Sunday, January 3, 2010

Inmate Gaile Owens doesn't deserve death

Thank you to Frank Nolan for the letter he wrote on behalf of Gaile Owens, and a special thank you to John Seigenthaler for all he has done — for using his name, his time and his abilities to bring to the public's attention the sad story of Gaile Owens, an inmate on death row ("The uneven hand of justice," Dec. 20). We can only hope and pray the governor will have mercy on Gaile and that justice will at last prevail.

I know Gaile personally. I'm one of many volunteers at the Tennessee Prison for Women who have had the privilege of getting to know her. We love her dearly and pray with her and for her every chance we have. Her story is one of many women who have suffered battered women's syndrome, a condition, as Mr. Seigenthaler reported, that courts have recognized as "a female who is the victim of consistent, severe domestic violence." Most often, the women want to protect their young children from knowing the truth about their dads, and they seldom have the money for adequate legal representation. Gaile Owens does not deserve to die; in fact, she does not deserve the many years she has already spent on death row. There's so much more to her life ... the positive influence she can continue to have with other women if given the opportunity.

Gov. Bredesen, please make the right decision.

Mary Dalton, Nashville 37221

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