Indiana Death Row

BURRIS, GARY # 8 & # 69

EXECUTED BY LETHAL INJECTION 11-20-97 1:00 AM

DOB: 12-17-56 DOC#: 11746 Black Male

Marion County Superior Court
Judge John Tranberg

Prosecutor: J. Gregory Garrison, John D. Tinder

Defense: Thomas Alsip, L. Craig Turner

Date of Murder: January 29, 1980

Victim(s): Kenneth W. Chambers B/M/31 (No relationship to Burris)

Method of Murder: shooting with .38 handgun

Summary: Kenneth Chambers was a cab driver in Indianapolis. His nude body was found in an alley near Fall Creek Parkway, face down and stuck to the ground by a pool of his frozen blood. His hands were tied behind his back, and there was a small caliber gunshot wound to the right temple. The cab company log revealed that Burris had called for a cab and was Chambersí last fare. A witness testified that Burris returned to his apartment with Emmett Merriweather and James Thompson with wads of money and a cab driverís run sheet and clipboard. Burris was arrested later that day at the apartment of his girlfriend where a .38 caliber handgun was found hidden in a stereo speaker. The ISP Lab confirmed it to be the murder weapon. Chambersí cab was found parked nearby. Burris later confessed to a cellmate that he had forced Chambers to lie face down on the freezing ground, and shot him in the head as he begged for his life. Accomplice Thompson was later convicted and sentenced to 50 years imprisonment. Accomplice Merriweather testified at both trials and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Conviction: Felony-Murder

Sentencing: February 20, 1981 (Death Sentence)

Aggravating Circumstances: b(1) Robbery

Mitigating Circumstances: sociopathic personality, accomplices could have committed murder, acts were insufficient to warrant death, abandoned by his parents (presented at 2nd trial), raised in house of prostitution, at age 12 he was declared a ward of county due to neglect, obtained GED

Direct Appeal:
Burris v. State, 465 N.E.2d 171 (Ind. June 29, 1984)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 5-0
Pivarnik Opinion; Givan, Debruler, Hunter, Prentice concur.

Burris v. Indiana, 105 S. Ct. 816 (1985) (Cert. denied)

PCR:
Burris v. State, 558 N.E.2d 1067 (Ind. 1990)
(Appeal of PCR denial by Special Judge Roy Jones)
DP Vacated 3-2 and remanded due to ineffective counsel - referring to Burris as "street person" and failure to investigate and present mitigators; Shepard Opinion; Debruler, Dickson concur; Givan, Pivarnik dissent.

Burris v. State, 687 N.E.2d 190 (Ind. 1997) (Order declining to authorize successive PCR attacking conviction) Shepard, Dickson, Sullivan, Selby, Boehm concur.

On Remand:
Burris was again sentenced to death on 11-22-91 by Judge Patricia J. Gifford after a hung jury in the death phase.

Direct Appeal:
Burris v. State, 642 N.E.2d 961(Ind. November 4,1994)
DP Affirmed 5-0; Givan Opinion; Shepard, Dickson, Debruler, Sullivan concur.

Burris v. Indiana, 116 S. Ct. 319 (1995)

Habeas:
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed on 12-09-02 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana.
Writ denied by U.S. District Court Judge Allen Sharp on 01-27-94. Burris v. Farley, 845 F. Supp. 636 (N.D. Ind. 1994)
(Petition for Habeas Writ on conviction only; Writ Denied)
Burris v. Farley, 51 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 1995) (Affirmed)
(Appeal of denial of Habeas Writ; Affirmed 3-0)
Opinion by Judge Frank H. Easterbrook; Judge Daniel A. Manion, Judge Richard D. Cudahay.
Burris v. Indiana, 116 S. Ct. 747 (1996) (Cert. denied)

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed on 11-13-95 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana.
Burris v. Parke, 72 F.3d 47 (7th Cir. 1995) (Dismissal of Habeas Writ on grounds of "abuse of writ" Affirmed; Per Curiam Opinion, Cudahay dissents; Stay of Execution Denied)
Burris v. Parke, 95 F.3d 465 (7th Cir. 1996) (Vacated dismissal of Habeas Writ with directions for District Court to consider on the merits; Judge Richard A. Posner, Judge Daniel A. Manion, Judge Michael Kanne)
Burris v. Parke, 948 F. Supp. 1310 (N.D. Ind. 1996) (Petition for Habeas Writ; Denied by Judge Allen Sharp)
Burris v. Parke, 116 F.3d 256 (7th Cir. 1997) (Appeal of denial of Habeas Writ)
Affirmed 2-1; Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, Daniel A. Manion, Judge Cudahay dissents.

Burris v. State, 684 N.E.2d 193 (Ind. August 26, 1997) (Order setting execution date)
Burris v. Parke, 130 F.3d 782 (7th Cir. November 15, 1997)
(Request to Recall Mandate dismissed 2-1; Judge Easterbrook Opinion, Manion concurs, Cudahay dissents.)
Burris v. Parke, 118 S.Ct. 462 (November 19, 1997) (Application for stay denied)

BURRIS WAS EXECUTED BY LETHAL INJECTION 11-20-97 1:00 A.M. EST. HE WAS THE 75TH CONVICTED MURDERER EXECUTED IN INDIANA SINCE 1900, AND 5TH SINCE THE DEATH PENALTY WAS REINSTATED IN 1977.

As of July 1, 2006


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