William Keith Speer Wiki – William Keith Speer Biography
At 49 years old, William Keith Speer has spent almost all but the first 16 years of his life behind bars, most of them on death row. Speer, for strangling another inmate to death under alleged instructions from his former prison gang leader, is scheduled to be executed today. But Sammie Martin, the sister of the man Speer killed when she was 22, has asked the state of Texas to stay his execution. “I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the justice my brother and family deserved,” Martin wrote in a letter filed in federal court earlier this week, the Associated Press reported. “In my heart, I feel that he is not only remorseful for his actions, but that he has been doing good works for others and has something left to offer the world.” In July 1997, Speer and Anibal Canales, Jr. (who is also on death row) strangled 47-year-old inmate Gary Dickerson to death inside his cell, according to Speer’s online information about the prison corridor death.
“I’m very aware of the things I’ve done,” Speer, who at age 16 was sentenced to life in prison for the capital murder of his friend’s father, said in a video previously submitted to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. from Texas. this month. “I am very aware of the pain and damage I have caused. I can just say, ‘I’m sorry.'” Speer grew up under severe physical, emotional and sexual abuse, according to friends and family interviewed in the video. His father forcibly injected him with methamphetamine during his childhood, while his stepfather, who later killed his mother, burned him with cigarettes, his supporters say. Around age 9 or 10, Speer was sexually abused by a 16-year-old boy. As a teenager, Speer became convinced that his friend’s father was abusing him and, in response, he killed his father, his supporters say. The 16-year-old was incarcerated at the Harris County Jail with adult prisoners, found ready to be tried as an adult, and, according to his online record, convicted of 1 count of capital murder with a deadly weapon.
William Keith Speer is 49 years old.
Growing up behind bars, Speer joined a prison gang, according to the video, which led to his second murder conviction, which landed him on death row about 22 years ago. But the 6-foot, 215-pound man, who barely had an eighth-grade education when he first went behind bars, according to his online record, began to turn his life around, Speer’s family and Dickerson. Speer, who was baptized in a giant paddling pool in the prison yard, is now a frequent voice on the 6 a.m. Faith Based Program radio show. His supporters say his faith in God has given him the solid stability he longed for as a child and that he could spend the rest of his life in prison working as a field minister, improving the lives of other inmates, as he has already begun to do. as an official mentor among his fellow prisoners. “It all comes down to: Is our world a better place with or without it?” said Reggie, a former inmate who knew him from the Harris County Jail and was interviewed by the Texas Defender Service for the video. “And it’s obvious. It’s a better place with him. Period.”
Dickerson’s sister, his only surviving sibling, according to the AP, has changed her mind about Speer since he testified at the murder trial. While her brother’s death devastated her family, she does not believe justice will be served for her brother’s murder, she told the court this week. But lawyers from the Texas Attorney General’s Office responded in court papers this week that “the state remains interested in deterring gang murders and prison violence, as well as seeing justice for Dickerson,” the AP reported. Twenty inmates in five states have been executed nationwide so far this year, according to a list of executions updated earlier this month by the Death Penalty Information Center. More than half of those executions have occurred in Florida and Speer’s home state of Texas. If Speer’s execution proceeds as planned, he would become the seventh person executed in Texas this year. “No one has a right to any of this,” Speer said in the video where he pleads with the state for his life. “I am appealing to this opportunity to give more, to give back. Not because you have done something and are entitled to a different change. That’s not what I’m saying at all. But what I ask for is the opportunity to be able to give the love that they have given me.”