Preparing for the Next US Execution: David Hosier June 11

Preparing for the Next US Execution: David Hosier June 11 May 30, 2024

– from Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty


*I serve as David Hosier’s spiritual advisor.  I will be with him in his final days and accompany him to the execution chamber on June 11.


David Hosier will be executed on June 11.  It’s beginning to look inevitable.  Though I pray for a miracle, I can’t let myself believe it’s possible.  If I did, I would never be able to prepare myself for what I must do.  In the coming days, my job is to prepare David for the end.  You can’t prepare someone for the end by pretending that the end isn’t coming.  Some might challenge me.  I can hear it.  “Where’s the faith in that?”

Amid hard truths that accompany executions, I don’t have the luxury of pretending that the horrors aren’t real.  The execution machine is already cranked up and prepared to devour David.  What am I supposed to do?  Trick my brain into thinking that maybe the State of Missouri might lose the keys?  I can’t live like that.  David can’t either.

We cannot be governed by the fantasies of wishful thinking nor the tyranny of systems of injustice, we must chart our own way.  Fantasies pull us from being present in the present.  Those that I have seen spend their time thinking that they wouldn’t be executed, are most terrified when the execution happens.  Peace is not a fantasy.  Indeed, peace is something that is earned in the difficulty of each second.  We can’t dream away our circumstances, but we can work to not be defined by them.  We can be present despite the temptation to be everything but present.

David and I are facing the reality of what is.  Tyrannical systems of injustice are worthy of our rage.  We should burn hot when societies take it upon themselves to murder defenseless people strapped to gurneys simply because we find them murderable.  We should rage simply because the system is so unbelievably unfair.  We should rage.  But rage cannot define the final days of a life.  Indeed, rage is the killer of peace.

One must exist in a giant ball of rage yet exist in the center of the flame without being defined by the fire all around.  This epicenter of existence is neither a fantasy nor hate.  It is something so much more.  Namely, love.  One cannot love that which is not real.  One cannot love that which is hated.  One must love despite all temptations to the contrary.

That is where David and I are.  We are learning to love.  I am under no illusion of what is coming.  It will be horrible.  It will be a nightmare.  It will be the apex of injustice.  It will be a great many awful things…but it can also be filled with love.  Even on the gurney, there will be seconds left.  Those seconds can be filled with love.  David and I have no time for anything that will distract us from the divine task at hand.  We exist to love.



Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty

Death Penalty Action


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