Dothan Woman Appeals Her Death Penalty Conviction

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Date: 2003-08-19

The attorney for a Dothan woman who beat and stomped her adopted daughter to death argued before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Tuesday that she does not deserve the death penalty.

A Houston County judge sentenced Patricia Blackmon to death for the May 1999 capital murder of 2-year old Dominique Bryant. The judge ruled that Bryant's death was especially heinous, atrocious and cruel, which qualified Blackmon for the death penalty. Bryant's body sustained numerous injuries, including a fractured skull. The little girl was stomped with such force that an imprint from a shoe was left on her chest. Blackmon attorney Clark M. Parker told the appellate court today that the medical examiner who testified in the case could not say to a medical certainty that Bryant was conscious during the beating.

If that was the case, then she could not have been under emotional stress to merit the "heinous, atrocious and cruel" guidelines for the death penalty to be imposed. Arguing for the state, Stephen Shows said the evidence showed that Bryant suffered greatly before she died. Bryant had injuries on both her front and back, which Shows said proves that she was struggling to get away while she was being beaten.


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