Grace for a Dying Man

They say any extra day for a dying man is grace. I’m not so sure that holds true when it’s the state that’s in charge of the dying.

There’s no question he got what was coming to him. Andy DeYoung cut down his mama, her in her own bed sleeping. When her cries woke up his daddy, Andy cut him down to. Then he turned that bloodied blade on his 14-year-old sister, slashing her up so badly that her wounds couldn’t be distinguished one from another.

Surely it was grace when she screamed out another brother’s name — NATHAN!!!– in her dying moments. Her screams served as the warning that saved the young brother’s life. The boy, not sure at all at what was going on, scrambled out the window and ran to the neighbors for help.

The neighbor grabbed a gun and went running but when he saw Andy standing there in the driveway in those dark clothes, he didn’t shoot him. Instead he yelled at the 19-year-old: “Andy, what have you done?”

They say he did it for the money. He wanted to start his own business and couldn’t find an investor, so he figured if he killed his family, all the money would be his.

Don’t call him dumb. His IQ was 140. He got his smarts from his daddy, they say. The two of them like to debate the high-minded things of life. Religions and such.

Surely it was grace when his granddaddy spoke in that courtroom, begging the judge to spare his grandson’s life: “Andy has a good mind. He has been raised in a Christian church. He has gone to Christian school, and he has been baptized. And baptism means that that’s God’s mark on him. And when God marks somebody that means something to God, and God doesn’t forget that….[M]y plea for Andrew, for the jury, would be that if you give Andrew life in prison rather than death[,] I can see that he can become a real useful servant of God.”

Only grace would allow a grandparent to see their child’s killer as a “useful servant of God.”

That murder is ultimately an act of the Author of all Evil is likely the only thing about murder that makes any sense.

Not that the Devil made me do it is any excuse. We choose. We always choose. Every. Single. Day. We. Choose.

Good

Or

Evil.

Right

Or

Wrong.

Obedience

Or Disobedience.

Andy’s granny said he was always a good boy until…“I have happy memories of Andy. He was always pleasant. He was cooperative. He was friendly. He was willing to talk. He is verbal. Most of those memories are, of course, from before the teens, or early teens. I don’t know what Andy was like in his home after he became involved in Satanism. Satanism does something to a person.”

Satan marks a person, too.

They gave him an extra day before strapping him down and poking him with that needle that would stop his breathing.

It was not so much grace as it was the result of legal wrangling.

They’ve been fighting over the stuff in that needle. They say it causes a man to suffer. It’s not as clean a death as sodium thiopental.

So lawyers were bickering —  not over saving a fella’s life — but over the best way to end it.

And whether or not they should videotape the dying.

The State argued against the video cameras being present but the Fulton County Judge allowed it.  “The Court is not making a finding that any executions have been ‘botched’ but is finding that there are many facts relevant to the constitutionality of the State’s execution process that is has refrained from disclosing to those who seek to challenge it,” said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane.

Seems there’s nothing sacred anymore. Not even the execution room.

They delayed the dying by a day for DeYoung but because the State of Georgia had never videotaped a legalized killing before.

Wonder what grace means to a man lay dying, a needle in his arm, a camera at his feet?

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • http://communityofjesus.wordpress.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    Tough one, Karen. I am opposed to the death penalty. Life imprisonment would seem of a better justice to me. Justice ought to have grace with it for all who are involved in what happened. Which in this life I think does not mean the destruction of the murderer.

  • A Relative

    Andy delayed his own death. He fought to have it videotaped.


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