Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Running Out of Time

In less than one month from now, on September 12th, the state of Tennessee plans to execute Daryl Holton, a man inadequately represented at his trial and who has a history of mental illness.

When serving this country in the military, Holton spent a month in a psychiatric facility and has a history of suicide attempts. He also has been diagnosed with severe depression which makes his perception of reality extremely tenuous, leading him to commit the tragic crimes for which he is now on death row.

In 1997, after the break-up of his marriage, Daryl Holton, in what can only be described as a delusional state, killed his four children after he determined that their lives would be ruined if they had to grow up in a broken home. Holton's intention was to then kill his ex-wife and himself, but he stopped when he realized that no one would be left to tell the story.

Since arriving on death row, Holton's depression has deepened. He has chosen to end his appeals and has dismissed his legal counsel. He has also chosen electrocution as his method of execution, raising more issues concerning his mental state considering that the electric chair has not been used in Tennessee in more than 40 years. In fact, the chair's designer has expressed grave concerns as to its reliability, meaning that it could potentially torture Daryl Holton without killing him.

There are really no words to describe the scope of the tragedy in this case. I have seen Daryl Holton's mother at the prison visiting her son. I have seen the pain in her eyes and the heartbreak she carries with her everyday. I think about the fact that the victims' family members in this case are also the family members of the one who will be executed. Executing Daryl Holton, a man whose mental illness is apparent, will only compound the tragedy of already suffering people.

Nothing the state can do to Daryl Holton will bring those precious children back. However, what the state does to Daryl Holton will have a profound affect on his mother and the rest of his family, people already traumatized by unspeakable loss. The state's actions toward Daryl Holton will also have an affect on us, the people of Tennessee, as we become participants in more violence in order to enact vengeance upon a sick man.

I will continue to pray for and to work toward the day when we can find another way to deal with the violence in our society without creating more of the same. I hope you will too.
Comments :
But he wants to be executed. He knows what he did was wrong and has admitted it.
Again, the issue is not what the inmate wants but who we as individuals, a society, and people of faith want to be.
I think, as a society, we want to be a society that looks upon the savage murder of 4 innocent little girls as something which cries out for only one punishment, death.
The death of 4 children is tragic no matter how you look at it. I know that Daryl has lived a life of pure torture since this incident happened. Anyone who believes otherwise is fooling themselves.
It is also sad that we as a nation believe that it is o.k. to do the same thing he did in the name of justice and make light of it.
This man needed help then and he does now.
For the ones who judge him and want to take his life I can only say may God in His wisdom have mercy on you when it is your time to be judged. God told us judge not that you be not judged and again He said in a sample prayer to Forgive others AS we want to be forgiven.
That can put a whole new light on things.
By the way, Jesus, whoever you may think he was, said when questioned about a prostitute thrown at His feet. Neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more. This crime was punishable by death and He forgave her as all her accusers disappeared. Did you ever wonder why they all walked off? We teach that He said anyone without sin cast the first stone. In the hebrew he said to them Anyone who has not committed this same sin cast the first stone!
Could it be that those who want to execute people are those who have been guilty of the same crime as these people, even if only in their minds?
Prostitutes aren't murderers, and capital punishment was around in Jesus' time for murder.
I never said that one was just like the other but God did. He ranks all discipline outside the guidelines He gave us to live by as disobedience to His law.
There is no distinction between evil to Him. It all put His son on the cross. Every time we do something outside the guidelines He established we stand at the foot of the cross and spit on his son along with prostitutes, murderers, thieves and even gossipers.
Gossip by the way is not always untruth. It is saying anything that harms another person.
Kind of hard to pass any judgement without gossip, huh?
A society that pushes God to the side and takes His law out of everything to do with government can only expect evil to overcome.
Instead of killing people we should be working to clean up the government and get the Law that will keep perfect order back in to effect.
I believe in discipline because God does but I also believe in forgiveness because that is what He teaches.
Is there anything that you might need forgiveness for? I know a couple of forgiven murderers that can pray for you. :-)
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