On November 19, convicted murderer Orlando Hall was executed by the Federal Government at Terre Haute, Indiana. His was a federal execution because the crime crossed state lines. As usual, the method used was lethal injection. Although there was a nearly six hour delay due to last minute appeals, they were ultimately unsuccessful. These appeals were not based on claims of actual innocence but on…racism.
Hall is pictured above in a montage with his teenage victim, whose family were not impressed. Pearl Rene, the sister of Lisa Rene, said in a statement: “My family and I are very relieved that this is over”.
She added “We’ve been dealing with it for 26 years and now we have to relive the tragic nightmare our beloved Lisa went through. Finishing this painful process will be an important goal for our family.”
You heard that right, 26 years. Lisa Rene was murdered in 1994.
Although this was a single murder, it was as horrific as they come. Hall was a drug dealer, and in September of that year, he paid two men, both brothers of Lisa, $4,700 for a cache of marijuana. The deal was he would collect the drugs later, but the two would claim their car and the money was stolen. Whether or not that was true, Hall was intent on revenge, but instead of inflicting it on the two men he believed to have cheated him, he recruited a posse, including his brother Demetrius, and the four then kidnapped Lisa from her Arlington, Texas home.
There was never any question about them getting away with it, because Lisa dialled 911 as they attempted to break in. All the same, they managed to kidnap her. She was raped repeatedly, then driven into the country, doused with gasoline, battered repeatedly with a shovel, and buried alive. Her body was found eight days later.
On September 30, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Hall’s arrest. On August 15, another paper had reported his release or imminent release from prison. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Hall had been serving sentences of seven years and ten years for the “manufacture, delivery and possession of controlled substance-probation revocation…criminal conspiracy, manufacture, delivery and possession of controlled substance”. He was sentenced in July 1992 and was due to be released August 7, 2000.
On October 1, The Dallas Morning News reported he had once been charged with attempted murder, but that charge had been dropped.
Orlando Hall is the only member of the gang to pay the ultimate price. A few hours before his execution, the usual suspects, a gang of exclusively or mostly white anti-death penalty activists, protested while one of them read what was said to be his last statement. To the world. It included the following:
Hall is a practising Moslem, a father of six and a grandfather of thirteen. Which means he must have been a busy lad considering how little of his adult life was spent at liberty.
Hall said he had been on death row since 1994. This may sound like nit-picking but he wasn’t sentenced to death until November the following year; he had pleaded not guilty.
While acknowledging his guilt, he stressed he was convicted by an all-white jury. This piece of sophistry had been used as part of his appeals. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, defendants in federal capital trials in Texas are 16 times more likely to be sentenced to death if they are black. And? To date, only 15 people – all of them men – have been executed in the United States this year. So what is the big deal?
“I was never under the false illusion that I would receive a fair trial or a jury of my peers”.
Wait a minute, dude. In the first place, you have admitted your guilt. Your trial was unfair how, precisely? What penalty does Islam impose for murder? And are whites not your peers; are they perhaps inferior to blacks?
And yes, you guessed it, the racist system has it in for “especially poor people of color”.
He was, he said, ill-educated and functionally illiterate. How poor was he that he could afford to shell out nearly five thousand dollars in a drug deal?
Everyone in the courtroom with any power was white. And this is relevant how? Everyone who participated in the kidnap, gang-rape, torture and murder of Lisa Rene was black. They weren’t punished for being black, they were punished and are being punished for their crimes, and did he really believe black jurors would be more sympathetic to him than white ones?
The dude goes on in this fashion. The death penalty is used as a tool to terrorise the black community. Tell that to Pearl Rene. She and her family believe it is being used in this case to deliver justice for their loved one, inadequate though that may be.
The real injustice in this case, apart from the crime itself, is that it took Hall so long to die. Timothy McVeigh was executed eight years after his crime; Washington Sniper John Allen Muhammad a similar time. There is absolutely no reason for any murderer who is convicted of a heinous crime on absolutely overwhelming evidence to languish on death row for a quarter of a century.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.