Melissa Lucio, Texas and Life on Good Friday

Melissa Lucio, Texas and Life on Good Friday April 15, 2022

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Melissa Lucio, Texas and Life on Good Friday

 

Do you remember?

 

Word spread quickly. The crime was unspeakable. The reward for his capture was great. The government was desperate to get him off the streets. Nobody knew what he was capable of next. Considering him to be exceedingly dangerous, law enforcement planned carefully. For some time, they’d practiced and discussed the take. When the moment arrived, one of the fugitive’s confidantes revealed his location. As authorities made the arrest, those closest to him pushed back. It was no use. It was as if he knew his fate.

 

Government officials repeatedly declared that a monster had been taken off the streets. Everyone wanted justice. Believing some level of due process was necessary to keep from giving their power over to the mob, local officials restrained themselves. Everyone knew that this was a big one. Insult after insult flew. Then, the time came.

 

When the doors opened, he immediately became aware of how public his case was. Though he’d seen reports and heard rumblings, he just wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the hate. The weight of it all was almost too much to carry. Weak in the knees, he determined to keep moving. The people kept calling him a monster. The words were painful. However, it was more painful to realize that they were calling everyone he loved monsters, too. When the walk didn’t seem like it could get any longer, he was there.

 

There was no question what everyone wanted. Death was in the air. The authorities gave him a chance to save his life, but he didn’t take it. Nobody could believe it. Who wouldn’t take the opportunity to save his own life? He was subjected to further punishment and then offered the chance at life again. He declined. Death it was.

 

The path was long between the place of judgment and the place of execution. At every step, the cries of “monster” overwhelmed his brain. The religious people seemed to be the ones shouting the loudest. In the midst of it all, he stumbled a few times. I guess that’s the nature of all difficult paths.

 

As the place of execution approached, the governor had one last chance. Citing his faith, the governor let the killing continue. Waiting for death, the man prayed. Slowly, he was strapped in. His great crime was raised up for all of the world to see. God felt so far away. How could he have been so forsaken? His final words echoed in the beings of all who heard them, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.” Death came with a rush. In great agony, he took his last breath. It was finished.

 

Do you believe?

 

…that the execution of Jesus was enough.

 

Do you see?

 

…Melissa Lucio being marched to her execution.

 

Will you?

 

…deny that the execution of Jesus was enough.

 

Do you not?

 

…see the offer of life on the table.

 

Texas, surely, you’re smart enough to take the deal.

 

Amen.

 

The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, Convener of Clergy United Against the Death Penalty

 


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