Execution of an Anti-Abortion Martyr?

Paul Hill will become the third inmate executed by the state in recent months to voluntarily go to their death. What's different about Hill is he hopes to become a martyr for the anti-abortion rights. His pending execution is already raising fears.

In February 1994, Paul Hill waived a sign outside the Pensacola trial of accused abortion doctor killer Michael Griffin and predicted he might do the same. Five months later, Hill was charged with killing abortion provider Dr. John Britton and his escort, Jim Barrett. At trial he acted as his own lawyer, called no witnesses and was found guilty.

Now, with Hill's execution set for September 3, advocates on both sides of the abortion question worry that his death will provoke more violence.

"You should only not be concerned if you believe he is an aberration, and I don't think he is an aberration," says Larry Spalding.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the first Hill related threats; the Attorney General and two prison officials all received letters that contained bullets. Florida's catholic bishops will be asking the governor to stop the execution.

"But they won't miss the opportunity to condemn his actions, it's unjustifiable and indefensible," says Dr. Mike of the Florida Catholic Conference.

On his official website, Hill says his death will give pro-life forces direction. His spiritual advisor says Hill is ready to die. In the meantime, Florida's abortion providers are being asked to take extra precautions.

The governor’s office has received a handful of letters from people concerning the execution and about 60 e-mails. The e-mails seem to be split on the issue.


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