Murder, He Wrote: Virginia Man Executed in Case Involving Mocking Letter to Prosecutors

Paul Warner Powell could be the first man put to death in part for sheer cockiness. Powell was convicted in a second trial of the murder and attempted rape of Stacie Reed, 16. The evidence against him included a letter that he wrote to prosecutors mocking them with admissions of his crime after he assumed that he could not be tried again for the crime after a reversal.

Powell was convicted in the 1999 murder of Stacie Reed and the rape of her 14-year-old sister in their Manassas home. In his letter, he wrote “[s]ince I have already been indicted on first degree murder and the Va. Supreme Court said that I can’t be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on Jan. 29, 1999, to show you how stupid all of y’all … are.”

He added “I guess I forgot to mention these events when I was being questioned. Ha Ha!” he wrote in 2001. “Do you just hate yourself for being so stupid … and saving me?” Not really. He died at 9 pm last night.

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79 thoughts on “Murder, He Wrote: Virginia Man Executed in Case Involving Mocking Letter to Prosecutors”

  1. ECookie,

    I am generally against the Death Penalty unless it involves a Heinous combination such as Rape and the Death resulting from the Rape. These generally prove to be the most dastardly crimes in my book meriting death. HOWEVER, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, only under circumstances such as this. I do not believe that eye witness testimony, circumstantial evidence should ever be used to justify the Death Penalty. Just when you have pompous asses such as this. I used to consider DNA reliable enough of an indicator but today, I am not so sure now, as it is possible to cook the results and you also have some folks that have the ability to create designer DNA. NOR SHOULD the DEATH PENALTY ever be used on a person that is mentally infirm. I find it reprehensible that they can drug them to make them sane in order to execute them. Something just wrong about that.

  2. Guy Paul Morin
    David Milguard
    Donald Marshall Jr
    William Mullins-Johnson
    Sherry Sherret
    James Driskell
    Anthony Hanemaayer
    Thomas Sophonow
    Steven Truscott

    Just a few names, off the top of my head, of people who have been found to have been wrongly convicted of murder (and in some cases, also of sexual assualt) in Canada in the past number of years. If we had the death penalty, most of them would have been executed before they were exonerated. In Truscott’s case, the death penalty still existed and he was sentenced to death, but it was later commuted to life imprisonment.

  3. “He added “I guess I forgot to mention these events when I was being questioned. Ha Ha!” he wrote in 2001. “Do you just hate yourself for being so stupid … and saving me?” Not really. He died at 9 pm last night.”


    More proof, it seems, of the wisdom of Oscar Wilde who reminded us that, “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”

  4. It is curious that Bdaman did not post until duh was asked. Hmmmm

  5. Duh,

    This fiend confessed and most certainly can be said to have bragged. Without this, I would not be in support of the death penalty. But when you have only circumstantial evidence to convict is where I am strongly opposed to the same. But here in Texas we douche em with ill prepared asleep attorney at the bar and then call that Justice.

    See Illinois and why the out going indicted Governor not the latest Bag that was Governor commuted everyone on death row to life sentences. BTW that decision is reversible by the next Givememore.

  6. duh and how does Bdaman feel about this?

    Bdaman feels sick, bad chest cold, however I have been monitoring all of your comments. I got my eye on you AY 🙂 Mama said, don’t start no trouble won’t be no trouble. (sitting back down now)

  7. Canadian Eh!,

    I don’t know how it is in Canada, but here in the U.S. it costs more to put them to death, than it does to have them serve a life sentence.

  8. AY, I don’t know how bdaman feels about the death penalty.

    Byron, I used to be in favor of the death penalty. Today, with what I know about corrupt prosecutors and coerced confessions, I can no longer support it. If it’s a matter of public safety, I think we can adequately ensure that those found guilty of heinous acts will remain safely behind bars. (We couldn’t do that years ago. Prison breaks were a common occurrence.)

    It appears to me that what we’re talking about here is vengeance. If that is the case, why does doing so humanely even enter the picture?

  9. Duh,
    Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. I have had opportunity to help survivors of violent sexual assault ( adult & child ) try to overcome the trauma caused by such crimes, and witness the devastation these crimes bring to these survivors. Knowing the incredibly high recidivsm rates for this type of offender, I find it difficult to support the annual tax dollars that go into attempts to ” cure ” them.

  10. Duh:

    why? although it is cheaper. I am about 95% against it, but this guy qualifies.

  11. Personally I would like to give a shout out to whomever gave him the idea that he could not be tried again. I see an attorney with a conscience telling this guy he couldn’t be tried again and not to worry. “Gee guy I am so sorry, I must not have understood that part when I took criminal law. My bad”

    Chock one up on the plus side for the legal profession.

  12. Duh,
    In cases which involve violent sex offences and child sexual assault I am completely in favour of the death penalty. In Powells case, if there is a Hell, I hope he is rotting there this morning!

  13. Sir, I have stated before. If you have a direct admission, YES I can live with that. However, when alls that you have is circumstantial evidence. I am totally against it. It is the circumstances that tend to show you committed a crime.

    Just because you were in a bank 5 minutes before it was robbed does not make you an accessory. This happened to a black person I know. BTW they never found the person that robbed the bank.

  14. Unfortunately the public only remembers the ostensibly offensive reprobates that get off of a an offense that all are sure they committed. They forget the ones that are imprisoned for crimes that they had no part in.

    May God have repose on his soul as I do not.

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