Death penalty still lives
Letter to the Editor
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the approximately 150 Notre Dame and Saint Mary's faculty and students who took time from their finals preparations last semester to attend the execution of Mr. D.H. Fleenor of Madison, Ind. on Dec. 9, 1999.
Your presence was important for three reasons. First, your participation in the prayer vigil paid appropriate respect to the lives of Mr. Fleenor and his victims, Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Nyla Harlow.
Secondly, each of you, along with the many other Indiana citizens in attendance, served as a collective voice against the death penalty, which has been well documented in media statewide, such as the Indianapolis Star, The Times, The Elkhart Truth, The Michigan City News-Dispatch and The South Bend Tribune.
Finally, each of you were witnesses to what happened Dec. 9. All of you experienced the atmosphere of tension and anxiety as we each waited for the announcement of Mr. Fleenor's passing. Ultimately, when Department of Correction spokesperson Pam Pattison came out 37 minutes past the scheduled execution time, you each heard her describe with a trembling voice how the state needed three attempts to administer the fatal injections while Mr. Fleenor was strapped to the gurney and fondled with the needle.
Never forget what you saw and how you felt that night. The only way the death penalty will ever be abolished is if people like you continue to make your voice heard. Campus groups like Pax Christi, Right to Life and Amnesty International make it easy to get involved in issues like this on a regular basis, so get involved.
Thank you again for your presence and keep up the good work!
Amnesty International ND
December 10, 1999
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, January 19, 19100