The Cherie Beasley for U.S. Senate campaign was successful in getting some North Carolina television stations to drop a powerful new television ad attacking the former State Supreme Court Chief Justice’s record on crime.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee ad titled “Vulnerable” is still running across the state on other stations and aired in the Triangle region on Monday, June 6.

As reported by CBS News:

“The ad, titled “Failed Our Children,” ties Beasley to three child predators who were released or had their indictments tossed. It says in one case, which involved a man convicted on 12 counts of child pornography, that Beasley had voted to set him free.”

Attorneys representing Beasley demanded the ad be removed because the man cited in the ad, James Howard Terrell Jr., had remained incarcerated and was not freed by Beasley’s decision to overturn and vacate his conviction, although that appears to have been the result later.

It’s worth noting that different TV stations came to different conclusions about the truthfulness of that one small part of the ad. I personally find it hyper-technical to interpret the line “set him free” to only mean free from prison at the exact moment of an overturned conviction as opposed to eventually released or opposed to a broader meaning of free from responsibility/accountability from his crime.

In any event, that ad can easily be re-cut, changing the offending line from “set him free” to “let him off the hook.” No television station could justify the removal based on that minor change.

The Beasley campaign celebrated the ad’s removal:

“Washington Republicans have been caught lying about Cheri Beasley’s record and their false attack was rightfully taken off television,” wrote Beasley campaign spokesperson Dory MacMillan. “Voters know Cheri worked with law enforcement to hold violent offenders accountable.”

However, the Beasley campaign overstates the Beasley record, and removing the ad will do nothing to address Beasley’s record on crime, which is going to be used like a sledgehammer against her.

The ad in question cites three cases, two of which Carolina Journal reported on. Only the third case, relying on a citation from a different media outlet, prompted the Beasley team’s complaint.

Think about that. Three accusations of being easy on child molesters and you can only question the truthfulness with regards to one of the three. Even then the Beasley complaints created all kinds of news articles linking and showing the ad to the public. Hardly a win for Beasley. 

If it is not child molesters, then how about murders. Former State Rep. Skip Stam recently highlighted some of the murders that juries sent to death row only to have those punishments converted to life in prison because Beasley and other Supreme Court Democrats wanted to end the death penalty in North Carolina without the legislature ever passing nor a governor signing a law to do so. You can debate the details but at the end of the day, Beasley is responsible for more than a hundred and fifty inmates likely never receiving the ultimate punishment they deserved, which was fairly handed down by a jury.

If I were running the campaign against Beasley, I would make sure voters know of three specific killers that Beasley has either let off death row or will eventually because of her rulings.

The first is Tilmon Golphin. As a ruthless, evil 19-year-old he, along with his brother Kevin murdered State Trooper Ed Lowey and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy David Hathcock along I-95 in Cumberland County.

On Sept. 23, 1997, I was sent to report on the crimes as a local television news reporter. The U.S. Supreme Court freed Kevin Golphin from death row when it banned the death penalty for anybody under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. Kevin Golphin was 17 in September of 1997. However, it was Beasley’s decision along with other liberal Democrat State Supreme Court justices that later removed Tilmon from death row.

I am not unbiased here. I came to know and care about the families involved. I watched Tilmon Golphin in court day after day. Beasley’s decision that Golphin’s execution could not take place was a travesty of justice. Beasley’s only qualification in running for U.S. Senate is her time on the North Carolina Supreme Court. She can and must be held to account for her judgment, experience, and yes her rulings on the court including helping Golphin escape the sentence he earned and still deserves.

Another case I covered was that of Christina Walters.

Walters, who led a Fayetteville street gang, was convicted of the 1998 murders of 18-year-old Tracy Lambert and 21-year-old Susan Moore and the attempted murder of Debra Cheeseborough. Walters killed two perfect strangers for sport and seriously maimed a third. Of course, she should be put to death. Beasley played a role in stopping the justice decided by the jury.  

Walters and Golphin are already off death row. Another evil murderer I covered is still there, but thanks to Beasley’s prior rulings three-time killer Phillip Wilkinson will likely never see the needle he deserves.

Wilkinson was sentenced to death for the murders of Judy Hudson and her two children, Chrystal Hudson, and her son, Larry Hudson. Phillip Wilkinson sexually assaulted two of the victims before the murder.

Wilkinson has been back in the news recently as a podcast has been exploring him as a possible suspect in another triple murder, a 1986 cold case in Colorado.

Beasley has a record of crime that many voters are going to find extremely objectionable, if not outright offensive. Complaining about ads attacking her record is not going to work. Her record is living and breathing in some of the evilest, brutal, and most violent killers that are known to mankind, who she let escape justice.

In a critical campaign for Senate, it’s all fair game.