A reader writes:
First, the request (and its backstory)…
It’s possible this story managed to make it’s way to other parts of the country (I actually have no idea where you’re based) but here in Anniston, Alabama two years ago a police officer named Justin Sollohub was shot by a young man he was pursuing (why, I don’t actually know). He was a well known individual in the community, and his death upset a lot of people. I personally didn’t know him, but any murder is a tragedy.
That being said, they recently wrapped up the trial for the murderer, and even though the jury found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment, the judge overruled the sentence and chose to give him the death penalty. So my prayer request is actually for the convicted young man. He is obviously guilty, and by all means he deserves punishment, but I hope he is able to find redemption before his execution date.
Now, here in town, I hold a very unpopular opinion that executing this young man is the wrong thing to do. I could go on about my opposition the death penalty, but I’ll save that for another time. Basically, I’m against it because A: It seems more often that not it’s done to satisfy a desire for vengeance. B: It takes away the opportunity for someone to repent. C: I can’t help but feel that it goes against the pro-life motto “from conception to natural death”. And D: In my opinion, the only real way for justice to be served is contrition on part of the offender, and forgiveness on part of the offended.
Again, I’m not anti-punishment, but throughly anti-death penalty. I’m curious as to your thoughts about capital punishment. Do my views seem shortsighted and foolish?
And again, please pray for that young man.
Father, hear our prayer for the repose of the soul of this man’s victim and that this man would be spared the death penalty and find the grace of repentance and faith in your Son Jesus Christ. Come Holy Spirit and work this miracle in his heart and in the hearts of those responsible for his punishment, that both would repent and find your mercy. Mother Mary, pray for them and all who love them. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
In answer to my reader’s question, I oppose the death penalty as the Church does and, like the past three popes, think it should be abolished. It think it all the more now that stories like this are coming to light.