Janice B.

Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) information

  • Name: Janice B.
  • DOB: 1/17/1963
  • GDC ID: 125194
  • Sentence: Death Sentence commuted to LIFE Sentence.
  • Incarceration begin: 8/31/1981
  • Offense: fill out GDC ID

Internet Excerpt

In 1981, at the age of 17, Janice B. was the youngest woman ever sentenced to death in the United States. In 1989, her sentence was commuted to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole because she was a minor at the time of the crime.

Abused

Janice spent her youth in a small house with no bathroom. Later the foster parents moved to a filthy one-bedroom trailer, and Janice's bedroom was an old van in the yard. Janice's wore clothes obtained at a dump, and she was physically and emotionally abused. A social worker said that during the many times he went there the stepmother was never sober.

At school Janice was ridiculed and ostracized by her peers because she was dirty and unkempt and smelled bad, her clothes didn’t fit, and she went barefoot even in winter. According to a teacher "She never carried on a conversation with anybody; she just always stood over to herself." Teachers and social workers testified that she was the most neglected child they had ever seen and they described her as shy, passive, very quite, extremely non-violent, very withdrawn, with a low self-image.

Deprived child

During her early teen years, Janice ran away from home. She befriended an older man who, along with another man, sexually assaulted her. At age 14, she was declared a deprived child and was placed in the custody of Bartow County. She was shuttled between foster homes, returned to her stepmother and finally, at the stepmother’s instigation, placed in a Youth Detention Center. While she had committed no crime, the state simply had no other place for her to live. She remained there for six months.

At age 15, she was introduced to Danny B. Danny was 26 years old, divorced, and the father of two children. On the first evening of their meeting, Janice agreed to marry him. They were married within a month.

Married

A year or so after their marriage and before the crime, Danny B. checked into a regional psychiatric facility in Rome, Ga., and told officials he was preoccupied with sex and was afraid he would rape someone. His mother, Evelyn B., testified during the trial that her son was an alcohol abuser and suffered from "spells" during which he became violent and destructive. Janice has been beaten 15-20 times during their two-year marriage.

Crime

At 17, she was the mother of nineteen-month-old baby Marlena and pregnant of a second child (born while Janice awaited trial). They were living temporarily in the small, inexpensive Country Boy Inn in Dalton, Georgia.

A witness testified that in the night of September 2, 1981, while he was driving around with Danny and Janice, Danny told him he wanted to pick up a girl. During several stops, Danny, who was drunk, made unsuccessful passes at four different women, while Janice remained in the back seat. Upon returning in their motel, during the early morning hours of September 3, 1981, pretending the baby was sick, Janice and Danny gained entrance to another room in the motel. It was that of nineteen-year-old Demetra Faye Parker from Tennessee. Leaving the baby to crawl around the room, Janice assisted her husband as he beat, raped and sodomized the victim. It was alleged that, following this initial assault, Janice continued to abuse the victim and stabbed her ninety-seven times with a small pocketknife.

Responsibility

Janice wrote a letter to be given to the Sheriff in which she claimed she killed Ms. Parker as an act of jealousy because Danny was trying to have sex with her. She took complete responsibility for the crime. She said she forced Danny to do everything he did, including raping Ms. Parker.

At her sentencing hearing, Janice testified that hat she waited outside the room for five minutes after Danny entered; that when she entered, Danny was removing Ms. Parker's panties and she believed they "were fixing to have sex." After becoming angry at the sight of Danny and Ms. Parker engaging in sex, Janice testified that she grabbed the knife and stabbed Ms. Parker in the chest. She admitted that her conduct was wrong and that she deserved to be punished.

At separate trials, both Janice and Danny were sentenced to death. Danny subsequently committed suicide by hanging himself in his death row cell.
In 1989, under pressure from Human Rights groups intervening on the grounds that she was a minor, Janice had her death sentence commuted to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.