[Original Publication Date: August 20, 2001]
Anthony Hall escaped death row once by appeal. But a jury decided Monday to send the convicted murderer back to face execution for his 1983 murder of a prison kitchen worker.
After 4 hours of deliberation, the Circuit Court jury announced that Hall should die by lethal injection. The panel had listened to a week of arguments on whether the 39-year-old should die or spend the rest of his life in prison.
Hall was already in prison for a series of rapes in Cook County when he was convicted in 1985 of stabbing Frieda King repeatedly and leaving the kitchen supervisor to bleed to death in a cold-storage area.
This past week, prosecutors showed the jury pictures of the murder scene as well as the 17-inch kitchen knife used to kill King in an attempt to show the brutality of the slaying.
“She treated everyone like she was your mother away from home,” said Juan McGee, an inmate who described King in his testimony against Hall. “She made you feel human.”
Defense lawyers had tried to show Hall’s criminal behavior was the result of his upbringing — he was conceived from a rape, and born when his mother was 12 — and provided witnesses who testified that he changed for the better in prison.
Jacqueline Wallace, a pastor and a member of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty, told the jury that in 7 years of visiting Hall, she never had any reason to fear him. And the defense read from the journals of a since-deceased Jehovah’s Witness minister, who oversaw Hall’s Bible studies in prison.
Hall’s 1st sentence of death was thrown out by a federal appeals court last year. The court had decided that Hall’s 1st lawyers had mishandled his earlier defense by not explaining that it required a unanimous jury decision to hand down the death penalty. Hall had asked his trial judge to sentence him without a jury hearing.
(source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)