I’ve been on a hiatus from writing for a while. Life seemed to consume me now that I have a two-year old. An article that appeared in Wednesday’s edition of The Lafourche Gazette sickened me to my core and I was inspired to share my thoughts. It inspired me to beg of you to write to state and government officials and beseech them to push for the implementation of quicker, stricter death penalties.
The article entitled Execution Planned For Wednesday Delayed By 90 Days was a report stating that the execution of death row inmate Christopher Sepulvedo who tortured and killed his 6-year-old stepson in 1992 was being delayed since a new lethal injection process may be too cruel and inhumane. Sepulvedo has been on death row at Angola State Penitentiary since found guilty in April of 1993.
This coward of a man beat his stepson in the head with a screwdriver handle and repeatedly submerged him in a tub of scalding water as punishment for soiling his pants. The head trauma and severe burns resulted in the child’s death.
The following paragraphs were taken from Sepulvado’s direct appeal:
On Thursday, March 5, 1992, defendant [Christopher Sepulvedo] married the victim's mother, Yvonne. The next day, Friday, the victim came home from school, having defecated in his pants. Yvonne spanked him and refused to give him supper. Defendant returned home from work at approximately 9 p.m. That night, the victim was not allowed to change his clothes and was made to sleep on a trunk at the foot of his bed. On Saturday, the victim was not allowed to eat and was again made to sleep on the trunk in his soiled clothes. At around 10 a.m. on Sunday, defendant and the victim were in the bathroom, preparing to attend church services. Defendant instructed the victim to wash out his soiled underwear in the toilet and then take a bath. When the victim hesitated to do so, defendant hit him over the head with the handle of a screwdriver several times with enough force to render him unconscious. Thereafter, the victim was immersed in the bathtub which was filled with scalding hot water.
Approximately three hours later, at around 1:50 p.m., defendant and his wife brought the victim to the emergency room at the hospital. At that time the victim was not breathing, had no pulse, and probably had been dead for approximately thirty to sixty minutes. All attempts to revive the victim were futile. The cause of death was attributed to the scald burns covering 60% of the victim's body, primarily on his backside. There were third-degree burns over 58% of the body and second degree burns on the remaining 2%. The scalding was so severe that the victim's skin had been burned away. In addition to the burns, medical examination revealed that the victim had been severely beaten. The victim's scalp had separated from his skull due to hemorrhaging and bruising. Also, there were deep bruises on the victim's buttocks and groin, which were not consistent with accidental injury.
How can anyone beat and torture a child? How can the lawyers who are defending this piece of work sleep at night? How can a judge agree to postpone the death penalty for an additional 90 days because the new lethal injection combination might prove to be too cruel for this cold-hearted child killer?
Something is wrong with our justice system. Something is wrong with our nation. There should be no reason on God’s green earth that this man, who admitted to torturing and killing a poor child, should still be alive 20 plus years later. His mother, who seemed to have taken part in or at least witnessed the events should be put to death as well. Like heck would I stand by while someone tortured my child.
We the people need to stand together and make our voices heard. We will no longer sit by and watch our hard earned money go to support the slime of the earth who sit on death row more years than their victims were alive.
I urge you to write letters to senators and congressmen; they are your voice. It’s time for you, and those who can’t speak at all, to be heard.
Posted on Fri, February 7, 2014
by Laurie Laine Coleman, Opinion Columnist