Local leadership who oppose death penalty discuss two executions scheduled for this week

Federal Executions

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – With two executions planned at the Terre Haute Federal Penitentiary this week, local leaders who oppose the death penalty say they will continue to make their stance known.

Tuesday, William LeCroy Jr. is scheduled to be executed followed by Christopher Vialva on Thursday.

LeCroy, from Georgia, was convicted of raping and killing a 30 year old nurse Joann Lee Tiesler in 2001.

Vialva is convicted of kidnapping and killing an Iowa couple Todd and Stacie Bagley in 1999.

Sister Barbara Battista with Sisters of Providence says she was chosen to be the minister of record for LeCroy’s execution.

“I’ve been in contact with him. I haven’t known him a long period of time but we’ve had some phone conversations and then I had a face to face visit with him last week,” Battista said.

Battista says in her short period of time knowing LeCroy that she has been able to learn more about him.

“He really seemed quite philosophical to me, he was quoting scripture,” Battista said.

While Battista stands in the execution chamber on Tuesday, she says groups will be gathered across the street from the prison entrance continuing to speak out against the death penalty.

“We are attempting to send a clear message that says, ‘No we need to stop this. No more death penalty, no more extrajudicial killing, stop police killing, stop mass incarceration,'” Battista said.

So far, the Indiana State Police says that recent protests over the death penalty have remained peaceful, and they say ISP will continue to have a presence in the area to ensure safety for all involved.

“Our number one priority is to provide a safe environment for the protestors so that they can voice their first amendment rights and also for the local community that lives around the bureau of prisons,” said Sgt. Matt Ames, Indiana State Police.

William LeCroy’s execution is expected to take place at 6 P.M. Tuesday evening.

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