Justice must be swift

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A 46-year-old man was executed Thursday for an unthinkable crime committed more than a quarter century ago.

Darrell Grayson died by lethal injection shortly after 6 p.m. at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

One of Alabama&8217;s longest serving death-row inmates, Grayson was convicted in 1982 of robbing and killing 86-year-old Annie Laura Orr in her Montevallo home.

In the brutal attack, Grayson and his accomplice, Victor Kennedy, confessed to beating and raping the great-grandmother after finding little money. She died after being suffocated with a pillowcase that was taped over her head.

Orr&8217;s son found his mother&8217;s body the next morning, the victim of what one federal court labeled &8220;wild ravaging dogs of hell.&8221;

The two men made off with less than $30 and a pair of wedding rings.

Grayson&8217;s death sentence has created much talk in recent weeks about capital punishment in Alabama.

While it can be debated whether lethal injection is constitutional or whether Grayson should have been given a DNA test, the one thing that is certain is 27 years is much too long for someone to sit on death row.

It&8217;s too long for Mrs. Orr&8217;s family, who were forced to relive the nightmare year-after-year.

It&8217;s too long for Grayson, who supporters say was barely the same man as the 19-year-old convicted murderer.

It&8217;s too long for the community, craving justice and the chance to heal from such a shocking crime.

Unfortunately, it&8217;s an all too common problem in Alabama. Executions are being dragged out and delayed across the state. Earlier this year, Aaron Jones was executed at Holman for killing an Oneonta couple in 1978.

Justice should be fair but also swift. It&8217;s only right that the state do something to address this problem