A couple of months have passed since an ABC docu-series devoted four one-hour episodes in prime time to the case of Darlie Routier, the Rowlett homemaker accused in the stabbing deaths of her two young sons and sent to Death Row in February 1997 (“Defending Darlie,” June 6). As summer begins to fade into fall, Darlie’s widespread supporters are keeping the heat turned up on the Dallas County justice system that they believe wrongfully convicted her through sexist character judgments, tunnel vision, and junk science.
Organizers say they are coordinating with both the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and the Dallas Police Department on three consecutive days of marches outside the Frank Crowley Courts Building on North Riverfront Boulevard, across R.L. Thornton Freeway from downtown Dallas. The protests are set for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Oct. 12-14. The Friday march will be from noon until 6 p.m. and the weekend demonstrations from noon until 3 p.m. October was chosen so that participants would not have to endure the Texas summer heat. Plans are still evolving, but at the time of this writing, the RSVPs stand at about 100, according to Michelle Nelson of Tampa, Florida, a former long-time factory worker now pursuing a degree in psychology.
Travel expenses will put a strain on the budgets of many who are planning or hoping to attend, she said. Kristine Bunch of Indianapolis, Indiana, is hoping to be able to save enough money by then to make the trip. Bunch, who was wrongfully convicted of setting a fire that killed her young son, was interviewed on camera for the docu-series, The Last Defense. She said that, like Darlie, she was judged on her appearance and even the song she chose to play at her son’s funeral, a Bon Jovi number. Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” a favorite of the Routier boys, was played at their service and was used against Darlie by prosecutors, even though the song had nothing to do with whether she had killed her children.