An execution is planned to take place this evening at 6:00 pm (5:00 Eastern time) in Alabama, where, it seems, they just love killing people, especially poor black people. Similar to other years, this year they are second only to Texas in numbers of executions both carried out already and planned for the rest of the year. The man whose life hangs today in the political balance is Darrell Grayson, who has been imprisoned for approximately twenty-six years, and has spent much of that time writing poetry in his cell. He has published at least two chapbooks.
Please call, e-mail, or fax Alabama's governor, as part of a wide campaign launched by respected groups, such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Innocence Project, to ask Gov. Bob Riley to at very least postpone Grayson's execution.
From today's Birmingham News: "Representatives of a half-dozen activist organizations including the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on Wednesday launched an 11th-hour appeal to Gov. Bob Riley to stay the execution of Death Row inmate Darrell Grayson.
[Supporters argue] that Grayson could be cleared by DNA tests not available at the time of his 1981 trial. He is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. today.
[A PHADP Advocate stated that] Grayson, who is black, was pressured into a confession by white police officers, tried by a court that provided only $500 to be spent on his defense, and convicted by an all-white jury."
The then nineteen-year-old Grayson's lawyer was a divorce attorney, who, according to Project Hope To Abolish the Death Penalty , told Grayson to "throw himself on the mercy of the court and confess, even though according to witnesses he had been in an alcoholic black out the night of the crime with no recollection of the event." Other such information on the case is listed on the group's website.
To reach the Honorable Governor Bob Riley:
PHONE: 334 242 7100 FAX: 334 242 0937