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Thread: James William "Jamie" Wilson - South Carolina Death Row

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    James William "Jamie" Wilson - South Carolina Death Row





    Facts of the Crime:

    Mr. Wilson, 20 years old in 1989, was the first person sentenced to death under South Carolina's guilty-but-mentally-ill law. The law was passed in 1984.

    On September 26, 1988, Mr. Wilson entered the Oakland Elementary School and opened fire with a .22-caliber pistol, killing Shequila Bradley and Tequila Thomas, both eight years old. Seven students and two teachers were also wounded.

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    More case info from United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

    February 17, 2004

    The heinous acts which gave rise to Wilson's incarceration were described by the South Carolina Supreme Court as follows:

    On the morning of September 26, 1988, Jamie Wilson drove to his maternal grandmother's house and stole her .22 caliber, nine-shot revolver. Wilson then drove to an Abbeville discount store and purchased some .22 hollow-point long rifle ammunition. Wilson discarded the bullets already loaded in the gun, and reloaded the weapon with the more destructive hollow-point bullets. Wilson next proceeded to the Oakland Elementary School in Greenwood, where he parked his 1974 Maverick. He entered the school, finding his way to the cafeteria, where he stood quietly for a moment. It was right at lunch time for many of the children. Next, Wilson pulled out the pistol and began shooting, picking his victims, both children and adults, at random. Witnesses observed a look of hatred and rage masking Wilson's face.

    Wilson fired until his gun was empty. He then went into a restroom and reloaded the weapon, after which he entered a classroom and opened fire again. After emptying his gun a second time, Wilson threw the gun down and stepped outside through a window. A teacher spotted him and told him to remain still with his hands up, which Wilson did. The police then arrived and took Wilson into custody.

    The terror created and damage inflicted by Wilson on September 26 was considerable, and an entire nation was shocked, as the unthinkable had occurred. One female first grade teacher was shot once in the shoulder and once in the left hand, with the bullet traveling through her hand and into her throat. A young boy slumped forward onto a cafeteria table after Wilson aimed his pistol at the boy's temple and fired, hitting the boy in the head. Two little girls, both age eight, were shot dead. Children screamed;  children fled;  children hid under their desks;  other children were shot.

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    November 14, 2006

    18 years on death row: Background of a killer

    Greenwood - We're continuing our look back at one the state's most notorious crimes. Before Columbine, Wisconsin and the Amish school house shootings, there was Greenwood, South Carolina.

    Jamie Wilson has been on death row for 18 years. While many want him dead, others say Wilson is a victim, too.

    They say he's a victim of his mental illness.

    Downtown Greenwood, South Carolina, is a quaint southern city with a wound just below the surface. It's a crime so disturbing, few will discuss it publicly, even 18 years later.

    "I'd like to say I'm sorry to the whole community. To everyone, to all the children at the school. Especially the children at the school and what they endured. I'm so sorry, too," said Shirley Bordner. Her son is on death row.

    Jamie Wilson is responsible for one of the first deadly school shootings in the country. It happened September 26, 1988.

    Jamie Wilson was 19 and had no ties to the school. A total stranger, he walked in to Oakland Elementary and started firing. In all, he shot 11 people. Two eight-year-old girls died.

    A judge ruled that Jamie Wilson was mentally ill, so sick he couldn't control his actions. The judge sentenced Wilson to 175 years in prison and death.

    "He knew that he had a problem," said Shirley.

    Wilson had a troubled past, almost from the start. Ridiculed for being fat and dressing funny, his own father threatened to kill him.

    "His dad would get angry with him and curse him - sometimes threaten him with guns."

    He became aggressive, violent, and was in and out of psychiatric centers starting at age 14.

    "I remember one time I had brought him home from the hospital, he got out of the car and blackened my eye."

    His mother says Jamie was hospitalized until his insurance ran out.

    Said Jamie, "At 19 my daddy's insurance didn't cover me no more and I couldn't go into the hospital again."

    "When his insurance expired on his birthday," said Jamie's mother, "he was discharged from the hospital."

    Reporter: "And you wanted to be in the hospital?"
    Jamie: "Yeah!"
    Reporter: "Why'd you want to go to the hospital, Jamie?"
    Jamie: "So I wouldn't do a crime."
    Reporter: "So you thought you'd do a crime if you weren't in the hospital?"
    Jamie: "Yeah."
    Jamie Wilson walked into Oakland just months after he stopped receiving treatment. He would ultimately be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

    "Jamie has no ability to control himself," said Bud, a fellow death row inmate. "When I got there, Jamie was locked down in a holding cell where they had the cameras and all on him, and he hadn't had a shower in about a year. He smelled bad. They had his water cut off -- toilet was all stopped up, mess all over the wall. Feces."

    "If you're crazy, you're crazy, but you still killed somebody," says Matt, who was in first grade back then. Brandi McDaniel and Leah Holmes were third graders.

    Brandi, "He came in there. He invaded our space that day. He did that wrong to all of us, yet he's still here."

    Matt's mom, "It should be done. Jamie Wilson should have been put to death...you know, 18 years ago. When he was found guilty."

    Brandi, "He made those choices that day whether in his right mind or not. There was choices made -- there was actions done. There's a price to pay."

    A number of people affected by Jamie's crime say they want to put Jamie Wilson behind them for good, not only for themselves, but for the little girls who died.

    Matt, "I have to say what's fair to one is fair for everybody whether you're crazy or not. If he killed somebody he should be punished."

    Brandi, "It's not going to bring closure to their families but it would help."

    But Shirley still hopes for a change of heart in those families and students, "I hope some how or another they'll find forgiveness for my son and I hope they'll find some inner healing by forgiving him."

    Leah, one of the students who was shot, says she has forgiven, "I don't think he should be let on the streets. He's got some serious issues and I think those issues need to be dealt with. I mean, he's a very troubled person, but I don't think that is a reason to kill him."

    "Part of me feels like we've failed him as a society by not recognizing that and really dealing with the problem before he got that far."

    Question: "Jamie, do you think you'll get out of here?"
    Answer: "No."
    Question: "What do you think is going to happen?"
    Answer: "I'll be executed."
    Question: "You think you will be."
    Answer: "Yeah."
    Question: "Do you want to get out of here?"
    Answer: "No."
    Question: "You want to stay here?"
    Answer: "Yeah."
    Question: "Do you want to be executed?"
    Answer: "No."
    Question: "You just want to stay here."
    Answer: "Yeah."
    Question: "Why do you want to stay here?"
    Answer: "So I can live instead of being executed."

    http://www.wistv.com/story/5679368/1...nd-of-a-killer

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