The new statement is not a call to abolish the death penalty altogether but it flags both social and theological concerns and affirms the growing movement of evangelicals who are against the death penalty.
There are no winners in the aftermath of murder and this is not about whose experience is more valid than another, but we do have the choice as a society if we will add death upon death. In memory of Brian and too many others killed, I hope and pray that soon, we will choose to respond to death with life.
The death penalty needs to be firmly and forever banned in the U.S. We are worse off as a people for allowing anyone to be put to death -- no matter however heinous their crimes. Regardless if one repents and reforms like Kelly or not, the death penalty needs to be forever outlawed.
Her life was turned to good behind bars, but "the machine is rigged not to stop."
The outcome illustrates one of the fundamental flaws with the death penalty -- it's applied arbitrarily. Prosecutors like to say that death penalty is reserved for the "worst of the worst," but the reality is often very different.
As we remember brothers like Troy Davis, as we think about Kelly Gissendaner who would be executed by the State of Georgia on the 29th of this month, we remember what it means to die a good death, leaving a mark on a world that forces us to face our own idiosyncrasies and short comings.
Gissendaner was sentenced to death 18 years ago, when a jury convicted her of plotting with her boyfriend to kill her husband
In 1998, a jury found Gissendaner guilty of plotting the death of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. She was sentenced to
The Candler School of Theology taught me that I was learning in order to give life to others. Today, I am struggling with the value of such education when the state is preparing to kill one of the graduates. How could this happen? Where were we? Maybe we were in prison when she was there.
"Postponed. No questions," was the statement given by the Georgia DOC, according to Atlanta news station WXIA. "There are
The execution of Kelly Gissendaner is not necessary for the protection of the citizens of Georgia (or for the protection of the officers, staff, or fellow inmates at the prison).
Every tweet, interview, Facebook post and letter speaks to Kelly's willingness to not only pursue peace but to minister to other inmates, sharing hope and light from a place of internal resilience.
Last week, I wrote a blog post about Kelly Gissendaner's life and I'll admit that when I wrote the post I felt somewhat hopeless. I didn't think that changing the story would do much to save Kelly. I didn't think there was much we could do. But then yesterday I learned something.
Convicted for her part in the 1997 murder of her husband, Kelly enrolled in and graduated from the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women. Through this program, she grew into a new person with purpose and hope. She experienced forgiveness and gained confidence through grace and redemption.
Have you met Kelly? Not the mug shot that is in every news article, not the "first woman in 70 years to be executed in Georgia," not the woman who you might think ordered too much food for her last meal. I'm talking about Kelly Gissendaner, child of God, sinner saved by grace, a minister who was known for sharing Christ's love with both prisoners and prison guards.