Yesterday, I read about a woman named Lisa Coleman, being put to death by lethal injection at Huntsville Prison in
She was convicted of the slow starvation
of a nine year old boy who weighed 35 pounds at the time of his death. He had bruises and rope burns – tied, I
guess, so he couldn’t get to food (or the police) or bother the people who were
watching him die.
The article mentioned that
made the most use of the death penalty and how rare it was that a woman would receive
that maximum sentence. I didn’t read
about protestors outside the prison, but I know there are severe criticisms of Texas
being the leader in carrying out capital punishment. 90% of murders are crimes of passion not to
ever be repeated. Sentence for these
crimes includes parole.
The people sentenced to die have committed horrors. And what are their alternatives to the death penalty? A life sentence to be spent within an 8’ x 12’ cell, most likely in isolation in order to protect other prisoners. There’s consistent proof that within three month, prisoners in isolation are completely insane (although given the deeds that got them there, they probably didn’t have far to travel).
In reading the article about Coleman, I was reminded of Kenneth McDuff who, along with an accomplice, kidnapped Colleen Reed at a car wash on
Fifth Street in Austin,
and murdered her. The accomplice was
caught first and implicated McDuff who was arrested in Kansas
City where he was using a false name.
kidnapping, McDuff had killed three teenagers, been arrested, imprisoned, and
released on parole. Before kidnapping
Colleen Reed, while on parole, McDuff killed several women and evaded arrest
until his face was put on America’s Most
Wanted and a coworker notified police.
McDuff was sentenced to die for the killing of a pregnant woman. His last words before lethal injection were, “release me.” I wonder if those were the last words of the women that he tortured and murdered?
I feel sure those were among the last words of the little boy that Lisa Coleman murdered. A nine-year-old boy suffering from intense hunger and physical pain. A little boy filled with immense sadness and despair, wondering why. Why would this woman and his mother do this to him? Yes, I can imagine his words. “Release me, dear God, release me.”