Napoleon Beasley’s Last Statement is posted in the TCADP office. It captures very well, the shortcomings of a criminal justice system that invests so much in the death penalty.
Napoleon Beasley’s Last Statement, May 28, 2002:
The act I committed to put me here was not just heinous, it was senseless. But the person that committed that act is no longer here – I am.
I’m not going to struggle physically against my restraints. I’m not going to shout, use profanity or make idle threats. Understand though that I’m not only upset, but I’m saddened by what is happening here tonight. I’m not only saddened, but disappointed that a system that is supposed to protect and uphold what is just and right can be so much like me when I made the same shameful mistake.
If someone tried to dispose of everyone here for participating in this killing, I’d scream a resounding, “NO.” I’d tell them to give them all the gift that they would not give me…and that’s to give them a second chance.
I’m sorry that I am here. I’m sorry that you’re all here. I’m sorry that John Luttig died. And I’m sorry that it was something in me that caused all of this to happen to begin with.
Tonight we tell the world that there are no second chances in the eyes of justice…Tonight, we tell our children that in some instances, in some cases, killing is right.
This conflict hurts us all, there are no SIDES. The people who support this proceeding think this is justice. The people that think that I should live think that is justice. As difficult as it may seem, this is a clash of ideals, with both parties committed to what they feel is right. But who’s wrong if in the end we’re all victims?
In my heart, I have to believe that there is a peaceful compromise to our ideals. I don’t mind if there are none for me, as long as there are for those who are yet to come. There are a lot of men like me on death row- good men – who fell to the same misguided emotions, but may not have recovered as I have.
Give those men a chance to do what’s right. Give them a chance to undo their wrongs. A lot of them want to fix the mess they started, but don’t know how. The problem is not in that people aren’t willing to help them find out, but in the system telling them it won’t matter anyway. No one wins tonight. No one gets closure. No one walks away victorious.