Barry Lee Fairchild
Fairchild was arrested for the 2 February 1983 kidnapping, rape, and murder of Marjorie Mason, a 22 year old United States Air Force nurse, after police received information from a confidential informant implicating Fairchild and his brother. At trial, he recanted his two videotaped confessions, claiming that Pulaski County Sheriff Tommy F. Robinson and Chief Deputy Larry Dill had beaten and threatened to kill him unless he confessed, then rehearsed him before the second confession was taped. His attorneys claimed that Fairchild was mentally retarded, and did not have the capacity to know right from wrong. He was convicted on 2 August 1983, and sentenced to death.
In 1993, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas ruled the state had failed to prove that Fairchild had killed Mason, and ordered his sentence commuted to life without parole. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the District Court in 1994. Fairchild was executed at the Varner Unit near Grady after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal, because of "abuse of the writ." Considering Fairchild had already petitioned for habeas corpus.
- Death Penalty Information Center
- Execution of Retarded Man Is Fought. The New York Times (1995-08-31). Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
- Arkansas Executes Man Who Argued He Was Retarded. The New York Times (1995-09-01). Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
- Fairchild v. Lockhart "Find a Case" Accessed 9 December 2009
- "Barry Lee Fairchild (Trial and Execution of)" Accessed 14 April 2010
- The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture page on Fairchild Accessed 9 December 2009