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Murdered Nuns: Fellow Sisters and family ask court not to execute killer

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Despite murdering Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, family members and other Sisters continue to publicly oppose the execution of Rodney Earl Sanders.

Forty-six-year-old Sanders admitted he was responsible for the murder of the nuns in their Mississippi home but refuses to tell authorities why.

The Sisters were discovered stabbed to death

Sanders was charged with two counts of capital murder, which under state law is a murder committed alongside another felony and is punishable by execution or life in prison.

He was also charged with one count of burglary and one count of grand larceny.

District Attorney Akillie Malone-Oliver spoke Monday to say, “We are going to consider the heinous nature of the crime and their wishes.”

Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill’s funeral.

Since his arrest, Sanders has been held at an undisclosed jail with the exception of a trip to court on Monday, where Durant City Judge Arnold, denied him bond.

Sanders was discovered to be unable to afford an attorney of his own so the state will be appointing one. His wife, who was present at the hearing, released a statement to the Sisters’ friends and family.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say to y’all. I’m so sorry…I’m so sorry. I can’t take this. Oh my God,” she concluded, breaking into audible sobs.

Father Greg Plata, who ministers at the church where Sisters Held and Merrill led a Bible study, spoke at the nuns’ funeral, which hundreds attended.

He explained, “Justice for a heinous crime demands punishment, but it does not demand revenge.”


By Kenya Sinclair


1 comment

  1. Angela Ocampo Reply

    Only God has the right to take away some else’s life.

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