Monday, October 06, 2008

The Death Penalty

Some of today's text & a photo were from Citybeat.

I've mentioned Citybeat News before in my blog. It is a free newspaper that comes out once a week. I am generally not in agreement with their left-wing slant. I will say their writing. layout and editing staff does an excellent job.

In last week's issue an article caught my attention regarding a murderer that had been paroled due to what I consider Divine intervention.

William Moore had been placed on Death Row in a prison somewhere in the United States.

During his stay he became penitant and was befriended by a college student that went by the name of John Dear.

In his own words, “I met a guy named John Dear, he’s a Catholic Jesuit priest now, but when I met John he had just graduated (from) college and was between going to Jesuit school,” Moore says. “He started to come visit and later on he spent a year or two in India with Mother Theresa, and while he was there he told her about his visiting me and my case. I had an execution date on Aug. 22, 1990 … and John had told Mother Theresa about it and asked her to call the parole board. She told John that she had taken a vow of poverty and did not have the finances to call the U.S".

“Word … was transmitted to the parole board that Mother Theresa wanted to talk to them; the chairman of the parole board called her and asked her what did she want. She told him he needed to do what Jesus would do.”

The parole board commuted Moore’s sentence to life, and within a year he was eligible for parole. Since his release in 1991 he’s been true to his commitment to his adopted family: He’s become an ordained minister and travels the country talking to young people, prisoners, church groups and anyone who wants to benefit from his experiences with the death penalty.

I don't know what to think about the issue of the death penalty. I suppose it is like those other hot issues that come up so darn often. When we look at them collectively it is easy to form an opinion, however on an individual basis everything isn't so black and white.

For instance there is this fellow, Richard Cooey, on Death Row in Ohio that is scheduled for execution and has filed an appeal on the basis that he is too fat. The guy is 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 267 and claims his veins will collapse during IV insertion. Which in his mind is cruel and unusual. He didn't think so much about cruelty when he raped and murdered two University of Akron college students 22 years earlier.

So what is the difference between these two men? William Moore was penitant, sought forgiveness and sought God. I cannot speak for Richard Cooey, but in his own words he is fearful to be put to death, but he does not appear to be remorseful nor does he ask to be forgiven.

I say the difference is best explained by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans.

"But your sinful nature does not control you. The Holy Spirit controls you. The Spirit of God lives in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. "

It is almost impossible to explain to someone who has not been touch by the Lord. It is clear that William Moore has the Spirit of Christ dwelling within. Because of that his desire is do to what is right and good. He wants to serve the Lord. And the Lord honored his desire.

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