Too Bad This Cat Only Had Eight Lives

Image of eight cats with "Life 4 Life" superimposed over them in blood red. Caption reads, What does Life for Life Really Mean? Does it mean that ANY life can pay for the life wrongly taken or should it mean that ONLY the life which took the life can pay the price? It seems that justice in America today allows for the former rather than rightfully the latter.

May 26, 2017, at 12:15 am, Tommy Arthur was executed in Atmore, Alabama at the Holman Correctional Facility.

Opinion by C J Oakes, May 26, 2017

Arthur, who had been convicted of killing Troy Wicker in 1982 under contract, maintained his innocence to the end. In what would have forced Alabama to seek a ninth shot at killing Arthur, the United States Supreme Court had issued an eight stay of execution. Shortly thereafter, they changed course and allowed the state to move ahead. This is one of those situations that shows some cats do not have nine lives.

Did Tommy Arthur Kill Troy Wicker?

Arthur has maintained from the beginning that he did not kill Wicker. He did, however, kill his sister-in-law, fatally shooting her and was serving a life sentence for the crime. So Arthur was no poster child for opposing the death penalty.

That said, he was given a life sentence for that crime.

Now, be warned that this story may get a little strange.

Arthur was already serving a life sentence for killing his sister-in-law when Wicker was slain. How could this be possible?

Work-release program.

Arthur was allowed to participate in a work-release program and while doing so he managed to engage in an affair with the wife of Wicker. Judy Wicker was initially a suspect and initially claimed that Arthur had nothing to do with the crime. Arthur’s defense team claim that it was only after Judy

Judy Wicker was initially a suspect and initially claimed that Arthur had nothing to do with the crime. Arthur’s defense team claim that she only fingered Arthur to avoid a death penalty herself in what was known to be a murder for hire. She changed her story to say that she had paid Arthur $10,000 and sex to commit the murder of her husband Troy.

In addition, in July 1992, Bobby Ray Gilbert came forward to state that Arthur had paid him $2000 to commit the crime. Wicker claims not to know Gilbert, nor to have paid him as he alleges.

The state made an effort at that time to seek DNA evidence, but claim that no significant evidence was found on a wig worn at the time of the murder.

Honest to goodness,” [Arthur] said. “I did not commit this crime.

Tommy Arthur is not the ideal convict with which to argue against capital punishment.

He DID kill his sister-in-law, he WAS a convicted murderer who had an affair with the wife of the victim, and he WAS out on work-release at the time Troy Wicker was killed. Nope. not the best person to hang anti-capital punishment arguments on…Or is he?

I have several problems with this case:

  1. He was OUT on work-release. Really? Dear State of Alabama, did it ever occur to you that this is a bad idea? Who lets those convicted of VIOLENT crimes out to go to work? Non-violent is one thing, but inmates convicted of violent crimes? Now, every state, including Alabama, has a law against collusion or conspiracy–anyone involved in the crime, knowingly or not, is held accountable. So, the next logical question is: Who in the state of Alabama is to be held accountable as involved in this crime? IF Arthur committed the murder, whoever let him walk the streets to do so should pay. It is logical.
  2. The state claimed that there was no “significant” DNA evidence linked to the crime. Further, the Governor, Kay Ivey refused a request for retesting. As we have seen from multiple cases of forensics labs around the country, tests can be falsified. The only way to be certain, which one would think would make sense in a capital case, would be to have an independent lab verify the results. Read More about forensics falsification here.
  3. Judy Wicker changed her story. That alone should be enough for 12 sensible people to wonder which story is true? The rule of law in America was at one time, innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The person having the greatest motive to kill suddenly changes testimony and this does not cast doubt? Hmm.
  4. The sedative midazolam has been known to fail and cause the convicted murderer to suffer from the other drugs administered during the lethal injection process. In fact, this was the dissenting argument by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Ok, I really don’t have a problem with this. If someone killed another AND THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY, let them suffer. I don’t care. But why are we so attached to these drug cocktails when there is a simpler, more cost-effective, and clearly more humane way to execute. There is. I believe we do not use the better method because on some level, society WANTS those convicted to suffer. It is not simply that we want them eliminated from society, but we want retribution. Sorry if I offend anyone, but this puts us on the same level as those we execute, which, logically speaking, makes us all guilty of the same crime.

Not Every Cat has Eight Lives…Many ARE Executed Wrongly in the United States

Regardless of how many chances (lives) someone who is convicted of a crime may get, there is no doubt that statistically-speaking, we, as a Nation, HAVE killed innocent persons via the death penalty. What is it called when an innocent life is taken unjustly?


And what is the penalty for murder?

Life for life.

By that logic, EVERYONE in America is guilty of murder. No, not directly, but via our paid representatives in Congress, the State, and the Correctional centers. Since we are paying them to kill innocents, we are also therefore guilty of murder by hire, the same crime Tommy Arthur was convicted of. Of course, Arthur is part of society, so he is definitely as guilty as the rest of us, but he is paying the price for us all.

Hmm. That kind of makes him a christ-figure. Logically-speaking.


President, Publisher at Oakes Media Group
C J Oakes is an author and freelance writer from Lubbock, TX, USA. In addition to this website, he operates and

As an author, he has numerous books to his credit including the best-selling Survive and Thrive After the Collapse of the Dollar series. In addition, he has written over a hundred books for clients since 2011 and has created innumerable web pages for law firms and others worldwide.

Passionate about Justice, Mr. Oakes believes that the scales of justice are never balanced, but it is the duty of each citizen to do their part to re-calibrate the scales as needed. When the scales of justice shift too far to one side, they must be returned a near as possible to center.

He built this site with the goal of helping students of criminal justice understand how to apply the principles needed for re-calibrating the scales as well as providing easy access to needed study resources.

Criminal Justice Law International welcomes guest posts and anyone interested in contributing to the goals of the site.

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