Friday, December 02, 2005

Execution tonight

The State of South Carolina is going to execute Shawn Humphreys this evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Broad River Prison in Columbia. This will be the 1001st execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Please keep him, his family, the victims of his crime, and their loved ones in your prayers.

More at SCEJA.

I guess Governor Sanford is not going to follow Governor Warner in Virginia, who commuted the death sentence of Robin Lovitt to life without parole on November 30.

And I cannot imagine the courage and compassion of this Briton, who forgave the murderers of her son, in a horrific racially motivated attack in the UK:
Gee Walker, 49, had listened to every harrowing detail of the ambush by white racist thugs that left her son, a gifted black A-level student, with an ice axe embedded in his skull.


Within minutes Mrs Walker, a mother of six, emerged from the court arm in arm with two of her four daughters to offer words of compassion to Taylor and Barton: “Do I forgive them? At the point of death Jesus said, ‘I forgive them because they do not know what they do’. I have got to forgive them. I still forgive them.

“It will be difficult but we have no choice but to live on for Anthony. Each of us will take a piece of him and will carry on his life."
I still get chills from reading that! As Mark Shea notes, "Mercy, the most scandalous demand of the Gospel ... is also the most breathtakingly beautiful and supernatural. The power to do what this woman did can only come from God" (Via Eve Tushnet.)


Heather said...

If you haven't already seen it, I suggest renting The Life of David Gale . It is an amazing story about one groups efforts to put an end to the death penalty in America and the life of a man condemmed to death in Texas. I'd be interested in your commentary on the film. Happy viewing. ~Heather

assiniboine said...

I certainly wouldn't be able to bring myself to forgive. Well, perhaps at most only in the sense that Eleanor Roosevelt meant when she said, "I forgive but I never forget." On the other hand, I infer from your reference to opposition to abortion-on-demand AND to the death penalty being little found outside Catholic circles that we are talking about Bible Belt "evangelicals," then. And that being the case, all the more argument in favour of scholarly, or at least literate, interpretation of holy writ: he did, after all, say, "an eye for an eye," but in the CONTEXT he meant that punishment should be proportionate to the crime: "an eye -- but no more than an eye, and not necessarily as much as an eye -- for an eye." As opposed to the draconian and disproportionate punishments specified in, say, the Code of Hammurabi, the OT and, somewhat latterly, Sharia.

assiniboine said...

(ie, to put it more clearly, that punishment should not be disproportionate to the crime: what it should not be, as opposed to what it should be)