Local News

Death Row Inmate Unhappy About Delayed Execution

Posted March 8, 2007 4:14 p.m. EST
Updated March 8, 2007 7:07 p.m. EST

— Convicted killer Allen Holman, who sits on death row at Raleigh's Central Prison, says he is ready to die.

This week, family members traveled from Maryland to say goodbye to the 47-year-old, convicted of first-degree murder in April 1998 of shooting his wife, Linda Holman, in front of a police officer in Apex.

A year ago, Holman even fired his attorneys in an effort to move forward with the execution, which was scheduled for 2 a.m. Friday. But now, his death sentence is on hold.

"I want closure for the victim's family," Holman said Thursday. "I want closure for my family. I want closure for myself."

On Tuesday, a judge delayed the execution because the state Department of Correction could not find a physician willing to attend the execution. The reason: a North Carolina Medical Board policy adopted in January that declares it unethical for a physician to participate in executions.

But Holman doesn't believe a doctor needs to be present.

"I'm not saying I want a correctional officer sticking a needle in my arm or anything, no, but I don't see where it would necessarily have to be a doctor there," he said.

Under state law though, a physician is required to be present at all executions to ensure that the condemned inmate does not suffer.

Four other scheduled executions were delayed earlier this year when a Wake County judge ruled that the medical board's policy conflicted with state law. State officials subsequently ordered a new protocol that increased a doctor's role.

Holman, who said he lost faith in the justice system long ago, said he is frustrated by the dispute and thinks he should be allowed to die.

"It's illogical, it's irrational to me," he said, citing examples of abortion and doctor-assisted suicide.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Susan Spurlin, who prosecuted the case, says the wait for Holman's execution has also taken an emotional toll on the victim's daughter, Deborah Hartless.

"This has been very difficult for her, because she thought it was going to come to a close -- and it's not," Spurlin said.

Holman said the waiting is frustrating and that he believes the longer he waits for the death penalty dispute to be resolved, the greater the chances will be "to get rid of the death penalty."

"I feel competent enough, I feel I'm being rational, rational and logical about it," Holman said. "I think it should be carried out."