Two Died Last Night


Arkansas executed two condemned murderers Monday night, becoming the first state in 17 years to carry out two death sentences in one day.

Marcel Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. Central Time, 17 minutes after the procedure began at the Cummins Unit in southeastern Arkansas. Jack Jones had been put to death more than three hours earlier.

Both were guilty, both by all accounts, were not good men. So they deserved to die to pay for their crimes.  That is clear. That is until one looks at the cross, the cross upon which Jesus was crucified, and we see that all of us deserve to die–accept that God sees in each of us the potential for a full life, as life that is filled with growth and joy.

My heart is broken because we continue to crucify Jesus when we fail to see that in each person there is potential. We continue to act in vengeance in Arkansas, in the Middle East, we bring death, rather than life.

Let us look deep within ourselves and asked ourselves the question: “How many times have we been given grace, and through that grace grown into better human beings?”  Let us pray for the two who have died, that they may have found peace, and pray for the members of the victim’s families that they may find peace.  Let us ask ourselves the question does death in our name really bring peace?

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min. candidate, D.S.T.

Franciscans Against the Death Penalty

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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