March 22, 2023

Stephen Michael West (Tennessee Inmate Executed by Electric Chair) Bio, Wiki, Age, Crime, Murderer

Stephen Michael West Biography

Stephen Michael West is a Tennessee inmate who was executed in the electric chair, becoming the third inmate since November. He was convicted of the 1986 murders of a mother and her 15-year-old daughter. He was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m. at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.

Stephen Michael West Age

Stephen was 56 years old at the time of his death.

Stephen Michael West Electric Chair- Stephen Michael West Death Row

West was executed in Tennessee on August 15 after requesting the electric chair rather than lethal injection. He decided he preferred to die in the electric chair after previously voicing no preference, which would have defaulted him to lethal injection. His attorney in a court filing wrote that the electric chair is “also unconstitutional, yet still less painful” compared with the state’s preference of a three-drug lethal injection.

He was originally scheduled to be executed in 2010 but a stay was issued because of challenges to Tennessee’s single-drug lethal injection chemical.

According to the Tennessee Department of Correction West ordered a Philly cheesesteak and french fries as his last meal before his execution. Death row inmates typically get $20 toward a special meal before they are executed.

He quoted the bible as his last words; “In the beginning God created man. And Jesus wept. That’s all.”

According to a February court filing West’s attorney argued that some “feasible and readily implemented alternative methods of execution exist that significantly reduce the substantial risk of severe pain and suffering” compared with the state’s three-drug protocol or electrocution: a single bullet to the back of the head, a firing squad, a “euthanasia oral cocktail” or one-drug pentobarbital

West was one of the four death row inmates who sued in 2018 asking a federal court’s permission to use a firing squad as an execution method.

Stephen Michael West Crime – Stephen West Murderer

Stephen West was convicted of raping Sheila Romines, 15, and stabbing her and her mum Wanda, 51, to death in their home more than 30 years ago. A jury convicted him of several crimes, including two counts of first-degree murder.

In 1987 he was sentenced to die for the killings of 15-year-old Sheila, a classmate of his accomplice Ronnie Martin, and her mother Wanda Romines.

At the age of 23 on March 17, 1986 West together with then 17-year-old Martin left their jobs at a McDonald’s in Lake City, Tennessee. They drove around and drank in Martin’s car. After a few hours, Martin and West went to the Romines’ home. According to the authorities, the two waited in front of the home until Sheila’s dad left for work at 5.20am. They then knocked on the door and Wanda Romines let them into the house.

Once they got inside they raped Sheila and stabbed both Sheila and Wanda to death. West and Martin were arrested the next day. Martin received a life sentence after he pleaded guilty since he was a juvenile at the time.

West tried to unsuccessfully appeal his case in state and federal courts. He challenged the state’s lethal injection protocol and argued that jailhouse recordings of Martin discussing the crime with a fellow inmate showed that he was not responsible for the murders.

Stephen West Clemency Application

West had a clemency plea to Gov. Bill Lee with his attorney writing that his then-17-year-old accomplice Ronnie Martin actually killed both Union County victims. Their cases were separate and while West was sentenced to death, Martin pleaded guilty as a juvenile and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 2030.

In a court filing, the state said West brutally stabbed the victims to death. According to the American Civil Liberties Union regardless of the arguments about who killed the women, Tennessee is one of 27 states that allow executions of “non-triggermen” convicted of involvement in a felony resulting in a victim’s death, even if they didn’t kill anyone themselves.

West’s clemency filing claimed the jury never heard a jail recording from Martin saying he carried out the killings, not West. But a 1989 state Supreme Court opinion rejected the recording as uncorroborated hearsay that wouldn’t have exonerated West. According to court records West’s attorney opted against playing the tape at sentencing because the judge would have allowed other recordings in which Martin incriminated West.

The governor denied West’s clemency application, which also said West had been taking powerful medication in prison to treat mental illness.