If it’s OK for Mary Winkler to live as a free citizen and have custody of her kids, it isn’t OK for Gaile Owens to be executed by the state.
Owens is the only inmate in Tennessee prison history to face execution after accepting a prosecutor’s offer to plead guilty with a life sentence.
Though there is little doubt that Owens was severely abused by her husband, the jurors who decided her fate never knew about it. Owens never testified and hasn’t sought publicity for her plight, out of respect for her children. She even declined to appear on Oprah when approached by the program. Owens is remorseful for her crime and from the outset pled guilty. She signed a plea agreement to serve a life sentence, which the prosecution refused to accept when her co-defendant rejected the same offer.
In my opinion, this isn’t someone who deserves to die for her crimes, but my point of view isn’t the one that matters at this point. Governor Bredesen, please do the just and equitable thing and let Owens live.