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Lynda Lyon in the News


May 10 - Block 1st woman executed since'57

 

Lynda Lyon Block was executed at 12:01 a.m. today, the 1st woman to die
in Alabama's electric chair in more than 4 decades.
 

Condemned for the 1993 shooting death of Opelika police Sgt. Roger Lamar
Motley Jr., Block was electrocuted for 2 minutes and pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m.

"She seemed to be somber, somewhat stoic," said Alabama Prison
Comimssioner Mike Haley. "She never displayed any emotion throughout the
very end. Her stare was a very blank stare, an emotionless stare."

Block wore a white prison outfit with her shaved head covered by a black
hood. She wore light makeup, with mascara and a light shade of pink lipstick.

Witnesses said she appeared to pray with her eyes closed about 11:52 p.m.
She made no final statement.

When the execution began a 2,050-volt, 20-second shock Block clenched her
fists, her body tensed and steam came from the sponge on her head and the
electrode on her left leg. She then received 250 volts for 100 seconds.

Widow Juanita Motley chose not to watch her husband's killer die.

"I went as far as I could with this," she said. "I went on in and I saw
Lynda but when they pulled the hood over her head, I asked an officer to take me out."

Motley said Block's death brought her scant solace. "I don't know what
closure I'm supposed to feel at this point," she said.

Block had spent Thursday evening in a holding cell near the death chamber
with her spiritual adviser. Three friends visited for several hours.

Block, an anti-government extremist who did not file legal appeals,
launched a religious fast Tuesday and refused a final meal, said Haley.
She consumed only water and milk.

Block, 54, and George Sibley were convicted of capital murder in the
death of Motley, who was shot repeatedly in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Sibley was also sentenced to death; his execution date hasn't been set.

Block was transferred Monday from the Tutwiler Correctional Facility in
Wetumpka to Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. Prison officials then
stopped communication between Block and Sibley, who was moved to
Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County. "She was dismayed,"
Haley said.

Block said recently she was forced to choose between killing Motley or
letting him shoot Sibley. In the weeks leading up to her execution, Block
said it was a nightmarish decision.

"I do not regret doing what I did to save George's life," she said. "I
regret very much that I was forced to shoot the officer."

Block, whose 9-year-old son witnessed Motley's murder, could be the last
person to die in Holman Prison's electric chair, known as "Yellow Mama."
The Legislature in April made lethal injection the prime method of
execution in Alabama.

Before Block, the last woman executed in Alabama was Rhonda Martin in
1957. She poisoned 6 family members.

Block's hand-written will left most of her personal property to her
17-year-old son in Orlando, Gordon Karl Block. She left her television,
microwave, typewriter, lamp and fan to her fellow inmates. Her mother,
Benylene Wagner, will take possession of her body.

"I ask that my body not be desecrated by autopsy, for it is against my
religious beliefs to desecrate a body," Block wrote in her will. State
law requires an autopsy anyway.

Block was allowed two witnesses but chose only her spiritual adviser,
Sally Michaud, a former Tutwiler chaplain who lives in Destin. Michaud
did not watch her death.

"I was distressed to find Lynda had nobody there," Juanita Motley said.
"It seemed to me nobody cared and that's very sad.
It must have been a very lonely, agonizing time for her."

2 members of the victim's family witnessed the execution:
sister Betty Anne Foshee and mother Anne Motley,
who wore her son's posthumous medal of valor arond her neck.

"It was not hard for me see to Lynda Lyon draw her last breath, because
that was how it was supposed to be," said Anne Motley. "We felt like
Lynda Lyon had to pay by giving her life for taking a life."

Block, a member of the patriot movement who believes the government is
illegitimate and the State of Alabama does not exist, refused to file
appeals to courts that she contended are biased and have no jurisdiction.

She sought help from Congress and Gov. Don Siegelman this week, but the
governor denied Block's handwritten clemency request.

At the time of Motley's killing, the couple were fleeing Florida to avoid
being sentenced on assault convictions in the stabbing of Block's
79-year-old husband in Orlando. The couple left after Block filed court
papers describing what she considered a conspiracy by corrupt officials in Orlando.

The couple were in Opelika's Wal-Mart parking lot
when Block's 9-year-old son asked a passer-by for assistance.

Witnesses said Sibley came out firing as Motley approached Sibley's car
and that Motley was exchanging gunfire with Sibley when Block approached
with her gun drawn. Motley died of gunshot wounds to the chest.

Block said they were doing nothing wrong, that she was using a pay phone
while Sibley waited. They contended the shooting was justified because
Sibley reached for his holster.

Prosecutors said they were heavily armed, with more than 1,000 rounds of
ammunition.

(source: Birmingham News)


Cop-killer dies in Alabama electric chair;
1st woman executed in state in 45 years

In Atmore, a political extremist convicted of murdering a policeman in
1993 was put to death in the electric chair Friday, becoming the 1st
woman executed in Alabama in 45 years.

Lynda Lyon Block declined to pursue final appeals late Thursday, claiming
the courts were corrupt and lacked jurisdiction in her case.
She was put to death shortly after midnight.

Block, 54, may be the last person forced to die in the state's electric
chair. Under a law that takes effect this summer, condemned inmates in
Alabama will be executed by injection unless they choose the electric chair.

Block and her common-law husband, George Sibley, were sentenced to death
for killing Opelika police officer Roger Motley Jr. in a burst of gunfire
in a shopping center parking lot.
The couple said Motley was reaching for his gun when they shot him.

Block and Sibley, who decried government controls over individuals and
renounced their U.S. citizenship, were on the run at the time to avoid
being sentenced in the stabbing of Block's former husband in Orlando, Fla.

"The Bible says when murder happens and a person has no sorrow, they are
to be immediately executed," said Anne Motley, the victim's mother.

Alabama's electric chair, built in 1927, has been used for 176 executions
since it replaced hanging as the state's primary mode of execution.

Block was the 4th woman put to death in Alabama by electrocution and the
1st since 1957, when Rhonda Bell Martin was executed for poisoning her husband with arsenic.

Block becomes the 1st condemned inmate in Alabama to be put to death this
year and the 24th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1983.

Block become the 26th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 775th overall since America resumed executions on January
17, 1977.

(source:  Associated Press)


State executes Block

Alabama executed Lynda Lyon Block at 12:01 a.m. Friday for her role in
killing Opelika Police Sgt. Roger Motley in 1993, prison officials said.

She was pronounced dead at 12:10 a prison official reported.

Block and her common-law husband, George Sibley were both convicted for
killing Motley during a gun battle in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She was
convicted of capital murder in 1994 along with Sibley, who remain on
death row. Block may be the last person condemned to die in Yellow Mama,
the states electric chair, which has been in use since 1927. On July 1,
lethal injection becomes Alabamas preferred method of execution, though
inmates can still choose to be electrocuted.

(source:  Montgomery Advertiser)



May 9:  ALABAMA-----impending female execution

Block awaits death penalty

Barring a surprise 11th-hour stay, Lynda Lyon Block will become the 1st
woman executed by Alabama in nearly 45 years shortly after midnight tonight.

Block, convicted of killing an Opelika police officer in 1993, is
scheduled to be electrocuted at 12:01 a.m. Friday in the death chamber at
Holman Prison near Atmore. She could be the last person to die in the
state's electric chair, because no other executions are scheduled before
lethal injection becomes Alabamas official execution method July 1.

Block and common-law husband George Sibley were convicted of killing Sgt.
Roger Motley during a gunbattle in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Opelika.
Sibley also received a death sentence, but his execution hasn't been scheduled.

On Monday, Block was transferred to Holman from Julia Tutwiler Prison for
Women in Elmore County. Security at the Atmore facility, which houses 979
inmates including 158 men on death row, was tightened after her arrival, Warden Charlie Jones said.

"Security is always increased around the prison when something special is
happening," Jones said.

Sibley was transferred from Holman to Donaldson Prison near Birmingham
the day his wife was moved to Holman, Hamm said.

Sibley and Block had been convicted of assaulting Block's ex-husband in
Florida and were on the run from police when they pulled into the Opelika
Wal-Mart with Block's 11-year-old son in tow.

When a shopper notified Motley that a child appeared to be in distress,
he went to investigate. He encountered Sibley, who pulled a gun and fired
on the officer. Motley retreated behind his police car and returned fire.

Block, who was using a nearby pay phone, heard the shots, pulled a pistol
from her purse and began firing on Motley. The officer was hit several
times, but it was never determined who fired the fatal bullet.

Sibley, Block and her son drove away, but were later cornered by police
on Wire Road in Lee County. The heavily armed couple released the boy and
then surrendered after a tense 4-hour stand-off.

Block has maintained her innocence, saying she shot Motley to defend her
husband. She said the court system is biased against her and Sibley
because of their anti-government stance, and that they didn't receive fair trials.

Alabama has used the electric chair, known as "Yellow Mama" because of
its bright color, since 1927. The chair has been used in 176 executions,
including 3 women. The last woman to be electrocuted was in 1957, when
Montgomery waitress Rhonda Belle Martin was put to death for poisoning 6 family members.

Earlier this year, the legislature passed a bill that makes lethal
injection the state's method of execution. It becomes effective July 1,
though inmates will still have the option of choosing death by electrocution.

"If they don't actively choose electrocution, it automatically goes to
lethal injection," Hamm said.

(source: Montgomery Advertiser)



Alabama woman could be last to die in electric chair

Lynda Lyon Block is scheduled to be strapped into a brightly painted
yellow chair, known in Alabama as "Yellow Mama," just after midnight tonight.

If the execution goes as planned by Alabama's Department of Corrections,
and Block, 54, is pronounced dead minutes later, the convicted killer of
an Opelika, Ala., police officer could achieve a new infamy: the last
inmate in the United States to die in the electric chair.

Alabama recently made lethal injection its prime method of execution, and
no other executions are scheduled there before the new law takes effect July 1.

Gov. Don Siegelman has said the state's change was a precaution against
the U.S. Supreme Court declaring the electric chair to be cruel and unusual punishment.

That leaves Nebraska as the only state that uses the chair as its sole
means of capital punishment. A lethal injection bill was introduced in
the Legislature earlier this year, but the political debate shifted
toward eliminating the death penalty altogether.

Like three other states, Alabama still will give those condemned to death
the electrocution option. But death penalty experts say that option is
unlikely to be carried out. Last year, when an Ohio death row inmate
chose the chair to make a statement against the death penalty, the state
changed its method to lethal injection.

The electric chair option is a "transition to make sure people didn't
complain that their sentences had been changed," said Richard Dieter,
executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

"The guillotine is gone forever, and the electric chair will be in the
museum," Dieter said. Block's execution "could be a historic moment --
the electric chair has been such a symbol of the death penalty."

Block's scheduled execution at Holman Prison, about 40 miles northeast of
Mobile, is playing out amid a bizarre convergence of circumstances.

These include Block's extreme anti-government stance, which has led her
to decline any legal representation, and the residence until recently of
her common law husband, George Sibley, also convicted in the police
killing, in the same cellblock where her death sentence will be carried
out. For security reasons, Sibley has been moved from his Holman cell to
a prison in Birmingham. Block, who has no appeals pending, will not be allowed to speak to him.

Block also will be the 1st woman executed in Alabama since 1957. Block
and Sibley met at a Libertarian Party meeting in 1991 in Orlando and
bonded as anti-government extremists. They renounced their U.S.
citizenship and gave up their driver's licenses and Social Security
cards. The couple then fled Florida with Block's 9-year-old son to avoid
being sentenced on assault convictions in the stabbing of Block's former husband.

Officer Roger Motley approached their car in an Opelika parking lot after
a passer-by said a young boy was calling for help. Both Block and Sibley shot Motley repeatedly.

The couple claimed the shooting was justified because Motley reached for
his holster. They also claimed that Motley, as a government employee, had no right to question them.

Motley was the father of 2.

After their convictions, Block contended that Alabama never became a
state again after the Civil War and its courts had no jurisdiction. She
never has expressed remorse.

Her April 19 execution date was postponed by the Alabama Supreme Court.
Although no reason was given, April 19 is the anniversary of the fire at
the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, and of the bombing of the
federal building in Oklahoma City.

"I'm not afraid of death," she said recently. "Every trip in your car is
a crap shoot, considering all the traffic deaths there are each year."

Execution by electrocution came about as a sideline to the competition to
expand the use of electricity between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

Since it was 1st used in New York state in 1888, the electric chair has
claimed more convicts' lives than any other method of execution. It was
1st used in Georgia in 1924, after the state abandoned hanging. Georgia
switched to lethal injection last year after the state Supreme Court
ruled that electrocution was unconstitutionally cruel.

(source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)



Siegelman denies clemency request from Lynda Lyon Block

Gov. Don Siegelman on Monday denied a clemency request from death row
inmate Lynda Lyon Block, who is scheduled to die in the electric chair
for the 1993 shooting death of a police officer.

Siegelman received Block's handwritten request for a reprieve in the mail
last week. A political extremist who would be the 1st woman to die in
Alabama's electric chair since 1957, Block has no lawyer and has filed no appeals.

She is scheduled to die in the electric chair at 12:01 a.m. Friday at
Holman Prison in Atmore. MO "There was nothing in her petition nor
anything else that would indicate that she wasn't guilty of the crime
with which she was charged," Siegelman told the Opelika-Auburn News on Monday.

"The evidence during the trial was overwhelmingly clear. There are
absolutely no mitigating circumstances whatsoever."

In her April 29 letter requesting a stay, Block accused prosecutors of
deliberately losing important case files, threatening or bribing her
former lawyer, plus other allegations of professional misconduct.

Block and common-law husband George Sibley were convicted of capital
murder in the death of officer Roger Motley, who was shot repeatedly in a
store parking lot in 1993. Sibley also is on death row for the slaying.

The couple contends the shooting was justified because Motley reached for
his holster. Also, they claim, public employees including police have no
power because of a constitutional amendment approved by Congress in 1811
but never ratified by the states.

Block's execution date originally was set for April 19, but was
rescheduled after the Alabama Supreme Court postponed the date until May
10. April 19 was the anniversary of the Waco fire and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Block and Sibley were both wanted in Florida on outstanding charges, and
were traveling with Block's son. Block and Sibley were both convicted of
capital murder in 1994 and sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Block, who prefers the name Lynda Lyon, once put out a radical political
newsletter, and she and Sibley met at a Libertarian Party gathering in
Florida, where she lived. The 2 describe their imprisonment as a
conspiracy by a twisted court system.

Block may be the last person to die in the Alabama electric chair since
the Alabama Legislature has approved lethal injection as a method of
execution beginning July 1.

(source: Associated Press)


Woman on Death Row seeks delay

Lynda Lyon, who is scheduled to become the 1st woman executed in
Alabama since 1957, has appealed to Gov. Don Siegelman for a delay --
and the governor's office is keeping mum about his response.

Lyon has been on Death Row since 1994, when she and her hus band, George
Sibley Jr. were convicted of capital murder in the 1993 shooting death
of Opelika Police Sgt. Roger Motley Jr. Experts were never able to
determine who fired the fatal bullet, and both received the death
penalty. Lyon is scheduled to die in the electric chair at 12:01 a.m.
Friday. Sibley's execution date has not been set.

A copy of Lyon's handwritten petition arrived Monday at the Mobile Register.

Siegelman's deputy press secretary Mike Kanarick confirmed that the
governor received the petition on Monday. He declined to reveal the
governor's response. Spokeswoman Carrie Kurlander said the governor had
formed an exclusive agreement with one unidentified news organization on this issue.

That left Motley's widow, Juanita Motley, frustrated and facing a night
of clicking through TV channels to try to learn what the governor had decided.

"I don't know what else to do," she said. "I don't know how to get hold of anybody."

She had spoken to the attorney general's office earlier in the day and
nobody there mentioned the petition, she said. She didn't learn about it
until a newspaper reporter called her later.

"Someone should have the courtesy to call me and say: 'Look, this is
what's going on,'" she said. "Why not do just a press release like they normally do?"

She said she didn't believe Lyon should get a delay based on the grounds in her petition.

The petition asks that the governor assemble an "unbiased panel" of
seven people including Alabama representatives from the media,
law-enforcement, the business community, the clergy, a law professor
from an Alabama school, a state legislator and a non-lawyer member of the governor's cabinet.

The panel would hear her and her husband's cases and decide whether to
order an investigation, she wrote.

"With this petit-jury of respected citizens, we feel confident that we
will have a fair chance to prove our innocence and restore our good names," she wrote.

Lyon claims that one of her attorneys was threatened into abandoning her
case, that her court filings disappeared from the record and that she
and her husband never got to present evidence that could have gained their release.

Her petition does not argue that the electric chair constitutes "cruel
and unusual" punishment, which has been successfully used to delay other
executions in Alabama.

(source:  Associated Press)


Woman on death row spurns appeals as execution nears

With a scheduled walk to the electric chair drawing near, Lynda Lyon
Block has refused to file appeals to courts she contends are biased and
have no jurisdiction, increasing the likelihood she will be the 1st woman
executed in Alabama since 1957.

Clay Crenshaw, who handles death penalty cases for the Alabama attorney
general's office, said Tuesday no appeals have been filed to stop the
execution, set for 12:01 a.m. Friday in the electric chair known as "Yellow Mama."

Block, convicted of killing an Opelika policeman, has been transferred
from Alabama's women's prison in Wetumpka to the maximum-security men's
lockup, Holman Prison near Atmore, which houses the electric chair. She
is guarded 24 hours a day by female officers.

Block and common-law husband George Sibley were convicted of capital
murder in the death of Opelika police officer Roger Motley, who was shot
repeatedly in a store parking lot in 1993. Sibley was also sentenced to
death. Prison system spokesman John Hamm said Tuesday that for security
reasons Sibley has been transferred from death row at Holman to death row
at Donaldson Prison near Birmingham.

Block does not have an attorney and has filed no legal appeals to stop
her execution. But Crenshaw said an outside party could file a petition
on her behalf to try to stop the execution.

"We're obviously preparing any kind of possible response might be filed in court," Crenshaw said.

If the execution is carried out, Block would become the ninth woman
executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Block did ask Gov. Don Siegelman to stay her execution in a hand-written,
two-page letter mailed to the governor last week from Tutwiler. The
governor denied the request Monday.

Siegelman said Tuesday that he never actually got her mailed letter, but
got a copy of it from the prison system. "There was nothing in the file
that would warrant a second look," he said.

In the letter, signed Lynda C. Lyon, as she prefers to be known, she said
the courts were biased and would not fairly hear her appeal. She asked
the governor to appoint an independent panel to consider her case.

Block could be the last person to die in Alabama's electric chair, which
was built by a convict and 1st used in 1927. The Alabama legislature last
month passed legislation making lethal injection the prime method of
execution in Alabama. Nebraska is now the only state in the country with
the electric chair as the sole method.

No other executions besides Block's have been scheduled before the new
law takes effect July 1.

Hamm said prison officials are not handling Block's execution any
different from others, despite her being a woman.

"She is being kept out of sight and sound of the male inmates," he said.

Block once put out a radical political newsletter, and she and Sibley met
at a Libertarian Party gathering in Florida, where she lived. The 2
describe their imprisonment as a conspiracy by a twisted court system.

(source: Associated Press)



A mother's grief, a killer's death

No matter how old Roger Motley Jr. got or how proud he was of his police
uniform or how many arrests he made, his mother never forgot how he
struggled with asthma as a little boy, and how she would hold him upright
in her arms at night so he could breathe.

Now she is getting ready to watch one of his killers breathe her last.

Anne Motley is not sure what the execution, scheduled for 12:01 a.m.
Friday, will look like.

It may be troubling to watch the execution of a woman, the 1st in Alabama
since 1957, and maybe even more so to watch thousands of volts flow into
her body from what may be the last use of Alabama's electric chair.

But to Anne Motley, 66, the death of Lynda Lyon is just.

"The Bible says when murder happens and a person has no sorrow they are
to be immediately executed," she said.

On Monday, Gov. Don Siegelman refused Lyon's appeal for a delay.

On Oct. 4, 1993, the Motleys' lives became tangled with those of a
middle-aged couple -- Lyon, her husband George Sibley Jr. and her
9-year-old son, Gordon -- who were fleeing Florida.

Maybe if Roger Motley hadn't stopped that day to get supplies from a
store in a shopping complex, the Motleys would never have heard of George and Lynda.

Maybe if he hadn't just a few days earlier given his bullet-resistant
vest to a rookie cop whose new vest hadn't arrived -- something that was
surely safe. Motley was doing administrative work.

Maybe if Lynda and George hadn't stopped to buy vitamins before driving
down to Mobile, where they planned to lay low and find work.

Maybe.

That day, Roger Motley's 10-year-old daughter, Amanda, was in Missouri
where she lived with her mother. His 14-year-old son, Mike, was at school
in Opelika. He had lived with his father and his father's second wife, Juanita, for 2 years.

One stepson, Scott Perkins, was washing clothes at the uniform company he
worked for. Roger's sister, Betty Anne Foshee, was busy at her job at
Opelika City Hall. Anne Motley was resting in her living room where she
could watch her youngest child, Dawn, who is mentally retarded.

On that clear October day, at about noon, Roger Motley was walking out of
a store in the Pepperell Corners shopping center with work supplies when
a shopper approached him, saying a little boy with two adults had asked
for help, court records say.

Motley went to his police car and radioed that information to a
dispatcher. Then he found the boy, who was sitting in an older-model Ford
Mustang that bore an unusual car tag. Instead of a plate with "Heart of
Dixie" or "The Sunshine State" on it, its homemade tag said UCC1-207.

The tag was a reference to the Uniform Commercial Code, which was
designed to streamline laws governing business transactions. Under Lyon's
and Sibley's interpretation, part of that code allows 1 party to an
agreement to back out if he discovers fraud.

Though it might seem obscure, that tag summed up how the couple felt
about the U.S. government -- that it operated under fraud, that they had
withdrawn from any partnership with it.

Motley approached Sibley, who was tall and white-haired and wearing blue
jeans. He asked him to step out of the car. But Sibley said something unexpected:

"No sir, I don't have any contracts with the state," he said, he later testified.

Motley had no idea that Sibley and Lyon had renounced their U.S.
citizenship, that they had given up their driver's licenses, Social
Security cards and that in fact they had talked before about dying for
their cause. In their minds, they were defenders of the U.S.
Constitution. And they had been deeply troubled by the standoffs between
separatists and federal agents in Waco, Texas, and at Ruby Ridge in Idaho.

The officer would have no idea that Lyon carried weapons everywhere she went.

Motley asked Sibley to step over to the police car. Sibley hesitated. He
was puzzled, he said later in court. He wanted to show the officer papers
indicating why he didn't have a driver's license, but he was afraid that
reaching for his wallet would look like he was going for his gun.

"Do you have a problem with that?" Motley said, according to Sibley, who
was the last person to talk to him face to face.

"Yes," Sibley said.

For the previous month, the couple stayed in motels and with friends
throughout Georgia and Alabama. They had fled Orlando, Fla., where they
were facing sentencing in the stabbing of Lyon's ex-husband, Karl Block.

They believed Florida courts would not treat them fairly. Then, Sibley
testified, a friend who was in law enforcement told them that deputies
were planning an armed raid on them.

They were supposed to show up for a Sept. 7, 1993, sentencing hearing.

Instead, they barricaded themselves in their home and faxed letters to
the Orlando Sentinel, indicating they were expecting deputies to storm their house.

"We will not live as slaves -- but would rather die as free Americans,"
one fax said, according to the newspaper.

A day later, they faxed this to the Orlando paper: "The Police are here!
God have mercy on us!"

The police never came. And on Sept. 10, they fled with Gordon in a car
packed with books, a medical kit, guns, knives, ammunition, court papers,
a word processor, luggage, and pillows.

Lyon and Sibley, who had met at a Libertarian party in Florida and
published newsletters arguing that the country had drifted from its
constitutional foundation, were suddenly fugitives.

"Being a fugitive was very hard," an Opelika officer would later write in
a report after talking to Sibley. "It colored their thinking and made
them feel it was them against everybody else and led to an attitude that
they had to defend their lives with deadly force."

Later, Sibley swore that Roger Motley reached for his gun first.

"I instinctively reached for mine, because I, I was fearful," he
testified.

As Motley turned and ran, Sibley opened fire with a 7.62 mm Russian pistol.

All over, shoppers ran for their lives.

Motley crouched behind his police car and fired back, hitting Sibley in an arm.

Lyon, who was on the pay phone outside the Wal-Mart trying to sell their
Florida home, heard the pops.

"Oh my God, no!" she cried.

She dropped the phone. She ran toward Motley, whose back was to her, she
later told police. She drew her 9 mm pistol. She fired. A man who was
hiding shouted, "Behind you!" to Motley according to trial testimony. The
officer turned to look at her with surprise. Lyon fired again. She shot
out the back window of his squad car. He reached into the car and she
said later that she feared he was going for a shotgun. She fired again.
Some said 3 or 4 shots. Others said it sounded like she unloaded her entire clip.

Was it then that Motley hollered the distress call "Double zero! Opelika!
Double zero!" into his radio? Everything happened in just a few seconds.
He got into the police car and was able to push it into gear. The car
took off crazily across the parking lot. It hit a couple cars and then
some people jumped in to stop it.

Motley was still conscious.

He looked at people.

But he didn't talk. Earl Summers, who tried to help, testified that he
didn't know if the officer recognized that people were trying to help him.

They unbuttoned his uniform shirt. In his T-shirt, right in the middle of
his chest, was a tiny hole. Bubbles were coming out. Paramedics,
realizing he could die, rushed him to the hospital.

It was too late.

His family members got visits from city officials, quick words from their
teachers or bosses. There had been a shooting. Their husband, son,
father, brother was injured. Get to the hospital.

"I said, 'How bad?' and he said, 'It's bad,'" remembered sister Anne
Foshee, whose boss at City Hall let her know. "I said, 'How? He'd been working inside.'"

As the Motleys tried to grasp their new reality, Lyon and Sibley were on the run with Gordon.

They didn't know what condition the officer was in. All they knew was
that they had to leave before police set up roadblocks.

"We knew we had done something wrong and were in really serious trouble,"
Lyon's statement to police says.

Sibley argued he was justified in firing at Roger Motley. He was merely
sitting in a parking lot in a parked car, and the officer had no right to
interfere, he said later, according to court records. All he wanted was
to be left alone with his family. He be lieved strongly that the officer
was reaching for his gun, and that when the officer ran, Motley was doing so to find cover to shoot him.

Lyon, too, said she felt justified.

When she turned to see the shoot-out, all she could discern was that her
husband and son were in the line of fire and in danger of being killed.
It did not matter that the man crouched behind the car was a police
officer in uniform, she testified. She said the same thing in letters to
a Mobile Register reporter, in an exchange of correspondence initiated by the newspaper in early March.

While she had written and published articles supporting police officers
-- including one in 1992 following the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles
-- she did not believe they should fall into a separate category from
other citizens. To her, the uniform did not matter. She simply saw a man,
a stranger, shooting at her husband whom she loved and trusted.

Sibley and Lyon led police on a chase that reached 90 mph until they ran
into a roadblock on a Lee County road and were surrounded.

Within a few minutes, seeing the futility of their position, Lynda hugged
and kissed her son and sent him away to safety. Then she and George sat
there, each holding a gun, talking about whether to commit suicide or
whether to force officers to shoot them.

"It's a good day to die," Lynda told Auburn Officer Ken Ragland, who was negotiating with them.

For long hours they held their weapons and talked about Waco, the U.S.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and sniper shooting, Ragland
later testified. Ragland told them that Lee County was home to Auburn
University, and that it was probably the best place to surrender because
the educated people there could probably understand their views better
than anywhere else.

But the key reason they surrendered was a lie Ragland told: that Roger Motley was OK.

Anne Motley would cry for her son. And she would remember so many things.
How he was allergic to everything -- the outdoors, fish, horses, cats.
How he was always thin and small and as he grew older, he tried
everything to put on weight -- malts, peanut butter, even beer once.

The images of a mother's love for her child clash with the stomach-
twisting image of Lyon firing at him. Lyon testified that she had taken
shooting lessons in Florida and prided herself in her accuracy. When she
came up behind Motley, she braced and fired like she had been taught.

"When she was shooting my son she took up a stance just like a
professional hit man. That was very hard to hear, you know?"

While many of Lyon and Sibley's acquaintances have distanced themselves,
their cause has been embraced by a small group of publishers who address
the kind of constitutional matters dear to the couples' hearts.

The publishers have called Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore,
filed briefs on her behalf and urged others to lobby with them.

Early in April, Sheila Reynolds, the publisher of Arizona-based
Resurrection News and Fax Network, sent out requests to her readers to
help change the original date of Lynda's execution.

Lynda was 1st supposed to die April 19, a date deemed significant by the
patriot and militia communities. It's the date of the battle at Lexington
and Concord, the date of the inferno at the Branch Davidian compound at
Waco, the date of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Supporters contacted the state, and without explanation, the state changed the date to May 10.

The next step, she said, is to convince Moore that as a Christian, he
should not execute a woman who may have simply been trying to defend her family.

"There's enough fog over the whole thing that if I were in his place I could not condemn someone to death."

Investigators have never determined who fired the fatal shot.

One day soon after the shooting, while numbly going through sympathy
cards, Juanita Motley came across one that struck her as odd.

The writer said "she didn't know how Lynda had gotten to the point where
she let the devil in her life," Juanita Motley said.

There was no return address, and at the bottom, it simply said: "Lynda's Mom."

It took Juanita a minute to realize who Lynda was.

"From that moment, I thought she must be a wonderful woman to even think
about sending a card," she said. "For the last eight and a half years,
she has been in my thoughts and prayers and I just hope God gives her the
strength to get through what happens with her daughter."

Efforts to reach Lyon's mother were unsuccessful.

In an April 25 letter to a Mobile Register reporter, Lyon said her mother
lets her know how Gordon, now about 18, is doing. Other than that, she
said, her family does not speak to her. They return her letters. She has
a 33-year-old son who might not even know where she is, she said.

Her mother, she said, is definitely not on her side.

"Like the others, she feels I disgraced the family," she wrote.

Motley was a strict and exacting father and stepfather, a man who loved
to joke and barbecue and who admired John Wayne and Atlanta Braves baseball, relatives said.

After he was killed, his mentally retarded younger sister, Dawn, lost her
memory. Not even a year earlier, another close relative died, this time in a car accident.

"She felt like she was losing her family one by one," Anne said of Dawn.
"She just got quieter and quieter."

She forgot how to tie her shoes and brush her teeth. She forgot where the
bathroom was and seemed not to recognize her mother and older sister. It
took a long time, Anne said, for Dawn to start climbing back.

"I can't begin to tell you how many lives those 2 people have destroyed," she said.

Juanita and Roger Motley had been married for 11 years at the time of the shooting.

The person hurt worst was Roger's son, Michael, she said.

He had lived with his mother in Missouri until moving to Alabama when he
was 12, she said. Under his father's attention, he shone.

"I just thought the world of Mike," Juanita said. "He had come so far in the two years with us."

The shooting "ruined his life," his stepmother said.

Michael Motley could not be reached for this story.

Scott Perkins, who was 21 when it happened, couldn't stand to sit through the trials.

"The more she talked, the madder I got," he said. "She was talking about
how she was trying to protect herself, that Roger didn't have the
authority to ask her questions, that he was a bad person, that she was trying to protect her child."

Lynda and George were Libertarians, but Perkins had never heard of the
Libertarians, a political third party that emphasizes individual
responsibility and liberty and seeks to reduce government.

"Some of them I'm sure are good people, but from the most part what I
read and understand about them, they just don't seem normal to me," he said.

The family, Christians, struggled not to hate.

"You're not supposed to hate," Foshee said. "God said, 'You killed my son, and I don't hate you.'"

She doesn't want Lynda Lyon to go to hell, she said.

But she does want her to die.

She'll join her mother on Friday. Or if it is postponed, then later.

"I was at the hospital when my brother died," she said. "I went in and
kissed my dead brother's cold forehead right after he died. So yes, I can watch that."

Juanita believes the 2 should die, but is less certain of her ability to watch.

"God help us if it's a botched execution. I don't know if I could handle it," she said.

All the Motleys are aware that the execution might not take place this Friday.

If Lynda Lyon chose to argue that the electric chair constitutes cruel
and unusual punishment she would likely join others whose cases have been
delayed until after July 1, when the state has authorized the use of
lethal injection. It's been almost 2 years since Alabama executed anyone.

Lynda has said she is not planning to die so soon. In her letters, she
says she is very busy and has a lot of living left. But she has said she
will not raise the cruel and unusual punishment argument.

"Frankly, that issue has been done to death. (Pun intended.)," she wrote
to the Mobile Register in the April 25 letter. "It doesn't matter how you
kill someone -- dead is dead."

(source: Mobile Register)



(source: Associated Press) ALABAMA----impending female execution pushed back to May

Court delays execution of woman in Opelika officer's murder

The Alabama Supreme Court delayed the execution of political extremist
Lynda Lyon Block, who was set to die for the murder of a police officer on
April 19 -- the anniversary of the Waco fire and the Oklahoma City bombing.

The court, in a brief order made public Thursday, rescheduled Block's execution for May 10.

The justices gave no explanation for the change, and court officials said no one requested the delay.

But the widow of the slain officer said she suspected the postponement was intended to avoid executing Block on a date that already is significant to many who share her anti-government beliefs.

"I don't want to make a martyr out of her," said Juanita Motley.
 "If that's the reason, I prefer it be May 10."

Block and common-law husband George Sibley were convicted of killing Opelika police officer Roger Motley, who was shot repeatedly in a store parking lot in 1993. Sibley also is on death row for the slaying.

The couple contends the shooting was justified because Sibley reached for his holster. Also, they claim, public employees including police have no power because of a constitutional amendment approved by Congress in 1811 but never ratified by the states.

Block, who prefers the name Lynda Lyon, once put out a radical political
newsletter, and she and Sibley met at a Libertarian Party gathering in Florida, where she lived.

Block has no active appeal and no attorney, claiming Alabama courts lack
jurisdiction over her. She and Sibley describe their imprisonment as a
conspiracy by a twisted court system.

Block does not have a death wish and hopes to win freedom both for herself
and Sibley, according to Ann Ezelius, a Swedish death penalty opponent who
has corresponded with Block by mail.

"They want to do this together and both are very clued up on all the legal
paraphernalia," Ezelius said in an interview conducted by e-mail.

Some extremist sites on the Internet describe the convictions of Lyon and Sibley as a miscarriage of justice, mentioning them alongside what is described as the government's assault on the Branch Davidians.

David Koresh and 75 followers, including 21 children, died in the blaze in Waco on April 19, 1993. Prosecutors said the deaths so angered Timothy McVeigh that he blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., 2 years later to the day.

While the Alabama Department of Corrections has banned Block from talking
with reporters in the days before her execution, the victim's widow said she
wished the state would reverse the policy.

"If they don't let her speak to the press or whoever it's just another government cover-up to their supporters," said Motley. "They are playing into her hands."

Motley was killed as he approached the couple's car in a Wal-Mart parking
lot, where a passer-by heard Block's 9-year-old son call for help from the vehicle.

Witnesses said Sibley fired 1st, and Block joined in the shooting after Motley was wounded.

(source: Associated Press)



ALABAMA----female gets execution date

Supreme Court sets April 19 execution date for Florida woman
 

The Alabama Supreme Court set an April 19 execution date Wednesday for a
Florida woman convicted in the 1993 shooting death of an Opelika police officer.

Barring a stay, Lynda Lyon Block would be the 1st woman executed in
Alabama since 1957. A zealot against all manner of government intrusion,
she has refused the help of lawyers, contending the judicial system is
fraudulent and corrupt.

State prosecutors said Wednesday she has no active appeal.

Block, 54, and her common-law husband, George Sibley Jr., were convicted
in the October 1993 shooting death of officer Roger Lamar Motley while
they were on the run from a criminal case in Florida.

Motley was slain as he approached the couple's car in a Wal-Mart parking
lot. A passerby heard Block's 9-year-old son call for help and asked the
officer to see if everything was OK.

Sibley also received a death sentence and remains on death row. The
Alabama Supreme Court upheld Block's death sentence in 1999 and Sibley's in 2000.

At trial, Sibley and Block, who has said she prefers the name Lynda Lyon,
said they fired at Motley and his patrol car in self-defense after the
officer touched his holster.

But witnesses said Sibley fired shots 1st and Block joined in the
shootout after the officer was wounded.

Both were sentenced to die in part because forensics experts couldn't
decide who fired the fatal shots.

At the time, the couple was fleeing from Orlando, Fla., to avoid being
sentenced on assault convictions in the stabbing of Block's 79-year-old
former husband. They contend they were innocent of assault and had become
victims in the case themselves.

The couple, whose supporters have posted an Internet site that details
their claims of injustice by a twisted judicial system, have refused to
pursue the death sentence appeals they are entitled to under state law.
The courts had to appoint attorneys to represent them at trial, but they
balked at getting help from defense attorneys for the appeals.

Assistant Attorney General Beth Hughes has said Sibley and Block refused
to "recognize the jurisdiction of the Alabama courts."

Block's court-appointed defense attorney, W. David Nichols of Birmingham,
said in 1999 that she contends Alabama never became a state again after
the Civil War and its courts hold no jurisdiction.

The couple met at a Libertarian Party meeting in 1991 and became active
in its politics. They took the position that individuals should be free
from government intrusions, eventually getting rid of their driver's
licenses, car registrations and birth certificates.

The last woman to come close to execution in the state was Judith Ann
Neelley, who avoided the electric chair when former Gov. Fob James set
aside her death sentence in 1999.

Block is the 2nd person scheduled for execution in Alabama during April.
Gary Leon Brown, 44, of Birmingham has an execution date of April 5.
Brown was convicted of capital murder for the stabbing death of a
Jefferson County man in 1987.

Bills to make lethal injection a form of execution in Alabama are pending
in the legislature, but neither would apply to the executions scheduled
in April. The legislation, if passed and signed, would not take affect
until June at the earliest.

(source: Associated Press)


ALABAMA----impending female execution pushed back to May

Court delays execution of woman in Opelika officer's murder

The Alabama Supreme Court delayed the execution of political extremist
Lynda Lyon Block, who was set to die for the murder of a police officer
on April 19 -- the anniversary of the Waco fire and the Oklahoma City bombing.

The court, in a brief order made public Thursday, rescheduled Block's execution for May 10.

The justices gave no explanation for the change, and court officials said
no one requested the delay.

But the widow of the slain officer said she suspected the postponement
was intended to avoid executing Block on a date that already is
significant to many who share her anti-government beliefs.

"I don't want to make a martyr out of her," said Juanita Motley. "If
that's the reason, I prefer it be May 10."

Block and common-law husband George Sibley were convicted of killing
Opelika police officer Roger Motley, who was shot repeatedly in a store
parking lot in 1993. Sibley also is on death row for the slaying.

The couple contends the shooting was justified because Sibley reached for
his holster. Also, they claim, public employees including police have no
power because of a constitutional amendment approved by Congress in 1811
but never ratified by the states.

Block, who prefers the name Lynda Lyon, once put out a radical political
newsletter, and she and Sibley met at a Libertarian Party gathering in
Florida, where she lived.

Block has no active appeal and no attorney, claiming Alabama courts lack
jurisdiction over her. She and Sibley describe their imprisonment as a
conspiracy by a twisted court system.

Block does not have a death wish and hopes to win freedom both for
herself and Sibley, according to Ann Ezelius, a Swedish death penalty
opponent who has corresponded with Block by mail.

"They want to do this together and both are very clued up on all the
legal paraphernalia," Ezelius said in an interview conducted by e-mail.

Some extremist sites on the Internet describe the convictions of Lyon and
Sibley as a miscarriage of justice, mentioning them alongside what is
described as the government's assault on the Branch Davidians.

David Koresh and 75 followers, including 21 children, died in the blaze
in Waco on April 19, 1993. Prosecutors said the deaths so angered Timothy
McVeigh that he blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., 2
years later to the day.

While the Alabama Department of Corrections has banned Block from talking
with reporters in the days before her execution, the victim's widow said
she wished the state would reverse the policy.

"If they don't let her speak to the press or whoever it's just another
government cover-up to their supporters," said Motley. "They are playing
into her hands."

Motley was killed as he approached the couple's car in a Wal-Mart parking
lot, where a passer-by heard Block's 9-year-old son call for help from
the vehicle.

Witnesses said Sibley fired 1st, and Block joined in the shooting after
Motley was wounded.

(source: Associated Press)


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