Feed on

Euthanasia activist, The Rev. George Exoo, moved to new jail pending final extradition hearing

On Thursday, August 23, 2007, at 3:30 p.m., The Reverend George David Exoo was transported by federal marshals from the Southeastern Regional Jail, Beaver, West Virginia, to the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, West Virginia, about a one-hour drive away.

Upon arrival, Exoo was put into a holding cell where he slept on the concrete floor of a holding cell until transferred to a standard cell ten hours later. In the Charleston jail, he will be held in protective custody until his extradition hearing, which will be held sometime in the next several weeks in Beckley, West Virginia.

Exoo is charged by the Republic of Ireland with allegedly aiding the suicide of a Dublin woman, Rosemary Toole, in 2002. The Irish government contends that Exoo violated Irish law by sitting at the bedside of Ms. Toole, offering her a spiritual and compassionate presence, and praying with her as she took her own life by her own hand by drinking crushed-up sleeping pills and inhaling helium gas. Toole had obtained all the supplies herself. Exoo took no physical action to assist her.

Exoo noted that every year, hundreds of clergymen and women routinely provide compassionate spiritual presence and pray with dying people who have ordered that their life support be discontinued. “If comforting and praying with a dying person is either a sin or a crime, then most of the ministers, priests, and rabbis in America, Ireland, and the rest of the world must be sinners, criminals, or both” Exoo said.

If U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Clarke VanDervoort rules that Ireland’s extradition request is valid under U.S. law, Exoo could be sent to Ireland to face trial for “assisting a suicide,” a crime in Ireland (though not under U.S. federal or West Virginia law) punishable by up to fourteen years in an Irish prison.

Exoo was stripped of all possessions, including personal and professional correspondence, postage stamps, writing instruments, and books when he was transferred to the new jail in Charleston, WV. This has happened every time he has been transferred from jail to jail. In his new jail, he will have only forty minutes a day for exercise, use of a telephone (to make collect calls only), or the prison law library. On the other hand, he will be temporarily separated from the particularly vicious corrections officers who have harassed and punished him for no good reason at the Beaver, WV jail.

The Reverend Mr. Exoo, a distinguished graduate of Harvard Divinity School and ordained at Boston’s historic First Unitarian Church in 1977, celebrated his 65th birthday in jail on Wednesday, August 22, 2007. Personal cards or letters (with no enclosures, clippings, books, or other matter) are welcomed, and may be mailed to him at the following address: The Rev. George David Exoo, Prisoner # 5:07-MC-00059, South Central Regional Jail, 1001 Centre Way, Charleston, WV 25309-1001.

For further information, images, or interviews, contact
Richard N. Côté, Media Representative for the Reverend Exoo, (843) 881-6080 or dickcote@earthlink.net
For full information about Exoo and this case, visit www.compassionate-chaplaincy.com

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.