2Background • She was the youngest of three sisters • Karla was born and raised in Houston, Texas• She was the youngest of three sisters• She had a mom and a dad, Carolyn and Larry• Her father was a longshoreman on the Gulf of Mexico• Her parents’ marriage was always very troubled and ended up not working out• When Karla was just eight years old, she started smoking because her sisters were doing it• At the age of ten, Karla’s parents divorced• While the divorce was happening Karla found out that she was the outcome of an extramarital affair
3Continued Background• By the age of twelve, she had turned to drugs, alcohol, and sexWhen Karla was just fourteen years old, she dropped out of school and followed her mother Carolyn, a rock groupie, into prostitutionShe and her mom also began traveling with rock bands such as the Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, and The EaglesA couple years later, Karla was briefly married to a mechanic Stephen GriffinIn her early twenty’s, she met Shawn Dean and her husband Jerry Lynn Dean, who introduced her to a man named Danny Garrett.She began dating Danny Garrett and he was her partner in the crime committed
4Crime CommittedOn Monday June 14th, 1983 at around 3am in the morning Karla and her boyfriend Danny went to Jerry and Shawn Dean’s house with the intent to steal their motorcycle. Karla and Danny were both very intoxicated already, but could still make sense of what they were doing. They entered the house with a set of keys that Shawn Dean had “lost” and Tucker had supposedly found.When they got into the house, Tucker and Garrett went into the bedroom and Karla sat on Dean. In an effort to protect himself, Dean grabbed Karla and by her forearms, not knowing what was going on. At that point, Danny intervened with a hammer he found on the ground. He began to repeatedly hit Jerry on the back of his head. Danny then, left the room to go and retrieve the motorcycle and Karla stayed in the bedroom.
5Crime CommittedBecause of the injuries that Dean was suffering from, he was making noises, so Karla became annoyed and wanted him to be quiet, so she picked up a pickaxe and attacked him. Then Garrett reentered the room and dealt Dean the final blow that killed him.Danny then left the room again to load the motorcycle into his car and Karla was left alone in the bedroom again as well. It was at that time that Karla noticed a young woman hiding in the corner of the bedroom. The woman, whose name was Deborah Thornton, had to be killed because she witnessed them killing Dean. So Tucker began to hit Thornton with the pickaxe and then embedded the pickaxe into her heart. Karla and Danny left quickly after that, leaving the bodies exactly where they were.
6Evidence Against Criminal Karla Tucker eventually confessed to the crimes that were committed.Police found the motorcycle in Danny Garrett’s homeKarla admitted what they did to her sisterPolice discovered their fingerprints at the sceneMurder weapons were discoveredThe pickaxe that Karla Tucker used to kill the victims.
7SentenceIn September 1983, Tucker and Garrett were charged and tried separately for the murders. Tucker entered a plea of not guilty and was jailed awaiting trial.Though the death penalty was hardly ever sought for female defendants, Tucker, along with Garrett, was sentenced to death in late 1984.Between 1984 and 1992, requests for a retrial and appeals were denied, but on June 22, Tucker requested that her life be spared on the basis that she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the murders, she would not have committed the murders had she not taken drugs and was a renewed person.The victims in the murder.
8Differential-Association Theory I think that the differential-Association theory describes Karla Tucker and her behavior because she grew up around people always doing bad things. She was accustomed to the wrongs in life. Her mother prostituted herself after getting divorced. Her sisters drank, smoke, and did drugs around her as well. She saw her family and the people she was around doing it and did not know any different in life. While that is no excuse for the things that she did in her life, that does explain what she knew and how she became a part of that particular lifestyle.
9Differential-Association Theory As Karla became older, the people in her life didn’t get any better. I think that when she started hanging around bikers and other people that were doing drugs and breaking the law, she felt like she had to continue to prove herself to these people in order to continue being their “friend.” So she continued on doing these bad things and breaking the law. I'm sure that at one point or another she wished she could stop, but she was super addicted to drugs and the party scene. I think that this theory fits Karla’s situation perfectly.
10Death PenaltyI believe that Karla Faye Tucker did not deserve to die by the death penalty. There isn't a doubt in my mind that what she did was wrong and definitely needed punishment, but I believe that life in prison would have been enough. She was clearly a different and better person in her interviews and even in her picture you could see the joy on her face. I think that even though she got the death penalty she was fine with her fate either way. She was confident in where she was going, so she wasn’t concerned and didn’t try to fight it.