IN - Ruth Pelke, 78, brutally murdered by teen girls, Gary, 14 May 1985

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by Reader, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...p-ind_woman_sentenced_to_die_at_16_to_be_r-ap

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana woman put on death row at age 16 for killing an elderly Bible school teacher is scheduled to be released Monday after serving a prison term that was shortened after the state Supreme Court intervened.

    Paula Cooper's death sentence at such a young age sparked international protests and a plea for clemency from Pope John Paul II. Now 43 years old, Cooper is being given a second chance at her life.

    More at link....
     
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  3. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    As the fourth teen waited outside as a lookout, Cooper stabbed Pelke 33 times with a butcher knife. Then she and the other girls ransacked the house. The four girls fled with Pelke's car and $10.

    - from the link in the OP.

    Stabbed a kindly old lady 33 times in her own home?

    Nah, let her rot in prison for the rest of her sorry life. I wonder how many of those championing this woman's 'human rights' have had their mother or Nanna stabbed 33 times, or have any clear idea of the terror and suffering this horrible person caused..

    I am not a supporter of her release.
     
  4. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    She sounds like a lovely young woman that deserves a second chance...NOT!
     
  5. shana

    shana New Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbuvlHCeyAI"]Paula Cooper: A second chance at life - YouTube[/ame]

    Note that the victim's grandson has apparently forgiven her and supports Paula. There is a series of videos on the case. Here's one of them:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baqMXpqT5II"]Step by Step A Journey of Hope: Bill Pelke - YouTube[/ame]

    ~jmo~
     
  6. shana

    shana New Member

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    Grandson Bill Pelke's site:

    JOURNEY OF HOPE

    The Journey spotlights murder victim's family members who choose not to seek revenge, and instead select the path of love and compassion for all of humanity. Forgiveness is seen as a strength and as a way of healing. The greatest resources of the Journey are the people who are a part of it.

    ~jmo~
     
  7. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    She got in trouble 23 times in prison. I don't know if this means in the early years or up until what she started getting an education. Not a mention of turning to God or remorse, just education in prison.
     
  8. Houndmom

    Houndmom New Member

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    Imo she has still not taken responsibility for the crime. She is still blaming the others that were with her. In the video, she stated that she wants to work with youth to teach them prison is not where you want to be because it strips you of everything. No mention of what she stripped from the victim and her family.
     
  9. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    She's been in prison for 30 years. If she's no longer a danger to the public, and is willing and able to make some positive contribution to society, I think it makes more sense to let her out than keep her at tax payer's expense for the rest of her natural life. Let her work and pay taxes like everyone else, and if she breaks the law again revoke her parole and send her back to prison.
     
  10. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    I'm not impressed.

    IMO huge mistake letting that one out
     
  11. LynnM

    LynnM New Member

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    The timing of the trouble would make a difference to me too. Also, writing as someone who used to analyze data like this in evaluating prison program effectiveness, I would really have to see the actual write ups to know whether she got into serious trouble. There are a lot of rules in prison, it's hard to follow all of them and most of the trivial violations are not written up but could be depending on the correction officer's discretion. As an example, possessing prison contraband sounds serious and it certainly is if it's a weapon or drugs but it could also be something as innocuous as a piece of candy that an inmate slipped into a pocket during a program graduation ceremony so she could have it before bedtime.

    Even if she did very well in prison, lots of inmates do very well in the orderly structure of prison life and don't do well when released again. People can behave very well when sober but relapse upon release when temptation is available again and go right back to committing crimes. With crimes of violence it may be easier to predict future behavior based on prison behavior. I would want to know how she handled her anger while she was in prison and I would want to know what had been going on in her life as a child that led her to commit a horrific murder at age 15. Did she do the work to understand herself so that she never acts out with violence again? It is not a good sign if she is still blaming others.
     
  12. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    She should stay in prison.
     
  13. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Woman sentenced to death walks free, thanks in part to victim's grandson

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/17/justice/death-row-freedom/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    [has current picture of her]

    ...........Cooper had an unlikely ally supporting her release: Bill Pelke, the grandson of the woman she killed........

    "For a year and a half, whenever I thought about my grandmother, I always pictured how she died. It was terrible," he said. "But when my heart was touched with compassion, forgiveness took place. I knew from that moment on when I think about her, I would no longer pictured how she died, but I would picture how she lived, and what she stood for, what she believed in -- the beautiful, wonderful person she was."

    Pelke said he's never asked Cooper to explain her actions -- "There's not a good answer for that" -- but said she has shown remorse for the killing.

    "She would take it back in a heartbeat if she could, but she knows she has to live with it for the rest of her life," he said. "She knows she took something valuable out of society. She wants to try to give back. She wants to to help work with other young people to avoid the pitfalls that she fell into. She wants to try to give back to society."........more......


    Don't know if I'd be capable of forgiving but he has, so I will accept that.
    I surely hope for this man's sake that Cooper is never in the news again.
     
  14. the seeker

    the seeker New Member

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    Ugh...Im not a death penalty supporter, so Im glad she wont be executed BUT for the love of God....do NOT let her OUT. I dont care if she is "sorry" (which she isnt because she hasnt taken responsibility), or if she claims or appears to be a different person....15 is old enough to understand what she was doing....a helpless old woman.....this girl was and probably still is a monster. Leave her where she is.
     
  15. cityslick

    cityslick New Member

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    It doesn't help when one of this person's advocates is a member of the victims family.
     
  16. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    She's already out. Let's hope you're wrong, and the victim's grandson is right.
     
  17. nomoresorrow

    nomoresorrow New Member

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    BBM
    Jeez, I sure hope her "breaking the law again" doesn't cost someone their life (again)...
     
  18. Perodicticus potto

    Perodicticus potto Member

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    BBM. The media always mention papal pleas for clemency as if they made a case special, but as far as I know, the Vatican actually pleads for clemency in every death penalty case that comes to its attention (being uniformly opposed to it).
     
  19. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    So do I. Furthermore, I hope she doesn't break the law again at all, and instead goes on to put something back into the society that was merciful enough to give her a second chance.
     
  20. Dewey2Me1MoThyme

    Dewey2Me1MoThyme Have clue will sleuth!

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    If the grandson can find it in his heart to forgive her, good for him, I hope that brings him peace, but, to use his status as the grandson of the victim to help unleash the murderer on the rest of society is overstepping his bounds. JMHO!
     
  21. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    Good point, and one of the reasons why victims should have no say in sentencing or parole decisions. Such things should be decided by impartial people who are able to objectively assess risk to the public, mitigating/aggravating factors etc. They should never be decided on the basis of how forgiving or how vengeful the victim's family feel.
     

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