Taking Back Our Streets: A father’s ongoing fight for justice
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It’s been a long, stressful 18 years for Daniel Alford.
His daughter Heather was just 6 years old when she was beaten to death.
Her father says justice still hasn’t been served.
Alford continues to fight every appeal for the murderers convicted of killing his daughter.
He has a photo album filled with pictures of Heather. His favorite, he says, probably the one where he is holding his daughter in his arms.
Heather was just days from her 7th birthday when she died from injuries of child abuse.
Alford continues to question how.
“How someone could hit my child knowing her spirit she had, I can’t fathom it.”
It was December 1999, and the Webster Parish city of Minden struggled to understand as well.
Pink ribbons lined the streets as the community prepared to say goodbye to the young girl.
Days after her death, Alford father spoke about the pain of moving forward - the first Christmas without his daughter.
“These Christmas trees behind me represent the years of her life. And the one behind me, the big star represents the year; this one, the one that she is never going to get to see."
Alford says he stresses himself out every December around the time Heather died.
December also is her birth month.
For 18 years, Alford has waited for justice.
But there always seems to be a delay or the possibility that one of the convicted killers could go free.
Last month, Alford received a letter from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
Heather’s mother, Lora Moseley, asked the Parole Board to reduce her sentence for first-degree murder. Her request was denied.
Lora’s boyfriend at the time, Donnie Wright, was charged with first-degree murder and was sentenced to death. The Louisiana Supreme Court denied his appeal in 2002.
He remains on Death Row in Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Daniel said he was hoping for justice sooner, but appeals tie up the justice system.
“Being that there is only one U.S. Supreme Court; if all 50 states are allowing appeals all the way to that level, no wonder it takes so long to get a sentence carried out," he said.
Lethal injection has become a contentious issue between Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Gov. Jon Bel Edwards.
Landry has accused the governor’s administration of intentionally delaying executions.
Edwards has fired back, saying: “The idea that this is some fault of me or my administration or the Department of Corrections is just wrong.”
A federal judge put a halt to executions until 2019 because of a legal battle over protocol.
Landry went as far as Twitter to say he supports the death penalty by lethal injection, gas, hanging and firing squad.
“I am with Jeff Landry," Heather’s father said. "We have people who have been on death row 25-30 years already. Some of these people have already exhausted the full appeals process. Let’s start carrying out some sentences.”
Edwards maintains that the state doesn’t have the drugs available to execute people. There is a nationwide shortage of lethal drugs. Some pharmaceutical companies do not want their product to be used for capital punishment.
Alford has a message for the governor.
“I am hoping Gov. Edwards will have the decency enough to review all of the local media from around the state to see what’s taking place. And he will eventually get to see this story and know there are families out there who are waiting, and there is no closure.”
Until then, the clock will keep ticking until the day Alford can say justice is served for his daughter.
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