A Petition for Scott Eizember (Scheduled to Be Executed in Oklahoma)

A Petition for Scott Eizember (Scheduled to Be Executed in Oklahoma) November 4, 2022

Scott Eizember News Screenshot

 

*Transcript of a talk I gave on Thursday, November 3, 2022 to advocate for stopping the execution of Scott Eizember

 

 

Good evening. My name is Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, and I am here to talk to you about a friend of mine. And yes, I did use that word, friend. This is someone who I am a spiritual advisor to, who I’ve gotten to know who truly has become a friend of mine, Scott Eizember. He is a prisoner on death row in Oklahoma, after being convicted and sentenced for the 2003 murders of AJ Kentrell and his wife Patsy Kentrell.

 

Scott Eizember is scheduled to be executed on January the 12th, 2023, and his clemency hearing is coming up on December the 7th, 2022. You know, over the last few months I’ve gotten to know Scott.  While by no means a perfect human being…Scott is by no means the devil either. So often…when we think about human beings, we think in black and white terms.  We think good and evil…righteousness and demonic. We, we push back and push things into these corners…when sometimes life is far more complicated than such dichotomies.

 

By way of narrative…

 

You see on October the 18th, 2003, Scott Eizember broke into the vacant home of AJ and Patsy Cantrell. They were an elderly couple in Depew, Oklahoma. He thought that they were going to be away for an extended period of time…and so Scott broke into the home. Again…I say a vacant home…a home in which there was no one there.  After getting in, he got something to eat and rambled around. But as he was there, the couple unexpectedly returned.

 

Scott Eizember picked up a shotgun that he’d found and engaged them with it.  Patsy and Scott began to talk, and the situation subsided to the place where Scott set the gun down.  You see, after Scott set the gun down, he began to walk towards the front door…being guided by Patsy…to walk away from the situation.  As Scott was walking out the door…he heard a click…and after that click, AJ Cantrell fired off a shot. He saw that, I guess, as his opportunity to eliminate the situation, perhaps even eliminate the threat.  Let me make it clear…. although Scott (an unarmed man) was walking away, he fired off the gun…and he grazed Scott’s hand…and the bullet wizzed by…and hit and killed his wife, Patsy.  Again. AJ Cantrell fired a weapon at a man who was walking away…an unarmed man who was walking away…being led by his wife, Patsy…and accidentally shot and killed his wife.  After that… Eizember turned around and wrestled AJ for the gun momentarily. And of course, the reason he did that was because he felt like that if he didn’t, AJ Cantrell was going to kill him.  Well, in the midst of all of this, Eizember ends up killing AJ Cantrell…perhaps  out of anger…out of self-defense…out of an amalgamation of things…that were taking place in that moment. After that, Scott retreated from the house, left the house, and led authorities on a 37-day manhunt…seemingly embarrassing the state of Oklahoma that he was allowed to get away for that long.  There were a number of other violent incidences that happened during that 37-day period…but ultimately what Scott Eizember was sentenced to death for was the murder of AJ Cantrell.

 

This narrative creates a difficult case for those who argue that the death penalty should be reserved for the worst of the worst. You see, this is a situation in which we are talking about a situation that spiraled out of control. We are talking about someone who broke into a vacant home. We are talking about someone who was preparing to leave the home after being confronted by the homeowners.

 

Make no mistake, AJ Cantrell’s actions were a precipitating factor in the murder of both his wife Patsy and in his own death…whether he functioned based on his idea that Scott Eizember was still a threat…one cannot deny his gunshot obviously he killed his wife…but it was also a precipitating event that made this situation go out of control. That doesn’t mean that Scott Eizember had to kill AJ Cantrell.

 

Make no mistake, if Scott Eizember hadn’t of been in the house, none of this would’ve happened in the first place.  Let’s make that very clear. But at the same time, when we talk about the worst of the worst, we are talking about serial killers…we’re talking about people who kill for no reason…we’re talking about who have extended amounts of premeditation.  This is not a crime where people were murdered based on pure evil intent. This is a situation that spiraled out of control.

 

The question is whether Scott Eizember is the worst of the worst? You see, everybody who advocates for a death penalty argues for the worst of the worst, and if that’s who you’re arguing for, that’s not Scott Eizember.  Certainly Scott deserved to be punished…but if the standard is the worst of the worst…this is not a death penalty case.

 

There are two other issues that also deserve attention.

 

One such issue is the fact that Scott Eizember grew up in a home ravaged by drug addiction and alcohol abuse. You see, when Scott was only eight months old, his mother committed suicide. Eight months…after she gave birth to Scott, she committed suicide. Later on, his stepmother, who was also a maternal figure in his life, died of liver disease.  After the death of his step-mother, Scott suffered from years of alcoholism, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and so much more that complicated his life and created situations where he felt out of control…perhaps situations where he wasn’t as in control as he might to hope to be.

 

Another such issue was that there were two problematic jurors in the case.  In the litigation…they were known as DB and JS.  These two jurors during jury examination before the trial…both exhibited clear bias in favor of a death sentence. One juror even used the statement, “The death penalty keeps taxpayers from having to support a criminal for the remainder of their life.”  You see, in our country, a death qualified jury, a jury that is qualified to render a death sentence must be able to consider all options. They must be able to consider life and they must be able to consider death.  For DB and JS…the litigation makes it very clear that both of them were…unconstitutionally…problematically…predisposed towards the death penalty.  And so, I think it’s fair to argue that Scott Eizember did not receive a fair sentencing phase.

 

With all of this in mind, I‘m asking you to think about the circumstances that have led to a death sentence for Scott Eizember.

 

I’m asking you to ask yourself…

 

Was Scott Eizember’s crime the worst of the worst?  If not, I’m asking you to advocate against this execution in Oklahoma.

 

Did Scott Eizember grow up in home to be ravaged by drug addiction and alcohol abuse?  If not, I’m asking you to advocate against this execution in Oklahoma.

 

What is it like for there to be suicide, anxiety, depression and all these different things in Scott Eizember’s life growing up?  If it would have had a great influence on how he developed, I’m asking you to advocate against this execution in Oklahoma.

 

If you believe that there are any sort of mitigating circumstances in this situation…I’m asking you to advocate against this execution in Oklahoma.

 

If you think that here in America people deserve a fair trial, a fair sentencing, if you think that it is wrong for people to be predisposed towards the death penalty before ever having heard an ounce of evidence, if you believe that, if you believe in the justice and righteousness of our legal process, of our constitution?  I’m asking you to advocate against this execution in Oklahoma.

 

Take the initial step…click on the link below and sign the petition to STOP THE EXECUTION OF SCOTT EIZEMBER…

 

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-execution-of-scott-eizember-in-oklahoma/


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