Standing atop the gallows with his neck in a loop of rope, former attorney general Eric Holder addressed the military spectators and officiators present to witness his imminent execution, which he called a racially motivated hate crime. He invoked the names of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln, saying they’d be turning in the grave if they saw a Black man getting hanged in 2023, and said the whole procedure evoked disturbing memories of the extrajudicial murder of Blacks by the KKK before the Great Depression. He said his death would galvanize Blacks everywhere to resist “White oppression.”
Holder called the Marine Corps captain overseeing the execution an “Uncle Tom,” pejorative slang for a Black who is considered servile to White people.
United States Marine Corps Cpt. Martin Williams, a Black male, said Holder was about as black as Casper the Ghost, and he reminded the condemned that JAG had hanged far more Whites than Blacks.
“You have no shame,” Cpt. Williams said. “Trying to muddy the issue with race-baiting. This is my first time doing this, and I thought I’d find it repulsive to order the execution of any man or woman. But you, Eric Holder, have cured my trepidations. This isn’t about race; it’s about treason.”
“Where’s that coward Crandall? Too afraid to watch his handiwork in action,” Holder blurted.
“He has more important matters to attend to,” said Capt. Williams. “I’m supposed to ask if you want Last Rites.”
Holder’s eyes scanned the cadre. “I don’t need forgiveness, but you do.”
Cpt. Williams wagged his head. “There’s no sympathy, no empathy here. But you know what, Eric Holder? At some point we’ll all face a reckoning. There isn’t a man or woman on this planet without sin, but you are a self-authored encyclopedia of sin.”
He glanced at the hangman standing beside Holder.
Holder clawed at the noose around his neck as the door beneath his feet swung open, convulsing as his face turned blue and his brain ran out of oxygen. He passed out in four minutes but was left hanging for an additional six before his body was lowered to the ground.
A Navy physician checked Holder’s pulse and moved a stethoscope to his chest. “He’s dead,” the physician said.
“I was told death isn’t always immediate,” Cpt. Williams said to the doctor.
Vice Admiral Crandall, our source said, delegated responsibility to lower-ranking officers because he was preparing for the next tribunal.