Report from a Nacogdoches TV Station of a Delegation Headed to Huntsville to Protest 200th Execution Under Gov Rick Perry.
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – A Nacogdoches delegation, including SFA students, a professor and a preacher are in Huntsville expressing their opposition to the death penalty. They chose tonight’s execution because if marks the 200th person to die under the state leadership of Governor Rick Perry.
Tuesday a self-described “non-caring monster” is preparing to die. Terry Lee Hankins was condemned for the 2001 slayings of his two stepchildren. The 34-year-old also was wanted for murdering his estranged wife — the children’s mother. Hankins told officers that he also killed his father and half-sister almost a year earlier.
Right now protests and a vigil are going on in Huntsville, as well as other places across the state. Dr. Jerry Williams, a SFA sociology professor is a speaker at the Walls Unit protest. So is Nacogdoches pastor Kyle Childress. The men oppose capital punishment. Childress for moral reasons. “Statistics show that there is an overwhelmingly number of poor and African American and Hispanic people on death row. Much more greater proportion than in the general population. There’s studies that show it’s not a deterrent in crime,” expressed Childress, pastor of Austin Heights Baptist Church.
Williams is also speaking against the death penalty. His sister was brutally murdered and her killer only spent 15 years in prison. He explains why he doesn’t believe in execution. “I hated him. I wanted to see him die. I wanted to see him suffer in prison. And I thought justice would be done only in the way, but what I realized over time was that my hate really diminished me. It damaged me and did nothing for him,” explained Williams.
Texas has executed 438 people since 1982. Arguments for the practice include, it’s a deterrent and provides social protection.