What will killing Kelly Gissendaner on Moral Monday mean for America?
It will mean that a southern state, this time Georgia, plans to execute by lethal injection a woman who didn’t even kill anybody.
For conspiring to kill her husband, Kelly got the death sentence while the actual killer (a man by the name of Gregory Owens) got a life sentence simply because he had better lawyers.
Is it a Moral Monday when the citizens of Georgia kill Kelly?
Is it a Moral Monday when we value the lives of women less then men (unequal representation in court)?
Is it a Moral Monday when we see the increasing numbers of women executed in this country as a sign of equality?
Is it a Moral Monday when we put the needle for lethal injection into the arm of a woman who gave her life to following Jesus while on death row, serving as a spiritual role model and mentor to other women?
Is it a Moral Monday when a snow storm will stop an execution, but not cries of injustice? (Kelly’s original date for execution was rescheduled for Monday pending better weather).
What can we learn from this? Don’t try to execute people in the winter?
What I learned from watching the execution of my own family member in the spring of 2002 is this: Execution is murder and, like Kelly, we are all conspirators to this crime.
The criminal justice system is designed as a systematic way to kill our own citizens: mothers, sisters and daughters. Fathers, brothers, sons and cousins are all executed because that’s the best our system has to offer.
If killing Kelly on Moral Monday is the best we can do, then that says volumes about the state of affairs of the moral foundation of the criminal justice system.
On Moral Monday the sounds of the lethal injection on Georgia’s death row may be silent (compared to a firing range or guillotine, electric chair or gas chamber), but there will be weeping and wailing by those Kelly leaves behind, family and friends left to grieve the horrible killing of Kelly, the day it did not snow in Georgia.