A CLOSER LOOK
INTO MARIE DEANS' LIFE
Marie as a toddler with her mother, Eva Alice "Hettie" Jackson. Marie had a stormy relationship with her mother, who Marie believed suffered from schizophrenia.
Marie and her father, Joel Ellis McFadden II. Later in life, Marie would talk about childhood psychological and physical abuse at the hands of both parents.
Hettie standing proudly in front of a monument to General Stonewall Jackson, who she proudly claimed as a family member.
A young Marie, likely taken before she went to live with the nuns of St. Angela Academy.
When Marie was six years old, she was removed from the family home and taken to St. Angela Academy in Aiken, South Carolina. There she lived for a year with the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. Marie boarded with the nuns in the building on the left and attended school in the building on the right. Courtesy of the Archives of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy.
The nuns of our Sisters of Charity of our Lady of Mercy in 1947. Sister Berenice McGregor (standing, second from the left) ran the school candy shop and is likely the nun who taught Marie a profound lesson about justice. Courtesy of archives of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy.
Marie at age 17, likely before one of the many dances and parties she attended at the Citadel.
Marie on the wedding day of her first marriage to Citadel graduate William Tremper.
Undated photograph of Penny Deans, Marie's mother-in-law, whose violent murder led Marie to become a death penalty abolitionist.
MARIE DEANS //
A Courageous Fool: Marie Deans and Her Struggle Against the Death Penalty delves into the story of Marie Deans and her lifelong commitment to abolishing the death penalty. The book represents a compilation of personal stories, biographic research and heartfelt testimonials. To get an even closer look at the life and times of Marie Deans, here is a collection of photographs.
Click each photograph to learn more!
MEN OF DEATH ROW //
The men of South Carolina’s death row in the early 1980’s. When Marie visited the row, she met alone with the men in the prison chapel.
Official mug shot of Joseph Carl “J.C.” Shaw, the first death row inmate with whom Marie worked. A former military policeman who suffered from schizophrenia, Shaw participated in the violent murders of three individuals. South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Official mugshot of James Terry Roach, a mentally handicapped minor who participated in Shaw’s string of murders. South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Marie visiting with South Carolina death row inmate Ronald “Ronnie” Smart. Unlike the stricter rules of other states, South Carolina’s humane death row procedures allowed prisoners to meet with Marie without shackles or chains. Smart would eventually have his death sentence reduced to life in prison and was paroled in approximately 2002.
A tiny cell on South Carolina’s death row at the Central Correctional Institution (CCI) in Columbia, South Carolina. Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
South Carolina’s death row at the old CCI facility. What struck Marie was the eerie silence of the row compared to the endless noise and shouting in the main CCI prison. Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
The aging death house at the old CCI prison, where Marie comforted death row inmates J.C. Shaw and Terry Roach during the final days and hours of their lives. Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
The electric chair in South Carolina’s former death house. From 1912 to 1962, 241 people were killed in the chair - including six African-American men in one day on February 27, 1931. Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Group of Virginia death row inmates at the Mecklenburg Correctional Center, taking a break from a pick-up basketball game.
As a dedicated human rights advocate, Marie crossed-paths with many people who were on or involved with Death Row. A Courageous Fool outlines many prominent figures in Marie's life. These photographs are "The Men of Death Row."
Click each photograph to learn more!