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Friday, December 15, 2017

Man Faces Death for Raping and Killing an Old Widow

Credit: Strong Horn
Deathbed in prison

Although rape is awful, its perpetrator should not be executed; there are other punishments instead. No one is allowed to take life from human beings.


Rape is commonplace toward women of all ages and in different countries. Some rapists are never punished, not even taken to justice. In Virginia, a young man aged 30, known by the name of Jerry Terrel Jackson (JTJ) has been executed for having raped and suffocated an old widow of about 80 years old. The death of JTJ is the first to be recorded in the Virginia state’s inmate. JTJ was executed not by hanging but a procedure called a revised three drug cocktail.

In fact, the death of JTJ was pronounced at 9:14 p.m. on Thursday at Greensville gaol, called here Correctional Center. JTJ was sentenced to death for the 2001 rape and murder of seamstress Ruth Phillips in her apartment. When he was asked if he had any final words, JTJ shook his head and said he hadn’t any. He said this under his breath as he waited for the drugs to be administered to him. At the same time, he tapped his feet as he lay strapped to a stainless steel gurney. At this time, the execution team suffered to insert in JTJ two intravenous lines in each of his arms. The process took about a quarter an hour before the guy was believed to be dead.

As it is in other American states, Virginia recently replaced sodium thiopental with pentobarbital after a nationwide shortage of the sedative, which is administered before two other drugs that stop the inmate's breathing and heart. Attorneys in some states have strongly opposed the use of pentobarbital. But still federal courts have ruled that the change is not significant enough to stop executions.

Richard Phillips is the son of the widow who was raped and killed by JTJ. Richard found his mother dead on Aug. 26, 2001. In his own words, he said that the execution was long overdue. Neither Richard nor other members of his family observed the execution. Ruth Phillips, a widow for 30 years, followed her son to Virginia from New Hampshire in the late 1990s. She worked as a seamstress making slip covers and draperies up until her death. Richard Phillips said he had wanted her to move close to him so that she would be safe.

The local authorities argument that Jackson broke into the victim’s apartment and when she awoke up, she was surprised to find him rummaging through her purse. What she did was just to offer him anything he wanted so that he could leave the flat. JTJ was not cooperative, what he did was just to put a pillow over her face and started to rape her. This is what the authorities revealed. They said that Jackson then fled in her car and used the 60 US $ he stole from her apartment to buy marijuana.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press last Friday, Jackson talked about the abuse, which began with a broken arm when he was 19 months old and continued with sexual abuse and beatings with a fist, belt and once a two-by-four for more than a decade. Furthermore, he acknowledged killing Phillips. Although he said it wasn't an excuse for what he did, Jackson said he didn't think it would have happened if he could have escaped the abuse as a child.

JTJ has been written to and often visited by Rev. Christine Payden-Travers for several years. Actually, she believes, though he committed such an awful act, he remains a loyal and caring friend to many people. She was t his sides until the last minute of his life. She attended him up to the moment when he was taken into the death chamber. She then witnessed the execution, holding her bible in her hands. This was not an easy moment for her; she sometimes shut her eyes and appeared to mouth a prayer. She had called up until the final hours for JTJ’s life to be spared. She believed that JTJ was not a monster and that there was good in him as well as the bad that he's done, just like any human being. In her mind, she wanted him to know that although justice considers him as a criminal, there was somebody with him who loved him and who saw him as a beloved child of God. And to know that in the midst of the state taking his life that there were people there that cared about him. After the execution of JTJ, Paden-Travers and Jackson's attorney were not keen on commenting in the eyes of cameras.

It is said that JTJ had followed news reports about the use of pentobarbital, including a recent Georgia execution in which there was some evidence the inmate suffered when the drug was used. He said he was concerned about its use. Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said the execution team had trained on the amended protocol using the new drug, and accordingly read to implement the order of execution in a professional and constitutional way.

Although only God is allowed to take breath from human beings and because it is Him who put it in him, some countries throughout the world still feel happy to kill other people publicly. I am not supporting the people who abuse, rape or harm others in any way but death should not be the way. I think there are more different ways in which an individual can still be assigned to suffering than assigning them death. Yet, this death penalty apply to those who have no means, no strong defenders. The great will always want kill those who oppose them in a way. We urge the police countries of this world to revise this way of punishing, death penalty is human rights infringement because they kill someone who still wanted to live.

However, the death of JTJ should be a lesson to evil doers, this should help them to change their conduct towards other humans.



About the Writer

MUGISHO N.THEOPHILE is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Man Faces Death for Raping and Killing an Old Widow

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By MUGISHO N.THEOPHILE on August 20, 2011 at 01:15 pm

Jen, thank you for your comment. Tougher penalties seem to be tougher than ours. Yes, but I still think that some people would change after having been in jail for some time. Then, in case they would repeat the same errors thougher measures would apply. I know someone here who has been in jail for 6 years and death penalty was pronounced. I don't know what happens later, he was released by presidential order and today he has become a good person who is the model in our neighborhood. Maybe this is a particular case, but I think it may be helpful.

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By MUGISHO N.THEOPHILE on August 20, 2011 at 01:18 pm

Cher, well said. We should not retaliate to a retaliation, otherwise the outcome would not be positive but rather true destruction. Thank you for your thoughts here.

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