Friday, 21 March 2008

Letter to Obama from Sherrie Stone

Dear Barak,

I am a republican, but have been very impressed with you.

I would like to know why the Presidential Candidates are not speaking up about the death penalty. The United States Supreme Court will be making a historic ruling in a month or so, executions are on hold and we have a very flawed system.

Why is this not a topic?

Do you know in Alabama, the State of Alabama is trying to execute a man whom has never had his first habeas corpus or rule 32 appeals heard. There is also DNA evidence that could prove his innocence and the Governor will not allow it. The USSC even denied him DNA testing Nov. 2007. It is because of a law signed into action by President Clinton in 1996, called the AEDPA Act. It puts a one year time limit on death row inmates to file their post-conviction appeals.

Well in Alabama, the only State in the United States, death row inmates are not even entitled to an attorney during post-conviction appeals. So even if you have DNA evidence , that if tested, that could prove your innocence, too bad we are going to kill you because you did not file your paper work on time. Another man in Georgia was just denied new trial based on the same AEDPA Act.

I would think you would be all over Clinton on this AEDPA ACT her husband signed.

All people for or against the death penalty, can agree on one thing, we do not want to execute innocent people. (or should I say murder)?

It is my father the State of Alabama is trying to murder. He did not file his paper work on time, because he did not have an attorney, and by Alabama laws, he was not entitled one. He is no angel, but for Gods sake, do we really live in a Country where you do not get a habeas corpus review, you are not entitled to a lawyer, and you cannot have DNA testing of the crime scene evidence? Yes, Barak, we do and I am appalled the Presidential Candidates are not even discussing it.

My fathers name is Thomas Arthur, Z-427, Alabama Death Row Inmate. The other man in Georgia who will be executed is Troy Davis.

They are both and many more will be murdered because of this AEDPA Act. They will not be allowed new trials to show evidence that can prove their innocence. They both and many more will probably be murdered this year, once the USSC rules on cruel and unusual punishment. That is not the issue they should be ruling on and you know it.

Do you know what it is like to sit with your father before a scheduled execution and realize he is probably innocent of the crime?

Twice I did that last year, Sept and Dec. 2007. Now that is cruel and unusual punishment for me and the victims family. People don't realize that there are two sets of victims when a crime is committed, the victims family and friends, and the convicted's family and friends. Is it really justice and closure for either set of victims if we murder the wrong person?

So something about this or speak of it and I will change parties. Right now, I am just disgusted with both parties.


Sherrie Stone

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