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TN Execution Brings Mixed Feelings – Inmate is “Pro Death Penalty”

September 11, 2007

Nashville, TN – The state's first execution in an electric chair since 1960 is set for early Wednesday morning. Daryl Holton was convicted ten years ago of killing four children, three of them his own. Dixie Gamble, Holton's spiritual advisor, admits there is little sympathy for Holton, even though there is evidence he was mentally ill at the time. She hopes all Tennesseans take a moment Wednesday morning to think about the case, and learn the facts.

"Some level of understanding can, and usually does, lead to some level of forgiveness. When we all learn to forgive, we won't have a death penalty."

Gamble says in her discussions with death row inmates, they generally relate a will to live. However, she says Holton has expressed none.

"We have had long talks about the death penalty, and he's in favor of it. It has been a very interesting process, since I'm a staunch abolitionist."

Holton requested electrocution over lethal injection; Gamble says that was because he wanted to be sure of an instant death. She will attend a pre-execution vigil tonight at 9:00 PM, at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - TN