The family of the man that Williams killed is pleading for clemency. So often, states killing the guilty and innocent say this creates closure for grieving families. Does one death necessitate the need for another? Are we still living by the doctrine of the Old Testament? Apparently, the family of the man Williams killed does not want to live by that doctrine.
The West Memphis three witch hunt must not be forgotten. I was a pediatric nurse practitioner for over a decade. We dealt with child abuse and child sexual abuse cases weekly. Each instance, the children were abused by a parent, step parent or grandparent, boyfriend, uncle, or aunt. The legal system in the town I worked in was well schooled in child abuse cases. That was because the head of pediatrics, or the Pediatric Guru, as we called him, took the legal system under his tutelage and told them what to look for. Children are coming to us from other areas were not as fortunate.
The Arkansas legal system didn’t even consider the parents or step parents as murderers in the case of the three eight year olds boys.
We celebrate the Pediatric Guru’s 90th birthday this weekend. I am going to give him the Paradise Lost Trilogy which tells the full story of the WM3. (The West Memphis 3). The stories of the murders and botched prosecution (persecution) would fascinate him.
Capital punishment has no place in a society that claims to be civil or humane. Nor does war or the patriarchy. Look no further than Trump’s cabinet. They want to kill us all, stripping healthcare, the social safety net and building the war machine.
Arkansas executed Ledell Lee four minutes before his death warrant was set to expire on 4/20/17. The state of Arkansas would not wait to admit Lee’s DNA into evidence, which could have proved Lee’s innocence. Lee has always contended his innocence in the murder of Debra Reese.
What is it with Arkansas? I remember when Bill Clinton left the presidential campaign trail in 1992 to execute a mentally retarded man, Ricky Ray Rector. Ricky wanted to save half of his meal for breakfast the next day. He was not able to comprehend the severity of his situation.
The Clintons may as well be on the set of Deliverance with all the rest of those so called politicians in Arkansas.
The provider of the execution drug, a pharmaceutical company called the McKessen Corporation, accused officials of misleading the drug company when the officials concealed their reason for using the drug for execution.
Three more death row prisoners are slated for execution next week.
In a series of tweets, the nun featured in the movie, “Dead Man Walking,” played by Susan Sarandon, explains what went down withLedell Lee:
Here’s some information on the legal representation Ledell Lee received over the years:
And finally, Damien Echoles says he would have been executed along with this line up of Death Row inmates, only because the drugs used to kill are due to expire at the end of this month. He was released from Death Row five years ago. Damien was accused in the West Memphis killings of three 8 year old boys, along with three other young men. The Paradise Lost Trilogy on Amazon Prime details this case.
“Even the best-laid plans seem to go bad in a split second. All you can do is stand there in a state of shock, wondering what went wrong. It’s one of the worst feelings possible, to helplessly watch as the world slips through your fingers like sand. Your heart seems to run out with it.” from “Life After Death” by Damien Echols
“In the end, it’s not the fruit I miss most, though if you rolled all the deprivations into one thing, it would be this: I miss being treated like a human being.” from “Life After Death” by Damien Echols
I am reading Damien Echols memoir called Life After Death. It details his life growing up in poverty and time spent on Death Row in Arkansas. He credits Johnny Depp for saving his life.
It is a hair raising account of a man on death row (he was put there because of evangelical right wingers who pegged Damien as a cult satanist), and was raised in extreme poverty. It is an emotionally intelligent glimpse into horror and fear.
I am against the death penalty at all cost, but this shows the many who are executed– and are innocent of the crime. Also, how the lack of rehabilitation within the For Profit Prison system begets murderous psychological mindsets.
I believe the success of the memoir Angela’s Ashes rests on Frank McCourt’s ability to tell the story without victimizing himself or his family. I see the same talent here.
“Most of the people on Death Row are here for no other reason than that their case got more publicity than others. The difference between a man receiving a prison sentence and a man receiving a death sentence could be decided by nothing more than a slow news day.” from Life After Death by Damien Echols
Again, from Damien Echols: “I’ve seen them at their best; I’ve seen them at their worst,” he said. “I’ve seen them laugh; I’ve seen them cry. And strangely enough, it was these guys that they’re getting ready to execute — the ones that the local politicians will tell you are irredeemably evil; they can’t be saved or redeemed — these are the people who showed me more kindness, compassion and generosity than any of the good people that are trying to kill them ever did.”
The situation in Arkansas is as follows, in this moment: Damian Echols on Democracy Now:
As stated on my seventh blog post, Arkansas is getting ready to execute eight death row inmates in ten days because the pharmacology to kill them is going to expire. These executions are going to occur at the end of April.
Johnny Depp joined several former death row inmates in protest of these scheduled executions in Arkansas. He spoke before signs that said “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” and “End The Death Penalty.”
Damien Echols, former Arkansas death row inmate, said, “I don’t believe the death penalty can be called justice.”
Amnesty International says, “If Arkansas goes forward with #8in10Executions, it will be a blot on Arkansas and America.”
Arkansa Governor Hutchinson of Arkansas has a laissez-faire attitude about the situation that only he can change. Or the voters can vote him out after his first term in office. It’s as if an “eye for an eye” and not “thou shall not kill” along with “love one another” is the mantra of so-called Christians in Arkansas and America.
What happened to the message of love and nonviolence of Jesus Christ, Pope Francis, DorothyDay and Mother Theresa? This is Holy Week, after all. That goes for you, @realDonaldTrump, as you continue to drop bombs on innocent people.
Damien Echols credits Johnny Depp for saving his life. Here they are both making their case against the death penalty.