From Friday's Austin American-Statesman, this op-ed piece, "Will the governor heed a victim's family's plea for mercy?" by Columbus Adams, Jr.:
For nine years, my family has been mourning the death of Timothy Adams Jr., my precious baby grandson who was murdered in 2002. Now we are just over a week away from possibly enduring the death of another beloved family member. Timothy Adams, my son and Timothy Jr.'s father, is scheduled to be executed on Feb. 22 for the crime despite my family's pleas to spare his life.
As a family that has already suffered the loss of one child, we are united in our support for Tim's death sentence to be commuted to life without parole. He committed a horrible act, but our grief will only be worsened if he is executed. We were not given the opportunity to speak out at his trial, but it is our deepest hope and prayer that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Rick Perry will hear us now.
Tim does not deserve to die. He acted strikingly out of character on that tragic day when he took the life of Timothy Jr. and attempted to take his own life, after an argument with his wife escalated out of control.
Since he was a child, Tim strived to do right by his family and by God. He had no criminal history — not even an arrest — before that horrible day. He was active in church and bible study and was a role model to his younger siblings, inspiring his brother to attend and graduate from college.
After high school, Tim followed a proud family tradition and enlisted in the Army to serve his country, where he was held in the highest esteem by his commanders and sergeants. Roger West, a sergeant first class in the Army and a Purple Heart recipient, has said that he wishes he could have "a whole platoon of guys like Tim."
Once Tim married and had children, he worked hard and held two jobs to support and provide for them.
From the moment the crime happened, Tim has been profoundly remorseful. We know that he would take back his actions in an instant if he could. He is a model prisoner who has spent his years on death row reflecting, seeking forgiveness, and devoting himself to prayer and to Jesus Christ.
Our strong opposition to Tim's death sentence has thus far gone unheard. Our voices were not heard at Tim's trial, so we were not able to tell the jury how, despite our pain and suffering, we still love Tim and could not bear to see him executed.
Perhaps if the jury had known that, Tim would not have received a death sentence.
Tim must be held accountable, but in doing so, we implore the State of Texas to keep the wishes of my already grieving family in mind. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the governor have the power to spare a life worth saving — and the power to spare us from further suffering.
Tim would still spend the rest of his days in prison, in constant remorse over what he did. He does not need to be executed for justice to be served.
We pray that state officials will hear our plea and grant clemency to Timothy, a man who is held dear by our church community, respected by his military commanders and work colleagues and loved by us — his family.