The Failure of the Campaign to Save Richard Glossip & The Hope of Resurrection

The Failure of the Campaign to Save Richard Glossip & The Hope of Resurrection April 30, 2023

Richard Glossip.

 

The Failure of the Campaign to Save Richard Glossip & The Hope of Resurrection

 

Light remained longer than I thought it would.  It was as if the sun refused to move.  Looking up, I felt like the very cosmos was trying to expose what was going on.  It was the evening of September 21, 2011.  With hundreds of others, I stood outside of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.  In front of me, row after row of riot police repeatedly slapped their batons against their shields and dared anybody to make a move.  The protest cries of “I AM TROY DAVIS!” filled the air.  It was so hot.  People kept pushing.  The wild scene morphed into pandemonium when word reached us that Troy Davis had been granted a stay from the United States Supreme Court.  It felt like a resurrection.  Maybe God wasn’t so absent after all.  Then, the stay was lifted and the execution was allowed to proceed.  Repeatedly, I heard people encourage everyone not to worry, “Obama is going to save him.”  Even in the final moments, people were still placing their faith in a politician.  Shortly after 11:08 p.m., word reached us that Davis had been executed.  Not far away, I heard a young activist let out a moan, “The age of Obama is dead…because when it came to Troy Davis…no we couldn’t.”  The system was created to kill and that is exactly what it did.

The lessons of the campaign to save the life of Troy Davis reverberate through the years.  Unfortunately, few seem to have minds to remember.  In recent years, those surrounding the campaign to save the life of Richard Glossip have repeatedly shut down any and all attempts to save his life that were not centered around an orchestrated strategy to influence politicians in Oklahoma.  During the recent clemency hearing before the Oklahoma Board of Pardon and Parole, it quickly became apparent what had been sacrificed to accomplish such political goals.  Every politician who spoke affirmed their belief in the death penalty.  Multiple politicians expressed that Glossip was different than all the others.  One even spoke of “righteous killings.”  Another politician spoke about maintaining the “purity” of the death penalty.  Yet, even though the Glossip team had sacrificed so much…they still lost.  Despite extraordinary efforts from the Oklahoma political class, Glossip was still denied clemency.  Now, since a hearts and minds campaign weren’t unleashed in the streets, the capacity for mass action isn’t what it could’ve been if people had been engaged as much as politicians were.  Such events should force us all to question the expediency of thinking that politics or politicians can be trusted with campaigns to save the lives of people on death row.

The message of Jesus is not silent on these matters.  Jesus regularly met with the political class.  Some heard and believed.  Some ignored him.  Some just listened.  Some hated him.  Some plotted against him.  The point is that Jesus consistently engaged politicians…but he did so on his terms and not theirs.  You see, the expectations of Jesus were based on what was right not what was expedient.  Such expectations just simply would not allow him to give himself wholesale to the political class.  Jesus knew that morality was for more than just a moment.  Temporary gains are just that if not undergirded with righteousness.  Holiness is not something that can be achieved through backroom political deals.

Richard Glossip still breathes.  There is still time for those who have given their hearts and dreams to the politicians to turn back.  There is still time to take Glossip’s case to the people.  Surely, God created us for so much more than all of this political foolishness.  Just tell the damn truth…Richard Glossip deserves to live because he is a child of God not because a bunch of politicians say so.  Organize around such truth. Tell those in power that our demand is unequivocal…repent.

 

Information about Richard Glossip’s case can be found here https://saverichardglossip.com/

Call (405) 521-2342 or write Governor Stitt and demand that he grant a 60-day reprieve for Richard Glossip.

A petition to stop the execution of Richard Glossip can be found here https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/save-richard-glossip-in-oklahoma

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