Murray Hooper: Death row inmate, 76, to be executed for double murder despite ‘unreliable witness testimony’

Murray Hooper: Death row inmate, 76, to be executed for double murder despite ‘unreliable witness testimony’
Murray Hooper will reportedly be put to death on November 16, 2022, despite his lawyer's call for fingerprint and DNA evidence analysis (Screenshot from ABC15)

MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: A death row inmate will soon be executed as Arizona's Supreme Court has given a green signal to it despite “unreliable witness testimony” accusations. Murray Hooper, 76, was reportedly given a death sentence after he was found guilty of a Phoenix double murder. He and two co-defendants had killed Patrick Redmond and his mother-in-law Helen Phelps on New Year's Eve in 1980. But the other two convicts died before being executed.

As per reports, the 76-year-old will be put to death on November 16, either by lethal injection or nitrogen gas, after four justices gave their approval to the execution warrant. But Kelly Culshaw, an assistant federal public defender representing Hooper, insisted that her client has been proven guilty of the murders “based on corrupt police practices and unreliable witness testimony”.

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“No physical evidence links him to the crime and Mr. Hooper's execution should not be carried out until an analysis of key fingerprint and DNA evidence, which was scientifically unavailable at the time of his trial, has been completed,” Culshaw noted.

It has been reported that the defense team had even submitted an appeal in Maricopa County Superior Court in September, demanding “post-conviction DNA and other forensic testing,” CBS News reported, which also stated that the filing “argues Hooper was convicted in 1982, before the availability of computerized fingerprinting systems and DNA testing.”

During the 1980 crime, Redmond’s wife Marilyn was also severely hurt but she survived, becoming the key witness of the case. According to Culshaw, Marilyn changed the description of her attackers numerous times before she eventually accused Hooper of killing her husband and her mother despite the man’s claims that he was not in Arizona during that time. 

Besides, the defense team accused criminal informants of getting influenced by the police’s incentives for trapping Hooper. However, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich claimed in July that the death warrant was “the appropriate response ... for the victims, their families and our communities.”

Meanwhile, the court’s decision against Hooper has attracted a lot of attention online, with a user tweeting, “A 6th execution scheduled for the month of November in the US! This time in AZ. #MurrayHooper is 76 years old! Why is the state of AZ determined to execute an elderly man who has already spent almost 40 years behind bars? SHAMEFUL decision @DougDucey #EndTheDeathPenalty.” 

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Another user wrote, “#Arizona Arizona Supreme Court has granted the execution warrant of Murray Hooper. Murray has maintained that he was wrongfully convicted. Stop execution of #MurrayHooper. Contact Gov Ducey https://azgovernor.gov/engage/form/contact-governor-ducey (602) 542-4331 @DougDucey Execution : November 16th.” 

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“#MurrayHooper is 76 years old and has spent nearly 40 years on death row. He will also have to choose between lethal gas or injection for his execution method. This isn’t justice. This is vengeance. #arizona #deathpenalty,” a third user wrote.

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Another added, “Arizona plans to execute #MurrayHooper on November 16th. He was convicted due to police corruption and false testimonies. The state is at risk of executing a potentially innocent man and that’s ok with you @DougDucey ? #SaveMurrayHooper #BlackLivesMatter #AbolishTheDeathPenalty.”

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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