You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 13, 2007.

Darrell B. Grayson









The Honorable Governor Bob Riley

State Capitol N 104

11 S. Union Street #600

Montgomery, AL 36130 2751


Dear Governor Riley:

I am writing to ask you to spare the life of Darrel B. Grayson, whose execution is scheduled for July 26 at Holman Prison. As a poor, 19-year-old black man with no prior criminal record but a difficult home life, Grayson was convicted of the murder and rape of an 86-year-old white woman, a crime to which Grayson confessed, and was given the death penalty by an all-white jury. Also convicted of the same crime was Victor Kennedy, who was executed in 1999. Just before Kennedy’s execution, he asked Grayson to “forgive him” but would not elaborate as to why he needed forgiveness. It is at this point where the questions begin.

Grayson began to question his own guilt in the crime. He has no memory of committing it. As an educated man, you know that not all people who confess to crimes are guilty. In Darrell Grayson’s case, he was represented by a court appointed divorce lawyer. Could an attorney with more knowledge and experience in criminal law have bought this trial to a different conclusion? We will never know.

You will notice from my address that I do not live in Alabama. If I recall my history correctly, Alabama is the state where Martin Luther King Jr. began his leadership of the great civil rights movement of the 60s, yet even today, the odds of being given the death penalty are doubled, if the defendant is young and black: Race is still an issue. Why? And in 2007, Alabama is refusing to make public its lethal injection protocol, although other states have done so. What is being hidden? These are troubling questions. I don’t understand why anything less than justice and equality for everyone is the goal.

It seems from Grayson’s statement that he truly cannot recall the events of the night of the murder and, therefore, cannot state with all honesty that he is innocent. His family and friends think he is innocent. But even with his memory loss, Grayson’s case offered enough questions to gain the attention of the Innocence Project. I understand evidence exists that could prove guilt or innocence, if DNA testing were allowed. But such testing has been denied, seemingly on the grounds that Grayson has not declared that beyond the shadow of a doubt, he is innocent. How can he proclaim innocence, if he cannot recall the events of the night of the murder? Isn’t the purpose of DNA testing to find the truth and bring about justice?

During his 25 years on Death Row, Grayson has earned a associate degree, published three chapbooks of poems, and served as the chairman for Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty. In other words, he has lived decently and cared about other people . He has done everything that he could to make his life matter, while he lived in a cell. He has made friends both in and out of prison. But Grayson’s time has run out, unless you act.

I am asking you now to use your power as governor to stay the execution and spare the life of Darrell Grayson, a man who possibly did not commit the rape and murder for which he was convicted.


Helen Losse




Darrell Grayson’s execution is set for July 26. Please write to Governor Riley now. Permission is granted to copy and use any part of this letter. For other information concerning Grayson, see earlier post.

Pray for a stay of execution to spare Grayson’s life.