Youngest Woman on Death Row: A Hidden America with Diane Sawyer

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Meet youngest US woman on death row (FULL VERSION) | A Hidden America with Diane Sawyer PART 4/6’ by ABC News

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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Video features Tiffany Cole and Amelia Carr, neighbors in Lowell Correctional Institution, reflecting on their crimes and criticizing justice system and media representation, highlighting personal growth, forgiveness, and hope.

Key Insights

  • The video is set in the Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, Florida, featuring two women named Tiffany Cole and Amelia Carr.
  • Tiffany Cole and Amelia Carr, both in their early thirties, became neighbors on a notorious corridor in the institution.
  • They refer to their confinement as "life row" instead of death row because they believe they are still living, not dying.
  • Both women had no prior experience of jail before their crimes.
  • Tiffany and Amelia share stories of their abusive childhoods and their involvement with the wrong men.
  • Tiffany was convicted for her role in a robbery and burying alive the neighbors of her family, while Amelia was involved in the suffocation of her boyfriend's wife.
  • The women express remorse for their actions but are careful not to discuss the details due to pending appeals.
  • They question the justice system's fairness and note that many death row inmates lack financial resources for adequate legal representation.
  • They also criticize the portrayal of women in the media, highlighting cases like Jodi Arias, wondering why there is a desire to highlight negativity.
  • Tiffany and Amelia spend most of their time confined to their cells, with limited outdoor time.
  • The video mentions that five women have been executed in the last decade in America, with another scheduled for Monday.
  • Victims' families, in both cases, support the death penalty, while Tiffany and Amelia focus on personal growth through books and prayer, emphasizing forgiveness and hope.

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Transcript

Ocala, Florida, at the Lowell Correctional Institution, two young women come down the hall, waving, smiling together like girlfriends. They are Tiffany Cole, now 33, Amelia Carr, now 30. Two separate crimes, two separate lives until they became neighbors on the notorious corridor.

Do you call it death row? No, we call it life row. It’s life row. Life row? Why? Because we’re not dying, we’re living. Do you ever think I might be executed? No. You can’t have that mentality, because that means you’ve accepted this. You’ve already died. Yeah. You’re already dead. You cannot have that mentality.

Two women, neither of whom had ever spent a night in jail before. Living lives so familiar, Tiffany played the flute in high school, cheerleading, Girl Scouts. Amelia, book smart and says she modeled and was in the school Marines. Both say they were sexually abused as children and both met the wrong guy.

Tiffany says she barely knew her boyfriend. Three weeks. Three weeks. And had you ever been in trouble? It is hard to connect the face in these photos to the horrible crime committed with her boyfriend and his friends. Neighbors of her family first robbed, then buried alive in a grave. I didn’t know what was coming, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Her lawyer told the court Tiffany Cole thought the grave was for items they were stealing. He also talked about that sexual abuse by her father and her drugs, her mental and psychological problems. The jury saw a damning photo after the crime. They convicted her. I am not the same person anymore. I have peace. I have joy. I have a sound mind.

And Amelia, the youngest woman on death row, convicted of another horrifying murder, helping her boyfriend suffocate his wife with duct tape and plastic bag. There is a police tape of Amelia after her boyfriend confessed she’s eight months pregnant with his child. He asked me to try to stab him. I was shaking so bad. She admits she was there, but says not when the wife was actually killed. Her lawyer argued there was no physical evidence that she had even touched the duct tape. But when the judge gave her her sentence, he called her cold and said, may God have mercy on your soul.

The duct tape, the asphyxiation, what do you feel? In what aspect? Like reflecting? Yes. They say they are reluctant to talk details of the crimes because they’re both appealing their sentences. It’s hard to answer because it’s like I wasn’t where all that happened. But looking back and thinking about what she had to go through and, you know, what her family is enduring is terrible. And they asked some questions of us about the justice system.

A study estimates one in 25 people on death row is innocent of the crime and 75 percent have no money for private lawyers. Maria says she had no money, but her boyfriend hired a high-powered attorney. He got life. She got death. How many rich people are in prison? Seriously? Seriously? On death row? Life sentences? We’re all people who are either minorities or didn’t have any money. Unfortunately, equality is an illusion.

And before we leave, she has another question. This one about TV. I have a question. Why do you think there’s such a desire to make women look so bad in the media, you know? They watch endless crime stories about women who kill. Like Jodi Arias, you know, that thing went huge. I don’t understand. Why does America want so bad to feed off of this negativity?

The young women get up to go back to their cells 24 hours a day, except for the three times a week they’re outside on concrete for two hours. In a different building, the chamber where Florida executes death row inmates. Across America, there have been five executions of women in the last decade, another one scheduled for Monday. And when we contacted the victims’ families in both these crimes, they told us they believe the death penalty is right. The women said they will go back to their books and their prayers. And praising God in the process, you know, and just showing people we’re people. It’s not over. There is forgiveness and there is hope.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Meet youngest US woman on death row (FULL VERSION) | A Hidden America with Diane Sawyer PART 4/6’ by ABC News