Interview with Ireland Beazley

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Places 
  •  Missouri 
 
People and Organizations 
  •  Botsford, David 
  •  Clark, Pastor 
  •  Coleman, Donald and Cedric 
  •  Dickson, Angie 
  •  Federal Bureau of Inverstigation 
  •  Jones, Pastor 
  •  Long, Walter 
  •  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 
  •  Scott, Pastor 
  •  Stallworth, Pastor 
  •  Texas Court of Criminal Appeals 
  •  Texas Department of Criminal Justice 
 
Table of Contents 
  •  Changes in Napoleon Between 1994 and 2002 
  •  Effects on Relationship with Jamaal 
  •  "We stuck with God" 
  •  Jamaal and Ethan 
  •  Conclusion 
  •  Watch Video 1of "Interview with Mr. Ireland Beazley." 
 
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Transcript 
  •  RAYMOND: An hour and fifteen minutes. We are here in Grapeland, Texas. Grapeland, east Texas. We are nowhere near Dallas. We're in the Beazley home and again my name is Virginia Raymond. Gabe Solis is at the camera. And Papa Diallo is also with us in the room. And Ireland is ready to talk some more. And I thank you again. 
  •  RAYMOND: As I was mentioning to you when we were off tape, Napoleon writes in his last statement, wrote in his last statement, about how he had changed and grown between the time of the crime and the time that he wrote that statement. And you've talked about how you got to spend a lot of time with him. So I wonder if you had any thoughts about that issue? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Definitely. I saw some change as far as his maturity. I can remember before the trial, and during the jury selection, I was talking to him during one of the breaks and he—as I was talking to him, I could—I saw, or I heard and felt like he did not realize—I don't think he even realized what he was into, how much trouble he was into. He was talking, "Hey maybe they'll send me to one of those boot camp training deals." Where they'd send him to a boot camp or something like that. He was just that young. He did not realize what kind of trouble he was in. 
  •  BEAZLEY: But then over the course of the years you could sense that he started thinking about death. We had a few discussions about death and those type of things and—but as we got closer and closer to 2002 and the trial thing, I sensed that hey, he wanted to live. And with his time in there I know he started thinking about life. And I could definitely see some changes in him. And they accused him of not being remorseful in the trial, which he was remorseful. I could sense that he was. He would always say that he was concerned about us, and it was genuine. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And I could sense that he regretted the things that he was putting his mother through, more especially than me. I think he kinda expected us to be the macho type. But I could sense the feelings he had towards his mother, and all those different type of things. Before his last—when his last appearance was in court, that was the only time we saw him break down like he did. I knew he had changed from when this whole incident had started. I could sense that he regretted everything. And I really can't explain everything, all the details that I saw, but I guarantee it was there. 
  •  BEAZLEY: He was very remorseful about the things that he had done. And then I do know for a fact that he was remorseful for the pain that he was causing his mother especially. He just wished it hadn't happened like it did. And we definitely wish that it hadn't happened like it did. It was one of them, one of them things that was throwed at us. I remember they gave him an execution date in 2001, I believe. I'm not for sure. But when he came out of that, it gave him some hope because a couple of weeks after [inaudible] he throwed the question up to me about, "Do you reckon you could get me some college courses?" 
  •  BEAZLEY: For a brief moment there he had some hope, you know? I think that happened in August, but it was January when they dashed his hopes. But for a brief period of time in there he felt like he was going to have a chance to live. But then you go down after January, you go down there and you could see it in his face. He was back to worrying about the next day. What's going to happen? How is it going to come out? 
  •  BEAZLEY: There was also a lot of tension directed toward this case during that time and I saw him. We discussed him talking to people and how he should say things and what he should say, and stuff like that. 
  •  BEAZLEY: So I can't explain it really, but it was there. It was a change in him from ninety-four up until 2002 it was different. More like talking to a grown person now, 'cause like when we were in Smith County, up there where he was in jail we talked about football and little bitty things, the other kids and stuff like that. 
  •  BEAZLEY: But when we got down in Livingston, we had a lot of conversations about life and things. And it was just him growing, getting older. Kids do that. Everybody does that. He had a lot to think about though. 
  •  RAYMOND: You mentioned earlier that one of the first things you had done in Tyler when you first found out what the charges were, you called your pastor. And you also mentioned that you had some community support. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Oh, yeah. 
  •  RAYMOND: I wonder— 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: It was the church that I went to and the church that Napoleon was a member of really rallied around us. Prayer changes things. There is no situation in this life that you can go through without God's grace and mercy guiding you through it. And the church prayed with us, for us and that brought us all close together. It really did. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And it started that my pastor, you don't wanna—he had us to start up prayer vigils in our home and we would just put it out there, tell anybody to come that wanted to come. And some nights, we generally tried to do it once a month, and some nights we would have so many people in the house that we wouldn't have chairs for them. We had thirty and the house was not as big as this one. We would have thirty or forty people in the house some nights. It wasn't like that every night. 
  •  BEAZLEY: Some nights we might not have but ten, but once a month. We started in probably ninety-six. Once a month we would come together and we'd pray. And we did that all the way up until 2002. Once month we met at the house we prayed together, and it was just different people in the community. It wasn't all—it was about ten that was always going to be there no matter what. But you know every month it would probably be a couple of different faces come up, show up. 
  •  BEAZLEY: So we had a lot of support from all different people in the community and if it hadn't been for that we wouldn't have gotten through this 'cause some times that we were down, that just having that prayer vigil would help lift us up and help us to keep going on and keep fighting the situation. And I think God really answered our prayers. We brought a lot of attention to the case. 
  •  BEAZLEY: We got a lot of help from people not just in this community, but his story was put on C.N.N. And, well his story, it went across the waters. I think all of that, the community support that we got through that helped us to survive this ordeal. 
  •  RAYMOND: What do you pray? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: When do I pray? 
  •  RAYMOND: What, what did you pray? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Oh. One of the things is, "Lord, let your will be done, not ours." We was not expecting him to change his will. But one of the things we were mainly asking for was just to spare his life. I mean it was—we ain't dumb. We went through the trial and we saw a lot of things wrong with the trial. But we also felt like the Coleman boys influenced some of the things that happened in the situation. But we had to resolve ourselves that maybe Napoleon was the one that pulled the trigger. 
  •  BEAZLEY: So we was not expecting him—and we was not asking God to turn him loose. All I was asking God was that they would spare his life. That they would allow him a second chance. And I felt, like me personally, I felt like he was very much rehabilitatable. He could have served his forty years had they given him a chance. He could have came out and been a productive society member. And I base my opinion on that out of fact because my dad was fifty-seven years old when I was born, you know? 
  •  BEAZLEY: So I felt like Napoleon would have been fifty-seven years old if they gave him a forty-year sentence and he would have gotten out. And my dad lived till he was seventy-five. And I felt like he just—if you would have gave him that chance he would of come out and been a productive member of society. And forty years would have been a long time. That stupid decision that he made when he was seventeen would—I don't feel like he would have made it when he was forty-seven. But they were not willing to allow him that chance. And, gee, I don't know what else to say. 
  •  RAYMOND: So you had been praying with the group about once a month for almost eight years. Eight years. What about right at the execution and after? Can you talk about that? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: You remember I said that they had set the execution date the year before. 
  •  RAYMOND: Yes. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: And I mean it was just we had a house full of people there and we were all prepared to go down to Huntsville. And we weren't going to do nothing but just continue praying. But as you remember they had canceled that one that time. So it was just a big ol' ecstatic party that day. We were happy. We were praising God, and I felt like that very same thing was going to happen. But we made basically the same plans that day, the day of the execution. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And we were going to the halfway house, and we were going to be there in prayer 'til the last moment, and basically that is exactly what we did. I think it was probably about all of my family, well my brothers, my sisters, and her sister. Well I can't even remember who all was there. It was probably about thirty of us that met up at the halfway house down there. And we were in there, having prayer when the execution—and Napoleon didn't want us there, and we definitely did not want to be there. 
  •  BEAZLEY: But we felt like we were just going to be like [inaudible] we were going in fine and we were going to continue praying. And so that's exactly what we did. On the way down, I never will forget that's when they had called us and told us that that's when—that same day Michigan had—I don't know the exact details but Michigan Criminal Court of Appeals had— 
  •  RAYMOND: —Missouri maybe? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Missouri, Missouri. Okay, Missouri had granted some inmate on appeal for the same reason that we had for Napoleon. And that was—that good news. We said, Okay, gee, it was going to happen again, it was going to happen again. 
  •  BEAZLEY: But as you very well know even though Missouri did that, Texas Criminal—they said, "No" on the same issue. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And as well as you very well know that issue is the one that got the other twenty-nine off of Death Row. And if they had just waited and gave it an opportunity to go through the appeals, then legally they wouldn't have been able to kill Napoleon. 
  •  BEAZLEY: But nevertheless we got down there and we didn't do nothing but continue in prayer. And I forgot the exact time that Walter called us and told us that—you know. 
  •  BEAZLEY: We kept our head up. And I remember, but everybody, everybody started crying. My wife was very distraught. But I stood up and I told them that God hadn't failed us. I told them that we could still keep our faith and trust in God. Everything had worked out the way He wanted to. 
  •  BEAZLEY: So we were going to continue living our lives and go right ahead on. And that basically was it. 
  •  BEAZLEY: People—I don't want to talk about nobody, but people say, "I can't find closure until someday till you kill somebody for killing mine." 
  •  BEAZLEY: Okay well, after Walter called and I said God hadn't failed us, to me that was the end of it. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And I know somebody—people got to view it like that instead of going out and seeking to try to kill somebody to satisfy yourself. 
  •  BEAZLEY: They just got to—that's it and be done with it and move on with your life. That's what we've tried to do and by the grace of God we have, we've moved on. 
  •  RAYMOND: You said earlier when we were talking that one of the things you had to do was to protect Jamaal. He was a little boy when this began. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: And that—automatically you don't want to air no dirty laundry, but he accused us of not paying attention to him, 'cause of all the things that we went through with Napoleon. He had trouble in school because of it. And he even said to me one time, "You don't love me." And basically, I don't know how to tell you, it was a couple of times I would walk into the house—him and Napoleon favored—I would walk in and call him Napoleon instead of Jamaal. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And that kind of stuff hurt him and hurt me to think that he thought that I didn't even care about him. And it was tough. But he's doing all right now. He's doing all right now. He knows I love him and I'll do anything for him just like I would do anything for Napoleon. 
  •  RAYMOND: The community that helped you in supporting you and prayed with you—tissue behind you if you want, and one for me, too—are you still close to those people? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Oh yeah. Oh yes. Oh yes. Those are the people I'll never forget, I'll never forget. They're people that I work with. People that I go to church with. People that I see driving up and down this road everyday. And so I'll never forget those people. 
  •  BEAZLEY: After Pastor Clark, he was my pastor at the time, but he passed on in, shoot, 2005 I believe. But he—I will never forget him and the way he supported us and things that he said to encourage us, and things he said to help us through. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And then I had another friend from up in Dallas. And oh gee out of all the situations how could I forget to mention her? I mean she helped me raise—we raised funds to hire Walter and David Botsford and they weren't free and I didn't have the money so she helped us to raise the money to pay Walter and David. She had rallies at this church up here. And I mean she brought people from Dallas around and she drew people from Houston and we raised over twenty-something thousand dollars. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And that was money that they gave. I didn't pay it back. They gave it to help us in this situation, and I was so thankful and grateful for that. It was a blessing and her name was Angie Dickson. I never will forget. She passed in 2006 I believe. But she helped us tremendously, and not only financially, but she was a friend. Well me and her grew up together to tell you the truth. She was a classmate of my brother's. And so we didn't ask her to do it. 
  •  BEAZLEY: She just called up one day and said—well she was a lawyer to be honest with you and she knew it would cost money. And so she took it upon her part to do that, and then to be honest with you she also contributed quite heavily to it, too. She was a great inspirational speaker. She was sort of a philosopher. (laughs) 
  •  RAYMOND: Let me see what did Gabe tell us? Language, metaphysics, ethics? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: (laughs) I don't know. But she gave speeches at universities and stuff like that, and so she was pretty well known up in the Dallas area. But her help—and it seemed like whatever help we needed, by the grace of God, we got it. 
  •  BEAZLEY: The pastor gave us great—he kept our head up, he just always kept us involved in stuff, kept us—he made sure we kept the vigils up. He didn't—and that pastor he's still living. His name is Reverend Stallworth. 
  •  BEAZLEY: He's out of Elkhart. He was the one that made sure that the prayer vigils went on every month. Every month I could always depend on him to give us a call saying, "When is it going to be?" I was the one who had to set it 'cause—and I would always set it to fit most people's schedule around here to where we knew everybody was going to be out off of work. If they was gonna have a football game, basketball game or something, and these people was gonna be going to the games, we didn't want to set one then. 
  •  BEAZLEY: So I had to work around all those different types of things. But he was the one who would always call and say we need to have one. 
  •  BEAZLEY: Then, another pastor out of Crockett there was [inaudible] Scott. He did a lot of helpfuls and he was a member of the N. double A.C.P. And he tried to do whatever he could through that organization to help us out. So, we had all kinds of support. 
  •  RAYMOND: So you've named at least three pastors— 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: It should have been more than that. Pastor Clark, Angie Dickson, she was a pastor, Angie Dickson, Stallworth, [inaudible] Scott, four 
  •  BEAZLEY: —and Reverend Jones. He started that whole thing. And one of the reasons why I remember him so very well is that he was the one that I called that morning. And then I think I missed or did I? Yeah. No, I went to church that Sunday morning, and he was the one—he called a prayer vigil up here at Rising Star Baptist Church. 
  •  BEAZLEY: He asked all of the people to come up and we was going to pray. And we did. And he came up there that morning and he—we put—I can't explain it to you. It was just amazing the way he conducted the service that morning, and the prayers that he said. It was just amazing. 
  •  RAYMOND: Now this was the morning when it first— 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: No, ma'am. Yes, when it first happened. This was probably somewhere in June of 1994. Now they arrested Napoleon I think either the last of May or the first of June in ninety-four. I can't think of when it was. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: The church that I stayed right next door which was Saint John's Baptist Church. We knew all those members was over there and they were always doing things for us. They opened their church doors two or three times and had prayer vigils for us down there. 
  •  BEAZLEY: I probably forget some of the people that helped us, but in most Black churches you have prayer lists, where every church they give names, and nearly every church around here in this community had our names on their prayer list, praying for us. Prayer changes things. 
  •  RAYMOND: For the whole family? For all of you? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: For the whole family, and as well as Napoleon. 
  •  RAYMOND: Yeah. You said these were the Black churches. Did you get any support from white churches as well? Or was it— 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Yeah we are talking all Black churches. 
  •  BEAZLEY: I had some white friends that came and said that they had us on their prayer lists as well. I know this First Baptist church up here, I remember someone telling me they had prayed for us. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And also, it's a white church up here on Lockhart road. I can't think of the name of it— San Pedro, that's the name of it. They said that they had prayed for us. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And, I don't know. That was—we realized that if it was going to be any relief out of this situation it was going to come through the grace of God. We could tell by the way the justice system was acting they was not intending to give out any. So that's why we stuck with God. 
  •  RAYMOND: Well, to go back to the justice system for a minute, you mentioned that horrible moment when that lawyer first told you that there— 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Well, like I said, he mentioned—the first thing that ticked me off so bad but I never will forget it because yeah I was crying and boohooing and he said that trying to comfort me. But when I went back out to my truck and that's when the courthouse—he was right next to the courthouse, so the courthouse was this way. Went back to my truck and I got out and I said, that's when I said, Well Lord, it's time to fight. And I said, Lord, if you go with me, we're going to fight. 
  •  BEAZLEY: That's when—you remember I told you it angered me, but it dried up my tears 'cause, okay, it ain't time to be crying big boy. You got other things you got to do. That's when I said, Lord, if they want to fight, let's fight. I thank the good Lord, put up a good fight. 
  •  RAYMOND: For that lawyer to say that right away, and you mentioned it very early on, very, very early on there's a difference between how Napoleon was treated than the other two young men. Did you ever come to understand why they were so determined? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: To? 
  •  RAYMOND: Well you said people seemed determined to pin it on Napoleon, and to treat him differently and to treat him harsher? And what—I think you said they were determined to kill him, what was that about? Why? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Well, it was that revenge factor that they saythat's not in the justice system. I think that isin the justice system. When they wanna do something they're gonna do it. 
  •  BEAZLEY: The individual that Napoleon had shot was a federal judge's daddy. And also he was supposedly a well known businessman of Tyler, which was sort of rich, I'm assuming rich; a well known person there in Tyler. And so, "We gonna make you pay for what you done done." 
  •  BEAZLEY: The F.B.I. got highly involved in the case because the little federal judge thinking that somebody was out trying get him and stuff like that. So the F.B.I. was highly involved in the case, 'cause Tyler's not—but, I don't know how big it is, but it should've been just a case that went, but because of the notoriety of the individual, F.B.I. was brought in and all this good stuff, all that stuff happened. 
  •  BEAZLEY: When the three white guys shot the Black man on the street the F.B.I. wasn't involved in it. You understand what I'm saying? But this guy here got them involved in it, so it was a big difference there. 
  •  RAYMOND: Why did they go after Napoleon specifically? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Because of the two brothers was supposedly have confessed and fingered Napoleon as being the triggerman, as the one who had did all the killing, who had did all the running up there, did all the planning, did all of this, did all of that. And they just sit back like innocent little ol' peoples. That's the way they put the story out there, that's what they throwed out there to the jury. To me, they did that just for the boys' sake so neither one of them got the death penalty. 
  •  BEAZLEY: They got federal sentences as well as state sentences so technically they would never get out of prison, I don't think. But I hope they do. I knew both of the boys real well. I coached one of them on—him and Napoleon was on my baseball team that I coached. He was—wasn't no bad kid, but I think they were just three kids out there and the situation happened neither one of them knew how to get out of it and they all got burnt for it. 
  •  RAYMOND: Were you going to say something else? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: No ma'am. No ma'am. 
  •  RAYMOND: I'm not going to bug you too much longer I just—What do you tell Jamaal and now that you have this beautiful young grandson, Ethan, when they ask, or when you—do you talk—how do you see this and explain this whole set of affairs to them? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Well I really haven't had to. Like I say, Jamaal grew up in it. I think that it has been something that has affected his life. Made him what he is. Haven't had no discussion with him. But as far as Ethan (laughs) you remember I tell you when we would take kids? When Ethan was two and three, he had the opportunity to go with us and visit Napoleon every weekend. So he got to know who Napoleon was. We never did—we never sat down and told him why he was in there. 
  •  BEAZLEY: But, I'm quite sure somebody has told him now. One of the things I've done with him, I would just say, "God bless." And I would expect him to fill in the sentence. I would say, "God bless," and he would say, "God bless Napoleon." I started that with him when he was probably two-years-old, when he first learned how to talk. I could go to him right now and say that and he remembers, and if I say, "God bless," and he'll say, "God bless Napoleon." I think that helped him. 
  •  BEAZLEY: I don't think he has any ill feelings about Napoleon. If, he knowed him, he knew him, although he never touched him, but he knew him. He had talked with him. We'd go down there, and you know how kids are, Napoleon would take time out and say a few things with him and everything. He knows Napoleon, he knows who he was. So I really haven't had anything, haven't had to have no conversation with him. I just hope and pray that, I'm a be honest with you, Jamaal's in school right now we all know he gonna be graduating. 
  •  BEAZLEY: When he was here at the house, I'm gonna be honest with you, we kept a little bit more tighter rein on him. We didn't—he didn't have some of the freedom that we allowed Napoleon to have. He fussed and bawled at us about that. When he left—when he was down in Huntsville, I was just always scared of getting another phone call. And I still am. I still am. It was just devastating. He went out and made a stupid decision. And I worry. Yeah, I still worry whether or not he gonna go out and do something stupid. 
  •  BEAZLEY: And I find myself thinking about it about Ethan right now. Boy, I do try to have a little bit of ol' conversation with him about doing the right thing at all times now 'cause, boy, I couldn't go through it again. I'm serious. I could not go through that again. So, we—and he saying we were bad parents at first. But I'm definitely trying to improve my parental skills a little bit with these two. 
  •  RAYMOND: Could you—just to kind of wind up [bell rings] can you tell me—tell us I guess just for the record, for the archives or whatever—a little bit about your life now? You're working. I mean you're working now, but what you're looking forward to doing? What's life about now for you? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: I really don't know. I always thought I wanted to quit work and retire. That's been always ever since I started working, that's been my goal. I was very fortunate to—I've been working on a job for thirty-four years and two months. I had an opportunity to leave that job. Didn't—really didn't know what I wanted to do or what I was gonna do. But after I left I saw this benefit that I thought I could get. So I decided to go to work for, of all places, which is the State of Texas as being a correction officer. 
  •  BEAZLEY: In the time period of when I started, I never even thought about it. I never associated it with having anything to do with the Napoleon's case, because I've known over the years plenty of people that worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. So I didn't think they were bad people. And at the time my sister-in-law was working down there. And another conception of this plan was that me and her was gone start, was gonna—she was gonna be working there and me and her was gone ride to work together. But I goes to work down there, and two months after I get there she quits (Laughs). 
  •  BEAZLEY: Also I saw the benefit there that I was interested in—that I wanted the job that I had retired from did not give me any health insurance. So if I didn't go—if I didn't go back to work I was gonna be without health insurance. I could've retired and just sit down on my behind but I'm a little bit to young for that. So I wanted health insurance. The insurance was gone cost me over eight hundred dollars a month just for me and my wife, and my daughter, I mean and Jamaal, my daughter wasn't on there. 
  •  BEAZLEY: So I said, "Nah." I saw this benefit so I went down there mainly to get the insurance, too. And gonna be there for ten years. And then when I get to ten years my social security will kick in, and I'm gonna sit down, and go fishing, and enjoy this home that we built. 
  •  RAYMOND: It's a beautiful home. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Yep. 
  •  RAYMOND: Where do you go fishing around here? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Houston County Lake. Houston County Lake. And gonna do that kind of thing. 
  •  RAYMOND: What do you catch there? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: They catch—I ain't no fisherman, I ain't the expert (laughs). 
  •  RAYMOND: You're a farmer, not a fisherman. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Yeah, I don't have a boat and all that. I fish from the bank (laughs). Yeah, you catch—you go places—if you go to some creeks around here you can catch some catfish or two out of it. Also you can catch bass whatever. But, I catch anything that I can clean and eat (laughs), basically. 
  •  RAYMOND: Does Ethan go with you to some of that? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: He's been a couple of times. He's been a couple of times. Right now I'm working toward it, don't have time. So I'm waiting 'til that day. By the time I retire, I think he gonna be getting ready to graduate. So he'll be moving on. 
  •  RAYMOND: Is Jamaal coming back here after he graduates from Houston-Tillotson—I mean from Sam Houston? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Sam Houston. I hope so. I don't know. I hope he finds him a job somewhere. Right now he's working at Wal-Mart and going to school. I was—just a father's dream, but I was hoping he would get in on the manager program with Wal-Mart. He's got this business degree behind him. Hopefully he get in on that. I know for a fact, I've heard of people talking about how those managers of those stores make some good time money. You always want your kid to do good. 
  •  BEAZLEY: He's got to start somewhere. He ain't gone be manager wherever he go. And Wal-Mart's a pretty decent place to work for. I don't know. But I hope he does well wherever he go. 
  •  RAYMOND: I hope so, too. It's just a pleasure to talk to you, even though it's just painful, painful. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: It's not as painful as it used to be honestly. It's really not. But I like doing these types of interviews. I like saying anything that will help eliminate the death penalty or help change somebody's mind about the death penalty. Help them to realize that it hurts. It hurts people. And you think you resolving a situation but you're not. You're just creating a situation for some more people. I'm also very sympathetic to victims. 
  •  BEAZLEY: I know the pain and suffering that they go through when something like the family that just happened to Napoleon. I know they suffered real hard, but killing Napoleon did not help them one bit. It did not resolve their problem. If that same pain and suffering that they had before, if they haven't released it, they gonna have it now. So anytime I can say something that will help eliminate the death penalty I can. And help somebody else I can, I will. I will gladly do it. 
  •  BEAZLEY: I was so joyful to hear all those guys that got off of Death Row. I wish we could've got it for Napoleon. I think it was a great thing. And I want to see it happen to everybody. See it happen to everybody. See if they can just stop it some kind of way. It's morally wrong. It ain't the right thing to do. I can come up with a dozen reasons [phone rings] to talk against it. 
  •  RAYMOND: Well thank you, Ireland, very much. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Thank you. 
  •  RAYMOND: You've taught me a lot. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: I hope I did. 
  •  RAYMOND: Yeah. And that was exhausting but thank you very much. Thank you. You want to say something else? Before we turn off the camera? 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: No ma'am. Just glad to do it. 
  •  RAYMOND: Thank you. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: And hopefully it'll help you out. 
  •  RAYMOND: Thank you. 
  •  IRELAND BEAZLEY: Yes ma'am. 
  •  DIALLO: Thank you so much. 
  •  RAYMOND: Thanks. All right. 
 
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Title:Interview with Ireland Beazley
Abstract:Ireland Gene Beazley is the father of Napoleon Beazley, who was seventeen years when he fatally shot John Luttig in Tyler, Smith County. The death sentence and execution of Napoleon Beazley sparked international protest; within three years of the incident the U.S. Supreme Court banned the practice of executing people who were juveniles at the time of their crimes. In Video 1, Beazley describes family life up until the time Napoleon was arrested; the apparent determination of officials to execute Napoleon before he was even arraigned; the trial and legal proceedings; and the effects of the tragedy on the family. In Video 2, Beazley additionally describes how faith, prayer, and the support of Black churches, family, and community enabled him to get through these tragic events. This interview took place on April 3, 2008. 
Sequence:2 of 2
Contributors:
  • Virginia Marie RaymondRole: Interviewer
  • Gabriel Daniel SolisRole: Videographer
  • Gabriel Daniel SolisRole: Transcriber
  • Tamica JonesRole: Transcriber
  • Sabina Hinz-FoleyRole: Transcriber
  • Susanne MasonRole: Transcriber
  • Mark EvansRole: Transcriber
  • Kimberly Ambrosini-BaconRole: Proofreader
Date Created:2008/04/03
Languages:eng
Geographic Focus:North America--United States--Texas
Geographic Base:North America--United States--Texas--Austin
Type of Resource:Moving image
Genre:Interview
Identifier:tav00002_vid2
Rights:
    This electronic resource is made available by the University of Texas Libraries solely for the purposes of research, teaching and private study. All intellectual property rights are retained by the legal copyright holders. The University of Texas does not hold the copyright to the content of this file. Formal permission to reuse or republish this content must be obtained from the copyright holder.

 

 

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