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Alliance of Baptists 30th Anniversary Press Conference // Pullen Memorial Baptist Church // Raleigh, North Carolina

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Good afternoon, I’m Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood. I serve as a spiritual advisor on Texas’ Death Row.

 

I come here this afternoon with a warning…there are killers in our midst.

 

Over in Arkansas last night…

 

Kenneth Williams was murdered.

 

Part of us died.

 

Kenneth Williams was murdered.

 

Part of has died.

 

Kenneth Williams was murdered.

 

Part of us is dead.

 

We can’t keep on executing people and expect to be the same.

 

Part of us always dies.

 

How can we teach our children not to kill by killing?

 

Once there was a woman that committed a capital offense. Officials consistently ignored her pleas for mercy. In court after court, the government only knew two words, “Execute Her! Execute Her!” Eventually, the officials arrived at the execution chamber and slung the woman onto the gurney. As the technicians started to carry out the execution, Jesus dove between the needle and the woman. The entire world stopped. Staring deep into the eyes of officials who thought themselves worthy to murder someone…Jesus said, “Whoever is without evil can start the execution.” Slowly, everyone left the chamber.

 

We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We can’t love our neighbors and stand by as they are slaughtered in our execution chambers.

 

Open your eyes…

 

The death penalty is torture.

The poor are disproportionately executed.

New victims are created.

The innocent are executed.

Pain is compounded.

Persons of color are disproportionately executed.

Trauma fills the lives of everyone who participates.

The disabled are disproportionately executed.

There is simply no end to the lunacy of it all.

 

At this hour of evil, now is the time to place our bodies between the executioner and the executed. This is the only way. You can’t save a life without giving yours. At this very hour, I call on Christians around this nation to come down the aisle of grace…and pray the prayer of mercy…and get saved from all this executing.

 

I come here this afternoon with a warning…there are killers in our midst.

 

Over in Arkansas last night…

 

Kenneth Williams was murdered.

 

Part of us is dying.

 

Kenneth Williams was murdered.

 

Part of has died.

 

Kenneth Williams was murdered.

 

Part of us is dead.

 

We can’t keep on executing and expect to be the same.

 

Part of us always dies.

 

Is anyone ready to live?

 

Amen.

 

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