NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 27, 1977
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(Studio) 2 men in Alabama plead guilty to murder and say they'd rather die than get life sentences. Judge sentences them to death in electric chair.
REPORTER: David Brinkley
(Mobile, Alabama) Shooting of Mobile, Alabama, pawnbroker Edward Nassar noted; arrested for murder were John Louis Evans of Beaumont, Texas, and Wayne Eugene Ritter of Indianapolis, IN. 2 admit killing; in Alabama, crimes with death penalty must have jury trial, even if defendants plead guilty. Against court-appointed attys.' advice, 2 take stand, admit killing and request death rather than life sentence. [RITTER - says if life sentence given, he'd get out in several years and come after jury mbrs.] [EVANS - says he'll never reform and will do it again if freed after prison term.] Judge Joseph Hocklander gives death sentence today. [HOCKLANDER - finishes handing out sentence.] Review by state Supreme Court mandatory and defendants say they'll not cooperate with appeal attempts; however, defense attys. suspect 2 men may count on publicity of trial to get support of groups opposing death sentence. If 2 have change of heart and want to request execution stay, there may be problem; Governor George Wallace has long advocated capital punishment.
REPORTER: Kenley Jones (WALA-TV newsfilm)