killed my wife served 17 years of a life-plus sentence.
Ned Flemming of Cornelius, in response to "It's past time to abolish the death
penalty in North Carolina" (Feb. 15 For the Record):
As John Moore states in his For the Record column, "Those who do wrong must be
punished, but this system is flawed."
I could not agree more.
The young man who murdered my wife in 1989 accepted a plea agreement to avoid
the death penalty. His sentence - Life plus 28 years. He confessed to this
crime when presented with overwhelming evidence. There was absolutely no doubt
that he killed her. She left a widower, two teenage children, her mother, her
brother and countless friends and family.
The murderer served 17 years, the last 3 years in minimum security with weekend
passes. He has been a free man for the past 5 years. His early release was
based on a "mistake" admitted to by the Parole Board. Yet, there was never an
apology nor an explanation. Yes, the system is seriously flawed.
Mr. Moore states that respect for justice is lost when the state sponsors
violence. I contend that respect for justice is lost when the state does not
enforce the laws we have. The system is flawed when we spend so much more
defending criminals than we do prosecuting them and when Demeatrius Montgomery
seeks a new trial after being convicted of murdering police officers Jeff
Shelton and Sean Clark in 2007 and when lawyers work the system with no regard
for the guilt of their clients. The court system is clogged by the endless
appeals and legal maneuvering orchestrated by those very attorneys whose
mission seems to be to get their clients off at any cost. Isn't it ironic that
in most cases, we taxpayers are the ones footing the bill? Yes, the system is
flawed. Very flawed.
I am an active member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Homicide
Support Group and, aside from my personal experience, see first hand the
devastating effect that the act of murder has on those left behind. Mr. Moore
says that he can only imagine the anguish they (we) have suffered. No, Mr.
Moore, I don't think you can.
We survivors of homicide are frankly a bit offended when someone says they know
what we feel, or what we are going through. Not until you have been through the
horror of losing a loved one through homicide will you know. And I pray to God
that you never will.
I seriously doubt Mr. Moore's statement that in North Carolina, the abolition
of the death penalty is the will of the electorate. He may convince some
lawmakers, but I'm not buying it.
(source: Charlotte Observer)