On Ohio’s Death Row: Abdul Awkal II…a heart rending story
Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:26
On Ohio’s Death Row: Abdul - Hamead Awkal II…a heart rending story
True Crime Examiner
Abdul Awkal is on Ohio’s death row and scheduled to be executed on June 26, 2012. His story is unusual. His life prior to being sentenced to death for murder, was complicated, not only by much of his own doing. His circumstances were perhaps more because of his lack of education, lack of knowledge of his own Islamic religion, and limited mastery of the English language.
Awkal was born on March 10, 1959 in Beirut, Lebanon into a Muslim family, the third child of seven siblings. As the article develops, you will see that his crime was committed on January 8, 1992 and he was placed on Ohio’s death row on January 8, 1993.
For those who are familiar with the past several decades in Lebanon, it is easily understood that life was not only difficult, but dangerous as well. Times became hard for the Awkals and the father decided to move his family to America. When they left, Abdul had to stay since he was 20 years old and had to arrange for his own passport. He followed them four years later.
Shortly after coming here he married Latife, having two ceremonies, one under the Islamic law and another under the Laws of the United States. He and Latife later had a baby daughter. His married life was not a smooth one, and according to his own testimony, he was divorced three times (under the Islamic rules but remarried her later). Finally at one point, due to what his brother-in-law called a breach of Islamic law, he was automatically separated from his wife forever and could not raise the child, nor could she wear his name.
He reported that they withdrew his funds from the bank, took his collections which were in a safety deposit box and otherwise isolated themselves from him. They also decided to move back to Lebanon. Needless to say, this did not set well with Awkal and he appealed to the U.S. authorities.
In 1992, it was arranged for them to gather and meet with officials of the Family Conciliation Services at the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. His brother-in law, Mahmoud, wife Latife and their baby were there. After waiting a considerable time, a disagreement arose and when it was over, he had shot and killed his brother and his wife. He was apprehended at the scene.
He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. He was placed on death row exactly one year after the crime was committed.
On January 29, 2001, Awkal wrote a very lengthy letter of confession to the U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent. It makes no denial of his killing the pair, but his life and the many exigencies which occurred to him, does create somewhat of a sympathy towards the fellow. It can change one’s opinion from feeling towards him as a cold blooded killer to that of a victim of circumstances. Yet, regardless of how moved one may be by his writing, it must be remembered that it still was not cause for the killing of two people. It is suggested that all who read this article, set aside enough time to read the site containing his confession. But be prepared to spend somewhere between 30 - 60 minutes. It will probably prove to be worth it. Click here. ..
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Letters From Death Row: Abdul Awkal, Who Was Supposed to Die Last Week Hamilton Nolan Earlier this year, I wrote to every American death row inmate scheduled for execution in the near future. I asked ... more