Coalition seeks changes to the system, abolishment of death penalty

A coalition is advocating for Arkansas to abolish the death penalty.

Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty hosted a town hall meeting Oct. 23 to stand up for what they say is right.

Furonda Brassfield, executive director of the coalition said something needs to be done to change the system.

“We need to consider how we treat them in our criminal justice system and executing them is definitely not the way that we want to go,” she said.

Brassfield said Jack Greene, who is set to be executed by the state Nov. 9, is severely mentally ill.

“I knew what I was doing to him and I couldn't stand what I was doing to him but I put the gun to his head and I killed him,” said Greene at his last clemency hearing.

According to Brassfield, Jack Greene believes that his attorneys are conspiring against him.

“He thinks they’re tricking him so they can do experiments on him. Anything that he says should be looked at in his diagnosis and the mental illnesses that the is suffering,” she said.

Brassfield said if they can educate others about mental health maybe they could change the course of how the justice system handles it.

“We want to treat that illness rather than throwing everyone away in jail and letting jail be the catch off for mental illness,” she said.

As for Greene, a couple of weeks is all that sit between him and his fate.

“Killing me will do one thing for sure and that is putting an end to the torture I've endured for 13 years,” Greene said at his clemency hearing.

As for the victims’ families, they want justice and peace of mind.         

At Greene’s clemency hearing, they expressed concerns that he could escape if he was transferred to another facility.

The clemency board did not recommend clemency, but Governor Hutchinson has the final say.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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