Thursday, November 04, 2004

Frank Chandler 11/12/2004

Nov. 12, 2004 set as the execution date for Frank Chandler

7/20/1993 - Frank Chandler was sentenced to death in Surry County Superior Court for the first-degree murder of Doris Poore a 92-year-old widow who was killed during a burglary of her home on December 11th, 1992. Attached to this murder charge was an attempted larceny of over $200.

Chandler was tried before a jury, which found him guilty of the first-degree murder of Doris Poore under the felony murder rule, with first-degree burglary as the underlying felony. The jury also found him guilty of attempted larceny, but not guilty of attempted first-degree rape or first-degree sexual offense. After a separate capital sentencing proceeding, the jury recommended and the trial court imposed a sentence of death for the first-degree murder conviction and a three-year prison sentence for the attempted larceny conviction.

The victim was lying on the bed with her pajama top open and her body was nude from the waist down; smeared bloody fingerprints were on her abdomen. A pair of pajama bottoms and a pair of panties was wadded together at the foot of the bed between the victim's legs, but slightly beneath her right foot. Mrs. Poore died from a single "massive blow" to the head. The blow resulted in a hinge fracture to the scalp, which effectively caused the skull to snap in two resulting in extensive swelling and hemorrhaging of the brain. Mrs. Poore had numerous abrasions, lacerations, and bruises.

Chandler’s palm and fingerprints were found on the wooden door leading into the kitchen. He has an average-range IQ and was competent to stand trial.

Defendant, in this case, broke into and entered the home of an elderly woman who lived alone, seeking either marijuana or money. Based on defendant's testimony, if believed, as he walked through the house, he heard Mrs. Poore. Upon hearing her, he struck her in the head with such force as to break her skull in two. Thereafter, he carried her to her bed and wiped his bloody hands on her stomach. He then removed her pajama bottoms and underpants. He told his cellmate Jeffrey Kyle Wilson that he did this because he wanted to see what an old woman's "pussy" looked like. He then covered her up and proceeded to search the house for her purse. Unable to find it, he left the house and returned to his aunt's house and went to sleep. Defendant never attempted to seek medical attention for Mrs. Poore after he struck her, but instead left her in her bed in a pool of blood to die.

After the murder, defendant immediately began a failed attempt to establish an alibi. He lied to the police. He tried to convince his cousin to lie to the police and to say that he never left the house on the morning of the murder. He also tried to destroy his fingerprint cards after the police obtained them. He told Wilson that he would try to avoid conviction and would "play crazy." Defendant's lack of remorse is evident.

Chandler has committed no less that 26 infractions during his incarceration, they include:

Chandler record of prior incarcerations includes: B & E VEHICLES (PRINCIPAL), B & E (FEL/MISD) (PRINCIPAL), and MISC MOTOR VEHICLE VIOLATION (PRINCIPAL).

Persons who support Chandler say that Doris Poore’s murder was “accidental”. This claim conflicts with the findings of a jury, which made its decisions based on evidence, testimony, logic and facts. These persons or groups who defend Chandler also claim that Chandler did not premeditate the killing without any specific reference to the court documents that they supposedly quote.

Defenders of Chandler also claim that his counsel used illegal drugs prior to trial and as a result he was ineffectively defended. Obviously no one else noticed this at trial (judges, witnesses, prosecutors, jurists, bailiffs, reporters etc). The lawyer’s subsequent behaviors (post-trial) and disbarment have nothing to do with how well Chandler was represented at trial. Chander’s case has been argued at various levels in the appellate courts and confirmed the effectiveness of his trial counsels representation of him. Claims of potential conflicts of interest with his attorneys do not include any specific complaints about what was (or not) said or done which prevented him from getting the assistance he was entitled to. If the appellate courts find no wrong with the representation he’s gotten so far or that any errors that might have occurred are harmless this means that an execution should proceed as scheduled.

Chandler’s supporters have found fault with the prosecutors who handled the trial. Those financial issues that they had have not been linked in any way to the trial or the handling of this case are irrelevant.

Persons who defend Chandler has also attacked the credibility of witnesses who testified against him without providing proof that any of their testimony was false. These claims represent speculation, not fact. Courts should not base their decisons on their imagination. If evidence indicates that false testimony exists, it has not been presented in the proper forum (court). What seems more likely is that when this case was lost in the courts, it was taken to the media so that what their pleas could be heard there (and conclusions would be made on speculation and supposition?).

If judges have dissented over the case, it’s been over technicalities. Chandler is in fact guilty of murder. He murdered a defenseless, old woman and defiled her memory and body after she was dead.

In short, the weakest of arguments have been made to spare Chandler from an execution. This is not due to lack of effort or because qualified persons were not involved in his defense, it is because that is what they are “weak”. These persons are entitled to their beliefs that life without parole might be an appropriate sentence (in their minds). Those arguments however conflict with common sense, the expressed decision of a jury when they recommended sentencing (or death), and with Chandler’s history of behavior on death room. These are not arguments of strength nor do they indicate innocence in any reasonable way. When one considers real facts and arguments, these requests or false justifications for clemency represent a series of digressions or an outright dimissal of what should be justice in this case.

It is clear that Chandler represents a danger to himself and to others. He will remain a danger for as long as he is allowed to live. For these and other reasons, this execution should be allowed to proceed as scheduled.