Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vigils Tuesday Night for Dayrl Holt

Vigils for Daryl Holton Taking Place Across Tennessee

TCASK chapters across the state will be holding vigils on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007 on the eve of Daryl Holton's execution. Please plan to attend one of these vigils to publicly express your opposition to this execution and to ask our state to stop killing people in our name. Please contact the TCASK state office or the vigil contacts for any questions regarding the vigils.

7:00 p.m.
Service at Second Presbyterian Church, 3511 Belmont Blvd., 37215, led by Rev. Stacy Rector and Rev. Jim Kitchens and music from Tom Kimmel and Michael Kelsh.

9:00 p.m.
Vigil at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
Contact: TCASK office, (615) 256-3906 or Isaac Kimes, (615) 521-9985 - cell


7:00 p.m.
A candle light vigil will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Conger Park in
Jackson. Attendees are asked to meet at Jackson-Madison County General Hopital
on Skyline Dr. at 7 p.m. and walk to the park.
Contact: Cheryl Fisher, (731) 217-9640

8:00 p.m.
Prayerful gathering and vigil at the steps of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception,
1695 Central Avenue. The vigil will continue until the time of execution or until a stay is granted.
Contact: Peter Gathje, (901) 272-0509

When serving in the military, Daryl Holton spent a month in a psychiatric hospital. Diagnosed with severe depression, Holton has a long history of suicide attempts. In 1997, in a delusional state, he killed his four children believing that their lives would be ruined by growing up in a broken home. He intended to kill his ex-wife and himself, as well, but stopped when he realized that there would be no one left to tell his side of the story. His trial attorney suffered a family crisis just before the trial began, and Daryl Holton defended himself for the most part, selecting the jurors and deciding what questions to ask witnesses. One can only guess what his strategy of defense was. Holton has waived his appeals, dismissed his lawyers, and chosen the electric chair as his method of execution. He refuses virtually all human contact. Yet, the state contends that he is competent to make legal decisions and be executed.

Both the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Psychological Association oppose executing people with mental illness. Daryl Holton’s execution will only serve to inflict more pain and suffering on his family and to perpetuate the cycle of violence. Homicide rates are 48-101% higher in states that practice capital punishment, and in the immediate aftermath of an execution, homicide rates increase in the venue where the execution occurred.

From 1960 to mid 2006, Tennessee executed only one person. In the past fourteen months, two individuals were executed, with four more executions pending. What this says about our culture and lesson it teaches is cause for grave concern. If Daryl
Holt is executed Wednesday morning it will reflect a new low in Tennessee. Call the
Governor and tell him not to execute the mentally ill before it is to late.


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