World Day Against the Death Penalty – WOMEN on Death Row – Part 4: Carlette Parker, North Carolina (USA)

WOMEN sentenced to death:
An invisible reality

On October 10, 2021, the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty is dedicated to women ,

who are at risk of being sentenced to death ,

who have received a death sentence ,

who have been executed, and

those whose death sentence has been commuted or overturned for innocence.

Carlette Parker, 58, is one of about 50 women currently on U.S. death row. She was sentenced to death in 1999 for the kidnapping and murder of an 86-year-old woman in North Carolina.

Although Carlette’s defense attorney pointed to her difficult childhood, marked by weekly sexual assaults over several years, the jury opted for a death sentence instead of life in prison.

In her poem “Don’t Judge Me,” Carlette poignantly recounts her early setbacks and traumatic childhood experiences.

Don’t judge me
by Carlette Parker

Please don’t judge me, in all your glory
,Don’t even assume you know my story.
I’m a little girl, born in June of 1963,
Only God knew, the toll life would take on me.

Very early in my precious life,
My mother, my comfort, my father’s wife,
Was taken too quickly from this world,
Leaving the five year old girl.

I have three other siblings left also to mourn.
From love, the four of us were born.
I’m from sexual abuse late at night.
Eyes shut, legs closed tight.

Those evil male attackers wouldn’t let me be.
It was as if they were driven to destroy me.
I suffered inside angry and a shame,
Feeling dirty, defiled, un-clean, and somehow to blame.

They’d say you’d better not tell a living soul,
No one will ever listen to a five year old.
If you have children, hold them dear,
Trust no-one, make this crystal clear.

Carlette Parker is looking for pen pals through our website, as are several other women in U.S. death row in Arizona (Sammantha U.), California (Tanya N.) and Mississippi (Lisa C.).

Laura Agofsky
German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

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