Death Row and a Prayer

There are many views and opinions out there about death row. There are those who staunchly believe that death row is an acceptable form of punishment. And there are others that do not believe that it is just or right to kill someone no matter what crime they have committed.

Early on in life, the few times I thought about death row my initial thought was that people should not have to die because they committed a crime. Two wrongs do not make a right. I did not give it much thought at that point in my life though. I guess death row is not something people just sit around and think about.

Well, the subject of death row now feels differently to me than earlier on in life. That is because I have a brother-in-law on death row and it is now a real subject to me. I guess, when things hit home, it causes you to have a different outlook on life. It is easy to advocate the death penalty when you do not know the person or have no interaction with them. But, I think it becomes real when you know the person on death row.

My brother-in law has been on death row for as long as I have known him. He actually was on trial and sentenced while Marcus and I were friends before we started dating. That was the closest I had been knowing anyone on death row. I saw the pain daily as Marcus would come visit me each day after trial and quickly I began to see that the people we “see on TV” are real people with real families. It has been almost 14 years since those days and now my “friend’s brother” is now my brother-in-law that I love dearly.

We found out recently that he is on his last appeal and there stands a real possibility that he will face death sooner than any of us want to think about. The thought is sobering and painful. We pray daily that it does not come to this and we certainly need an intervention. Words cannot express what it must feel like to have a sibling on death row. It is my brother-in law and it is painful. I can only imagine the raw emotion my husband truly feels.  At this point, prayer is the only answer we can lean on. So, here we are at a crossroads….death row and a prayer.


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