March 5, 2015
Earlier this week, Kelly Gissendaner was slated to be executed in Georgia. She was given the death penalty for plotting to kill her husband in 1997. The guy who actually murdered the husband was given a reduced sentence for testifying against Ms. Gissendaner, and he is serving life with parole.
By ALL reports Kelly Gissendaner is a human being we need on the earth. Dozens of people, from corrections officials to former inmates, have stated publicly that she has found her way to redemption, and is now helping other people find their own way every day.
But our great and progressive “Christian” society is going to kill this Christian woman for a crime she committed almost 20 years ago. Because, I guess, in our criminal justice system there is no room for redemption or the concept of rehabilitation. What matters, apparently, is our insatiable need to exhibit power over other people, and our belief that punishment actually changes the world in a good way.
Kelly was supposed to have been killed at the end of February. But she was saved by a snow day. I kid you not, her life was spared on February 25 because of the weather.
Her execution was rescheduled for Monday, March 2. On Monday her execution was again postponed, this time because the drug that was to be used to kill her didn’t look right. It was supposed to be a clear liquid, but it was cloudy.
Sister Helen Perjean tweeted, “Kelly Gissendaner has prepared for death & come within hours of it twice in less than a week. This is torture, plain & simple.”
Evangelical theologian David Gushee tweeted, “Executing rehabilitated person whose life offers good not harm to those around her exemplifies folly of #deathpenalty.”
It’s really pretty simple, there is no possible way to reconcile Christianity and murder, even if those in power continue to pretend there is.
The Gospel of Kelly Gissendaner by Shane Claiborne
Women, the Death Penalty, and Jesus by Shane Claiborne
Former inmates say fight to save Gissendaner is only the beginning by Bethney Foster
AP report about problem with the drug which caused the postponement by Kate Brumback
Moving video features the words written by Kelly Gissendaner spoken by her friends