Thursday, August 10, 2006

Delores Yokely's Speech from the Rally

I am Delores Yokely. I was principal of Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown for fifteen years. It was at that time that Sammy was a student. He graduated from Gospel Light in 1987.

Gospel Light Christian School was stricter than most schools. The Bible was taught and boys dressed up with ties on chapel days. Students were expelled for drugs or alcohol. Demerits were given for smoking on or off campus. Disrespect was not tolerated. Girls wore dresses or skirts; boys had short hair. Students could be suspended or expelled for inappropriate behavior. Sammy had no problem conforming to these rules. He was never expelled nor suspended. He didn't have a rebellious spirit but was obedient and cooperative. That was an indication to me the kind of heart Sammy has.

I do believe in the death penalty for hardened criminals that commit premeditated murder. I confess that in recent years the inconsistency in juries and our court system have caused me to lose faith in the system.


Sammy's life should be spared. My prayer is that the governor will understand this case and have leniency. I've heard of no other similar case where this kind of judgment was handed down.

For ten years I have prayed to God everyday for a miracle that would save Sammy's life. I'm expecting a miracle.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Speech at the Rally

Good Evening, My name is Jill Wilkes and Sammy Flippen is a close and dear friend of mine. My first remembrance of Sammy was at Gospel Light Christian School and Gospel Light Baptist Church when I was approximately 10 years old. Growing up in a small Christian School you get to know your schoolmates very well, because they are more like brothers and sisters! I probably saw Sammy 5-7 days per week for about 6 years. We saw each other at school, ball games, church and youth activities. Every memory that I have of Sammy during those years were ones of a very happy, fun-loving person. Everybody loved Sammy! As some of you may know, Sammy and I even went to the Prom together. He was a perfect gentlemen that night and actually was pretty shy about the whole thing.

After Sammy graduated in 1987, Sammy and I pretty much lost touch, but I would see him at church or hear about him through friends and family, my cousin was one of his best friends. Then in 1994, I moved to Chattanooga, TN to go to college and that’s where I was when I heard the tragic news that Sammy had been charged with the death of his step-daughter, Britnie Hutton. I could not believe what I was hearing! Some of you here have said or may say, why would anyone visit someone in prison who has been accused of killing a child, well let me tell you why. Sometime during the summer of 1995 while I was home from college, I was riding down Hwy 66 in Kernersville and Sammy’s situation was on my mind and I distinctly remember God nudging my heart to reach out to Sammy and be a friend to him. Well, when God tells you to do something, you do it! So for the last 10 years I have been visiting Sammy in prison. I am proud to say that he is the ‘same old Sammy’! He has not let prison make him a cold, hard, or bitter person. There are times that he gets down or depressed and feels hopeless about his situation, but overall he is positive during our visits! We laugh and talk about old times and the people we knew. He listens about what is going on in my life and tries to help me through my life crisis’. I keep him up to date on everyone back home and share with him how things have changed or not changed. We talk about our faith in God and Sammy has never once voiced bitterness towards God. He has shared with me his feelings about Britnie and how it breaks his heart to know that she died. He still has pictures of her in his cell. He truly loved Britnie with all his heart! It never fails, when our visit is over that I look at him and want to say, ‘Well, let’s go home.’ Instead I have to say, ‘Hang in there and don’t forget that I love you!’ Sammy is just a normal guy who is absolutely harmless to anyone, let alone society!


So that brings me to why we are here today. Prior to Sammy being charged with murder and sentenced to death row, I was pro death penalty. Well, after sitting through Sammy’s resentencing hearing, I have come to learn that there are many problems with our court system today. I now feel that we, the citizens of N.C., are asking fallible people in a fallible system to make an infallible decision about life and death.

Sammy is facing death in just a few short weeks! Setting aside my personal opinions of the death penalty, the justice system, and my belief in Sammy’s innocence, I realize that many of you here today have different views and opinions about the death penalty and about Sammy’s guilt or innocence, but no matter how you feel or believe, I KNOW beyond a doubt that Sammy did not premeditate this murder and therefore, does not deserve the death penalty! Even the State agrees with me on this when they offered him a plea bargain of 2nd degree murder. I want to strongly urge each and every one of you here to contact the Governor via phone, e-mail and letters and please ask him to grant Sammy clemency and have his sentence reduced to life in prison. I have created a website ‘Save Sammy’ that has information and links of how to contact the Governor. Please act now and help me save my friend, Sammy Flippen! Time is of essence!


In closing, I would like to leave you with one question to ask yourself as you go home or as you lie down to sleep tonight. What if? ... What if Sammy is innocent of murder, let alone premeditated, First degree murder? Are we, the citizens of N.C., going to allow the State to kill someone that we know and love without saying a word? I hope and pray that we have not become that type of people. People who are too caught up in their own lives to take the time to help someone else. I hope and pray that we are people who are willing to take a stand and be heard and who are willing to make a difference in the life of another.

Today, Monday, July 31st, 2006, I, Jill Wilkes, am asking you to stand with me and let’s Save Sammy! I want to say thank you for coming and showing support of Sammy. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. My prayer is that a miracle will happen for Sammy and that God’s will be done! Thank you

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thank You!






Thank you to all who attended the rally last night! It was a big success and a very powerful evening. More pictures and details are coming soon!

Friday, July 28, 2006

RALLY FOR SAMMY



FRIENDS AND FAMILY RALLY IN SUPPORT OF
CLEMENCY FOR SAMMY FLIPPEN

ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

2690 FAIRLAWN DR.

WINSTON SALEM, NC

MONDAY JULY 31, 2006

7:00 P.M.

Representatives of death row inmate Samuel “Sammy” Flippen’s legal team and Jill Wilkes, a life-long friend of Sammy’s, will address a rally of supporters calling on Governor Easley to grant clemency and stop Mr. Flippen’s August 18, 2006 scheduled execution. Ms. Wilkes states that “the death of Britnie was a tragic loss, which Sammy continues to mourn. The death, however, was not the type of premeditated murder that calls for the death penalty. This is a case that calls out for clemency.” Sammy has no history of prior charges or convictions, and no history of prior violence. He grew up in Forsyth County and graduated from Gospel Light Christian School in 1987.

For questions or additional information, email savesammy@gmail.com.


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Directions to the Rally

From downtown Winston-Salem:

Go out Reynolda Rd. away from the downtown area. Continue for several miles, past Reynolda Village, Wake Forest, and the intersection with Polo Road. The next stoplight is Fairlawn Drive. Turn left onto Fairlawn. The church is on the right after the road curves up and to the left.

From Greensboro and Points East:

From I-40 West in Greensboro, take exit 206, which is I-40 Business to Kernersville and downtown Winston-Salem. Travel about 15 miles and take the Stratford Road North exit. **Turn right onto S. Stratford Road. At the 2nd stoplight, turn left to stay on N. Stratford Road. This is an intersection with 5 roads, so you'll want to take the 2nd road to the left. Stay on N. Stratford Road a little over a mile and then turn left onto Reynolda Road. Stay on Reynolda Road for a little over 2 miles, past Wake Forest University and the intersection with Polo Road. The next stoplight is Fairlawn Dr. Turn left onto Fairlawn Dr., go down the hill, and St. Anne's is on the right as the road curves to the left and starts back up a hill.

From Points North via US-52 or NC-158:

Take either US-52 South or NC-158 South towards Winston-Salem. Merge onto I-40 West Business. Take the Stratford Road North exit. Follow directions above from the asterics.

From Points South and West:

From I-40 East, take exit 188, I-40 Business on the left towards Winston-Salem. Take the Cilas Creek Parkway/NC-67 East exit. Take the North Silas Creek Parkway ramp. Stay on Silas Creek Pkwy for almost 4 miles. Turn left onto Reynolda Road. After a mile, turn left onto Fairlawn Dr. Go down the hill and St. Anne's is on the right as the road curves to teh left and starts back up a hill.