Friday, July 07, 2006

 

Monsters

That's the word that we hear most often from death penalty advocates. That's how we justify it to ourselves. The people on death row aren't people, they are monsters. Not like us.

People said that around Sedley Alley's execution, but last night I received one of the most moving reminders of how untrue this is. People, even those who have committed horrendous acts (and in Sedley Alley's case, his guilt remains in question), are still people, capable of loving and of being loved. Capable of beautiful sentiments. So last night, at the memorial service for Sedley Alley, I was struck again by the fact that this so called monster had people who loved him, and loved him dearly. The last page of the program included the final statement of Sedley Alley. It reads:

I cry not for myself but for those I leave behind. I am going to a much better place where I will find and know true peace. It is the ones I leave behind that I am concerned for. This world is rough and light is dim in it. Where I am going is full of light. The world is tough and there is a lack of compassion and love here. Where I am going there is an abundance of Love, Compassion and Forgiveness. This world has always felt foreign to me. Where I am going is our home, our true home.

I pray that my children will find peace and be able to move on with their lives. I pray that they will find peace in knowing that my pain is through and that I am going to a much better place.

The main thing I want to say to my children, family, and friends is this, Find peace and happiness, live a long life full of Love, forgiveness and hope. To my children, my family, my friends and to those that hate and despise me, to my last breath you all will remain in my prayers and thoughts.

I hold fast to one prayerful thought, that my children, the rest of my family and friends and those that hate me will now be able to find the peace of God that passeth all understanding.

All that has been killed here is my body. A body that was worn out and tired and ready to rest. All that has happened is that my spirit had been allowed to go home and to be with our Lord. To my last breath I pray for this world and forgive those I leave behind.

* * *
Hardly the words of a monster.
You can view News Channel 2's story about the memorial here.

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