Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Please pray for Teresa Lewis, scheduled to be executed Thursday

I would ask your prayers today for Teresa Lewis, who is scheduled to be executed Thursday here in Virginia for the murders of her husband and his son in an insurance scam. I would also ask your prayers for Governor Robert McDonnell, who has declined to commute her sentence to life in prison.

This has become an emotional issue on all sides in recent days. Lewis, who is mentally retarded, was convicted of being the "mastermind" in the murders. The two men who carried out the killings were given life sentences.

The Washington Post wrote a factual story on the case over the weekend, which you can read HERE. I also wrote about this case a few weeks ago on this blog, which you can read HERE.

The Episcopal Church has taken a consistent stand against capital punishment since 1958, and has reaffirmed that position at several general conventions. You can read a resolution from 1991 by clicking HERE.

This case, I believe, highlights the arbitrariness of the death penalty. I am not an activist on this issue, and I have no intention of becoming one. My own opposition to the death penalty extends beyond the immediate case and to capital punishment generally. I wrote a long reflection about the death penalty last summer, drawing on my own experience with two friends who were viciously murdered. You can read that by clicking HERE.

The Washington DC Peace Center is publicizing many vigils around the state on Thursday. There will be a vigil in front of the Charlottesville Circuit Court, at 315 East High Street, at 12 noon on Thursday. For more information, click HERE.

I would again plead that the governor show mercy and that we keep him in our prayers. You can email the governor by clicking HERE.

7 comments:

Ginger Greene said...

Today's Daily Progress (9/22)provides an interesting irony regarding the Lewis case: On the page opposite the article reporting the Supreme Court's refusal to review Ms. Lewis's case, there was an article about a young Farmville, VA man recently convicted of bludgeoning 4 people to death. He feceived a life sentence.

Cvllelaw said...

Jim:

There will be an event that has been variously described as a protest and as a vigil at the Charlottesville Circuit Court, at 315 East High Street, at 12 noon on Thursday. Note -- NOT at the federal court house. There will be a pure vigil at the Friends Meeting House at 1104 Forrest Street, at 8:45 PM.

I also want to point out that every resolution of the General Convention since 1979 (I haven't read the 1958 resolution; it might be there also) has called on Dioceses, individual parishes, and individual church members to work for the abolition of the death penalty. St. Paul's has not done anything as a body to implement the Church's call to act to abolish the death penalty, though I note that there are a number of Charlottesville organizations that HAVE been active:

Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, Charlottesville Friends Meeting (Quakers), Charlottesville/Albemarle Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Sowers of Justice,
Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the Peace & Justice Committee Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Amnesty International Group 157.

The Rev. James Richardson said...

Dear Cvllelaw,
I have edited the blog post to note the information about the place and time of the vigil on Thursday. Thank you very much.

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Christie said...

Jim, thank you for posting about this dreadful situation again. And thank you (and Cvllelaw) for informing us of the vigil locations.

Christie

Simon said...

It seems that everyone knows this is not civilised, but the act goes ahead anyway. The law is a machine that cannot be stopped, it seems.

Lloyd Snook said...

Here is a very spare account of the execution...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/09/watching_teresa_lewis_die.html