Seventeen-year-old Gary Tyler, the young black student convicted and sentenced to death by an all white jury on a trumped-up murder charge, still sits waiting for release from Death Row in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. (see Fifth Estate #273 and #274 for more details.)
Rescued from the electric chair by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on capital punishment—a ruling which approved the reconstitution of the death penalty under strict new guidelines—Tyler nonetheless is far from out of the woods.
Not only has he as yet not been removed from Death Row; as his lawyer Jack Peebles has petitioned, but there’s still the chance he’ll be retried and re-sentenced to death for his alleged killing of a 14-year-old white youth once Louisiana redrafts its capital punishment laws to meet federal standards.
While Tyler awaits a new trial before the Louisiana Supreme Court this fall, he continues to be victimized by the white racist slugs who are his keepers at the State Penitentiary.
Aside from being forced to live day after day in a six-by-eight foot cell, Tyler has been tear-gassed, denied regular twice-a-week visiting privileges and been given both twenty days in solitary confinement for having a “weapon”—a twisted spoon—in his cell and, an additional ten for breaking his own pencil when forbidden to take it into “the hole” with him.
With charges and counter-charges flying as to what left groups are co-opting the Free Gary Tyler defense movement and siphoning out much-needed funds we urge that if you’re inclined towards sending some money Tyler’s way, you mail it directly to Tyler’s Mother, Juanita Tyler, 736 Mockingbird, Destrehan, Louisiana.