Thursday, October 23, 2008

Imagine All Those People...

Texas has 10 murders lined up for execution this month and there's lots of talk about frustrated anti-death penalty activists here - not a lot of talk about the killers' victims.

Just executed Joseph Ries and a co-defendant broke into the residence of a 64-year old man who was asleep and shot him in the head, took his car and later pawned his property. Try imagining the victim was your grandfather.

Number Two on the list is Bobby Woods who sexually assaulted an 11 year old girl, then abducted her and her 9-year-old brother, severely beat the 9-year-old boy about the head, resulting in serious injury, and cut the throat of the girl, killing her. Imagine it was your daughter.

Eric Nenno is number 3. He lured a seven-year-old girl to his home, choked her to death when she began to cry then raped her repeatedly and hid her nude body in his attic. Imagine she was your granddaughter.

Gregory Wright (4) broke into a woman's home, stabbed her to death then stole her property, leaving in her car. Imagine she was your mother.

Crack addict Elkie Taylor (5) strangled 65-year-old mentally ill Otis Flake to death so he and an accomplice could rob his home. Flake was found with his hands tied behind his back with white plastic tubing, his feet tied together with a coat hanger, and a T-shirt and two coat hangers wrapped around his throat. Imagine he was your father. Taylor boasted of an earlier robbery-murder of an elderly man who was found with an apron and a coat hanger wrapped around his neck. Imagine he was your uncle.

Number 6 George Whitaker's girlfriend left him because of his abusive behaviour. He drove to her home, shot her mother, pistol whipped her five-year-old daughter and fatally shot his girlfriend's sister in the head. Imagine she was your daughter.

Denard Manns (7) entered a 26 year old woman's home, sexually assaulted her then shot her in the head and chest. He then stole her credit cards, cash and car. Imagine she was your sister.

Eric Cathey is number 8. He and several others abducted Christina Castillo and attempted to force her to tell them about her boyfriend's drug and money dealings. She refused to tell them anything so they shot her three times in the head. Imagine she was your daughter.

Rogelio Cannady (9) made history as the first Texas prison inmate to be prosecuted under a 1993 statute allowing the death penalty if an offender is serving 99 years or life as a result of previous murder convictions. His victim was another prisoner in a medium custody unit. Cannady beat him with a steel lock attached to a belt and kicked him repeatedly in the head with steel-toed boots. Imagine he was your father.

At number 10 is Robert Hudson who stabbed a woman 7 times and slashed her 9 year old son's throat when he tried to protect her. Imagine she was your mother.

These are heinous crimes committed by evil people. All have been in prison a decade or more exhausting an extensive appeals system.

The only frustrating thing about them is that they weren't executed a whole lot earlier.

-- Nick

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