A North Carolina man on death row who wrote a taunting letter to a newspaper gives a different version of his life in communications with family members.
Kathy Hembree Ledbetter released a letter Thursday written by her brother, Danny, in which he says life in prison is "overwhelming" and "depressing."
Danny Hembree was sentenced to death for murdering 17-year-old Heather Catterton in 2009. He's scheduled to go on trial in March in the killing of Randi Dean Saldana, whose burned body was found in South Carolina.
This week, a letter from Hembree was printed in The Gaston Gazette. He described himself as a man of leisure and taunted readers. (Read the letter here.)
Ledbetter says her brother is mentally ill and wrote the letter as a way of lashing out.
Statement from Rep. Larry Pittman
I saw him on the news, and was thoroughly disgusted. We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner. It is good that DNA evidence can show that someone is innocent; but it needs to be emphasized that it can also help prove someone is guilty. If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.