View Full Version : Charlene Hall finally gets justice for her girlfriend's death
08-19-2010, 10:19 PM
Pro death penalty dot com writer Charlene Hall finally gets her justice.
It takes a lot to make a woman mad enough to fight the system for years.
But when Charlene Hall's friend was rape murdered in Texas?
She fought the law, and SHE WON.
Charlene Hall wrote the now legendary website prodeathpenalty dot com, and took over running the victims rights website Justice for all and murder victims dot com.
I've had the pleasure of knowing her for over twelve years,
and tonight? My hat is off to you, Charlene.
The justice you wanted for your friend.... is finally yours.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Texas on Tuesday executed the leader of a former gang of Houston teenagers who raped and murdered two young girls who were walking home from a neighborhood party 17 years ago.
Peter Anthony Cantu, 35, was strapped to a gurney in the Huntsville Unit prison death chamber and administered a lethal injection at 6:09 p.m. CDT. He was pronounced dead eight minutes later as relatives of his victims, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, looked stoically through a window a few feet from him.
Asked by the warden if he had any last statement, Cantu replied: "No."
He never looked at any of the witnesses, including his victims' parents.
Two of Cantu's fellow gang members were put to death earlier, Derrick O'Brien in 2006 and Jose Medellin in 2008. Two other members avoided the death chamber when the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed executing those who were under 18 at the time of their crime. A sixth person convicted in the case was 14 years old at the time of the attack and is serving a 40-year prison term, the maximum sentence for a juvenile in Texas
08-19-2010, 10:35 PM
an example of Charlene Hall's incredibly talented writing:
Who speaks for the victims of those we execute?
All over the country, news stories bemoan and hype the countdown to execution number 1,000. But where are the stories regarding the ripple effects of the heinous crimes that these murderers were executed for committing? Who is counting the victims?
A conservative estimate puts the number of victims of these 1,000 murderers at 1,895. Why do we hear so much about the killers and so little about the victims and their loved ones who are left behind to pick up the pieces?
A small sampling of case histories will leave readers shaken.
Melvin and Linda Lorenz, and their son Richard were killed by Roger Stafford. Melvin stopped on a highway near Purcell, Okla., to help what he thought was a woman whose car had broken down, but instead was ambushed by Stafford and his brother, using Stafford's wife as bait. Less than a month after these horrific murders, the trio killed six employees of a steak house in Oklahoma City.
In 1985, 13-year-old Karen Patterson was shot to death in her bed in North Charleston, S.C. Her killer was a neighbor who had already served 10 years of a life sentence for murdering his half-brother Charles in 1970. Joe Atkins cut the Pattersons' phone lines, then entered bearing a machete, a sawed-off shotgun, and a pistol. Karen's parents were chased out of their home by Atkins. Karen's mom ran to the Atkins home nearby, where Joe then murdered his adopted father, Benjamin Atkins, 75, who had worked to persuade parole authorities to release Joe from the life sentence.
When Katy Davis observed three strangers outside her Austin, Texas, apartment, she walked away. Returning later, she was attacked and forced to open the door by Charles Rector, on parole for a previous murder. The men ransacked her apartment, abducted her and took her to a lake where she was beaten, gang-raped, shot in the head and repeatedly forced underwater until she drowned.
Ruby Longsworth of Pasadena, Texas, met Jeffrey Barney through a prison ministry, then helped him get paroled from an auto-theft sentence. Her kindness was repaid when Barney raped and sodomized her, then strangled her with a cord. She had made the mistake of calling Barney "a bum" after she had gotten to know him better.
In 1965, Robert Massie murdered mother of two Mildred Weiss in San Gabriel, Calif., during a follow-home robbery. Hours before execution, a stay was issued so Massie could testify against his accomplice. Massie's sentence was commuted to life when the Supreme Court halted executions in 1972. Receiving an undeserved second chance, Massie was paroled, but eight months later robbed and murdered businessman Boris Naumoff in San Francisco.
Faith Hathaway was 17 when she was murdered by Robert Willie, whose story became the inspiration for the film Dead Man Walking. Hathaway had just graduated from high school and was leaving for the Army the next day. She was abducted after leaving a farewell party in Mandeville, La. Willie and accomplice Joseph Vaccaro had been on an 8-day murder, robbery and rape spree. Hathaway was raped by both assailants and stabbed 17 times. She was raped again after she died.
Kenneth Boyd murdered his estranged wife Julie and his father-in-law, Dillard Curry in Rockingham County, N.C. Julie and her children were living with Curry. Boyd entered the home and shot them both in the presence of his own children, then ages 13, 12 and 10.
We must think about the lives that all 1,895 murdered victims affected. Every one had families, friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors. The combined loss is incalculable.
There is no end to horror stories like these. Jurors, who represent us, hear about horrific crimes and make tough but appropriate decisions. With a yearly average of 15,000 murders, the fact that we are reaching 1,000 executions in only a little more than 30 years is proof that capital punishment has been reserved for the worst of the worst.
The attention given to the execution of 1,000 murderers is repugnant, especially when the loudest voices think the death of a convicted murderer is a tragedy. Yet the deaths and suffering of countless victims is only an easily-ignored statistic
08-19-2010, 11:34 PM
The founder of Justice for All:
On July 17, 1996, Justice For All lost its immediate past president, founding member and driving force, Pam Lychner. Pam and her two young daughters were killed in the crash of TWA Flight 800 in New York. This is an inconceivable loss. Please remember Pam, her daughters and her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. Our best way to honor Pam is to continue, with unfaltering gait, down the path she set us on.
On July 17, 1996 the world lost a remarkable woman. Pam Lychner was the driving force behind the organization Justice For All, founded in the summer of 1993 in Houston, Texas. Pam was herself a victim of an attempted sexual assault and narrowly escaped her attacker when her husband Joe arrived at the scene.
Pam lived in fear for two years following the attack. When she was notified about her attacker's first parole hearing after such a short time in prison, she contacted the City of Houston's Victims' Assistance Office. Through this contact she met JFA's current president Dianne Clements who had lost a child to gun violence. When Pam's attacker sued her, she got mad. She began speaking with other crime victims and after hearing about the efforts of several Hollywood-types to get convicted murderer Gary Graham off of Texas' death row, Pam became angry that no one ever mentioned Graham's victims or his long and violent criminal history.
With Pam's leadership, they organized a series of rallies and were stunned at the support the community showed and at the number of Graham's victims who heard about their efforts and contacted them. In June of 1993, after several brutal crimes in the Houston area, Pam, Dianne and others helped to form Justice For All, to remind people about the victims of violent crime.
In just three years, JFA has grown to include 3500 members, with chapters in Reno, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia and more chapter inquiries every month. JFA has been responsible for important victims' rights legislation that has passed in Texas. JFA members were responsible for a new Department of Corrections policy allowing victims' families to view executions, Habeas Corpus reform law, curtailment of Texas' "good time" policies for inmates, averting a policy to allow inmates access to telephones, curtailing inmates lawsuits against victims. Victims are now allowed to address their perpetrators after sentencing in many Texas courts. Pam personally provided "court support" to many, many victims of violent crime, attending trials with them, helping them know what to expect and speaking to the media on their behalf during the trials, which can be the second worst time in their lives.
In July 1997, Pam was taking her two daughters, Shannon and Katie, on a whirlwind vacation trip to France, to see some of the world. Shannon had admired a bridge in a book of Monet paintings and Pam decided to take her to France and show her the real thing. Although she excelled at activism, Pam's true calling was as a wife and mother extraordinaire. She was very active in her children's lives, participating in all of their activities. Her family came first in her life, even with all of her other duties, responsibilities and commitments. Friends have called the girls "Pam's shadows" as they were always with her. Joe spoke with Pam just before she boarded the plane. The plane crashed into the ocean and these wonderful people were ripped from our lives like a page torn from a book.
Shannon was 10 years old. She was a piano player, a swimmer and the quiet one. Shannon had a generous, loving, gentle spirit and her father Joe said "I always knew she would be the one to take care of me in my old age." Shannon would frequently argue with her father about who loved the other more. She finally came up with a topper, saying "I love you all the way around the world, up to Jesus and back." Shannon had just taken up painting and was particularly taken with Claude Monet's watercolors. Pam wanted to take the girls to Monet's home so they could see what inspired the master firsthand. The girls were frequently present at JFA picnics and booths during festivals and made friends wherever they went.
Katie was 8 years old and excelled at soccer and softball. Katie could run faster than many of the boys in her class and had them all impressed because of this. Katie was affectionately called "The Determined One". At the memorial service Joe told a story about Katie that illustrated this very well. When she was around 4 years old and just learning to swim, she participated in a race with the other children in her class. When the starting gun went off, all the children jumped in the water and started swimming to the rope and back....except for Katie. She stood in the starting position, arms thrust out behind her and seemed unable to jump in. She finally jumped in the water and swam to the rope as the other children were returning to the wall. When she reached the rope, she hung on the rope instead of turning around. Joe went to the side of the pool and said, "It's okay Katie, come on over here." Katie said, loudly, "No!" and let go of the rope and swam back to the wall, long after the others had finished. When she emerged from the pool it was to a thunderous reaction from the parents on the bleachers, all impressed with her determined spirit. When Katie walked over to where Joe and Pam were sitting, she said "I don't know why, but I always get the most applause!"
Left behind are husband and father, Joe Lychner of Houston, Texas; Pam's parents Wayne and Betty Rogers of Aurora, Illinois; Pam's sisters Lori Musselman and Jan Brenkus and many other grieving relatives and friends.
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