citesand applies Witherspoon. As explained above, the federal constitutional standard of Witherspoon has beenreplaced by Witt. Moreover, Baird did not purport to be interpreting the statute.    

Footnote:      13 As the State points out, even if a trial court erroneously refuses to remove for cause jurors whodeclare that they will vote to impose death automatically, a death sentence may be affirmed if the jurorswere nevertheless removed through the use of peremptory challenges. See Ross v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 81,108 S. Ct. 2273, 101 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1988). The relevant inquiry is whether any such jurors sat on the jurywhich ultimately sentenced the defendant to death. Id. at 85-86. In Dye's case, both jurors were excusedthrough the use of peremptory challenges and he does not contend that the use of these challenges preventedhim from excusing other prospective jurors who would have voted to impose death automatically.

Footnote:      14 It was later revealed during voir dire that one of the eighteen was mentally handicapped and haderroneously listed her race as African-American.

Footnote:      15 In addition, this Court has expressed approval of the use of voter registration lists from which toselect a pool of prospective jurors. See, e.g., Fields v. State, 679 N.E.2d 1315, 1318 (Ind. 1997); Bradleyv. State, 649 N.E.2d 100, 104-05 (Ind. 1995); Concepcion v. State, 567 N.E.2d 784, 788 (Ind. 1991)(citing Burgans v. State, 500 N.E.2d 183 (Ind. 1986)); Smith v. State, 475 N.E.2d 1139, 1142-43 (Ind.1985).

Footnote:      16 In his reply brief, Dye asks that this Court take judicial notice of the results of a not-yet-completed study in a pending capital case that examines the possible systematic exclusion of AfricanAmericans from jury venires in Marion County. Evidence Rule 201(a) permits courts to take judicialnotice of a fact that is “not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is either (1) generally known within theterritorial jurisdiction of the trial court, or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resort tosources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” The study alluded to here is not a propersubject of judicial notice. According to the limited information in the reply brief, the study has taken weeksor months and a similar study has never before been done. Its subject matter is neither “generally known”within the jurisdiction nor do the conclusions of such a study seem to be “capable of accurate and readydetermination” by resort to sources that cannot be reasonably questioned.

Footnote:      17 This language was added to the statute in 1993. See Pub. L. 250-1993, § 2, 1993 Ind. Acts4481.

Footnote:      18 Dye concedes that giving an instruction that tells the jury that the governor has the power tocommute a sentence does not violate the Eighth Amendment, applicable to the states through the FourteenthAmendment. See California v. Ramos, 463 U.S. 992, 103 S. Ct. 3446, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1171 (1983).

Footnote:      19 “The Governor may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, after conviction, for alloffenses except treason and cases of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law.” Ind. Const. art. V, § 17. Such applications are to be filed with the parole board, which shall make arecommendation to the Governor after (1) notifying (A) the sentencing court, (B) the victim of the crime ornext of kin, and (C) the prosecuting attorney for the county where the conviction was obtained and (2)conducting an investigation and (3) hearing. Ind. Code § 11-9-2-1 to -2 (1998).

Footnote:      20 The State also alleged, on a separate charging instrument filed on the same day, that Dye killedLawrence after murdering Hannah. However, the jury was not presented with this second aggravatingcircumstance nor did the trial court make any mention of it in its sentencing statement or sentencing order.

Footnote:      21 A Marion County probation officer testified that Dye was compliant during his probationarysentence for a Class A misdemeanor battery offense against Myrna. “He did what he was supposed to do. He finished his counseling and he paid his money and he kept his appointments.” Dr. Odie Bracy, III, aclinical neuropsychologist, testified that overall Dye “presented fairly normally. . . . [H]e was verycooperative, very friendly, presented no problems whatsoever during the entire day. . . . He showed a goodcapability to learn, to comprehend, to follow instructions, and exhibited an excellent memory.” ThreeMarion County corrections' officers testified that they had never had any problems with Dye during hispretrial incarceration. Finally, a public information officer from the Department of Correction testified that186 of the 1536 men serving sentences in the general prison population for murder were convicted ofmultiple killings. She testified that twenty-seven of the fifty men on death row were there for multiplemurders. On cross-examination the witness testified that multiple murder means two or more and that shedid not have the statistics for those who committed three murders.

Footnote:      22 The trial court found that the State had proven the aggravating circumstance beyond areasonable doubt and found as a mitigating circumstance that “[a]lthough he defendant's history of priorcriminal conduct cannot be considered significant, the circumstances surrounding [his] battery conviction[against Myrna in 1992 was] significant.”

Footnote:      23 Dye contends that the evidence “presented to the jury primarily painted [him] as an average Joewith no serious psychopathology.” He points to his stable work history, compliance with probation termsand corrections officers while awaiting trial, his brother's testimony that he was not capable of the killings,and a letter from his daughter telling him that she missed and loved him. However, Dye points to only onepotentially mitigating circumstance alleged to have been overlooked by the trial court based on thisevidence. Citing Skipper v. South Carolina, 476 U.S. 1, 106 S. Ct. 1699, 90 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1986), hecontends that the trial court apparently overlooked the testimony from corrections officers about hiscompliant behavior because “it does not appear in [the] sentencing order.” In Skipper, the Supreme Courtheld that it was error for a state trial court to exclude the testimony of jailers and a “'regular visitor' to thejail to the effect that petitioner had 'made a good adjustment' during his time spent in jail.” Id. at 3. TheCourt observed that the exclusion of this “relevant mitigating evidence impeded the sentencing jury's abilityto carry out its task of considering all relevant facets of the character and record of the individualoffender.” Id. at 8. Unlike Skipper's jury, Dye's jury heard this testimony and nevertheless recommendedthat death be imposed. Skipper presents no basis for reversal here.


Walter L. Dye



home last updates contact