Wednesday, June 28, 2006

 

HOMICIDE


Very early this morning, the state of Tennessee killed Sedley Alley. Roughly an hour before the scheduled execution, a stay was issued by Judge Gil Merritt of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court. As 1:00 approached the stay was still in place and people began to drift away from the vigil at Riverbend Prison, exhausted and drained from the ordeal. No one, not the media, not the warden, not the abolitionists seemed to know what was happening. All anyone knew was that a stay was in place and that the state was challenging it.

But shortly after 1:00, the news came. The stay had been overturned and Sedley Alley would be executed shortly thereafter. It was a little after 2:00 when the word came to the forty vigilers gathered in a circle of candle light. Sedley Alley was dead.

In the end, it did not matter that there was serious doubt as to whether Sedley Alley was even guilty of Suzanne Collins' murder. In the end it did not matter that the state possessed DNA evidence that could have conclusively demonstrated guilt or innocence. No, in the end all that mattered was that vengeance was called for.

Doing innumerable interviews after the execution shattered our circle and our hopes, I repeated the same message to reporters:

"When a person is executed, the official cause of death is homicide. The murder of Suzanne Marie Collins was a tragedy and our hearts go out to the members of her family, who must now live as the survivors of a homicide victim. But let us not forget that the state of Tennessee has now made Sedley Alley's innocent children, April and David, the survivors of a homicide victim as well."
Comments :
I am Sedley Alley's daughter, April McIntyre. I want to thank everyone who came to the prison to offer their support to my family, especially, my father. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
-April
 
Dear April,

From all of us here at TCASK, you and David are in our prayers and our thoughts. We're so sorry for your loss and hope that your father is finally at peace.

The TCASK is here for you in anyway that we can be of help.
 
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