The News and Messenger: Monday afternoon:

The Supreme Court has indefinitely postponed the execution of Paul Warner Powell while it considers whether to hear his argument that he was unconstitutionally tried twice for killing a 16-year-old Manassas girl.

The court’s order on Monday came a day before Powell, 31, was scheduled to die for killing Stacie Reed in Yorkshire in 1999. He had chosen to die by electrocution. Powell also raped, stabbed and slashed Stacie’s then-14-year-old sister, Kristie, who survived.

Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert, who prosecuted Powell, said he spoke to the victims’ mother, Lorraine Whoberry, moments after the decision and she was quite upset. Whoberry, Kristie Reed and Ebert had planned to witness Tuesday night’s execution in Jarratt.

“It’s a let down,“ Ebert said. “I figured he was going to meet his maker. Now he may never.“




The following was sitting in our library waiting until Monday night to publish.  I decided to go ahead and publish the thread, because of the gravity of the crime. 

This coming Tuesday one of Prince William County’s own will meet his maker, whoever that might be. Paul Warner Powell will be put to death in the electric chair. His method of dying was his own chosing. Paul Powell is also a self-avowed racist and white supremacist.

Paul Warner Powell is not only a cold blooded killer, he is also stupid. He was tried and convicted of capital murder but because of Virginia’s legalities, his case was overturned.  Prosecutors were told they could retry him on first degree murder.  He just couldn’t resist. Powell wrote to Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert describing how he raped Stacie Reed before he killed her. His letter taunted Mr. Ebert and gave details that only he could have known. He falsely assumed he was protected by double jeopardy. Not so. He was never tried for rape. Most of us would probably have loved to see his jaw drop as he was served papers for a second trial. This time the murder carried the death penalty because of the rape.

 So a totally evil person will die Tuesday night. When I was right out of college and filled with the idealism most psych majors have, I was against the death penalty. It took about 6 month in the real world to recapitalate and to start thinking maybe there were some people just not worth keeping around. Today, Charles Manson comes to mind.

The News and Messenger has covered this story in detail and will have reporters covering the execution. The victim’s mother will be in attendance and it is reported that Mr. Ebert will attend.
He does not usually attend executions, even though he has had the most people on death row in Virginia. According to the Washington Post:

Ebert said he didn’t think the court would stop the execution because Powell was tried for two separate crimes.

“The two things have entirely different elements, entirely different facts, entirely different victims,” he said. “It’s not double jeopardy.”

Ebert said he plans to witness the execution with Reed’s family.

Does executing those who commit the most heinous of crimes do any good? Will the mother of Stacie Reed find any peace of mind knowing that the animal who killed her daughter Stacie and attempted to kill her other daughter Kellie, was put to death? Do executions really save the state money by the time there are appeals? Why do we really punish with the death penalty?

The details are located in this link. Warning: Not for the sensitive.

An additonal link to the Manassas Journal Messenger has many articles that show how very strange this case has been:  Archives with Journal Messenger

31 Thoughts to “A Tuesday Execution: Old Sparky Style (Fizzled)”

  1. ShellyB

    Every word of this was so horrific and awful to read. I can understand why some people are so much in favor of the death penalty after reading that. Skin-crawlingly awful. My heart goes out to the family.

  2. Moon-howler

    Chief Justice Roberts is who issued the stay. So much for conservative judges.

  3. Lafayette

    I’m absolutely sickened by this. My heart goes to family Stacie Reed. I’m so sad, but I left more “choice” comments on my FB page.

    Shame on Chief Justice Roberts. I guess he’s one of the few conservatives that is consistant with their pro-life stance. Why is pro-lifers don’t seem to mind the death penalty? Any conservatives out there that might wish to explain this?

  4. Simon Stone

    This creep needs to die. BVBL is acting like liberal judges did this. I see now that Roberts gave Powell a stay of execution. I don’t think those people over there understand the case. They seem to be more against CA Ebert than seeing justice served.

  5. Lafayette

    Simon, half of the posters over there probably weren’t even around when this crime was committed. I thought so many on bvbl were pro-life, so, what’s there beef? A waste of space’s life has just been spared, at least for a while. Furthermore, anyone with half a brain knows that if you are convicted of a crime worthy of the death penalty in PWC…you will be sentenced to death.

  6. Moon-howler

    Lafayette, feel free to express yourself here also. We take face book comments 😉

  7. Lafayette

    I’m glad to hear that Moon. I will not apologize for my “french”. I’m so sickened by this recent development.
    First comment..
    Chris Pannell This absolutely friggin’ ridiculous that there’s been a stay of execution for Paul Warner Powell. This guy deserves to fry. Now, the US Supreme Court has stepped in. He should’ve been sat down in good ole “sparky” years ago. My heart goes out to the surviving sister and mother.
    Second comment..
    Chris Pannell at 5:45pm July 13
    I’m just sickened by this piss poor move on the part of the Supreme Court. I’ve seen the sister and mother at the courthouse and it always breaks my heart. I can’t imagine how they must be feeling right now. Furthermore, anyone with half a brain knows if you are convicted of captial murder in PWC you will be put to death. VA is only second to Texas when it comes to executions.
    The third post…
    Chris Pannell at 5:51pm July 13
    Here’s another recent article title Powell’s Road To The Electric Chair.

    And another article of his ballsy ass letter to Ebert.

  8. choco

    the chief justice issued a stay so they could review the case, this means nothing more than they need time to review. all it does is buy some extra time for the creep. I suspect he’ll be put to death soon. the court does not go into session until after summer however that is not to say they could not meet and make their mind up to not hear the case. I suspect they will however as this is an important case legally to hear.

  9. Moon-howler

    Thanks Lafayette. I left some links on page 2 of this thread that cover the time line to, for those who want to go back and read the crime reports.

    I did this thread over the weekend, and was holding it until late tonight. Research and everything. Then this afternoon….I see the scumbag got a stay of execution. I wasn’t going to waste my thread, by george! So I tacked on that he lucked out and posted.

    Poor family. Good grief. How many times do they have to relive this?
    No last supper for Powell, at least not tonight.

    Laf, most French here is understood.

  10. sissy

    Where can we find a protest? My God this is disturbing that Powell has received a hault of execution.

  11. Emma

    The death penalty is too quick and humane. I prefer a lifetime of absolutely solitary confinement. No one, including his guards and doctor, should be permitted to speak to him ever unless absolutely necessary. Then we can prove we are better than him by not playing God and taking life away.

  12. Moon-howler

    Emma, are you opposed to the death penalty in all cases?

  13. Simon Stone

    At least you are consistent. I am consistent also…just not the same way you are.

    There are some people I could volunteer to pull the switch on.

  14. Second-Alamo

    It amazes me that people are so upset over putting to death someone who has brutally murdered others, yet we send innocent people into battle without ever giving it a thought. I say fry the bastard!

  15. Moon-howler

    SA, who is upset? I think the anti-death penalty crowd is much smaller than those of us who think it is the most expedient thing to do.

    Emma, honestly, I have never talked to conservatives who are opposed to the death penalty. I have talked to liberals and I have found I simply cannot talk to them on this subject. I don’t know why.

    When I was younger, much young, I was opposed. I am more like Simon and SA now. ‘Where is the switch’ mentality.

  16. ShellyB

    My concern about the death penalty is the potential that an innocent person is put to death by the government and thus by we the people.

  17. Lafayette

    I understand your concern, and I share it to some extent. However, this POS basically wrote a confession to our Commonwealth’s Attorney. That alone should make any appeal non-applicable to this waste of space. This guy should’ve fried years ago.

  18. Moon-howler

    Voting with Lafayette on this one. Yup yup yup.

    I have less concern over the death penalty nowadays, in general, because of DNA.

    As for this guy…guilty. He is a violent criminal and should be treated like a rabid dog. Zap. Zaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap

  19. Gainesville Resident

    I was shocked to find out about the stay in execution. This guy had some nerve, and then he rubbed it in everyone’s face with his letter to Ebert which basically gave Ebert the conviction on a silver platter! His recounting of the story of the murder and rape in that letter was just horrific. If anyone deserves to be put to death, he certainly does.

    What’s even worse, Stacie’s family had flown in here to witness the execution, and try to at least obtain a little closure on the whole thing – although nothing can make up for what happened to her and her sister. I do remember this very well when it happened, and also the first trial, the the letter to Ebert, etc.

    Anyway, personally for really heinous crimes like this one where the defendant shows no remorse, I believe the death penalty is appropriate. I’m not saying all murders should result in the death penalty, but this one definitely should, and if ever there was an “open and shut” case, this one is it.

  20. Moon-howler

    I would hate to think this POS got off on some technicality. Life in prison just doesn’t cut it compared to riding the lightning bolt or whatever it is they say about dead men walking.

    This guy has to be nuts to have tempted fate the way he did. I think people who commit that kind of crime are nuts.

  21. Emma

    I believe that violent antisocial behaviors should be dealt with by removing the criminal from the society. If you want people dead, then you should be removed from people and isolated. I just think that humans, being infinitely fallible, should not get to decide who gets to live and who dies. I also object to the fact that whether you get to live or die for a horrible crime depends on which state you live in. In life or death matters like this, geography should not equal destiny.

  22. Moon-howler

    And I think you are entitled to your beliefs, Emma. I agree with you about which state you live in.

    As you know, I am pro choice and that is how I feel about the abortion regulation laws. A patchwork of laws just makes no sense to me, whether you are talking about guns, gun control, death penalty or abortion rights.

    I know I just talked myself out of states rights with that statement. Are we too big of a nation for states rights? Are we more Americans than Virginians?

  23. Gainesville Resident

    Be careful sayhing that guy had to be nuts to write that letter, MH. We wouldn’t want him to now claim he’s insane and therefore ineligible to be put to death, would we? I wouldn’t put it past his lawyers to attempt some crazy argument like that. Then again, this is their last appeal I guess, if the Supreme Court rules against him, off to the chair he goes! Although, the scary thing was I saw Ebert say, one possible scary outcome would be that they’d be forced to retry the case a THIRD time. How many times does it take to prove this guy is guilty as sin? That letter can be the entire evidence, and you’ve got everything you need to convict him unless he now says he made all that up. But supposedly there’s details in that letter only the murderer would have known, as I understand it. It would be interesting if the court does take this case up – just to see what their statements are on each side – however it turns out. I would not look kindly on the justices who find some way of overturning this case. Since he was never charged with rape, I don’t see how double jeopardy exactly applies. But I’m no legal expert, so as I said will be interesting to see IF the court takes it up, what their explanations are. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a unanimous verdict, so we’d see the usual write-ups from the justices on both sides of the final verdict. Of course, it might be better if they just refuse to hear it, in which case the death penalty will stand.

  24. Moon-howler

    No insanity plea here. One good thing, being legally nuts is not the same as being pathologically nuts. We are safe.

  25. Gainesville Resident

    That’a a good one, MH! Indeed, you’re right – the legal definition of insanity does not match the medical one!

  26. Gainesville Resident

    By the way, in most cases I wouldn’t want to be the one to administer the death penalty. But in this case, especially as he chose the “old sparky” method – I think I would enjoy throwing the big switch.

    My father grew up in Trenton, NJ and was not far from the prison where they electrocuted people. He and his friends used to go down there and gather outside, and always hoped somehow they’d see the lights dim in the building that housed the electric chair, when they threw the big switch. Sadly, according to him, they never did detect any dimming of the lights. The chair must be on its own special circuit, I guess!

  27. Moon-howler

    Is that the state prison there? RAhway? Funny form of entertainment. 😉

  28. choco

    i personally cannot wait for him to “ride the lightning” but it will sure be interesting to see what the court says. with all the drama in this case it will be interesting to see how they decide (assuming they decide to hear)

  29. Gainesville Resident

    Actually, there’s a state prison right down in Trenton. I think you’re right though – Rahway has one too! Well, I guess back then it was something ineresting for the teenagers to do those days – go down to the prison to stand outside at the time they pulled the big switch! Indeed, an interesting form of entertainment. Well, that was my father when he was young, so I can’t speak for whatever was going through him and his friends’ minds! Typical teenage stuff I guess. On the other hand, that never occured to me to do when I was a teenager, but by then that was a very bad neighborhood and you wouldn’t want to be hanging around there after dark (although i guess these days most times they throw the switch it is during the daytime – but who knows!).

  30. Gainesville Resident

    Actually, I don’t think NJ uses the electric chair these days, but I might be wrong. I’m pretty sure the big prison in Trenton is still there. Typical one with huge walls around it, guard towers, barbed wire, the works! Your stereotypical maximum security state prison, for the really bad guys out there!

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