Friday, November 12, 2004

Frank Ray Chandler - North Carolina

North Carolina executed Frank Ray Chandler at 2am this morning. Chandler was condemned for the accidental killing of Doris Poore who surprised him while he was searching her home for drugs. Chandler's family visited him earlier in the evening but did not witness his death. Chandler apparently did not want his family exposed to the horror of his killing.

Chandler was given the death penalty when his jury agreed with prosecutors that Poore's death was based on a desire for pecuniary gain. That's arguable at best. Poore's death was accidental and Chandler's purpose in searching her house was to find drugs, not to make money. Poore screamed when she saw Chandler and, startled, he then swung his hand and hit her in the head. In most states, such a death would be a lower category of murder (perhaps felony murder or manslaughter). Here, in North Carolina, it was eligible for capital status and with the "aggravating factor" of pecuniary gain was eligible for death. If the death penalty is to be reserved for the worst of the worst, was Chandler it?

Frank Ray Chandler executed for 1992 killing of elderly woman

No comments: