Georgia Pardons and Parole Board Hearing - July 12, 2002
(via video tape)
My name is Edith Woodall. I am 66 years old and I live in Twiggs County.
I had the occasion to meet Buck Fugate back in the 80s back when we first moved out here to the country. My husband was mentally deficient and enlisted help from Mr. Buck many times to come out to the house to help him with yard work and the different things that he needed. He never refused him.
He was always... as I saw Buck Fugate, he was a loving person, very giving. And I saw him interact with his son out here... and he was at his father's house, just down the hill from me. He was always very caring, very giving and very loving. I never saw a mean bone in his body.
I would like to have his life spared because I know there are many good things that can come from his life. I think he has been in prison long enough. I don't think that he should be put to death because he has not committed the crime that . . . I really believe that this crime was accidentally. I really do not believe that he meant to hurt anybody because I never ever saw that in him.
I have a sister that was shot in 1971 by her husband. Little did we know that he had cancer and he only lived 3 years after her.
And I had a son that was whose life was taken and the gentleman got 20 years and served 7 years of that sentence. And I had to find it in my heart to forgive him. And now he is out here telling the world about the troubles that he was in and the good things that can come out of these things we just don't know. But I had to forgive him.
Folks need to find it in their hear to forgive Buck for what has happened to his wife. I loved them both very dearly, and Mark too.
I had to find it in my heart to forgive my brother-in-law. In fact, after my sister's funeral, I went by Sioux Falls, SC to visit him in prison. I knew there was something wrong with him because he was always loving and giving. And there was not anything that I ever needed that I asked him for that he didn't give me. And he had 6 children, and he was wonderful with those children too. He was a carpenter, a hard working man and he only lived 3 years after... he had brain cancer. I had to find it in my heart to forgive him and I'm... I'm glad I did because I do not have to answer for that.
I find that Buck Fugate has had a lot of problems and I know where he's at.
The Parole Board really needs to think about this because he has served a long time and I really do not think that this crime was unintentional.
I've had back surgery about 5 weeks ago and I cannot travel that far... but I would certainly like to be there to help represent him. I thank you.
God spoke to me and told me... he said... for many years when my son got killed I wanted to kill the perpetrator. I also wanted to avenge. . . I had a lot of angry, hatred, animosity... I was full of it until I could not live with myself anymore. I found that I had to ask this man to that killed my son for forgiveness for the way that I felt. In order to be a complete person, I could not carry that load around anymore. I asked him for forgiveness and I felt like a burden had been completely lifted. And he asked me for forgiveness also for what he had done. And I told him that I forgive you too. I said to him: “If you become a better person than my son would not have died in vain.” And he said, that's what I am struggling to do.
This gentleman today is telling his story in many places in the program that we are in. And I am ever so thankful that he is able to share the bad parts of his life that has turned out for the good. And I pray every day for him that some prayer or message will get out to different people that are having problems.
I thank you for listening to me today. His life... and listen to what he has to say. His family needs him and I'm sure there are things he can do out in the community if you could spare his live.
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