[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----GA., N.C., MASS., IOWA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jun 2 16:38:03 CDT 2005
Spared From Death To Promote Life----Black Author Describes His Time on
For more than 16 years on death row, Billy Neal Moore taught and preached
to fellow inmates and the American public about Christ's love.
Miraculously, his life was spared just 7 hours prior to his execution
time. He describes his experiences in his new autobiography, I Shall Not
Die: 72 Hours on Death Watch (now available through AuthorHouse).
Only 22 years old when he committed murder, Moore confessed and was
sentenced to death. While in prison, a minister baptized him, and he was
so overcome with remorse for the murder that he wrote a letter to the
victim's family. They were so moved by his sorrow that they forgave him.
In turn, Moore vowed to transform the lives of anyone he could by showing
them what Christ had done for him. He studiously pored over the Bible and
began writing religious articles for the outside world. Soon he was
writing about 300 letters a week to lost souls around the country, from
fellow inmates to teens in crisis.
As his death date edged closer, Moore lost a series of three appeals. His
fate seemed to be sealed until the victim's family vehemently opposed his
execution, and a last-minute request by Mother Theresa helped grant him a
life sentence. Because of exceptional behavior, Moore was released a year
His breathtaking and awe-inspiring ordeal not only speaks of the power of
forgiveness and compassion, but also of people's ability to stare evil in
the face and fight for goodness. It is proof that each human being is
capable of redemption. I Shall Not Die adds a compelling case study to the
raging controversy over the death penalty, the judicial system and
punitive culture that exist in America.
In Moore's successful struggle to overcome his past, readers learn how
this brave man faced his demons and fought against them in a dignified and
honorable fashion. As audiences around the country hear his story, Moore
moves them with his tenacity, his dedication and the lessons of his
Currently a minister with the Christ Assembly of Evangelistic Ministries,
Moore has spoken at dozens of locations, including Harvard, Yale, USC,
UCLA, Stanford, Georgia state ,University of Georgia, American, Georgetown
University, Ithaca College, Emory Law School, Northeastern, Tufts College
and the University of Massachusetts. A father and husband, he lives 14
Wildwood Lane NE, Rome, GA .30161, and the cost for each books is $11.95
or $15.00 for a signed copy. More information is available at
AuthorHouse is the world leader in publishing and print-on-demand
services. Founded in 1997, AuthorHouse has helped more than 20,000 people
worldwide become published authors. For more information, visit
PRESS CONTACT: Promotional Services Dept, 800-839-8640 ext.5244,
pressreleases at authorhouse.com, www.ishallnotdie.com
Moratorium bill worth backing
The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would halt
executions in North Carolina for two years while a study is conducted of
the way the death penalty is implemented. To have a chance of becoming
law, the bill must be voted on by the full House before the crossover
deadline today. The crossover deadline is the date on which a bill is dead
for the session unless it has been passed in either the Senate or the
The Senate approved a two-year moratorium in 2003, but the House failed to
act on the bill in that session. And its uncertain whether the bill, if it
is taken up today, will win approval now. 8 Democrats supported the
moratorium in the Judiciary committee and 6 Republicans opposed it. The
committee heard testimony from Alan Gell and Darryl Hunt, two men who
spent years in prison after being convicted of murder, but were later
exonerated. Gell spent several years on death row.
They also heard testimony from opponents of a moratorium who insist
changes have been made since the time of Hunts and Gell's convictions and
that safeguards are not in place to insure such wrongful convictions dont
occur. If that's true, opponents shouldn't mind a 2-year moratorium while
those safeguards are studied and their fellow citizens get the assurance
they need - in light of several high profile miscarriages of justice -
that no one in North Carolina will be put to death for a crime they didnt
Opponents say advocates seek a moratorium only as a 1st step toward doing
away with the death penalty, and thats undoubtedly true for many
moratorium supporters. It's also totally irrelevant. There are plenty of
good arguments for doing away with executions entirely, but thats a
This bill is about assuring that if North Carolina continues to have a
death penalty, it implements it fairly and without error. Many North
Carolinians are plenty uncertain about that at the moment. Some
prosecution practices that led to unjust outcomes have been discovered and
efforts have been made to correct them, thanks to Gell's and Hunt's cases.
But what other practices prejudice the outcome against the defendant?
Until there's been a thorough study and we know for sure that those
charged with murder have adequate legal representation, have access to DNA
testing and other possibly exculpatory evidence, receive roughly equal
sentences for similar crimes, and that outcomes are not prejudiced by
race, North Carolinians cannot rest easy about the death penalty.
The vote in the House may well be close. Some Democrats are expected to
vote against it and the bill will need Republican support to succeed. It
will then have to be approved in the Senate. We urge Western North
Carolina lawmakers to support the moratorium. Even opponents would do well
to support the bill. One execution of a person later found to be innocent
would go a long way toward ending executions in the state forever.
(source: Opinion, Asheville Citizen-Times)
Letter: Supports Eldridge's death penalty stance
To The Editor:
I am writing to defend Rep. James Eldridge's principled stand against the
death penalty from an unfair attack in the letters section of last week's
Beacon ("Difference between killing and murder", May 26).
The writer, Jim O'Neil, misquoted Rep. Eldridge and insinuated that people
who oppose the death penalty also consider the men and women of our
military as murderers. Of course we don't. Soldiers in combat have no
choice but to kill to defend our nation. In contrast, we the people,
through our elected officials, choose whether our criminal justice system
should sentence criminal defendants to death. The choice is a solemn one.
Wrongful executions are well documented and the burden of these errors
falls disproportionately on racial minorities. Their effect is
I am glad that Rep. Eldridge is taking a principled stand against Gov.
Romney's highly political efforts to revive the death penalty. I agree
with his original quote: State-sponsored killing tends to make society at
large more violent. In 2002, states without the death penalty had a 36 %
lower murder rate than states with capital punishment. I don't want
Massachusetts to become like Texas and Virginia, which keep on executing
defendants without much evidence that the ultimate sanction actually
deters criminals. I'm glad Representative Eldridge doesn't either.
(source: Letter to the Editor, The (acton) Beacon)
Testimony continues in penalty phase
In Sioux City, testimony continues today in the penalty phase of the
federal murder trial of Angela Johnson in Sioux City.
She was convicted last week of helping her boyfriend kill 5 people in the
Mason City area in 1993. The jury can recommend she be sentenced to death
or life in prison.
Yesterday, several witnesses testified that Johnson threatened them
verbally or through her actions. Another witness said Johnson had a violet
Prosecutors are making a case for a death sentence, claiming Johnson will
continue to be a threat if she's given a life sentence.
Her former boyfriend, Dustin Honken, was also convicted of murder. The
jury recommended the death penalty. He awaits sentencing.
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty