On February 27, 1985, George and his wife Charlene were shot repeatedly by an armed robber at his place of business in Enterprise, Alabama. George held Charlene in his arms as her life slipped away. Their children, Tom and Christie, were only 12 and 5 at the time.
The nightmare had just begun. Sixteen months later, George was charged with murdering his wife. Following a capital murder trial that was later described as “a mockery and a sham”, George was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was overturned in 1989 and he was released from prison, but George remained in legal limbo until 1992, when proof of his innocence was finally brought forward. Following a brief hearing the trial court ordered the charge against him forevermore dismissed. The nightmare had lasted more than seven years… Had the State of Alabama had its way, George White would be a dead man today.
Understanding fully how easy it is to become advocates for revenge, the White family, however, rejects the death penalty as a solution and as way of healing the wounds of their loss.
“Charlene White loved life…that should be her legacy. What began with a horrible act of violence should not memorialized by an act of vengeance. Hate is a continuation, not an ending. Tom, Christie and I say “Not in our names — our hearts have bled enough.”