Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Marlin Gray

On October 26, Marlin Gray was executed by the state of Missouri for the rape and murder of Julie and Robin Kerry on the Chain of Rocks Bridge near St. Louis in 1991.

Originally the girls' cousin, Thomas Cummins, was arrested, and confessed but retracted the confession claiming his confession had been coerced in police custody. He later filed suit and was reportedly paid $150,000.

Meanwhile four young men were arrested, three of whom received death sentences. Daniel Winfrey was too young for a death sentence; Antonio Richardson originally was sentenced to death but that sentence was commuted to life because a judge, not jury, gave him death. That left Gray and Reginald Clemons, who is still on death row.

These convictions highlight some problems with our criminal justice system. First, the victims, their cousin, and Winfrey are white; Richardson, Clemons, and Gray are/were black.

Second, the evidence is completely dependent on eyewitness testimony and confession. Gray, like Cummins (and Clemons), confessed--Gray confessed only to rape--but retracted their confessions claiming coercive interrogation techniques. The other evidence was what others said. Since each one had something to gain for pointing the finger, the testimony of all of them is inherently untrustworthy.

Abolish the death penalty!

Please add your own comments and join the conversation.

Margaret Phillips


At 1:19 PM, Blogger sibling of schizophrenic said...

I almost can't believe our country still has the death penalty.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty said...

Horrible, isn't it. From your handle I think you are concerned about mental illness. Do you think exempting the mentally ill should be the next step?

At 8:16 PM, Blogger christian peper said...

We should reach out to all that hate this government. People like me that hate this government often forget about the death penalty. All those who are anti-government would support an end to the death penalty. Maybe reach out to libertarians? Christian Peper

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

On death row is my brother Richard Clay. Accussed of murdering Randy Martindale no gun residue was found on his hands but was on Stacey Martindale's hands. What's up with our system. What happend to the fairness in our court systems. I think they stink and it is about time we take a turn for the better. Why don't we as CHRISTIANS take a stand for the correct justice system? I believe in my brother's innocense. Please pray that the gun is found and the truth finally comes to light.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

I also would like to say if there is anyone with information on this case that wants to come clean and tell the truth or knows anything you are more than welcome to email me at
I am going to do everything in my power to make sure the person who did shoot Randy is known and my brother's name is cleared. I feel that the death penalty is cruel and inhumane and should be stopped.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

The stories above, and the story about Marlin Gray should be evidence enough that the death penalty is an outdated form of punishment. There is a list of ways or possible scenarios that could prove the innocence of Marlin Gray, that should get the state thinking about reasonable doubt of his guilt, and even possible innocence. The confession of another man, and the race of the condemned offenders are black, while the man who originally confessed was white. The death penalty is a final ‘solution’. There is no way to reverse the deed after it is done, nor is there a way to exonerate the condemned after the fact. The finality of this punishment begs the question of practicality. Sure the death penalty keeps the executed from offending again, but at the expense of their life. How is a jury of one’s peers allowed to condemn one to death? That seems counterintuitive to the whole scenario. As Margaret already mentioned, this case, and cases like it, exemplify the flaws inherent in America’s criminal justice system. The governments of all the states, as well as the federal government should look to rectify these problems in order to ensure the best justice that the United States can provide.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger terry86 said...

Ok its like this I understand your points on the death penalty but I'm pro death penalty for this reason only and thats these sick individuals who had no malice afterthought but to murder another humanbeing to viciously kill like that with no thought but to want the individual dead is horrible they had no care for someone else is life so why should I care if they live. Alot of these anti death penalty states outhere eho leave these murders in prison for life sentences thats our tax money we pay to keep these sick indiviuals alive and it pisses me of. I will agree the death penalty is far from perfect but is what we have to protect us from these indivuals who already murderd once and may not hesitate to do it again so these are my reasons for being pro death penalty.


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