David Leisure
         Executed In Missouri On August 31, 1999
    David Leisure with his daughter Amanda and grand daughter Michela.         David Leisure in a prison photo

  Click HERE to read David Leisure's Clemency Petition

      David was murdered by the State Of Missouri on Aug 31, 1999
       Our sympathies to the family and friends of David Leisure
        and also to the family and friends of Mr. James A Michaels.

        We  also want to thank the Michael's family for their stance against state murder.
        We think it shameful that the Governor did not take the feelings of the family of the
            victim into account when they asked for the execution to not go forward.


                            PLEASE  CONTACT GOVERNOR CARNAHAN

                                    Gov. Mel Carnahan
                                    State Capitol, Box 720
                                Jefferson City, MO 65101.
                                    Tel. (573) 751-3222,
                                    Fax (573) 751-1495

                    Key Points in David Leisure Case

David is mentally retarded. In recent, reputable I.Q. testing, David has scored in the low 70s, and persons with I.Q.s less than 75 are presumed to be retarded, according to the American Association of Mental Retardation.

David did not get a full appeal from the denial of his first petition of federal statutory and constitutional claims.

David is ill-educated, having no education beyond the seventh grade, and was
addled by the effects of substance abuse of various kinds over an extended

David sits alone on death row, although he was certainly not the most
culpable of those convicted of the murder of Jimmy Michaels.

Paul and Anthony Leisure, the purported leaders of the "Leisure Gang," were convicted in separate trials for the capital murder of Michaels, but neither was sentenced to death. Instead, each was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for fifty years.

David's trial counsel was abysmally ineffective and committed numerous
errors. David's trial counsel had never tried a murder case before, and he
was unprepared and unqualified to try David's.

The Jimmy Michaels III family (family members of the victim in this case) have sent a letter to the Governor requesting David not be executed.

It is the consensus of the Michaels' family that there would be no benefit to the state of Missouri or the Michaels family in carrying out the death sentence.  Both the Michaels family and the Leisure family have suffered enough tragedy in their past.

For more information, please contact:

PO BOX 190466                                          2018 HAZELWOOD DRIVE
ST. LOUIS, MO 63119-6466                         COLUMBIA, MO 65201
TEL. 314-962-4937                                       Phone 573-449-4585
 tjblock@gateway.net                        jstack@mail. coin. missouri.edu
                                 FROM THE NEWS:    Tuesday, August 24, 1999

     Grandson of Leisure's murder victim asks Carnahan to cancel execution
                   By Kim Bell  Of The Post-Dispatch

                     Condemned mobster David R. Leisure is getting a plea for mercy from an unexpected  source: his victim's grandson.
                   James A. Michaels III, whose grandfather was blown apart by a car bomb Leisure was convicted of planting in 1980, wants Gov. Mel  Carnahan to spare Leisure's life.
                   Leisure, 49, is scheduled to die by injection Sept. 1. Carnahan has the power to grant  clemency.
                   The elder Michaels -- James A. Michaels Sr. -- was killed Sept. 17, 1980, when a bomb exploded beneath his car as he was driving on Interstate 55 in St. Louis County. He was the reputed head of the Syrian crime faction in St. Louis.
                   "It is the consensus of my family that Mr. Leisure's death sentence not be carried out,"  Michaels III wrote Carnahan in a letter obtained Monday by the Post-Dispatch. "The Michaels and the Leisure family have experienced enough grief for one lifetime."
                   Michaels III was not always so forgiving. The killing of his grandfather fanned the flames of a feud between two organized crime factions, headed by the elder Michaels and David Leisure's older cousin, Paul Leisure. The feud had been simmering for years as the families fought for control over a St. Louis labor union.
                   According to prosecutors, Michaels III retaliated for his grandfather's murder by bombing Paul Leisure in 1981. Paul Leisure survived the blast  but lost his right leg and left foot when a car bomb exploded outside his home in the 4900 block of Nottingham Avenue.
                   Paul Leisure was eventually convicted in the Michaels Sr. car-bombing murder and is serving life in prison. Only David Leisure received the death penalty.
                   Michaels III now lives with his family in St. Louis; he completed prison sentences for his crime. He could not be reached for comment Monday.
                   In January 1985, Michaels III was convicted of conspiracy to commit capital murder in the car bombing of Paul Leisure. He was sentenced to eight years. He did not plead guilty, but he waived the right to a jury trial, agreed to stipulated evidence submitted by the            prosecution and offered no defense. He was found guilty by a judge.
                   The first few years of Michaels III's state sentence ran concurrent with a five-year
 sentence on a federal conspiracy conviction in the car bombing.
                   A source close to the Michaels family said they recently turned down the Missouri Department of Corrections' invitation to view Leisure's execution at the Potosi Correctional Center. The state always invites victims' relatives to watch executions from a private viewing box.
                  "They're not taking any pleasure in this right now," the source said. "They don't want to see it, or be touched by it anymore."
                   Michaels III's letter to Carnahan goes on to say: "I feel that the execution of David would bring additional needless hardship, not only to his family, but to my family as well. Nothing can change the things that have already happened, but we can, with your help, put the past behind us."
                   A spokesman for Carnahan was unavailable to comment.
                   In an interview last week, David Leisure claimed the families hold no grudge. "I look at it like this here: It's been 19 years since the (feud between) Michaels family and our family. . . . We still speak to them. . . . We still went to the same church after that," he said. "The Michaels  were invited to my sister's wedding, and Paulie got blowed up two days later."

 Click Here for more news articles on David Leisure
         Updated - Includes Articles On Missouri's Murder of David Leisure

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This page was last updated September 1,  1999           Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
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