Stop the Baker execution, sister of Evans urges

Maryland

December 01, 2005|By MATTHEW HAY BROWN | MATTHEW HAY BROWN,SUN REPORTER

The sister of a death-row inmate called on activists yesterday to stop the execution next week of Wesley Eugene Baker.

"The death penalty here in Maryland is wrong," Gwen Bates, a sister of Vernon L. Evans Jr., told fellow capital-punishment opponents. "God is the one who gives life, and it is up to God to take a life."

More than two dozen activists gathered at First Unitarian Church in Baltimore to field a phone call from Evans, 56, who awaits execution for the 1983 killings of David Scott Piechowicz and Susan Kennedy at the Warren House Motor Hotel in Pikesville.

Event organizers announced that the call had fallen through, but Bates said she carried a message from her brother: "They say death row - we say, `Hell no.'"

Death-penalty opponents are mobilizing in an effort to stop the execution by injection of Baker, 47, for the 1991 killing of Jane Tyson. The 49-year-old teacher's aide was shot in the head and robbed of her purse in front of two of her grandchildren outside Westview Mall in Baltimore County.

Maryland Citizens Against State Executions has launched an advertising campaign calling on Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele to grant Baker clemency. An interfaith prayer service is planned for 6:30 tonight at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Baltimore; a demonstration is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday outside the state prison in Baltimore known as "Supermax."matthew.brown@baltsun.com

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