18 years on death row: Viewer comments

Only responses signed with names will be posted. Flamed (all capital letters), one-word responses and live links will not be posted.

  • CH, Kershaw
    I feel that the execution should stay, 18 years is long enough, there is alot of us who have had worst childhoods, (I myself) but we go on with our lives to make the world better, that's our choice. Even crazy people are capable of making a correct disicion. Execution is the answer, what makes his life better staying in prision, what's the difference. We have to stop being so lediant on crimanals and start making statements, that these things will not be tollerated. Then everone will think before they react. Even the crazy people.
  • CH, Camden
    Because of the time spent,and his presence health the individual should be place in a health institution with complete medical treatment until his death.May God continue to watch over and strengthen the families, and keep Mr Wilson with us. We can not judge.More love and under-standing is needed on this earth.My family and I will continue to pray for his proper judgement by man.
  • JS, Batesburg
    I feel the lose for the parents and I feel the sorrow for the mother and if he is sick then GOD have mercy on his soul no matter what the out come may be.
  • MC, Elgin
    When are you (at WIS) going to pick up the loose threads and continue your very much incomplete coverage of this Special Report? You have rekindled the public interest in this story, but have shamefully not continued your coverage. There are way too many gaping holes in your reporting of this ongoing tragedy. You have left too many obvious questions without answers. We keep waiting, and trusting.
  • T , Spartanburg
    I know Jamie family well, and I know that this has been a hardship on all of them.I know that it is hard for the families that lost a young child. I know that wanting to see justices for the young lives that was tragically taken away is want everyone wants to see done. I just think that if he was not mentally cometant then we should not use the death as away to get justice. I think if you were to see it that he will pass away just like everyone else and he will be protected and so will others. Everyone that kills someone does not goto death row. I know I worked For Dept of Corrections for years and there are more worse people in the general population than him. We took Our 18 years off deathrow this year, well why not the mentally ill.
  • NT, Aiken
    I am totally against putting Jamie to death. He is metally ill, and I know because I knew him. I grew up in Abbeville beside the Maternal Grandparets of Jamies. I remember when Jamie was born. I also remember how he acted different. Jamies daddy also seemed to have problems Maybe he inherited his mentall ilness from his dad. I hope the judge and our courts will see once and for all you don't kill the metally ill. He does need to be locked up, and have the right medicines. All the states need to do better in offering assitance to all who have mental illness. Proper diagnois and giving the right medicines, monitoring Jamie might have changed what happened.
  • VS, Lexington
    I dont think that Jamie should be executed. A lot of the other people out there that have commited crimes are still breathing, Also he is mentally ill. If all those other people out there commiting crimes and pleading to insanity to live, then why cant he?
  • p , cayce
    I'm sure those little girls wanted to live. But nobody asked them? I just wonder what they did in the old days with men like him? I'm sure it would of been handled right away and we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. It shouldn't matter what he wants. Whys would anybody ask him that?
  • A,
    I'm sure those little girls wanted to live. But nobody asked them? I just wonder what they did in the old days with men like him? I'm sure it would of been handled right away and we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. It shouldn't matter what he wants. Whys would anybody ask him that?
  • VH, Columbia
    I feel that as a community something should have been done to help Jamie. How can we just let people out on the street when we know they are sick, help and treatment should have been given. Jamie was doing what was right by getting help, go figure the Insurance company would no longer cover him. So, since our doctors cant receive any monies, we just let him go. As for the Victims, my heart goes out to you, you were very young and I am sure you were devistated. But seeing that you are adults now, and no what the problem is, how can you honestly say that he should be executed, how about we make sure he gets the help needs and deserves!
  • A,
    I think they should put him to death. He has had 18 years. What has the families of those he killed had? What about the innocent children he killed? I'm shocked they would keep him this long!
  • JR, columbia
    I don't think Jamie should be executed. If he was diagnose with an mental illness that goes to show that he had no control over his actions. I don't believe in the death penalty because if you are going to punish someone for killing how do you turn around and punish them with the same reason there in the courtroom in the first place. It is just contradicting to me. Who are we to decide wether someone lives or dies. That is a decision for God to make. I don't think we are teaching our children anything by punshing with death. I don't think anybody should have that much power to take someone's life wether it is in a criminal's hand or a Judge's hand. What needs to be done is stop giving these prisoners so many privleges in prison. My heart goes out to those family who lost thier children on that horrific day.
  • jc, hopkins
    Peirce, Nesmith and Joyner, Three who kidnapped, raped and murdered a precious young woman in cola about as many years ago still to this day live, they knew what they were doing,If the law has no teeth in it for premetated murder, then I ask what are we doing, or do we have any idea what we are doing. He should be locked away in the general population for ever
  • jc, hopkins
    I don't know enough about the case to make this call, But my heart goes out to everyone involved. A person would have to be mentally off to do something like this in the first place.
  • MH, Columbia,
    If he is found mentally ill he should not be put to death. My prayers go out to all the families who was hurt by this tragedy,but putting a mentally ill person to death is wrong.
  • MC, Elgin
    After reading KB from Greenwood I think Jamie may be trying to get away with murder. There is more to this than what you have shown us so far. Mr. Wilson may not be nearly as incompetent as he appears to be in your brief segments with him. Once WIS started looking into this you now have an even greater obligation to help uncover the truth. Don't become unwitting accomplices.
  • TA, Orangeburg
    I to think that 18 years is far too long to be on death row. I think so that the families can move forward the man needs to be executed. Crazy or not what has the world come to that people can takes the lives of others with no consequences.
  • A,
    It saddens me to think that South Carolinians are so closed mindly that they believe in killing the mentally ill. The thought of someone feeling a sense of "closure/justice" from this death makes me question their sanity.
  • jw, elgin
    i do believe he should have been medicated for his illness. he took many lives that day and yes he should definitely spend the rest of his life in prison for the lives that were taken that day. It was a senseless crime and as i said before, he should have been medicated if his illness was that extreme. My heart goes out to those families as well as his. I don't believe he should be put to death but as i said before, he should spend the rest of his life in prison for all of the lives he took on that day and for the pain those families have had to endure for all these years.
  • gd, cayce
    I think a person with such a disease should be left the way they are. Meaning that a person that has committed such a crime should be punished but not excuted, let him live somewhere where he still gets a roof and 3 meals a day for pete's sake. No one in their mind if any of us have that knows that someone of his behavior is not to be alone or independent in any way.
  • gd, cayce
    I think a person with such a disease should be left the way they are. Meaning that a person that has committed such a crime should be punished but not excuted, let him live somewhere where he still gets a roof and 3 meals a day for pete's sake. No one in their mind if any of us have that knows that someone of his behavior is not to be alone or independent in any way.
  • KD, Little Mountain
    If this story is trying to convince me that he is too crazy to be killed, forget it. Anybody who shoots up a school, by definition, is crazy. My biggest issue is that my tax dollars have housed him for 18 years.
  • kb, lexington
    All i can think of is the childrens parents. This should have been resolved long ago. Everyone needs closure. Leave it to the system to leave something like this unresolved for so~ long!
  • KB, Greenwood
    My daughter was in the lunchroom at Oakland the day of the shooting. Jamie Wilson knew full well what he was doing that day. It all started when a friend of Jamie Wilson, who lived in the same neighborhood as Jamie and right around the corner from where we live still, murdered his sister at home. Jamie saw that his friend was getting public and media attention and decided that he wanted the same attention. Jamie started doing research on past crimes and discovered that no one in the history of the courts systems had been given the death penalty after pleading "guilty but mentally ill". In May of 1988, a 30 yr. old woman had gone into an elementary school in Illinois and shot numerous students. Jamie had his means of attention and a way out. Jamie left Greenwood and drove to Abbeville to get the gun from his grandparent's house. He then drove back to Greenwood and stopped at a department store to buy more ammunition for the gun. He then headed to Oakland Elementary to get his fame and glory. Why pick Oakland? He knew at the time that there was only one male teacher on staff at the school. Chances were that there would be only one person that he would have to worry about stopping him. The rest is terrible history. When the Greenwood detective caught up to Jamie, Jamie immediately dropped the gun. He knew if he didn't, what his fate would have been. The first day of the trial, Jamie and his two lawyers stood before Judge Moore. Judge Moore asked Jamie how he pleaded, his lawyers told Judge Moore that against their advice, their client had insisted on pleading "guilty but mentally ill". Judge Moore then told the two lawyers to take their client into his chambers and make "damn" sure that he understood what he was pleading to. Ten to fifteen minutes went by and they returned. The two lawyers again told Judge Moore that against their advice, their client wanted to stay with the "guilty but mentally ill" plea. When the trial and sentencing was over, Judge Moore had made U.S. history. The death penalty! There was a young lady working in the cafeteria that day, who, when the shooting began, ran out of the school and across the street to a house to call 911. This young lady then tried to call her parents to tell them what was going on and for them to get in touch with her husband. Her parents were not answering the phone. She then called my parents, who lived next door, to go and let them know what was happening. My dad called me immediately and told me that there was a man at the school shooting people. I dropped the phone, jumped in my truck and was at the school within a few minutes as we live only a mile or two from there. I arrived at the school before most of the police and emergency personnel had gotten there. I had the front door of the school open and was headed inside when a plain clothes detective stopped me and asked where I was going. I told him I was going inside to get my daughter. He told me that he couldn't allow that and some of the students (the ones in the lunchroom) had escaped across the street to a house on the corner and to check there to see if my daughter was there. When I went and knocked on the door, the lady who lived there, cracked open the door and peeked out. I told her who I was and who I was looking for. A few seconds passed and my daughter came out safe and unharmed, physically. The lady who lived there later told me that she was never so happy as to see me standing there. She knew then that the parents were coming and this nightmare would soon be over with. Later on, after I got my daughter home and into her mother's arms, I returned back to the school. My aunt was a teacher there at the school that day. She was a widower with no children and I felt that someone should be there to check on her and make sure that she was ok. She was, an d we both stayed out in front of the school while the parents came to gather their children. If you have never experienced a trauma such as this first hand, you have no idea the images that are burned into your mind forever. As long as I live, the faces of the terrified children wanting their parents and the parents searching for their children will be with me. Some say that the death penalty is wrong because there is the chance of killing an innocent person. If there is a doubt, there should be life in prison. If you are caught red-handed without a doubt, well, it shouldn't take 18 years. Some say that the death penalty is wrong because the Bible says "Thou shall not kill." I once saw an interview with a prison chaplain who dealt with death row inmates. They asked him about the Bible saying "Thou shall not kill.", he looked at them and said that the Bible also says that "man shall live by man's law". I may be wrong, but before Jamie Wilson ever went to trial, he was sent for psychiatric evaluation and was deemed competent to stand trial. Now they are questioning his sanity? If I were facing the death penalty, of course I'd be mentally ill to save my life. Was this man crazy, insane or mentally ill to pull off what he did with so much thought put into it? NO! This man was just plain mean and selfish, with no regards or thoughts of others. Only his own want for fame and glory. Do I think he should be put to death? YES! I will be there outside the gate, if and when it does happen. If they can't find someone with the heart to pull the switch or stick him with the needle, come out to the gate and ask for volunteers. I can guarantee there will be at least one person there who won't have a problem doing it. I hope and pray that others get to read this, maybe it will help express what others aren't able to say and give a better understanding to others of why this needs to happen and soon. Thank You.
  • E , Summerton
    I can understand that the victuns and their families want this over with and him put to death, If this had happen to my child I would probably feel the same way. So we can't say how we would really deal with something like this until it happens to us. May God Bless each one that was touched by this horrible incident
  • K , lexington
    i do not think that he should be excuted i think that they should put him in the hospital i mean hes mentally unstable if he was in his right mind and not mental and just decided to go kill kids then i think that he should die but he had no reason to do it he didnt know thoses kids and not to mention he just got let out of the hospital months before that happened giving him enough time to get good and crazy! and he wants to be in the hospital so take him to the hospital thats where he belongs not DEAD!!
  • JP, Sumter
    I personally don’t believe in capital punishment. However by taken ones life can’t bring back life. I am sure if this was my child that was kill I would have had a lot of anger and maybe for the moment I would have wanted to revenge. But not always what we feel is right in the sight of God. No one can understand the real meaning of mental illness until they have had a family member that was once well then one day they was not well then will you really understand what mental illness is. I believe if I didn’t have a family member who suffered from mental illness it would have been hard for me to understand as well. I think he should be punish but not kill because he was 19 on the time and I can remember a lot of things when I was much younger that I done and I know I wouldn’t do now. I have a brother who was normal all his life but after the age of 30 he suffered from schizophrenia It happen after he was very hurt by a girl and he once was knock out for 30 minutes from a fight and never was seen by a doctor . I really don’t know what course his condition but I do know that when something bad happens to a person it can trigger the mind. I was the only one in the family to had notice that my brother had a problem so I took him to the hospital and he was diagnose as schizophrenia but he was not in danger to any one. But with out medicine he became very aggressive but really he is the type of person that would take his shirt of this back and give it too you if he could. Without his medicine he was not aware what he did. He would think after he took his medicine that he didn’t need it . He hates taking it but he is much better when he does . But to try to make a long story short. I think capital punishment will not resolve any thing. *I am really so afraid if this person dies because of his mental illness , I am afraid that many innocent people will die as well because they was incompetent *. I know many will try to use mental illness as a cop-out and are not really mentally disturb. But I am afraid of the ones that are really incompetent and will die as a result of this.
  • CG, columbia, sc
    I am from Greenwood and I have lived in Columbia for 6 years and now after 18 years this comes back. Greenwood is a small community that has a lot of love for people yes we are still hurting from this I remember that day I went to pick up my niece praying that she wasn't one of the victims. I think that Jamie is mental ill, but if he knew he was ill then I knew what he was going to do so there is no excuse that he didn't know because he did. You know God is a forgiving God and if we love him like he loves us we will love and forgive Jamie I have and pray that God will have mercy on him and pray that God will save him. Greenwood lets come together has a whole and Pray because all we can do it Pray!
  • MO, Columbia
    If he is executed, Jamie Wilson's death will have been more premeditated, calculating, and cold than the murders he committed under the schizophrenic delusion that he was commanded to do what he did. I find it chilling to hear people who profess to believe that murder is abhorrent actively wish and plan for the killing of another person, then celebrate when it occurs. And to hear families say it will bring them closure is so sad. I know from experience that this is not true. Reading these postings, I am further saddened by mean-spirited comments of people who I am sure are otherwise decent. The question of where Jamie Wilson's mother was before this happened is particularly offensive. She was getting him treatment until he was no longer covered by insurance because of his age, a societal ill that needs to be addressed if we want to prevent more tragedies like this one. If there is any issue that should cause human beings to examine themselves, particularly their claims to Christianity and their claims to belief in justice, it is the death penalty. It seems to me that even those who believe in the death penalty, as they have a right to do, should find their thoughts challenged by this case in particular. The execution of Jamie Wilson would not be the execution of justice.
  • GB, Chapin
    I'm sorry but he made that choice that day and needs to be executed for his actions. If he was able to make a choice to walk into that school to do what he planned then he had a choice to stop himself also. Should have been put to death many years ago. My on sister was murdered 23 years ago and for victims it's like yesterday to us.
  • KB, Green
    I was in the Oakland cafeteria that day. I was 6 years old and watch that man shot a student and a teacher. For the longest time after I watched him shot Ms. Hodge (a first grade teacher) in the hand I thought she spilt ketchup on herself weeks later realize it wasn't ketchup that was blood. I am traumatized by the events of that day. I live a mile from the school and seconds from Jaime Wilson's house. I have to vote in that cafeteria. I get chills every time I walk in. I believe this news cast was very one sided. As DK from Greenwood said below, Jamie had the forethought to take the gun, drive to Abbeville to buy bullets, then drive back to Oakland and shoot children. When asked why he chose Oakland he commented (this is not a quote) that it was the closest school (this is in the court transcripts), but he had to drive past 3 schools to get to Oakland. During the trial it came out that he had told someone at the psychiatric hospital he just wanted to watch someone die. I believe, and others who are informed about the happenings that day would agree, he intentionally pick this elementary school because there were less people to fight back and stop him from carrying out these thoughts. If he picked the high school the student could have stopped him and the next closest elementary school was next door to the high school. I may not be a psychiatrist, but this does not sound like the workings of a man incapable of making decisions. Yes, I believe he is crazy. Anyone who intentionally harms helpless children has to be, but that doesn't make it right. I do think he should die, but most of all I really would like people to stop referring to him and treating him like a victim.
  • MM, Columbia
    As sad as it is Jamie is a convicted criminal. It is costing the tax payers alot of money to support him. If he is on death row, he should be executed. If the death penalty was inforced we may not have the problems we have. Maybe parents would take responsiblity and disipline their children and raise them differently. Abusive parents such as Jamie's father should be punished as well for the abuse he inflicted not only on Jamie but other children he has come in contact with as well.
  • KJ, West Columbia
    I believe that he should be punished for what he did. Something other than his "illness" had to make him go into that school and shoot those children. Im not sure if he should be on death row, but he should rot in jail for the rest of his life. I mean just tho think about what those parents went through, finding out they would never be able to drop their child off to school or take them to a school play. Jamie Wilson deserves whatever judice decides.
  • LE, Pelion
    I disagree with the death sentence, and feel life in prison would be sufficient for him, but most of all I feel his dad needs to be held accountable for his actions that were taken against Jamie while growing up. Also, I feel he should not have been released from the mental institution upon cancellation of health insurance. I don't think any of this would have happened if he was not released, but most importantly we need to move on and focus on our children's safety in schools today. I have two daughters that attend a Lexington 1 High School and are very concerned about their safety.
  • MH, Columbia
    It seems to me that he should be evaluated to see if he is mentally competent to stand trail. If he is found not competent to stand trail then he should get the help he needs. Mental Disease is a handicapp so should we put all mentally ill people to death?
  • PJ, columbia
    I am tired of this story, I don't see where this is condusive in anyway. This will cause more problems that we already have in schools please cut it out. If there is a copy cat incident within a few weeks of this article continously being aired I think alot of us will hold the news accountable for glorifying this kind of sickness in our society.
  • MG, columbia
    I think that he should get mental help, because at this point I kind of think it's hopeless, he is to far gone mentally to make it in society (which he will obviously never see) but at the same time death is not the answer for this man, because he doesn't care what happens, or even what happened, he can't, he's ill. I do not think that he should see another day of light though, 18 years or not, he needs to be in a hospital, not a jail or a grave.
  • A,
    I feel that there is no illness in the world that could have a person in their right state of mind of mind to pick up a gun and go into a school full of children and kill them just because that person want to be love. They should know that no one will love or have any compassion for you if you kill an innocent person or worst a child. I believe that people who are facing a death penalty will always use the crazy excuse to help st them free. The judge must know that if this person was in their right stateof mind to get a gun, drive or walk into a school and shoot anybody that feel should be shot they know exactly what they are doing. My father was death row for more than have of my life and I had to live with the fact he did what he did and he couldn't blame it no one but himself. People should take up their own responbilities and admit when they are in the wrong.
  • cb, columbia
    a sad story and what is worse when parents know thier children have serious abnormal behavior problems they are in denial and don't get help for them before something like this happens. i don't know what happened to him that morning but if he is mentally challenged he should not get the death penalty but he should never be allowed back in society ever!
  • LM, Columbia
    I lost my sister.3-3-06, who died in a coma and she was schizophrenic...and i was a mental health nurse for 18 years...i know how the Dept. of Mental Health needs more funding and HELP for people like this man as my sister...who, i believed died in a coma due to the lack of propercare and supervision of her doctor...like the story that was just aired on Dateline last week...someone needs to do something, people NEED to LISTEN to those who are in need of HELP...at least, this man's story is bringing more attention to the "crys" not just of the children who suffered, but, to those who suffer from mental illness!!!I SENT A COPY OF A LETTER I WROTEwith help from friends, TO DAWNDY as DATELINE, Dept. of Mental Health, 20/20, and others who I hoped would LISTEN and HELP, even, our State Newspaper...
  • TM, Newberry
    Anyone who has it within them to kill is "Mental" regardless of how you look at it. As far as the death penalty goes.. Having children myself, it would be hard for me to say no against the death penalty for anyone who chooses to murder innocent children. For that reason, I would place it in the hands of God.
  • CW, Lexington
    People who have mental impairments are not like people who don't have any. Jamie Wilson gets reminded everyday that he lives about the crimes he had done against the families. He can't relive the past and he can't get any better from his mental condition. When did killing someone become a solution for a mental illness? Mental illnesses can't be covered up when a person's mental capacity is not up with his age. There are tests out to diagnose mental illnesses. Killing a person is not a reasonable solution for getting back at Jamie who has a disability that no one can understand except him. That doesn't give us the right to end his life when he can't comprehend the consequence of his actions back on Sept. 28, 1988. Now he knows because of what people had tell him. No one knows what was going through his mind while experiencing moments from his schizophrenia. His disability is so severe that he can't even understand his mental illness is all about.
  • AT, Columbia
    Whenever I hear of school shootings, I always think back to Greenwood---my quiet hometown---and the shootings that devastated it forever. I was sophmore at Greenwood High School at the time and one of the little girls who died was the sister of my classmate. My entire town was brought to its knees. My older brother remembered Jamie in high school and said everyone knew he was mentally ill.
  • MC, Elgin
    If not Jamie himself, who is ultimately responsible for the murders? Which Hospital released Jamie? What Doctor was caring for Jamie when he left the Hospital? The Doctor who signed the Discharge Orders evidently made the decision that Mr. Wilson was not a danger to himself or to others. How long after the end of his care did the crimes take place? Why wasn't Jamie placed in Emergency Protective Custody by DSS before he killed the children? Did Shirley Bordner see a Magistrate to request Involuntary Commitment Proceedings for her incompetent son? What exactly was the ruling of the Judge, it doesn't make sense for the Judge to rule that Jamie was so sick that he couldn't control his actions, then to sentence him to 175 years in prison and death. There are still many good questions needing good answers.
  • HS, Sumter
    A crime that was committed 18 years ago by an individual who's IQ is not even equal to his age should be forgiven. I understand that the ones who lost love ones are still hurting. However, killing someone else is not going to bring their love ones back. I hope none of the individuals who want to see this man die do not consider themselves Christians. A true Christian would forgive and let God deal with Jamie for his crime.
  • EM, Sumter, S.C.
    Jamie Wilson should be treated as a mental patient not as a criminal. Our system failed to treat him a a critical time. With continued treatment he might not have committed this crime.
  • JS, Columbia, SC
    I am a African American from Greenwood.I have watch both episodes of the program. Why havent you shown the pictures or given the names of the two little black girls that was killed by Mr Wilson. All the people you interviewed were white. You never have a problem showing faces when the assailants are black.
  • TF, Irmo
    Whether or not you agree with the Death Penalty - start with the government. Point 1: Funds for many programs to help mentally ill people have been cut, and even though families may try hard, assistance may be denied. To say money, patients are released from mental illness facilities that should not be. Sk from Columbia needs to understand the magnitude of this illness - even with treatment - individuals with severe mental illness will never be able to able to be 'productive members of society'. (Mild cases are one thing, severe cases are another.) One way or another, they must be removed from the general population. Point 2: The Death Penalty will NEVER be a deterrent in our current system due to the length of time and appeals. Our government spends a FORTUNE keeping inmates on death row and 'protecting them'. I think we should save money, put them in jail for life w/out parole, treat them as best able and let the general prison population police their own!
  • lt, columbia
    i fell that there are using his mental ness as an excuse. That man no what he was doing when he went into the school, and he knew what his intentions were. I feel that he should be charged if it was a black male things would be different.
  • AF, Orangeburg s.c.
    I feel if he thinks he should not die he knows what he have done is wrong. why? because he wants to live,if that is not a good reason then tell me what is , he knows he commite a crime thats all that matters. there are family members that are not here they are gone please lets just make justice were it is do. thanks
  • KS, Columbia
    one of the victims was my frist cousin. When he took her life our family turned upside down. Her family was basicly broken apart because of this. So, seeing this happen to my family,and the effect's it had on them I think he should die. I don't see why you didn't interveiw any of the murder victims family, but oh while. Those are my thoughs. Have a nice day.
  • J, Irmo
    I feel like the determination of putting Jaime Wilson to death should be based on his mental capacity at the time he committed the murders. Not that of a man 18 years later! This hearing should have had a final decision a very long time ago.
  • A,
    To find that Jamie Wilson was mentally ill and still sentence him to death is appauling to me. Schizophrenia is a very serious mental illness that requires intensive treatment. He should be receving treatment for the illness that led to this horiible act, rather than being executed for suffering from an illness that was beyond his control.
  • E , Columbia
    As the Mother of two small children, I cannot imagine how it must feel to lose your child, especially in such a violent way. However, before I was a Mother I was a Christian. Because of this I must believe that this man's life is of value and cannot agree with ending it. I also think that this man's Mother is not to blame for his actions. Mental health services are limited and it can be very difficult to get the treatment that is needed for someone with a chronic mental illness. I would like to think that instead of spending so much time on debating the death penalty, we would focus our attentions on providing for adequate care for the mentally ill. Until we do, I fear that we will continue to have sad stories such as this one.
  • ET, West Columbia
    This thing has wasted enough of South Carolina's money. Hey has also lived a life while the parents of the lost children have suffered daily. He is able to have almost anything he wants in prison. We should really go back to the times of an eye for an eye. Then people might straighten up or be elimated.
  • PC, Orangeburg
    I feel he should be put to death because those kids did not deserve what happen to them.Whether he was mental or not if you have enough common sence to listen to a goat in the back of your car telling you to do something you need to be on death row.
  • AF, Atlanta
    I was in the classroom when this monster entered and shot and killed my best friend. I was able to run in between his legs and escape before he could point the gun at me. I have dealt with this for the past 18 yrs and it is time for this to end. He should be put down like an animal because that is what he is. Now that im a mother i cant imagine losing my son in such a manner as what happened at Oakland. Please put James William Wilson to sleep for good.
  • MP, Leesville
    Until you have been a victim or a family member of a murdered victim no one can begin to understand how I personelly fill about the death penalty I am all for it. We make our own choice in this life to do what we do and I get sick of it being blamed on mental illness. a crock thats what it is. i also think it is ridilious that it takes this many years for a actual death penalty to carried out. Our justice systems sucks. I know because my family and I are still going thru this.
  • SS, West Columbia
    I think that if you kill someone you should die. Plain and simple. Much less a child!
  • N , Lexington
    It is such a hard topic to discuss. I dont know if it is right or wrong, but I do know that killing him will not bring the child or teacher back. If people who do those things truely are mentally ill and cannot control themselves the death penalty would not work as a deterant. I really feel for the families who lost their loved ones.
  • JG, Lexington
    Everyone has an excuse as to why they shouldn't be punished after doing something horrible. People need to be held responsible for their actions. Isn't that what we constantly teach our children yet they see adults breaking that rule all the time when they have done wrong.
  • DK, Greenwood
    On the day of his spree, Mr.Wilson was "sane" enough to take a gun, drive to Abbeville, South Carolina and purchase bullets instead of getting them in Greenwood-then return to Greenwood and terrorize the students and teachers at Oakland Elementary School. After killing two precious third grade girls and injuring other students and teachers we have to wait 18 years for justice to be served? One first year teacher that was shot that day left the profession. Can we only imagine the trauma that some of those teachers and students experience to this day? Too often, when many years have passed we feel pity for the criminal (murderer) and we forget the victims. Mr. Wilson was sentenced to death and his execution should carried out on the same day as Edward Lee Elmore - another death row inmate from Greenwood.
  • BT, lexington
    My only question is, why is it taking so long to execute him? I don't think any kind of mental illness should be a factor in a death penalty case. If some one takes a life, then theirs should be taken also. It seems everyone only has concern for the murderers these days. What about the innocent children’s lives that he took from them and their families. He and everyone else on death row should be executed within a month of their conviction and quit costing the taxpayers to keep them alive. REMBER THE VICTIMS!!!!!!
  • AA, batesburg-leesville
    I think he is sick and needs to die.
  • HO, Columbia
    I remeber seeing this on the news years ago, and can't imagine being in the same situation these children were in. I don't feel that mental illness should be upheld as a reason for comitting such an act of violence. Even mentally ill people are able to act out in other ways. To go into a school of cildren and just open fire, this is not an acceptable action for anyone. We would not even be questioning this if Wilson was seen as mentally competent. Yes, he has a mother, but so did the children that lsot their lives that day to an inexcuseable decision made by Wilson. He should be punished as any one else would be punished in this same situation.
  • Gs, Bamberg
    I dont think he needs to be on death row because of his illness that he has because he should have gotten treatment for it and maybe the crime might not have happen.He didnt know what really happen be he should have been placed in a mental hostipal not a prison .
  • SH, Irmo
    Mental illness or not...this killer should be put to death for his crimes. Everyone that attended the school should be invited to be a wittness at his demise.
  • C , Gaston
    I truely beleive that this man needs to be put to death, he will never be able to be released into society because of the danger it puts on others. I beleive he knew what he was doing and he needs to pay for the crime that he commited. He was not too mentaly ill to go to that school and make it a war zone. School is the last place that you would think that your children are not safe, but today your children are not safe anywhere they go.
  • HF, Greenwood
    I was shot at Oakland and I lost two of my friends that day. I am not the one to say that he should live or die, but those two little girls weren't given the choice. I just wish that it wouldn't have happened at all. I understand that he has schizophrenia but I also understand that his parents should have been getting him the help that he needed or at least made sure he was not by himself to go purchase bullets and ride around looking for kids to shoot and kill. Ultimately if he lives or dies, it will not take away what he did and it will not make it right. I still will have to live with it and so will the other people that were there that day. I want someone to make a decision and stop talking about it. It has been 18 years, lets get it over with. I would like to put that part of my life behind me and not have it aired on the evening news with no warning.
    if i am remembering correctly, and it was a long time ago, this man was released from a state mental facility against his mothers wishes. she tried to have him re-commited, but the state facility couldnt (or wouldnt) take him back in and there wasnt money for a private institution. i was not involved in any way, nor am i involved now. my comments are only being sent for clarification purposes. his mother did know he was sick. she just couldnt do anything more to help him. sometimes when medical care is out of the reach of the ordinary citizen, it can harm all of society. sometimes, the harm can last forever.
  • Sk, Columbia
    There is no right answer for this situation. If we execute him, he no longer is punished for his crimes. He will be free of all his worldly crimes against mankind. Then he no longer suffers. If we kill him, aren’t we stooping to his level? The difference is that he is mentally ill. What’s our excuse for killing him? Is it better for the greater good of mankind? Why not treat his mental illness? Wouldn’t it be better to grant him real treatment and make him into a productive member of society? I’m not saying let him out onto the streets, but why not treat him and make him work? What does it really solve to kill him? This is where we run into the problem. Killing him could make the families of the children feel a sense of closure and that someone has paid for the death of their loved ones. But does it bring back those who lost their lives? Does it make those people that were mentally and physically injured heal faster? I guess executing him would send a very powerful message to the mentally ill and their families. If you don’t stay on your meds and keep your brain under control, you might kill someone and we’ll do it back to you. Maybe we would be sending a message to criminals not to kill children. That’s a good message to send, but someone who kills little kids probably doesn’t care about the repercussions at the time. Jamie probably didn’t wake up that morning, get a cup of coffee and a gun, and make a decision to go to that school to kill as many children as he could. I’m not saying that what he did is OK by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe we can come up with a better solution to this! Having the schools better protected is a step in the right direction. We need to find a way to keep this from happening. I just think that, while executing him would keep him from doing it again, how does it stop someone else from doing it in the future?
  • EH, Columbia
    This is yet another case of the mentally ill going undiagnosed until something of this magnitude occurs. It's a shame that Mr. Wilson was not diagnosed earlier in life. That could have possibly prevented this terrible tragedy, but at this point, he committed the crime and MUST pay the ultimate price. This should serve as a chilling reminder of what happens when we don't properly fund mental health assistance for the citizens of South Carolina
  • PT, Lexington
    Is Jaime also mentally retarded? My son was murded by two moderately retarded young men. I did not prosecute them because they were reared in an environment of poverty and were "street kids", and were not mentally competant to be held responsible for what they did. I do not feel the mentally ill and the mentally retarded should receive the death penalty nor should they be held in a prison or an institution for the mentally retarded. They should be held in a place appropriate for their conditions, but others should be protected from them.
  • TL, Columbia, SC
    After reading all the previous comments, there have been a lot of emotions that has risen. After watching the video clip, memories of this tragic day will never be forgotten. I was attending Oakland when this incident happened. I heard the gun shots in the cafeteria, I heard fellow playmates get shot in the classroom across from mine and heard their screams of pain and uncertainty, I heard all the screaming voices of children running, I heard the rushing of children and teachers out of windows headed to the PE field, etc. There are MANY people who are bruised because of this incident. My mother and father had three children attending Oakland when this incident occurred. To see the terrified looks on their faces as they tried to locate their three children (in hopes that their children was not one of the ones that was injured or even killed), is a memory I will never forget. For many nights we slept together in fear, as the memories replayed over and over again in our minds. To have to return to the school where our friends and teachers were murdered and harmed, was a nightmare. The bullets (or bullet shells) still remained in the walls that were aimed at innocent children by Jaime Wilson. Although this was a very disturbing and unfortunate event I (as well as many others) had to experience, I feel that putting him to death still will not bring the lives nor pain that so many people experienced and is stilling experiencing due this event. Jesus (whom is a forgiving God) said in Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If God has and can forgive us for the things we do, so I can do the same. Although what he did affected some people, we all have fallen short. I do not feel that he should be put to death, however; I do feel that he needs to stay in prison for the rest of his life.
  • kb,
    I don't believe his illness had anything to do with it. He knew what he was doing. Everyone else has suffered from the event and so should he. He should get death. They should not let him go just because he is ill that means other's that are sick could do the same thing, so does that mean everyone will get away with murder?
  • SH, Rowesville
    I understand both sides of this story. My main questions would be- Why was he left alone if he was that mentally ill? And why was he left around a gun? It seems someone should have been with him or at least held responsible for him. Someone must have shown him how to use the gun and what bullets to use it at a previous time. Why would anyone teach a mentally unstable person these things? It seems someone else may be behind this.
  • BH, camden
    I agree with BW from Newberry, no one has any idea what a person with a mental health, issue goes through. It is a life of not knowing what is wrong with you, you know you are different but you don't know why. Many Doctors have failed to diagnose the nature of the disease and therfore ther are many people walking around without help. The public has to be more informed on the problems of Mental Health, where do patients go for help. Just look at our emergency rooms, they are full of Mental Health patients. I know what it is like to have a Mental Health issue, it took me 55 Years befre a Doctor could tell me what my problems was and how to fix it. I am a luckly person because of my doctor, I can funtion in the world, with the help of my Doctor, Family and Friends. Like the person from Newberry said, "YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE UNTIL YOU WALK IN THE SHOES OF A MENTAL HEALTH PERSON". Don't be to quick to judge another person until you learn who they are or where they have walked.
  • WE, Lexington
    I believe he should be put to death. Even his attorney agrees that Jamie's mental illness is so great he "cannot conform his conduct to the requirements of the law." He should be put to death to pay for the crimes he committed. Mental illness or not, there has to be justice.
  • DB, Blywood
    Sorry for him but what about the children and parents from that day. You must pay for your crimes. If your felling sorry for his mother, she should of known his illness and got him help before he did the crime. He needs the chair!!
  • UK, Irmo
    I feel that if someone in the right or wrong state of mind can kill or shoot a little child then they deserve to be put to death for an example of what not to do, I mean in all fairness couldn't his parents see that something was really wrong with him and get him some help and how could his mom say that they should not say put him to death, he killed mutiple children, that is unheard of.
  • DM, columbia
    If he had enough sense to have a gun and knew what to do with it he should be punished but no electrocuted. I am against capital punishment and to let him sit in prison the rest of his life is punishment enough. He gets up every morning and sees those kids, when he goes to sleep and in between when he is just sitting in his cell. Let his conscience destroy him.
  • CM, Greenwood, SC
    Thank you for airing this story. It was several years after this happened before our daughter would talk about it. We just continue to pray that there will be closure to all of it. As a dad you seem to always say, "if someone ever attempted to harm your child you would hurt them". But when reality hits home all you can seem to think about is your child and their well being. Thanks again for your interest and it does seem to help my daughter Brandi to talk about it at times. Please go one step further and remember all these children and their parents from that day in your prayers that there will be closure to this chapter in their life. THANKS
  • AR, Gaston
    I could not imagine what these parents went through. I understand this gentleman is mentally ill. I do think that he should stay where he is for the rest of his life. Not the death penalty.
  • TM, Lugoff
    I know this must be hard on the parents but I trully hope they will see that killing Jamie would be like killing other child & having Jamie's mom feel the same pain. I pray peace be to all the parents & forgiveness to Jamie.
  • RH, Greenwood
    My late father Grady C. Hill was the Conoroner that day in Greenwood COunty and man did it have an affect on him for a long tome to come. My Question is why when today school shotings are talked of Greenwood is never mentioned? It had a great impact on alot of people me being one of them. I was with my father that day and remember well arriving at the school thinking there may be many dead children and about broke down before we ever went in.
  • MC, Elgin
    Too many unanswered questions. Why has it taken 18 years to bring this to a conclusion? Why does Jamie not want to talk about it? His reluctance suggests he understands what he did was wrong. Why wasn't his competence determined already? If he was not deemed competent, then who is responsible for not preventing these killings so long ago?
  • BN, Gilbert
    He shouldn't have sat on death row this long, he should have been executed 17 years ago, he had the wits about him to enter a school and shoot a gun, he knows what he did, now he wants to play stupid
  • BW, Newberry,
    My brother called me late last night and told me about this article. I lived in Greenwood for years but had moved to newberry in 1987. And no i'm not related to this jamie wilson. At that time i was married to james wilson. There's a lot of things i'd love to say on this issue and i have proof that mental illness is very hard to live with especially when you feel like a guinea pig taking this medicine if it does'nt work well let's try this then and i have been in and out of mental hospitals since 1978 or 1979 and i still do not know my diagonis is but i have been on disability for 12 years i think. I hope someone or something can help this man. I feel bad for the children, teachers and parents but until you have walked in the shoes of a mentally ill person I do not believe you can even begin to understand. Thank You for allowing me to express just a few of my thoughts
  • HH, Columbia
    I don't believe that Jamie is at all a victim in this situation. It was a horrible thing he did and he deserves to be executed. At least, that's my opinion.
  • AW, West Columbia, SC
    I am from Greenwood. At the time of the shooting I was in kindergarden at East Side Christian School. I don't really remember this day, but the PE teacher that tried to stop the shooter is Ms. Finkbiner (spelling?) taught at Southside Middle School while I attended school there. She is definitely a hero in my book. Although Jamie suffers from a mental illness, he knows what he did something wrong. The little girls that were fatally injured by his actions didn't have the choice to live or die.
  • SE, west columbia
    Seems as though there has been no recovery in 18 years. Keeping him alive only punishes him. He needs to be responsible for his crime. The childrens families need closure.
  • CM, Augutsa
    Mr. Wilson does not realize the seriousness of his crime. After 18 years with the proper medicaL care he could have been cured instead of just locking him up like some animal waiting to be executed. May those that wish him death be able to answer to a higher judge.
  • MA, Columbia
    Having visited death row inmates I know that other inmates have looked after Jamie because he is not fully capable to care for himself or understand the consequences of his actions. I grieve for all those involved as it leaves victims on all sides. Forgivness is the only way to heal. One can forgive a person without forgiving the deed.
  • EJ, Lugoff
    Having only been in SC for almost 2 years and I don't recall hearing this story when it happened. My question is where did this young man get the gun he used, why isn't the person who owned the gun charged for allowing this young to get hold of this weapon? You can see that he is retarded by the way he looks and acts. The person who the weapon belonged to holds some responsibility for the shooting. T execute this young man who is retarded will not set very well with a lot of people. I think he should just sit in jail or another facility but not be let go.
  • SC, Charlotte
    I agree that two wrongs do not make a right, but on that day in 1988 that man took two very good friends away from me that I will never be able to see again. I still have nightmares about that day at school. It is something I will never forget. Also, I feel like if James William Wilson was so incompetent why was he able to answer those questions tonight during the interview?! I will be happy when justice is served.
  • JC, Columbia
    Jamie Wilson is severely mentally ill. He lacked the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong then and he lacks it now. Who does it serve well to execute the severely mentally ill?
  • GK, Gaston
    18 years is too long for tax payers to support this situation. This man should have been more extensivly evaluated a long time ago and this issue resolved.
  • JW, Lexington
    I am a mother of two girls. I could not imagine someone taking them from me. However, putting someone to death would not bring them back. Nor would it make me miss them any less. I am not God; therefore, I should not be allowed to make a decision when someone is to die. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.
  • SS, Columbia
    I am a firm believer if you do the crime then you must do the time. I think that criminals would be much more afraid of committing crimes if they knew that there was no loophole in getting them out on a technicality or a reduced sentenced because of mental illness. How is this fair to the people that they have destroyed or killed? What I would really like is if Hamarobi's law came back in play.(An eye for an eye.) This would really show criminals that if you do the crim then you must do the time. If the government would stop creating loopholes and citizens would complain about these loopholes then criminals would not be getting off on crimes so easy.
  • cc, columbia
    i beleive jamie wilson should die for his crimes. i am a father of 4 and i can't even comprehend how it must fell to lose a child.i feel for his family but he pulled that trigger and i beleive he should die for his actions.the pearents of the children that were shot deserve justice for the death of their children and letting him sit in jail and breath and eat isn't enough.
  • SM, columbia
    Seems like his mental illness didn't interfere with how to work a gun. I sure don't want my tax dollars keeping him in a state facility
  • RM, Columbia
    I think they should stop worrying about the mental illness and just execute him. He killed innocent children and if you ask me is hiding behind his illness. I think 18 years is way too long for the guy.
  • CG, Columbia
    I shiver as I read this, at the begining of the year we had a hard time with violence in the high schools . I can recall getting up in the morning being afraid to go to school wondering if I will be safe s that day or any day. It's sad that kids have to look over there shoulder when they are somewhere to learn. I honestly don't know how anyone can live with themseleves killing a innocent child or human being for that matter. I pray for those families who still suffer from a loss cause of school viloence. I pray that those people who commited these crimes to feel the same pain that these families are feeling now. Will Americans ever feel safe anywhere?
  • AC, Lexington
    My Brother is on Death row, and has been for three Killings in 1985. I am against The Death Penalty Because the says "thou Shall not Kill".Yeah My brother did kill someone and should be punished but not death, Two wrongs dont make a right.