Protestors say death penalty is too harsh - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protestors say death penalty is too harsh

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May 6, 2008

Americus--  A south Georgia killer was pronounced dead at 7:51 Tuesday night.  He's the first inmate in the country executed since the United States Supreme Court ruled lethal injection is legal.

53-year-old William Earl Lynd killed his girlfriend Ginger Moore in Berrien County in 1988. As the execution was carried out, death penalty opponents around the state protested.

"Say no to execution," yelled Elizabeth Dede to cars passing by in Americus Tuesday evening.

It's a debate of to kill or not to kill. "Yes to life," yelled Dede.

Protestors heard many responses to that question as they held signs at one corner in Americus. "A couple of people drove by and were shouting 'kill him, kill him, kill him'," said Dede who's with Koinonia Partners.

The 'him' at the center of the protests and shouts is William Earl Lynd who was put to death Tuesday night by lethal injection. "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?" asks Dede.

There's no doubt for the six voices as they chant 'No to killing, yes to life' on Forsyth Street.   By standing up, Dede says they're saying no to the death penalty.

"No to blood, loss and vengeance," said Dede.

"It's cruel. It's unusual and there are a lot of countries that have abolished the death penalty," said Reverend Ezekiel Holley. Holley is a board member of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. He wants death penalties abolished in the state.

"This gentleman has spent 20 years of his life incarcerated and it's going to cost the state just as much to kill him as it is to keep him for the rest of his life," said Reverend Holley.

"I feel that it just isn't right. It isn't fair," said 13-year-old protestor Tabatha Holley.

At just 13, Tabatha Holley is as loud as the rest with her opposition. "I feel ashamed that I live in a state that has such a rule that we have to kill to show what is right," said Holley.

Close to 7 p.m.,signs were placed down and replaced with clasped hands. "We pray eternal God that you will touch the hearts and minds of our elected officials to do the right thing," said Rev. Holley as he prayed with the other protestors.

But before the clock hit 8 p.m., it was already done. Lynd took his last breath. Protestors say it's not the last you'll see of them.

"Even for the people who are so angry and they drive by yelling kill him, it makes a difference. They have to stop and think," said Dede. As some gain closure from a condemned murderer's death, others feel justice isn't being executed.

Similar protests were held at the prison in Jackson where Lynd was executed Tuesday night and in several other cities.  

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