The mailer features photos of two death row killers and the headline: “Thanks to Hugh Holliman, death row inmates could leave prison early and move in next door.”
The mailer shouts in capital, red letters that one of the pictured inmates RAPED AND MURDERED AN 11 YEAR OLD CHILD.
The senders of the mailer say they didn’t know that Holliman has a terrible knowledge of such a killer striking close to home. As The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday, Holliman’s daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1985. Holliman witnessed the killer’s execution in 1998.
State GOP chairman Tom Fetzer told the Winston-Salem Journal that the mailer was sent into several districts and the targeted candidates names were changed,
The mailer ends with the statement: “Keep death row inmates where they belong and get rid of criminal coddler Hugh Holliman.”
In a statement, Holliman said: “I have never exploited the death of my daughter and the execution of her murderer for political gain, but I can’t stand here and let the state Republican Party in Raleigh say I am soft on crime. The mail piece that they put out was a new low in political campaigns. They owe an apology to my family for the pain they have caused with their careless disregard for the truth.”
Fetzer, a political leader who stresses the hardball side of politics, called Holliman’s home and left a recorded message of apology.
“I told him I was sorry if the mailer caused him or his family any anguish,” Fetzer told The News & Observer. “We did not know about the situation with his daughter.”
The mailer’s focus is on North Carolina’s 2009 passage of the NC Racial Justice Act. The law allows people facing the death penalty to present evidence in court of racial bias that may have caused an unfair conviction. The law does not allow for inmates who win appeals to be released.
Holliman is a supporter of the death penalty, but he voted for the Racial Justice Act saying it would make the death penalty more fair.
On Thursday, state GOP spokesman Jordan Shaw said it was unlikely Fetzer would have any further comment on the matter.
This is a couple weeks old, and guess what? Holliman lost his seat on Nov. 2nd -_-