The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

June 11, 2008

Inmate’s family, friends protest execution

The family of Felecia Prechtl watched Karl Eugene Chamberlain become the first Texas death row inmate to be executed since late September 2007.

Chamberlain, who raped and killed Prechtl 17 years ago in Dallas, was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after he was given the lethal injection at 6:21.

While Chamberlain’s half-sister and five friends witnessed his execution from behind another glass window, his mother stood in front of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Walls Unit protesting the death penalty.

Mu’ina Arthur of Las Vegas, N.M., chose not to see her son executed a short distance away.

She was among 20 protesters waving signs in opposition of the death penalty or voicing their viewpoint verbally.

Chamberlain became the 406th person executed in Texas.

“This country is a fascist country,” Arthur said, using a megaphone. “This is not a compassionate America. We have to stand on God’s law. Jesus was a pacifist. Jesus was a pacifist.”

“How many men has the state of Texas murdered who were innocent?” she cried out. “Many. They’re dead, they’re gone, they’re martyrs.”

“Let all the countries around the world put the pressure on The United States of America,” Arthur said with Ron Carlson standing next to her. “The leader of killing. The leader of mayhem. We’re talking about human beings, we’re talking about my son.

“He’s a jewel; he’s a teddy bear; and yeah, he messed up. He didn’t have a criminal record, and he’s not a bad man. He’s a good man. He’s a jewel compared to most. Compare him to Bush. God, oh Jesus save us.

“God is truth. My son is a believer, you’re gonna, hey ... he ain’t dead yet.”

“This is not the first time I’ve stood with an inmate’s family,” said Carlson, brother of Deborah Thornton Carlson, who was killed by Karla Faye Tucker.

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