Uphold PA Execution. Honor PA Law. Respect Jury Decision-Justice for Greta Gougler
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In September 2002, 69 year old Greta Gougler, was robbed, brutally attacked, beaten, raped, sodomized and strangled to death in her own home. Her childhood home. The home she was raised in with her siblings- all loving memories of those times with her parents who were long since passed. She was a Beautiful, Generous, Caring, Kind, Funny, Loving, Friendly and Faithful woman/Sister/ Sister-in-Law/Aunt/Great Aunt/Church Member/Sunday School Teacher/Neighbor/Friend and the local Avon Lady. She minded her own business, kept to herself and would have enjoyed living out the rest of her years like that, in that family home. She gave back to our community in a lot of ways and was genuinely a friendly and nice woman and labor. She was an Avon representative for 45 years, she also was Judge of Elections 10th and Green Streets polling stations. She lived not even one block away from St Stephens, UCC where she was a devout member her entire life. Singing in the Church Choir and teaching Sunday school over 50 years. Greta never did marry, to her Faith this meant she truly was "pure" as one could be.
Until that day that Michael Pruitt, watched her, stalked her from an alley behind her house as she was hanging out wash in the very early hours 9/28/2002, rushed her, knocking her 69 year old thin frame into her backdoor, into that home, that childhood home she lived out all of her life. Memories of childhood with siblings, a life of memories in that house with her parents. Michael Pruitt took that all away within minutes of pushing her into that house and that day, that house became her house of horror, as he began his devious, torturous sexual assault, beating and murder. “Pure” no more, he robbed her of everything that day, including her virtue.
While Greta was attending her neighborhood church for all of her life and teaching Sunday school over 50 years, Michael Pruitt, then 38, who lived in the same neighborhood, spent that time doing something else... building his life as a career criminal. At the time of this murder he was already out on bail for assault of a woman with a deadly weapon and had a criminal history a mile long, including rapeS, yes- that is plural.
He confessed to several people that he murdered her, he wrote a full confession to police and DNA overwhelmingly told the horrific story that she no longer could. Life in prison WAS actually on the table for Michael Pruitt in the beginning, as a plea deal, He did NOT WANT it. So there we were, and so it began… 3 elderly women (Greta’s 2 sisters and sister in law), Greta’s nephew and his two daughters, one of which is me. We would attend every day, hearing information you thought was only possible in a horror film. Enduring each heart breaking detail. Then…Finally, after what felt like an ETERNITY to our family, the trial concluded in 2005- we sat, holding hands and praying Lord‘s Prayer. I’ll never forget that moment. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Even with this, Justice DRAGGED on. So many appeals, Michael Pruitt would do anything he could to get out of jail and in Reading. Regularly firing his Attorneys, claiming they didn’t properly defend him, even suing for ONE BILLION dollars, SUCCESSFULLY making a joke out of the justice system. Anything he would do to get shuttled to court, we would too. We would try to take off of work or school, uproot life to try to have at least one person there fighting for her. Sharing the room with him as he continued to smirk, even winking at members of our family. We endured it ALL. For her. YEARS of it. FOR HER.
In 2015 Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania, potentially halting the process for 186 prisoners who've received a death sentence.
To our family it was a punch in the face from our very own Justice System. The same system put in place to protect us and reaffirm that bad people WILL be punished.
We have been given a Life Sentence of our own from Michael Pruitt. That single day, that single moment in September 2002 changed each of us. He forced our family to live our lives without Aunt Greta but ironically enough it is OUR own JUSTICE system that is holding us hostage and not letting us just put this all to rest.
This is important now as reported by the media that the Death Warrant has been signed and Execution Day set. This is almost a slap in the face to this family because NOTHING will happen, just another reminder of our justice system abandoning us and making the family suffer 15 years AFTER verdict and sentencing! We were told due to the halt, no execution, the day 12/29/17 "nothing will happen on that day". So people celebrating justice will be served- it WILL NOT BE.
Why have laws if they are not upheld? Why have a Criminal Justice System when the results aren’t carried out?
This IS Pennsylvania state law. We DO have the death Penalty in this state. One person should not be able to override state legislature. This Execution SHOULD be carried out.
Below Source: Reading Eagle:
"We, the jurors, unanimously sentence the defendant to death."
Berks County Judge Albert A. Stallone when those words were uttered just before 5 p.m. on May 3, 2005.
After the sentence was pronounced, Stallone himself reacted.
"This is without a doubt one of the most horrific offenses to a very fine individual, perhaps in the long history of this county," he said.
Below Source: WFMZ
A MAN CONVICTED IN ONE OF THE MOST SHOCKING MURDERS IN READING'S HISTORY, NOW KNOWS HIS FATE.
A SHORT TIME AGO, A JUDGE SENTENCED MICHAEL PRUITT FOR THE 2002 RAPE AND MURDER OF GRETA GOUGLER.
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