Members of the Terrell County NAACP speak out against death penalty

Members of the Terrell County NAACP speak out against death penalty

TERRELL CO., GA (WALB) - Member of the Terrell County NAACP are speaking out against the death penalty after the state executes the second woman in Georgia's history Monday night.

Terrell County NAACP President, Reverend Ezekiel Holley has been fighting to abolish the death penalty for more than 20 years and said he won't stop until it's gone.

Members of the Terrell County NAACP Branch walk the streets of Dawson singing "We Shall Overcome" in a fight to abolish the death penalty in Georgia.

"Life without parole is a hard punishment, but murdering I haven't read anywhere that Jesus justified taking a life," said Rev. Ezekiel Holley, President of Terrell County NAACP.

"God created us and if you didn't give us life why are you taking it away," said

Vinshay Brown, NACCP Member.

They held signs saying "Stop the Killing" and "Abolish the Death Penalty" as Kelly Gissendaner became the first woman executed in the state in 70 years. She was convicted of orchestrating her husband's death in 1997. Family members say Gissendaner turned her life around and Holley agrees.

"If God can call Moses a murderer to lead us out of Egypt, I'm sure that God can speak to Kelly that she could lead the people who are in prison to Christ," said Rev. Holley.

In 1945, Lena Baker from Cuthbert became the first woman executed in Georgia. The black woman killed her white boss in self-defense, but an all-white jury convicted her of murder. 60-years later in 2005, the state issued Baker a full pardon.

"It's too late, it's over due. Tells me that there is two yard sticks of justice tells me that there is no fairness in the judicial system," said Rev. Holley

Dawson Mayor Christopher Wright knows what it's like to be a victim of a crime after he was shot six times more than a year ago.

"Sometime has past but I've got a forgiving heart now," said Mayor Christopher Wright.

He believes the state is sending mix messages.

"How can you say it's illegal not to murder but in the same breath say the assailants, the suspects we're going to put them to death. I don't think that's right," continued Mayor Wright.

As of Monday morning, a petition of more than 40 thousand signatures to grant Gissendaner clemency plans to be sent to Governor Nathan Deal. However the Governor has no authority to grant clemency.

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