Governor is Owens’ last hope
The Tennessee Supreme Court may soon set an execution date for Gaile Owens. If so, the only person who can intervene is Gov. Bredesen.
One of my employees, Deborah Knapp, served time with Gaile in prison. She too was a badly abused wife who murdered her husband. Unlike Gaile, however, Debbie was allowed to accept a plea bargain and was sentenced to life in prison and paroled after serving 21 years. She has since used her experience to teach other baltered women that there is a nonviolent solution to their problems.
Both Debbie and Gaile were convicted during a time when the courts didn't truly recognize the psychological state of abused women as a defense. I urge Gov. Bredesen to commute Gaile's sentence to life in prison. The world would be a lesser place if Debbie were still in prison, and I'm sure this is also true of Gaile, who seems to have touched the lives of many people.
Sharon D. Nelson
Parole, don’t execute
I’ve known countless numbers of battered women who have been trapped in violent marriages with nowhere to turn. Gaile Owens seems to be an eminently worthwhile individual and she deserves to be paroled not executed.
Ben Lomond, Calif.