Executed November 30, 2001 by Lethal Injection in North Carolina
W / M / 32 - 43 W / F / 24
62nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2001
745th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
5th murderer executed in North Carolina in 2001
21st murderer executed in North Carolina since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
John Hardy Rose
After receiving a report that Patricia Stewart was missing and finding small drops of blood in her apartment, the police conducted several interviews with Rose, who lived in a nearby apartment. On January 13, 1991, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) performed a consent search of vehicles owned by Rose and his sister, recovering a pair of numchucks, a tire tool, jumper cables, a black sleeveless jacket, and a thermos, all of which tested positive for blood. Bloodstains were found that were consistent with Patricia's blood type and inconsistent with Rose's. On January 15, agents spoke again with Rose, this time in the presence of his mother. Rose's mother told Rose that he needed to reveal any information he had regarding Patricia's disappearance. Rose informed the agents that her body was located at his grandmother's farm. A detailed confession followed.
W / M / 32 - 43
W / F / 24
North Carolina Department of Correction (John Hardy Rose)
John Rose, 43, was sentenced to death in Haywood County on May 12, 1992 for the murder of Patricia Stewart. After receiving a report that Patricia Stewart was missing and finding small drops of blood in and around her apartment, the Graham County, North Carolina, police department conducted several interviews with Rose, who lived with his sister and her boyfriend in the apartment above Patricia's. On January 13, 1991, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) performed a consent search of a blue Pontiac owned by Rose and a yellow Ford owned by his sister. In the two cars, investigators found a pair of numchucks, a tire tool, jumper cables, a black sleeveless jacket, and a thermos, all of which tested positive for blood. The thermos and the trunk of the Ford contained bloodstains that were consistent with Patricia's blood type and inconsistent with Rose's.
On January 14, SBI agents met with Rose to discuss the results of the searches of the two automobiles. Rose told them that he did not want to discuss Patricia's disappearance "because the situation surrounding it was too bad to talk about, and he was concerned about what his family would think of him." Rose told the officers, however, that "the disposition of Patricia Stewart was so bad" that they would not be able to find any of her remains. On January 15, agents spoke again with Rose, this time in the presence of his mother. Rose's mother told Rose that he needed to reveal any information he had regarding Patricia's disappearance. Rose informed the agents that her body was located at his grandmother's farm. Agents radioed this information to officers searching for the victim's body, who in turn informed the agents that the body had already been uncovered. Rose then was arrested. Rose waived his rights and gave an additional statement in which he claimed he had been involved in a relationship with Patricia, which she had been keeping secret.
According to Rose's statement, he was in Patricia's apartment after midnight on Wednesday, January 2. While he was there, a friend came to visit Patricia, and Patricia asked Rose to leave and come back later, which he did. Rose smoked marijuana and drank a quart of whiskey before going to Patricia's apartment. There, Rose claims that he told Patricia that he was going back to his girlfriend in Alabama; Patricia retorted that she would have him arrested for rape if he tried to leave her. In response to this threat, Rose said that he "just went crazy," stabbing, beating, and choking Patricia to death. Rose then wrapped Patricia's body in her bed linen and put it in the trunk of his Pontiac, but the car would not start. Rose stated that he then went back inside and tried to clean up, leaving the body in the trunk. He took the knife that he used to kill Patricia to his apartment, cleaned it, and placed it in a box in his bedroom. The next evening, Rose borrowed his sister's Ford automobile and transferred the body to the trunk of the Ford. He drove the Ford to his grandmother's farm, took the body behind the house, used his grandmother's hoe to dig a shallow grave, poured gasoline on the body, set it afire, and walked away. When the fire went out, Rose returned and covered the body with rocks, leaves, and tree branches.
Rose's testimony during the guilt phase of the trial was similar to his confession, with a few deviations. Rose testified that after he told Patricia he was going to Alabama, Patricia reached over and picked up a pocket knife that she had lying on her nightstand beside her bed. Rose claimed that Patricia shook the knife and said, "You ain't going nowhere." Rose testified that he jumped up and hit Patricia arm, causing the knife to hit her in the head, and immediately jumped on top of her. Rose testified that he then "heard something pop, backed up and saw blood coming out of Patricia's head." Rose testified that "he did not remember choking Patricia that morning and that he did not intend to harm her and did not think anything like that would happen." A medical examiner testified that Rose stabbed Patricia five times, with four knife wounds to her body and one knife wound to her head that was inflicted with enough force to pierce her skull.
UPDATE: The state executed John Hardy Rose, 43, early today for the 1991 murder of a young woman who was his neighbor in the Graham County seat of Robbinsville. Gov. Mike Easley refused to grant clemency despite an appeal last week from Pope John Paul II. Rose died at 2:18 a.m. from a lethal injection administered in the death chamber at Central Prison. Among the witnesses were his mother and 2 sisters plus the mother, 2 aunts and sister of Rose's victim, Patricia Stewart. Rose's court appeals were exhausted 2 months ago, and he directed his lawyer not to pursue clemency. Rose's family, from Robbinsville and Bryson City, spent Thursday with him at the prison. This week, Stewart's family said she was rebuilding her life after a divorce and "wanted to prove to the world that she could live by herself," said her aunt, Lee Vonda Riddle. Upon his mother's urging that he confess, Rose led police to Stewart's body, which he had set on fire before he buried it in a shallow grave on a mountain. Stewart's family, also in Robbinsville, drove to Raleigh on Monday to speak with Easley at Rose's clemency hearing Tuesday. They said they considered the death penalty a just punishment for Rose, but they expressed compassion for his family.
European Coalition to Abolish Death Penalty (News & Observer & Rick Halperin)
30.11.2001 - North Carolina: John Hardy Rose Executed Despite Appeal From Pope John Paul II
The state executed John Hardy Rose, 43, early today for the 1991 murder of a young woman who was his neighbor in the Graham County seat of Robbinsville. Gov. Mike Easley refused to grant clemency despite an appeal last week from Pope John Paul II. Rose died at 2:18 a.m. from a lethal injection administered in the death chamber at Central Prison. Among the witnesses were his mother and 2 sisters plus the mother, 2 aunts and sister of Rose's victim, Patricia Stewart. Rose's court appeals were exhausted 2 months ago, and he directed his lawyer not to pursue clemency. Rose's family, from Robbinsville and Bryson City, spent Thursday with him at the prison. As regularly occurs on evenings of executions, a group of people opposed to capital punishment marched from a local church to the gates of the massive prison on Western Boulevard for a peaceful candlelit protest.
Rose received the death penalty for killing Stewart, 24, on Jan. 3, 1991, in her Robbinsville apartment, which was directly below the one in which Rose was living. This week, Stewart's family said she was rebuilding her life after a divorce and "wanted to prove to the world that she could live by herself," said her aunt, Lee Vonda Riddle. Eloise Pace visited her son this week for the 3rd time since he was sent to death row, and she said he was at peace with his fate. In his 10 years at Central Prison, she said, her son repeatedly had tried to write to Stewart's family of his remorse, but he could not put his feelings on paper. "Then he finally prayed about it, and the words just come to him," Pace said.
Pope John Paul II made his appeal to Easley, a Roman Catholic, last week. It was the 1st time the pontiff had spoken up in a North Carolina case, although he has asked for mercy for death-row inmates elsewhere. Rose's upbringing was poverty-stricken and brutal. His alcoholic father beat his mother routinely and forced an 11-year-old Rose to have sex with his mistresses. As an adult, Rose married and had 3 sons, but he took up a drug and alcohol habit and served a prison sentence in Mississippi for attempted rape. In his court appeals, Rose argued that he had been badly defended at his trial. One lawyer was fresh out of law school, and the other had been retired for several years after a career in the district attorney's office. Neither learned that a doctor had diagnosed Rose with severe mental illness while he was imprisoned in Mississippi.
Rose becomes the 5th condemned inmate to be put to death in North Carolina this year and the 21st overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1984. Rose becomes the 62nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 745th overall since America resumed executions on January 17, 1977.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
John Hardy Rose - Scheduled Execution Date and Time: 11/30/01 2:00 AM EDT
John Hardy Rose is scheduled to be executed in North Carolina on Nov. 30, 2001. His execution would be the 5th in North Carolina this year and the 21st since reinstatement.
Rose was convicted of murdering Patricia Stewart in 1991. At the time of the investigation, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to beating and murdering Ms. Stewart. Rose’s appeals have focused on an investigator’s promise that he would avoid the death penalty if he confessed to the crime. While a federal district judge agreed with this claim, it was overturned by the conservative, Richmond-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court also refused to consider Rose’s claim of economic discrimination in the imposition of the death penalty. This claim was not addressed by the federal court because of a procedural bar against admitting evidence not raised in state courts.
During sentencing, many witnesses testified to Rose’s troubled upbringing: a physically abusive, alcoholic father and his record as an otherwise model citizen. A crime committed in the heat of the moment and under the influence of alcohol and drugs is deserving of a long prison sentence, but not the death penalty. Let the State of North Carolina know that you support it’s growing abolition movement and ask the Governor to institute the moratorium that 14 cities in his state have voted in favor of.
Office of the North Carolina Appellate Defender
NO CLEMENCY APPEAL FOR DEATH ROW INMATE
RALEIGH, NC (November 27, 2001) -- In the first case in which the Pope has asked a North Carolina Governor to spare the life of a condemned inmate, Governor Mike Easley - who is Catholic - will not be hearing from informed legal advocates on behalf on that inmate. Charlotte attorney Michael Minsker represents John Hardy Rose, who is scheduled to be executed early Friday morning. Minsker will not be presenting a case for clemency on behalf of his client.
Attorneys in the Office of the Appellate Defender and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, upon learning yesterday that Minsker would not be asking for clemency, asked Governor Easley for the opportunity to present a clemency case, and asked for sufficient time to do so. Until yesterday, they had been told that Minsker would, in fact, be asking for clemency from the Governor. "On the basis of a superficial review, we've learned that as a child John Hardy Rose was forced to have sex with his father's mistresses, and that he suffers from mental illness," said Appellate Defender Staples Hughes. "This is a case that cries out for closer examination and clemency consideration."
Governor Easley refused to give the lawyers time to make a competent presentation. "The Governors in North Carolina have a history of hearing from advocates for clemency," said Hughes. "For the first time, the Governor is saying that he will not hear from anyone with knowledge of the case. He has said 'no' to a temporary stay, and declined to give us adequate time to prepare a clemency presentation."
In 1999, death row inmate Wendell Flowers' attorneys chose not to present a clemency case on Flowers' behalf. The attorneys informed the Office of the Appellate Defender of their decision well in advance of Flowers' scheduled execution. Governor Hunt allowed Appellate Defender Tye Hunter to make a clemency presentation, even though Hunter was not Flowers' attorney. Hunter spent weeks preparing his presentation. Governor Hunt reviewed the case and ultimately commuted Flowers' sentence to life without parole.
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty has been allotted only ten minutes in which to make their plea for mercy to Governor Easley. "We are disturbed that Governor Easley is not giving this grave life and death matter the full attention it deserves," said PFADP Director, Steve Dear. Father David McBriar, the Durham priest who wrote to the Pope about Rose's case, will attempt to relate the power of the Pope's message in that brief meeting today. Reverend Robert Seymour of Chapel Hill will also join the PFADP delegation.
Holy Name Province Today
"North Carolina Death Row Inmate Executed," by John Zawadzinski.
RALEIGH, N.C., Despite pleas from Pope John Paul II and David McBriar, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley decided against granting clemency to a death row inmate found guilty of murder.
John Hardy Rose was put to death by lethal injection at 2 a.m. on Nov. 30 at Central Prison here for the 1991 stabbing death of Patricia Stewart, 24. Rose, 43, of Graham County, became the fifth person to be executed in North Carolina this year - the highest number in the state since resuming executions 17 years ago.
Prior to Rose’s execution, those opposing the death penalty gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral here, before participating in a candlelight procession to Central Prison, the oldest correctional facility in the state. "Governor Easley is Catholic, but he supports the death penalty, something our pope and bishops say is immoral," said David, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Durham. "Easley supports the death penalty and I think that’s wrong."
Last month, David wrote a letter to the pope on behalf of Immaculate Conception’s Social Concerns Committee asking him to intervene in Rose’s execution because it is "contrary to statements (the pope made) about the value of life, church teaching and generally accepted worldwide moral values."
IN HIS LETTER, David also informed the pontiff that within the past 10 months, the state, under Gov. Easley, had four men executed in Central Prison, located a few miles from the governor’s mansion. "The pace of executions in North Carolina has quickened," David wrote. "We beseech you to write Governor Easley to try to soften his heart, to choose life and ask him to follow the Catholic teaching and your words supporting life from concep-tion to natural death." A short time after receiving David’s letter, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States sent a six-paragraph letter to Gov. Easley on behalf of the pope. The request for clemency in a specific case was the first from any pope to a North Carolina governor and was not intended to ignore or condone Rose’s crimes or deny the sufferings caused by them. Instead, it was an appeal for life.
"COMMITTED TO UPHOLDING the sacredness and dignity of each human life, our Holy Father prays that the life of Mr. Rose may be saved through your compassion and dig-nity," Archbishop Montalvo wrote. "He trusts in your authority to have a life spared by commuting this sentence with a gesture of mercy." Although Rose exhausted all his appeals two months ago, Gov. Easley held a clemency hearing on Nov. 27. During the meeting, David, Stephen Dear, executive director of North Carolina-based People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and Rev. Robert Seymour, pastor emeritus of Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, spoke on Rose’s behalf.
Stewart’s family was also in attendance during the hearing. They said they considered the death penalty a just punishment for Rose, but also expressed compassion for his family. Despite being discouraged by Gov. Easley’s decision, David vowed to continue to fight against the death penalty. "We’re not going to fold up our tent because of this," he said. "We have been working hard to overturn the death penalty in this state and the country and the people who oppose the death penalty won’t give up and I won’t give up either."
"North Carolina Inmate Executed for 1991 Slaying, Despite Pleas From Catholic Church," by Estes Thompson. (Associated Press Nov 30, 2001)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A man whose death sentence prompted a call for mercy from Pope John Paul II was executed early Friday for killing his neighbor and burying her body on his grandmother's farm. John Hardy Rose, 43, was sentenced to die by injection for his confessed killing of Patricia Stewart on Jan. 3, 1991.
He refused to ask Gov. Mike Easley for clemency, but the Pope and local church leaders asked that the death sentence be changed to life in prison. Rose was pronounced dead at 2:18 a.m. in the Central Prison death chamber.
He was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Stewart, who lived below him in his Robbinsville apartment building. Rose told investigators Stewart was a girlfriend who threatened to file rape charges if he left her, but the woman's family and prosecutors said Rose was a stalker.
When Rose's legal appeals were exhausted, he told his lawyer not to ask Easley for clemency. But the case took a turn when Pope John Paul II asked Easley - who is a Roman Catholic - to spare Rose's life via a letter written by the Vatican ambassador to the United States. On Thursday night, the governor said he saw no convincing reason to grant clemency for Rose.
Rose was the 10th inmate executed this year. Four men have been put to death and four executions were stopped by court appeals. Easley commuted one death sentence.