The tears are gone, replaced by what Mark Moseley describes as "the emptiest feeling in the world."

His sister, Pamela Moseley Carpenter, 22 and "just beginning to get on with the good things in her life," is dead.

On Oct. 25, a man broke into her home in Livingston, Tex. He stabbed her in the chest with the scissors she was using that morning to make a Halloween costume for her niece.

The man beat and kicked Pamela Carpenter. And then he raped her and left her for dead.

But Pamela Carpenter regained consciousness and called a friend. As she rode to the hospital in an ambulance, she provided a description of her assailant before she died a few hours later from massive internal bleeding.

That same day, Livingston police arrested John Paul Penry, 22, a part-time deliveryman for a local appliance store who had been released last August from the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. He was on parole after serving two years of a five-year sentence for rape.

Wednesday, Penry was taken before a Polk County, Tex., grand jury and indicted on a charge of capital murder, which carries the death penalty in Texas.

"It didn't take very long for the grand jury to make its decision," said Livingston Chief of Police Bill Smith."Did he confess" We have statements from him, that's all I can say.

"Oh Lord, yes, the town is plenty upset. No, it ain't unusual for him to be out on parole. Damned right, it's disturbing. We arrest 'em, we convict 'em, we lock 'em up, and they're out of prison so fast they beat us home."

And precisely for that reason, Mark Moseley, the Redskin kicker, has decided he no longer can remain silent on the death of his sister.

The other day, he telephoned a reporter and asked him to come to his home in Haymarket, Va.

"You feel so helpless," he said. "I'm a football player. Some people know who I am. Maybe if they hear our story, somebody can do something about things like this.

"If there's something I can do to prevent it from happening to someone else, to spare people the grief our family has gone through, I'll do it.

"I have four daughters and another child on the way. It scares me to think about a system that allows people back on the street like this. I'd like to see something done about it.

"We work, we pay our taxes, we try and raise our families to respect the law, to abide by it, to trust it, and then this happens. It makes it hard for me to accept."

What makes it even harder on Moseley is the knowledge that the man in custody for the murder of his sister had been indicted for two separate offenses -- attempted rape and rape -- in 1977. His conviction on the rape charge was the one that sent him to prison.

"There's a total of three previous cases, in all, connected to him," said Polk County District Attorney Joe Price, who will prosecute Penry and said, "Yes, he did give us a voluntary statement."

"Why was he on the streets? Well, we go to the extreme to protect a defendant's rights. Sometimes you protect them so much, something like this case happens."

Price also confirmed that a psychiatric evaluation was ordered in connection with Penry's previous conviction. That evaluation, which determined Penry was competent to stand trial, also indicated he had never finished the first grade, that he could not read or write, that he was slightly retarded and that he was considered potentially dangerous.

And yet, last August, Penry was granted a parole.

"Nobody can understand how this guy was out on the streets," Mark Moseley said. "Nobody could explain it to me. The sheriff told me it happens all the time.

"The laws have to be changed. The probation system has to be changed. Maybe somebody in Congress will read this. Maybe something can be done."

Moseley says he will attend Penry's trial, and he admits he does not know how he will react when he sees the man accused of killing his sister.

The murder has outraged the citizens of Livingston, 80 miles north of Houston. There have been letters to the editor of the Polk County Enterprise recommending lynching and, according to Chief Smith, "there's a lot of coffee-shop talk" to the same effect.

But Mark Moseley dismisses such talk.

"At first, I was furious," he said. "You're raised in a Christian home and you know you're supposed to let justice take care of itself. Yes, I wanted to beat the guy to a pulp, but the Lord could never forgive me.

"I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to control myself if I ever faced him. But when you look at it, if you do something like that to him, you go as low as he's gone.

"The thing that's scary is that he could possibly be given a life sentence and be back on the streets again in seven years.

"Do I believe in the death penalty?In this case, a guy like this, yes. Because he'd do it again."

But that will not bring Pamela Moseley Carpenter back to her husband of three years, to her family, to her friends, to her oldest brother, Mark Moseley.

"It's a cruel world out there," Moseley said. "There's a lot of evil out there, and Pam was so good. She loved kids. She and her husband were just starting to think about a family. She and my brother's wife were going to open a day-care center.

"Maybe you could say evil won out in this case, but I don't think so. All the love she had for people -- those are the things we'll never forget. And maybe some good will come out of this. We have to keep telling ourselves that God's will always has a purpose."