Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In memory of those innocent victims in Illinois


On March 9, 2011, Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois. On signing the bill, Quinn stated, "It is impossible to create a perfect system, one that is free of all mistakes, free of all discrimination with respect to race or economic circumstance or geography. To have a consistent, perfect death penalty system, I have concluded, after looking at everything I’ve been given, that that’s impossible in our state. I think it’s the right and just thing to abolish the death penalty."

            REALLY? PAT QUINN? If there is a problem with the system, what you must do is to fix it. There are more miscarriages of justice when you fail to put the evildoers to their deserved deaths. To add insult to injury, I wonder why you support abortion when it does nothing but kill innocents. There were innocent men exonerated from Death Row and they were not executed, when the death penalty gets abolished, more innocent people will die without it. If you don’t believe it, Homicides in Chicago soared by 60 percent in the first three months of 2012, continuing a troublesome trend that began late last year. Non fatal shootings also rose sharply in the first quarter, Police Department statistics show.
          
These two high profile cases will also be lessons learn from abolishing the death penalty:

The murder of Jitka Vesel.

The murder of Kelli O'Laughlin.

Remember Edmund Burke once said, “Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.”

Immanuel Kant will be disappointed with you; he once said that a society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral.

            Here are two more quotes to lecture you:

               
           We need a brave leader like the current Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Chalerm Ubumrung! We need someone who stands up for the public and not getting manipulated by those abolitionists!

            Please remember the following murdered victims and their families whom justice was denied in Illinois:

Rachel Sloop White whose 12-year-old Lonna, was murdered by Daniel Ramsey of Keokuk, Iowa, in 1996 near Burnside. Ramsey had not one but two murder trials, and was sentenced to death for shooting Lonna Sloop and Laura Marson of Basco to death after both trials (the first was overturned on a technicality). He is one of 15 people on Death Row in Illinois. Illinois has a moratorium on the death penalty, so Ramsey will sit on death row for the rest of his life unless the moratorium is lifted. 

"That," she says of efforts to abolish the death penalty, "is crazy." 

"There are different circumstances, but in mine, it did happen. They know he (Ramsey) did it, he knows he did it. He deserves to die," says White, who survived being shot in the head on that horrible day in July 1996. "It's not fair to my sister. She didn't even get to have kids, to go to prom and to graduate from high school, to make a living. 

"It's not fair. I would definitely tell them that." 

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: But such feelings were not shared by Rachel Williams, who still has bullet fragments in her skull from the night in 1996 when Daniel Ramsey shot her in the head, killed her 12-year-old sister, raped and killed her best friend, and wounded two toddlers.
Williams was so determined to see her former boyfriend receive the death penalty that she relived the gruesome details of the shooting before a jury twice — the second time after the Illinois Supreme Court ordered a new trial. On Wednesday, Williams said she was reliving that night all over again, knowing that Ramsey's life would be spared while her sister's was not.

"Nobody knows what it's like to hear your sister say, 'Don't shoot me,'" said Williams, 32, of Peoria. "Why should he be able to sit there in prison until he turns over and dies? It's not fair."

Jim Dudovick whose daughter, Dawn Dudovick was murdered by Williams Peeples on 1988 in Illinois. 

CHICAGO -- When Gov. George Ryan For the former member of the Canadian House of Commons, see George Ryan (Canadian politician).

Surely there would be no question about the fate of her killer, William Peeples, who burst into Dawn Dudovick's Schaumburg apartment in 1988, stabbed her more than 30 times and left her to die.

Peeples not only left a trail of blood between his apartment and hers, but DNA tests confirmed that the blood in Peeples' sink was hers.

But now, Jim Dudovick and the relatives of scores of other murder victims find themselves fighting once again for what they thought they had won long ago: a death sentence for the killers.

"I thought the hell of all this was over and we could heal," Dudovick said. "Now it seems like we're fighting for justice for my daughter all over again."

Jamie Tsambikou whose sister, Bridget Drobney was murdered by Robert Turner on 1985 in Illinois. 

"I tell you what this means if this happens," said Jamie Tsambikou, whose family will attend the clemency hearing for Robert Turner who was sentenced to death for the 1985 slaying of her sister, Bridget Drobney. "It means what little justice my sister got will be undone. That will be the legacy of Governor Ryan."

Crystal Fitch whose sister, Felicia Lewis was raped and murdered by Anthony Brown in 1994 in Illinois. Brown also murdered Reginald Wilson, Lewis’s boyfriend.
For people like Crystal Fitch, the hearings will be unlike anything they've been through during the years of trials, motions and appeals.

"There's no new evidence, nothing new," Fitch said of the case against Anthony Brown who was convicted of raping and murdering her sister, Felicia Lewis, and killing Lewis' boyfriend, Reginald Wilson, in 1994.

"This is not one of those cases where DNA evidence could exonerate him. DNA tests confirmed he did it. He knows it, we know it," she said.

Dawn Pueschel, whose brother and sister-in-law were beaten to death in Chicago in 1983.
"The horror of this is that everything was done by the book," said Dawn Pueschel, whose brother and sister-in-law were beaten to death in Chicago in 1983. "There were no mistakes, everything pointed to them (two brothers convicted in the slayings) and still this is happening."

Andrea Covert, whose sister, Mimi Covert, 30, was abducted raped and murdered in 1985 by DeWayne Britz in Illinois.

"If they can drop them from death row, they can drop anything," said Andrea Covert, whose sister, Mimi Covert, 30, was abducted raped and murdered in 1985 by DeWayne Britz. Britz not only confessed, he led police to her body.

Roger Schnorr whose sister Donna was a 27-year-old nurse from Geneva when she was killed by Brian Dugan in 1984. Dugan was already serving time in prison for that crime when he was sentenced to death for the 1983 DuPage County murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico.

"He took their lives from them, and he still lives," Schnorr said at a Springfield news conference. "Death is the right sentence for this killer."


Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: For many, Quinn’s signing means those who suffered the most heinous of acts would never see adequate retribution.

“What right does he have to live when he’s taken the lives of three young girls?” said Roger Schnorr, whose 27-year-old sister, Donna, died at Dugan’s hands in 1984. “Why does he get to enjoy even the simple pleasures in life, like eating a meal? It’s not fair.”

Cindy McNamara whose daughter, Shannon was murdered by Anthony Mertz in 2001. In 2001, Mertz broke into Shannon's apartment during her senior year at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, strangling and mutilating the Rolling Meadows High School graduate and aspiring teacher.

“Having the death penalty is not about revenge for me, because I know I'll see Shannon one day and I know God is watching over her and that she's happy,” McNamara said. “We need this on the books because Mertz is evil through and through, and having one less evil person on this earth is what's best for society.”

Cindy McNamara, who's disappointed she never got notice that a vote on the death penalty may come up in the House, last week wrote an impassioned plea to Gov. Quinn appealing to him not as the governor, but as a parent.

She urged Quinn to read the victim impact statement she made during Mertz's sentencing hearing in order to get a brief glimpse into Shannon's all-too-brief 21 years. In it, she described her daughter coming home from college, not bothering to drop her laundry load and book bag before they embraced.

“At times the thought of life without her is more than I feel I can bear,” McNamara said in court. “At times it even hurts to breathe.”

Despite the death penalty's controversial history, McNamara strongly believes each case should be considered individually.

Even though Mertz has never confessed to killing Shannon, there was overwhelming evidence in the case: his DNA was found under her fingertips, his credit card was left at the crime scene and cellmates testified Mertz spoke openly about killing Shannon. Investigators have tried to link him to the 1999 murder of Charleston's Amy Warner.

“I agree that there's nothing worse than being in prison when you're innocent, but he's (Mertz) the poster boy for the death penalty,” McNamara said. “He has no soul, and there's never been any doubt about his guilt.”

Family members of murder victims also made emotional pleas. Among them was Cindy McNamara, whose daughter, Shannon, was murdered in 2001 while attending Eastern Illinois University.

Shannon McNamara was asleep in her locked off-campus apartment when she was raped, strangled, beaten and stabbed. Her body was left in the living room. A washcloth was stuffed in her mouth.

Former EIU student Anthony Mertz was convicted, becoming the first person sent to death row after Ryan emptied it.

"We have the death penalty for a reason," Cindy McNamara wrote in a letter to Quinn. "This is the reason!"

Pat and Tom Nicarico whose 10-year-old daughter, Jeanine Nicarico was murdered by Brian Dugan. Dugan abducted, raped and fatally bludgeoned the bubbly fifth-grader from Naperville in 1983, then went on to commit two more sex slayings as well as several other attacks.

The parents and sisters of murdered 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico applauded a jury's decision sentencing convicted killer Brian Dugan to death in late 2009. Dugan abducted, raped and fatally bludgeoned the bubbly fifth-grader from Naperville in 1983, then went on to commit two more sex slayings as well as several other attacks.

“The news of the vote is more than disappointing,” parents Pat and Tom Nicarico wrote in a statement from their South Carolina home. “(It) feels like our almost twenty-eight year odyssey seeking justice for Jeanine's murder has been overturned.”

The Nicaricos are joining the McNamaras in calling on the Senate and Gov. Quinn not to follow the House's vote, saying it's not an act of prudence and caring, but rather cowardice, laziness and a disregard for justice.

“It is lazy because it eliminates the necessity to further evaluate the latest legal reforms and makes moot the need for further research into the matter; it's the easy way out of a burdensome predicament,” the Nicaricos wrote. “If the system is broken, fix it — don't destroy it.”

“It (capital punishment) serves a purpose. It should be on the books.”

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: While some celebrated Quinn’s decision to abolish a punishment that for years exposed a system fraught with errors, it rattled others to the core. 

Jeanine’s father, Thomas Nicarico, said he’s struggled with his personal tragedy for 28 years. Now, he envisions a party on death row. 

“They’re celebrating because even though they took lives, the governor gave them their lives back,” said Nicarico. “He (Dugan) has killed three girls. He has admitted it. DNA has proven it. How much more certain do you have to be?”

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: Tom Nicarico thought his family's long, emotional wait for justice had finally ended in November 2009 when jurors condemned Brian Dugan to death for the rape and murder of his young daughter.

But Gov. Pat Quinn's decision Wednesday to ban the death penalty in Illinois and commute the sentences of Dugan and 14 other death row inmates to life without parole left Nicarico outraged.

"It's not just the murder of my daughter," he said by telephone from his home in South Carolina. "He murdered two other people's daughters and attacked others. This man earned it, and he's not the only one on death row who earned it."

Diane Martin, whose sister, Ruth Gee, was murdered in 2009 along with her husband and three of their children in downstate Beason.

"Please consider the family of the victims, those left behind to remember," wrote Diane Martin, whose sister, Ruth Gee, was murdered in 2009 along with her husband and three of their children in downstate Beason.

"It is plain that the persons responsible for committing the crime care nothing for life," Martin told Quinn. "Why should the state protect them from the same fate they have dealt?"

Pam Bosley is a Chicago woman whose son was gunned down outside a church in 2006 says she's disappointed that Gov. Pat Quinn has decided to abolish the death penalty in Illinois.

Pam Bosley says she and other loved ones of victims of gun violence met Quinn a few weeks ago and tried to talk him out of signing the bill.

Bosley's 18-year-old son, Terrell, was killed in 2006. Police are still searching for his killer and she says she wants whoever is responsible to be executed.

Bosley says that people who haven't lost a loved one to gun violence don't know the pain she's endured. She says the thought of allowing the person who killed her son to "breathe the air that I breathe" is almost too much to bear. 

“I can’t see my son at all no more. I can’t see him grow old” she said “They took all that from me, so I feel that their life needs to be ended”.

Mario DeCicco is the brother of Sheri Coleman. She and her two sons were murdered by Christopher Coleman in 2009.

Christopher Coleman, the Columbia, Ill., man accused of strangling his wife and two sons in 2009.

But surviving relatives like Mario DeCicco, the brother of murder victim Sheri Coleman, are still hoping some combination of events in the courtroom and the Legislature will make it happen.
"Any person convicted for killing a child should be put to death," DeCicco said.

It's a common sentiment in Monroe County, where residents shouted "Murderer!" and "Baby killer!" when Coleman arrived at the courthouse in Waterloo for his arraignment in 2009. Coleman's preliminary hearing was packed with spectators, among them a woman in a black T-shirt depicting an electric chair and the message, "I saved you a seat."

Karen Bond, 63, whose son, Jerry Weber, was killed by Edward Tenney in 1992.

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: Nicarico's anger was echoed by many victims' families after they learned of a governor's decision to clear Illinois' death row for the second time in less than a decade.

Karen Bond, 63, whose son, Jerry Weber, was killed by Edward Tenney in 1992, also was upset.

"I was really looking forward to sitting in the front row while they executed this guy," Bond said. "Now the taxpayers of Illinois have to pay his room and board."

Family members of Mrs. Newburn who was murdered by Dion Banks in Illinois in 2001.

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: Far fewer inmates were affected by Quinn's decision. And not all relatives of their victims were upset. At least one family was divided.

As a 9-year-old five years ago, Quincy Newburn had urged a jury to give the death sentence to Dion Banks, who was convicted of killing his mother in 2001 during a carjacking while Quincy and his brother, who were 4 and 5 at the time, watched from the back seat.

"I've already forgiven him for what he did, but I want to see justice in action," said Quincy, who is now 14.

Quincy's father, Tyrone Newburn Sr., 53, once felt the same way but has since changed his mind — though not because he has forgiven Banks.

"Just putting them to death would be too easy for the offender, so I figure it would be more of a punishment to let them rot in jail for the rest of their lives," said the elder Newburn, a maintenance worker for Chicago Public Schools.

           The next time when Illinois wants to reinstate the death penalty, do not use lethal injection but use the electric chair, the gallows or hire a Saudi Arabian executioner. 

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