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Revisiting Rae Carruth's Conviction - A Resource Management Perspective On The Death Penalty (10/12/22 20:52 PST) (1 Viewer)


Direct Headline: Ex-NFL player Rae Carruth released after nearly 19 years in prison for murder plot

A.J. Perez USA TODAY 10/22/2108

Former Carolina Panthers NFL football player Rae Carruth...exits the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, N.C., on Oct. 22,. Carruth has been released from prison after serving nearly 19 years for conspiring to murder the mother of his unborn child. Carruth, 44, wore a black skull cap and black jacket as he emerged from the minimum-security facility. He got into a Chevy Tahoe without talking to the more than 20 news media members assembled nearby. The tires of the white SUV screeched as he left....

...Carruth was convicted in 2001 for conspiracy to commit murder, using an instrument with intent to destroy an unborn child and discharging a firearm into occupied property in the shooting near Carruth’s Charlotte home on Nov. 16, 1999, that led to the death of Cherica Adams. Chancellor Lee Adams, Carruth's son whom the hitman testified Carruth wanted ( his unborn child) dead so he wouldn’t have to pay child support, was born premature and suffers from cerebral palsy....Carruth was acquitted of the most serious charge, first-degree murder, at trial....

"I think Rae will acclimate pretty easily," Gordon Widenhouse, an attorney who handled Carruth's appeal, told USA TODAY Sports. "He's a very engaging individual. He's intelligent. I think he will find a way to integrate himself back into society...I think it's difficult any time for anyone who has been in prison any significant amount of time, and then they're released and try to find employment, find housing, make friends and try to be accepted within a community. I think Rae has a good attitude. He's taken care of himself while he was in prison. I think and hope he will find a way to make it in the real world.... "

Carruth has remained largely mum as he’s sat in various North Carolina prison facilities over the last nearly two decades, outside an interview with WBTV in February....."I'm apologizing for the loss of her daughter,” Carruth told the Charlotte-based TV station. “I'm apologizing for the impairment of my son. I feel responsible for everything that happened. And I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything...."

In the interview, Carruth said he’d seek to gain “responsibility back” for raising Chancellor Lee Adams after his release, although he wrote to The Charlotte Observer he would “no longer be pursuing a relationship with Chancellor” or Saundra Adams, Cherica’s mother who has raised Chancellor....."I promise to leave them be, which I now see is in everyone’s best interest,” Carruth wrote.

Carruth fled after the shooting before his capture in December 1999, in Tennessee as authorities found him hiding in the trunk of a car outside of a hotel. Carruth, a native of Sacramento, California, was drafted in the first round by the Panthers in 1997 after he played collegiately at the University of Colorado. He was a first-team All-American in 1996. Carruth had a turbulent relationship with his first baby mama, Michelle Wright. She gave birth to his son, Raelondo, while the former NFL player was in his sophomore year at Colorado. Reportedly, he was an absent father, and Wright even sued him for child support. Later, the two concluded he would pay $2,700 in child support....

Carruth then got into a relationship with Cherica Adams. Like Wright, she was also was pregnant with his son. Unfortunately, when she was eight months pregnant.. Adams was shot four times. Even though she was severely injured, she called 911 and reported her baby daddy was behind the shooting. She told them (that Carruth) stopped his car in front of hers before she was shot. Soon after the report, she was taken to a hospital where she had an emergency cesarean section to deliver baby Chancellor....Chancellor survived, but he was born with lifelong brain impairment and cerebral palsy. Adams, on the other hand, did not survive her injuries.

After being released from jail, Carruth moved to Pennslyvania with a friend. It is reported that he is working from his home...the former NFL player has not admitted to Adam's murder but confessed to feeling responsible for everything.... (Carruth's son Chancellor) graduated from high school in 2021 and now lives with his grandmother.



Direct Headline: The boy Rae Carruth couldn’t kill is now a young man graduating from NC high school

By Scott Fowler May. 26, 2021

... The boy Rae Carruth once tried to kill has become a young man about to graduate from a Charlotte high school....Chancellor Lee Adams has already tried on his cap and gown to make sure it fits. He has an orange-and-blue shirt and tie to wear underneath the gown and match his school’s colors. He plans to walk across the stage with the other Vance High graduates at 5:30 p.m. June 5 at Charlotte’s Bojangles’ Coliseum, not with the aid of the walker he uses less and less, but instead standing tall...Chancellor Lee is 21 years old. He has permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy owing to the chaotic circumstances of his birth in 1999, when his pregnant mother, Cherica Adams, was shot four times in Charlotte by a hitman hired by Carruth, the former Carolina Panther....

Cherica Adams would eventually die from her injuries that night — her murder trial was nationally televised 20 years ago. But she saved her unborn son’s life with a haunting 12-minute “911” call she made from her car after the drive-by shooting on Nov. 16, 1999....After serving nearly 19 years in N.C. prisons, Carruth was released in October 2018. Upon his release, he moved to Pennsylvania to live with a friend. I tracked down his address a few weeks later, rang his doorbell and eventually obtained the only interview he has given since his release....

...Carruth has never admitted that he orchestrated Cherica Adams’ murder. He wrote to me in an email in 2018: “Do you think it’s possible for a generally good person to get him/herself involved in a situation as heart-wrenchingly horrible as the one I was in, or is it your belief that such a person could only be cut from the worst of molds?”

....Chancellor Lee has actually spent the past six school years at Vance — four in the Exceptional Children’s high school program, then two more in a transitional program aimed at teaching life skills. Although he will always need a live-in caregiver and usually speaks only a word or two at a time, Chancellor Lee has learned how to order his own food at a restaurant and understands the concept behind a credit card....Every day, for years, he and the other young men and women in the EC program at Vance recited a class motto.

"I am somebody. I can reach my goals...I have dreams...Nothing can stop me...I will succeed!"


"I feel like if I did it in the open, it would put an end to the lies. If I say publicly, 'Ms. Adams, I apologize, Ms. Adams, I take responsibility for what happened,' that she can no longer get on television and do an interview and say Rae has never apologized to me...I'm apologizing for the loss of her daughter. I'm apologizing for the impairment of my son....I feel responsible for everything that happened. And I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything...If I could change anything, I'd change the whole situation. His mother would still be here and I wouldn't be where I'm at. So that's what I'd want to change. I want the incident to never have happened at all....When I first got incarcerated I would ask myself how did this happen? How are you here?..." - Rae Carruth, 2018

( Carruth wouldn't answer questions about the specifics of the night Cherica was shot multiple times.)


The tragedy involving Cherica Adams and her son at the hands of Rae Carruth brings to light some hard questions about expansion of the death penalty and effective resource management questions about our legal system and criminal justice system.

The annual cost to house, feed, give medical care and process a federal inmate in a federal facility in 2020 was $39,158 ($120.59 per day)

In California for 2022, for example, it costs an average of about $106,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison ( since 2010-11, the average annual cost has increased by about $57,000 or about 117 percent. )

In North Carolina, where Carruth was incarcerated, it costs an average of about $35,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison.

Times 19 years. Including the costs incurred to capture Carruth and process him through the legal system. Plus the stacking costs to the state and federal government that comes from the care of Chancellor Lee Adams ( I do not begrudge these costs, only pointing out that what Rae Carruth did has a much larger impact financially that just the raw cost of his incarceration)

Now imagine instead of housing, feeding, giving medical care and the administrative costs to keep Carruth behind bars, in contrast what if he received the death penalty instead. The common argument regarding the cost structure of the death penalty is that the current process is often considered exponentially more expensive than standard long term imprisonment.

But what if it wasn't?

The truth is if Rae Carruth was given the death penalty, and what qualified as such was legally expanded across all states, and executed at a much more streamlined pace and process, that money to keep him locked up for nearly two decades could have been spent on improving Chancellor Lee Adam's life. Because he and his grandmother need all the help they can get. And when his grandmother passes, what happens to Chancellor Lee? Or that money could have been spent improving public schools, hiring new teachers, giving better training to police officers, building a park, building a new library, helping the homeless, helping our veterans, and that list goes on and on and on.

My viewpoint is Rae Carruth learned nothing. He "feels responsible" NO, YOU "ARE" RESPONSIBLE. He says he's sorry. But if he's really sorry why doesn't he admit to what he's done. Just say it plain. And this isn't the only son Rae Carruth has abandoned. Rae asks "How did this happen?" Well, you engineered the murder of a woman who was 8 months pregnant. That simple enough for you Rae? He also emails a journalist and refers to himself as "a generally good person"

The major consideration I want to discuss is expanding and speeding up the death penalty and making it less of a time consuming, expensive and drawn out process. Yes, there are considerations of "due process" But look at where our society and country are at right now. Money has been printed at a rate in the last few years that is unsustainable for practically keeping our Republic above water financially. I don't want to spend taxpayer dollars on keeping someone like Carruth around for 19 years just so he can pathetically rationalize his crimes away. I would have rather it was all spent on Chancellor Lee. Or any number of practical public investments for the future of other children and our communities.

And the knotty question has to be asked - What would happen if this tragedy unfolded in current times? With everything so racially charged in so many high profile conflicts in the national daily media cycle.

I'll leave this here for others to discuss.
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