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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Family of Racist Hate Crime Victim Pleads for No Death Penalty

In a remarkable letter, the family of James Craig Anderson -- victim of an apparent racist hate crime and driven over by a truck to his death on June 26 -- has asked the state of Mississippi and federal officials to take the death penalty off the table in considering the case of the seven white teenagers who allegedly murdered Anderson.

The incident drew national attention partly because a security camera caught the beating and the truck striking the man while he tried to escape. 

A letter written by Anderson’s sister, Barbara Anderson Young (who reportedly speaks for the family) as reported by CNN.com, states: “We ask that you not seek the death penalty for anyone involved in James’ murder...Our opposition to the death penalty is deeply rooted in our religious faith, a faith that was central in James’ life as well."

The letter also explains there is a second reason: “We also oppose the death penalty because it historically has been used in Mississippi and the South primarily against people of color for killing whites. Executing James’ killers will not help to balance the scales. But sparing them may help to spark a dialogue that one day will lead to the elimination of capital punishment.”

Deryl Dedmon, 19, of Brandon, Mississippi, one of seven white teenagers (and the only one presently in jail) pled not guilty at his arraignment on Friday. He is being charged with capital murder and a hate crime. CNN reports the teens beat Anderson repeatedly, yelling racial slurs.  Then Dedmon allegedly drove his Ford F-250 truck over Anderson, leaving him to die. 

For other such incidents, current trends and more see my new e-book vs. the death penalty, Dead Reckoning.

1 comment:

ThePoliticalCat said...

She is a better person than I will ever be. Kudos to his family for having the strength of their religious beliefs. They must be Democrats. Republicans at a recent debate cheered the death penalty.