A murder victim’s mother has criticized Irish presidential candidate Gay Mitchell’s policy of asking for leniency for death row inmates.
The Fine Gael nominee has a long history of opposition to the death penalty, but some requests he has made have not gone down well with the families of those who have suffered tragic loss because of the actions of these criminals.
Gay Mitchell wrote a petition in 1998 to have Louis Joe Truesdale Jr. spared the death penalty.
Truesdale Jr. was convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering 19-year-old Rebecca Eudy in South Carolina in 1980. He was executed in December 1998.
Mitchell’s representatives say he submitted the plea for clemency as part of his role as chairman of the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Human Rights, but the family of Lancaster feel Truesdale Jr.’s sentence was the correct one.
“He got nothing but what he deserved," said Lancaster’s mother Evelyn Eudy, according to the Irish Independent. Eudy told the paper she was hurt that Mitchell sent a letter to Congress looking for mercy for her daughter’s killer.
She stated that her daughter's death had stayed with her all her life. Rebecca was kidnapped leaving a shopping center, brutally raped and murdered. She said the passing years had not diminished her pain.
Mitchell is an avid campaigner for death row criminals and also sent a letter looking for clemency for Paul Jennings Hill in 1994. Hill was convicted of murdering a bodyguard and a doctor in 1994 outside an abortion clinic in Florida. Hill was executed in 2003.
Under pressure from the Irish media Mitchell has now agreed to release all letters he has written on behalf of death row criminals in America.