Thursday, October 25, 2007

This is just so wrong

From today's New York Times:

HOUSTON, Oct. 24 — The presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the target of a rising national outcry a month after turning away the last appeal of a death row inmate because the rushed filing was delayed past the court’s 5 p.m. closing time.

The inmate, Michael Richard, was then executed for a 1986 sexual assault and murder — the last person to die in Texas while the United States Supreme Court reviews the constitutionality of lethal injection. (Full article here.)

This is a travesty, that it has come to this, that a technicality of timing - because of a computer problem!!!! - is all it takes to kill a man. It doesn't matter that he is innocent or not, this was a clear and undebatable miscarriage of justice. "Sorry, I can't help you, I've got to go have my evening cocktail now, too bad the office is closed, he'll just have to die. Come back on Monday."

The only good news is that there appears to be a de facto nationwide stay of all executions while the US Supreme Court examines the constitutionality of the current lethal injection regimens.

I pray for the time when there will be no executions in the United States. As a Christian, how can I believe and preach about God's forgiveness for any and all sin and then allow the state to take away the opportunity for those who have sinned mortally to repent?



DBW said...

I don't know, I'm kind of against capital punishment... but just barely. Its something I'm actually quite wishy-washy about. He had the opportunity to repent, and he had the benefit of knowing when his date of death was going to be so he could right things to whatever extent thats possible. Just because he repented doesn't mean he doesn't have to suffer the consequences of his actions. I can repent of blowing the rent money at the craps tables, that means God forgives me. It doesn't mean that the casino has to give me my money back. Jesus subjected himself to capital punishment, St. Paul reiterated that the state has the power of the sword... I don't know what to think about it. Is it right to keep someone locked up, indefinitely, because they are a threat and menace to society?

RFSJ said...

I guess my point is, who knows if he repented? God does, sure. But we cut off any possibility of him doing do by ending his life for him. And what's not enough about life without parole? US prisons are no picnic - that seems like plenty of consequences to me.