Blessed are the Executed

It didn’t take my cousin Paul two hours to die. His execution was a quick one, compared to today’s standards. It didn’t even take him ten minutes to die by lethal injection. I have a chapter about it in my book.

I guess my cousin was lucky. We all should be thankful. Arizona’s most recent execution of a man named Joseph took almost 120 minutes. When his momma named Joseph after the father of Jesus, I bet she could never have imagined how the last two hours of his life would go. Lord have mercy.

It was 12 years ago when I sat outside the execution chamber and watched through the window as the deadly cocktail flowed through the clear, sterile tubing and into my cousin’s young 30 year old body.

Like clock work. A perfect killing machine. Nothing botched. No embarrassed officials. No media blitz upsetting the youngsters. Just another typical day in America, where those sentenced to death die quietly and efficiently.

My personal connection to capital punishment has converted me, for sure. You can’t watch someone you know and love die like that and not be changed.

But I think that it’s these serial botched executions, and not ethical or moral defense of life, that may slowly convert the nation away from executing its own citizens.

Perhaps like the son of his namesake, Joseph’s death can be redeemed.

The question is: how many more people must suffer and die so brutally?

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

3 thoughts on “Blessed are the Executed

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