Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Some people claim that the death penalty does not do anything to help the victims’ families. However, the same can be said of life imprisonment, it does nothing either. When the killer is executed, it may or may not bring joy to the victims’ family member. But the family members have one undeniable comfort: they can rest easy knowing that the killer is dead and gone instead of sleeping soundly in a prison bed. A dead killer can hurt nobody anymore. Here are 40 quotes from victims’ families in the U.S.A who were satisfied that the killers of their loved ones were gone. The killers were executed between 2005 to 2010:             

1. "I need to know that he's gone, that we don't have to deal with this anymore," said Kristie Reed, now 25 and an advocate for rape victims. "I was totally against the death penalty before this happened, and I didn't know why people would want to do it. But those people haven't been through what we've been through. Now I'm totally for it. He definitely deserves to die. He needs to die for what he did to Stacie." - Kristie Reed is the sister of Stacie Reed who was murdered by Paul Warner Powell on 29 January 1999. Paul Warner Powell was put to death by the electric chair on 18 March 2010.

2. "This is my happy day that I was here to see this execution," said Mary Jane Heiss, the victim's mother. She watched Biros die from her wheelchair while hooked up to an oxygen tank because of lung disease. - Mary Jane Heiss is the mother of Tami L. Engstrom who was murdered by Kenneth Biros on 8 February 1991. He was executed by lethal injection in Ohio on 8 December 2009.

3. "I'm just glad the state of Ohio came up with the procedure," said Tom Heiss, the dead woman's brother. "I have no thoughts for him. I'm glad he's gone. It brought some closure to our family." The Heiss family applauded briefly after Biros' death was announced. - Tom Heiss is the brother of Tami L. Engstrom who was murdered by Kenneth Biros on 8 February 1991. He was executed by lethal injection in Ohio on 8 December 2009.


4. Patty Solomon, Foster's granddaughter, read a statement afterward that said, in part, "The law has been upheld and justice has been served. ... It is time to put this behind us and move on with our lives. It is now our time to heal." - Patty Solomon is the granddaughter of Loretta Mae Foster who was murdered by Lawrence Reynold Jr on January 1994. He was executed by the state of Ohio on 16 March 2010. 

5. "As sad as this may be, and it's very sad, justice has been served," said Terri Rasul, Salman's sister. "I just hope that this is a lesson for the young children today that they will learn not to do what Mark Brown did to my brother." - Terri Rasul is  the sister of Isam Salman who was murdered by Mark Brown on 28 January 1994. Mark Brown was executed on 4 February 2010 in the state of Ohio.

6. Nelson Rivera, whose wife, Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, was gunned down as she vacuumed her van at a Maryland gas station, said that when he watched Muhammad's chest moving for the last time, he was glad. "I feel better. I think I can breathe better," he said. "I'm glad he's gone because he's not going to hurt anyone else." - Nelson Rivera whose wife was shot dead by John Allen Muhammad, she was his 7th victim. He was executed by the state of Virginia on 10 November 2009.

7. Cheryll Witz, whose father, Jerry Taylor, was fatally shot on a Tucson, Ariz., golf course in March 2002, said she was unhappy that Muhammad didn't say anything before he died. But she said his execution begins a new chapter in her life. "I've waited seven long years for this," she said. "My life is totally beginning now. I have all my closure, and my justice and my peace."

"When Muhammad was put to death, I thought justice was served," Cheryll Shaw said at a family home.  Her father, Jerry Taylor, was killed by D.C. snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo on a Tucson golf course.

"The first thing that went across my head when the execution started was just reliving everything of how my dad was killed," she said.

"But then you think, 'this is another life being taken,' but then when you sit back and realize that this was my father he took place in killing, I believe he got what he deserved," Shaw said.

8. The victim's mother, Dottie Poage, also witnessed the execution. She described her son as someone who wanted friends, and made a bad choice in befriending Elijah Page. "He stepped out of those boundaries, and considered someone a friend who took his life and he paid the ultimate price," said Poage. "Elijah Page had the ultimate penalty for his ultimate crime. And for that I am proud of the state, the attorney general, the governor, everyone at the penitentiary for a job well done. I am proud to be an American." - Dottie Poage the mother of Chester Allen Poage, who was murdered by Elijah Page and two men on 12 March 2000. Elijah Page was executed in South Dakota on 11 July 2007. 

9. More than 11 years ago, Erick Martinez awoke to his mother's cries and tried to defend her from an attack by a knife-wielding intruder at their San Antonio home. On Wednesday night, he watched as the man who also stabbed him was put to death. "It wasn't difficult," he said after witnessing the execution of 38-year-old Luis Salazar. "I was kind of looking forward to it." - Erick Martinez whose mother was stabbed to death by Luis Cervantes Salazar on 11 October 1997. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 11 March 2009.

10. Bounds' daughter, Jena Watson, also spoke, saying her mother would have wanted people to forgive Berry. "Tonight, we feel that we have received justice for what was done," she said - Jena Watson whose mother, Mary Bounds was beaten to death by Earl Wesley Berry on 29 November 1987. He was executed by lethal injection in Mississippi on 21 May 2008.

11. Walker and her twin sister, Malissa King Adams, spoke to the media after Holland's execution. They held a picture of the smiling teenager with flowing, shoulder-length blond hair. "We had 11 years with our sister," Walker said. "I'm not having nightmares anymore."

“It took 24 years, 24 of my personal years, to get to this point to see the man die who killed my sister," Walker said. "I can really say it is over with. My sister will finally have peace. I believe that." - Marcie Walker and Melissa King Adams whose sister, Krystal Dee King was murdered by Gerald Holland on 12 September 1986. He was executed on 20 May 2010.

12. Priscilla Hodges said she hopes Bieghler made peace with God before he died and she hopes he is with God. She still thinks he deserved to die. "I believe in the death penalty and, yes, I believe Marvin deserved to die," she said. "Because I believe he killed my children." - Priscilla Hodges is the mother of Tommy Miller, whom along with Kimberly Miller were murdered by Marvin Bieghler on 10 December 1981. Marvin Bieghler was executed by lethal injection in Indiana on 27 January 2006.

13. "We just wanted to know justice would be done," Able Nandin, the victim's brother, said after watching the execution. "Justice was done." Addressing his slain brother by name, he added, "We miss you and we love you." - Able Nandin is the brother of Nemecio Nandin who was murdered by Luis Ramirez on 8 April 1998. Luis Ramirez was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 20 October 2005.

14. Wesley Adams, Jr. released a statement after the execution: "We have sympathy and pray for comfort for those who will grieve Steve's passing. We do, however, feel that justice was upheld and that this fate was sealed many years ago. We feel that the enforcement of duly deliberated and prescribed sentences send a stronger message, as to the sanctity of human life, than does the sparing of those who have taken life willfully and brutally." - Wesley Adams Jr whose father and stepmother was murdered by Steven Van McHone on 3 June 1990. Steven Van McHone (March 23, 1970 – November 11, 2005) was a murderer executed by the U.S. state of North Carolina. He was convicted of killing his mother, Mildred Johnson Adams, and stepfather Wesley Dalton Adams, Sr. on June 3, 1990 in Surry County, North Carolina.

15. Lawson said she will drive to Huntsville this morning to watch Anderson get his due and hopefully begin to close the trying 14-year wait for justice to be served. "I'm not a violent person at all, but I am looking forward to this closure knowing that he is going to die for what he did," she said. The family has had to endure the trial - during and after which Lawson said she "couldn't eat or sleep for a while because of it" - and years of state and federal court appeals, which always jolted them back to the gruesome details of Audra's death.   

Lawson said she always had the nagging worry that as long as Anderson was alive, other children were in danger. "We had him, but there was still the possibility that he could escape or what have you, and if he did this to another child it would have killed us," she said - Grace Lawson is the grandmother of Audra Ann Reeves who was murdered by Robert James Anderson on 9 June 1992. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 20 July 2006. 

16. Sonia Hollingsworth-Wills, the mother of Conrad Johnson, the last man slain that October, sat in the back seat of a car outside the prison before the execution, which she chose not to witness. But she said she wanted to be there and was counting the minutes until Muhammad's death. "It was the most horrifying day of my life," she said. "I'll never get complete closure but at least I can put this behind me." - Sonia Hollingsworth-Wills whose son, Conrad Johnson who was shot dead by John Allen Muhammad on 22 October 2002. He was executed by the state of Virginia on 10 November 2009.

17. Mark Velcheck of Florissant, one of Wood's brothers, said earlier Tuesday he was relieved that the sentence would be carried out. "I'm glad for Barbara that this person will pay the price," said Velcheck, a witness. "You hate to say you want somebody to die, but this guy deserves it." - Mark Velcheck of Florissant is the brother of Barbara Jo Wood. She was murdered by Stanley L. Hall on 15 January 1994. Stanley was executed by lethal injection in Missouri on 16 March 2005.

18. The former truck driver-turned-drifter confessed to killing five people including Joseph Daron Jr., 46, of Milford. Daron’s 23-year-old daughter decided not to witness the execution, but said she was happy to see her father’s murderer loaded into the hearse. Rachel Daron and her mother, Sandy Bronner, both of Amelia, watched from a prison visitors’ room. “I’m just glad this is finally over,” said Rachel, who was 4 when her father was fatally shot twice in the chest by the hitchhiker.

Rachel Daron said she wasn’t disappointed that Fautenberry didn’t make a statement “because I know he’s not sorry. He didn’t care. Even if he did (make a statement) it’s not going to bring my dad back or any of the other victims back. I just saw him go to the hearse and that was good enough for me.” Rachel said she doesn’t remember much about her father. “He liked to drink coffee. I never really got to know him. He was stolen from me.” - Rachel Daron whose father, Joseph Daron Jr. was murdered by John Joseph Fautenberry on 17 February 1991. He was executed by lethal injection in Ohio on 14 July 2009. 

19. “I can sleep a little more better,” Latisha Clark, Patrick Clark’s twin sister, said after watching Moore die. “Knowing that he’s not going to be on the street, I can feel more comfortable,” her sister, Peggy, added. “Justice has been served.” - Family members of Patrick Clark who was murdered by Frank Moore on 21 January 1994. He was executed by lethal injection on 21 January 2009 in the State of Texas.

20. "It brings closure that he is gone, but it will never bring back Julie - what he's done to our family, I hope that he did say he's sorry to someone for what he had done," said Belinda Crites, another cousin. "We want to make sure the devil dies. He's gone now so I hope they can rest in peace." Belinda Crites is the cousin of Julie Heath. Eric Randall Nance (January 1, 1960 – November 28, 2005) was an American man who was convicted of the murder of Julie Heath on 11 October 1993 in the state of Arkansas. While on death row, the former heating and air conditioning technician obtained his high school equivalency certificate and penned multiple poems, one of which was set to music and recorded by the Celtic Tenors. Nance was executed in 2005, twelve years following the crime.

21. "He's going to hell." Nicholas Long, the victim's stepson, held a sign with Long's photograph. "We're going to get some justice at 12 o'clock," he said. After the execution, Long's relatives planned to gather and celebrate, he said. "It's been 11 years. We need to get justice." – Nicholas Long is the stepson of Sandra Lee Long who was murdered by Brian D. "Red" Steckel on 2 September 1994. Brian D. "Red" Steckel was executed by lethal injection in Delaware on 4 November 2005.

22. Jamie Reising, 21, who watched Barton kill her mother, was given permission to leave the Warren County jail to witness the execution. She is serving time on a drug charge. "This is closure for our family," she said afterward. "He took the glue that was holding us together." 

Her sister, Tiffany, 24, who was wearing a button with her mother’s picture on it, said she would "mourn the loss of Rocky Barton," but she was glad that "justice was served." "We’re going to try and move forward as a family. We know that’s what our mother would want us to do." Barton’s nephew, Andy Mitchell, said, "Rocky is home now. He’s in a better place." - Children of Kimbirli Jo Barton who was murdered by Rocky Lee Barton on 16 January 2003. He said he deserved execution and gave up his appeals that could have delayed his sentence for years and was executed by lethal injection in Ohio on 12 July 2006.

23. "Daryl Mack will never harm anyone ever again," May said. "It has been a long and very rough road for us all. Tonight that journey ends and closure begins. Justice has been served." "A weight was lifted off our shoulders," he said. "Life starts over. We don't have to worry about Daryl Mack occupying our lives, controlling our lives, wondering when the next appeal is going to come. It is a new beginning." "Mom couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day gift. Rest in peace, mom." – Charles May whose mother, Betty Jane May She was murdered by Daryl Linnie Mack on 28 October 1988. He was executed by lethal injection in Nevada on 26 April 2006. Daryl Linnie Mack, a 47 year-old black male, was voluntarily executed by lethal injection at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City, Nevada on April 26, 2006. Mack was found guilty of the 1988 murder of Betty Jane May, a 55 year-old white female. Mack, who was 30 years old when he committed the capital crime, was sentenced to death on May 15, 2002. He was the 1019th execution carried out in US since 1976.

24. "He got what he deserved," said Bailey, who said the family has suffered depression and nightmares from the horror. In a written statement, Bailey said he was convinced that Lundgren would kill again if he were released from prison. "There is only one sure way to make sure this never happens again: To be sure his life is forfeited for the terrible deeds he has done. The memories of his victims and the welfare of society and demands of justice all dictate this final act of cleansing," Bailey wrote. "My only regret is that he has but one life to give." - Donald Bailey is the brother of Cheryl Avery. The Avery family who were murdered by Jeffrey Don Lundgren and his accomplices on 17 April 1989. He was executed by lethal injection in Ohio on 24 October 2006. 

25. “I do not believe in killing people, but when someone so close to you is taken away, you realize there are some people in this world that deserve justice, and he is one of them.” - Dawn Randolph is the great grandchild of Otis Earl Short who was shot dead by Jeffrey David Matthews on 27 January 1994. Jeffrey David Matthews was executed by the State of Oklahoma on 11 January 2011.

26. Mares said he wished to thank several law enforcement agencies from the Amarillo area including the district attorney’s office, the Amarillo Police Department and several forensic investigators who worked on the case. “I would also like to thank the state of Texas, because I’m very happy and thankful we do have the death penalty,” he said. “It’s something we definitely need in our society. When you lose a family member like we lost, it never escapes your mind. It’s the first thing on your mind in the morning and the last thing on your mind at night.” - Robert Mares the father of Michael Barrow who was murdered by Larry Donnell Davis on 28 August 1995. Larry Donnell Davis was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 31 August 2008.

27. "I thought this day would never come," said Crane's sister, Renee Lander, who witnessed the execution, speaking at a news conference after the execution. "We waited a long time to see him put to death. I'm very glad to have seen him take his last breath. I wish it could have been brutal like Rhonda's death." - Renee Lander whose sister, Rhonda Crane who was murdered by Paul Woodward on 23 July 1986. He was executed by the state of Mississippi on 19 May 2010.

28. Greg Gordon, McBride's brother-in-law, said Burns' death brought some closure to their family. "For nearly 16 years the wheels of justice have had our family on a nightmare of a roller coaster ride," he said. "Today, justice was served for that senseless act, and the ride has finally come to an end." - Greg Gordon is the brother-in-law of Floyd Melvin "Mike" McBride who was murdered on 9 November 1994. The killer, Daniel Burns was executed in the state of Mississippi on 21 July 2010.

29. The execution was witnessed by the victim's brother, Jim Kirby, son Nathan, who was just 4 years old when his father died, and other family members. Afterward, Jim Kirby said Boltz's execution was "long overdue." "It was a horrific crime," he said. "It deserved the punishment that was given. "We're all relieved that it's all over with." - Jim Kirby is the brother of Doug Kirby who was murdered by his stepfather, John Albert Boltz on 18 April 1984. He was executed by lethal injection on 1 June 2006.

30. Judy Woodard, Union City, said early today that her great-aunt now can rest in peace. "It's been a long time. I'm so glad it's over," she said. "Justice has been done." - Judy Woodard is the great niece of Ruby Hutslar who was murdered by Gregory Scott Johnson on 23 June 1985. Gregory Scott Johnson was executed by lethal injection in Indiana on 25 May 2005.
31. Bagwell's execution was the third this year in Texas. Ten inmates have execution dates set in the next three months. "I'm just glad it's all over with," said Monica Boone, Tassy Boone's mother. "Everybody that's been touched by this madman can rest in peace." - Monica Boone is the mother of Tassy Boone who was murdered by Dennis Wayne Bagwell on 20 September 1995. Dennis was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 17 February 2005.

32. "We can get on with our lives now and have peace," said Stotler's mother, Mary Ann Bockwich. Stotler's daughter, Lisa Stotler Balloun, said the day "was not a good day no matter what anyone says" and expressed sympathy for Perry's family. But she said his last statement validated the jury's death sentence. "I needed to look into his eyes and see if he was the monster I had made him out to be, because he was just a 19-year-old kid at the time," Balloun said. "When he said that, I knew that he was. I knew that justice had been served." - Family members of Sandra Stotler who was murdered by Michael Perry on 24 October 2001. He was executed by the state of Texas on 1 July 2010.

33. "My brother died a horrible, horrible death," said Gene Langley, 48, of Rocky Mount, N.C. "Christopher, he was a coward. ... He needs to be punished." Gene Langley and six other family members, including John Langley's adult daughter and son, plan to witness Emmett's execution. "It's not going to bring my brother back by no means in this world, but it does not allow him to live and that's what I'm after," Gene Langley said. "He didn't kill one person, he killed five — he killed a brother, he killed a son, he killed an uncle, he killed a father, and he killed a grandfather," he said. - Gene Langley brother of John F. Langley who was murdered by Christopher Scott Emmett on 27 April 2001. He was executed by lethal injection in Virginia on 24 July 2008.

34. "This is the end of a nightmare," Wesley Wuertz said after the execution. "There's no more waiting for the next appeal, no more wondering if a technicality will get him off. Š What he got tonight was justice." - Wesley Wuertz whose family members, Melody Wuertz and Jessica Rae Wuertz was murdered by Jimmie Ray Slaughter on 2 July 1991. Jimmie Ray Slaughter was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on 15 March 2005.

35. Eugene Cummins, father of Cummins and uncle of the deceased sisters, said Wednesday that Gray’s execution would not affect him because his family was already at peace. “I don’t mean to sound callous or uncaring, but Marlin Gray, for example, is to be executed tonight and he has made his own bed and he must lie in it,” he said. “What he did hurt my family years ago, but he no longer has the power to hurt my family.” - Eugene Cummins is the uncle of Julie Kerry and Robin Kerry. They were both murdered by Marlin Gray on 4 April 1991. Marlin Gray was executed by lethal injection in Missouri on 26 October 2005.

36. "It means in this particular case, the system worked, it was thorough," Stephen Dixon, whose mother was killed in the attack, said after watching Richard die. "The person executed deserved what he got." Dixon said he wasn't too concerned with the delays. "I was told to expect such things," he said. "It's been a long 21 years." - Stephen Dixon whose mother was murdered by Michael Wayne Richard on 18 August 1986. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 25 September 2007.

37. The Harrison family declined to speak after the execution. But Harrison’s brother-in-law, T&D Staff Writer Richard Walker, attended the execution. “We agree with the sentence wholeheartedly. At this point, we no longer have to worry about Ivey receiving another appeal or hearing to review his case. Now, we can just focus on Tommy and Shaye (Harrison’s late wife) and their memory and Mr. Montgomery,” Walker said. - Richard Walker is the brother-in-law of police officer, Tommy Harrison who was shot dead by Thomas Treshawn Ivey on 15 January 1993. He was executed by lethal injection in South Carolina on 5 August 2009.

38. Immediately after the execution, a family friend of one of the victims, Chris Purdue, said, "Goodnight. I hope he stays in hell forever." Ferguson, a long-time drug user and high-school wrestler — he now weighs 285 pounds — taunted his victims' families at the sentencing phase of his trial two years ago when he said he took satisfaction and pleasure in killing their loved ones. “I will never show any remorse, even on the day I die.” He didn't. - Chris Purdue is the family friend of one of the victims of Darrell Wayne Ferguson’s victims. Darrell Wayne "Gator" Ferguson (January 30, 1978 – August 8, 2006) was a convicted murderer executed by the state of Ohio. At the age of 28, he was the youngest inmate put to death in Ohio since 1962. He spent 2 years and 10 months on death row and had waived all appeals after his 2003 conviction for three counts of aggravated murder. 

39. "I'm feeling relief," she said later, "almost like we held our breath for 12 years and now we can let it out." - Jennifer Morgan is the widow of Fabian Dominguez who was murdered by Johnathan Bryant Moore on 15 January 1995. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on 17 January 2007.

40. Ricky Paules, the mother at whom Rolling had glanced, said she had one reaction: ``Hatred. Very, very bitter throughout the whole thing. I saw his breath go out of him. . . . We waited for this time. And justice was done.'' With Rolling's death, she said, she could remember only her daughter, Tracy Paules. - Ricky Paules is the mother of Tracy Paules who was murdered by serial killer, Danny Rolling on 27 August 1990. Daniel Harold Rolling (May 26, 1954 – October 25, 2006), also known as The Gainesville Ripper, was an American serial killer who murdered five students in Gainesville, Florida. Rolling later confessed to raping several of his victims, committing an additional 1989 triple homicide in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attempting to murder his father in May 1990. In total, Rolling confessed to killing eight people. He was executed by lethal injection in 2006.

"Execute the guilty. Honor the victims. Educate the uninformed."
Pro Death Penalty Resource community


  1. You failed to mention the victims in the http://camerontoddwillingham.com/ case, what justice to they get when Cameron was allegedly wrongly executed for a crime he may never have committed, a fact suppressed by the state. How many others have been executed for which evidence was later found or at the time suppressed that would have proven innocence or other mitigating circumstances which would have negated the death penalty? Such people show why the death penalty is not an appropriate method of sentencing. Life imprisonment is adequate, and allows for an individual to be later exonerated if evidence arises to prove that they were innocent. Killing someone means that they are just dead, and whether they are later found innocent cannot undo that fact. Ask Governor Perry, he has a large carpet under which the remains of Cameron Todd Willingham were swept without investigation.

    1. <> If Cameron Todd Willingham was alive, I will never get him to babysit my children. I got better things to do. Anyway, Cameron Todd Willingham is a guilty monster, http://corsicanadailysun.com/thewillinghamfiles/x46870673/-09-06-09-No-doubts

      <> I cannot think of an innocent person executed since 1977 when Gary Gilmore was executed. Life imprisonment is better? After the death penalty is abolished, life without parole will be the next target.

    2. The problem with limiting the maximum penalty for murder to life without parole is that in the not-so-distant future, some far Left high court will undoubtedly call THAT "cruel and unusual punishment". That's why we can’t give the opponents of the death penalty one square inch of ground. We’ve all seen what has happened in the last 60 years when we’ve compromised on other social issues like gun control, obscenity, religion and abortion. If we let the Left in, they aren't going to leave until their notion of justice is the new reality. And I'm sure that as soon as they get the death penalty to fall, these same people will begin again in earnest with their NEW cause of making 'life without parole' a thing of the past as well. That’s why state-sponsored executions are best. Now if we could only remove the plethora of appeals and other road-blocks that these people have purposely installed to slow the process down, the death penalty might even become the deterrent to murder that it always could've been.