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The Premeditated Murder of Kelly Gissendaner

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  In February of 1997, Greg Owen stabbed Doug Gissendaner until there was no life left in his body. Can you hear the screams? Can you smell the blood? Can you imagine the horror of it all? Make no mistake…this was an act of pure evil. Though not even present for the crime, the mastermind […]

Christian Taylor Did Not Die in Vain

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* Despite my physical absence, I just sent in this statement for tonight’s rally for Christian Taylor in Arlington, Texas.  “I don’t struggle to understand where God is when unarmed bodies keep hitting the pavement. I know that God stands with the brutalized. The case of Christian Taylor is a reminder of where God is […]

A Word & Prayer at the Rally Protesting the Murder of Rubén García

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  “Good Evening. My name is the Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood. I serve as the Minister of Social Justice for Hope for Peace and Justice, the social justice ministry of the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ. I am here representing a rainbow people. When Grapevine Police Officer Robert Clark murdered Rubén García, we […]

The Murder in Grapevine

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  The images haunt me. The sounds reverberate in my ears. The video plays over and over in my head.   While investigating a false burglar alarm, Grapevine Police Officer Robert Clark came across Rubén García sitting in his parked car. Perhaps due to some combination of his undocumented immigration status, intoxication and standard fear […]

Would Jesus Call the Police?

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  Last Tuesday night, someone called the police and reported a homeless man with a dog harassing people in Venice Beach. A short time after police arrived, one of the responding officers shot unarmed Brendon Glenn dead. In the understatement of the year, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck described the shooting as “concerning.” […]

The Genocide of the Mentally Ill

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  Jason Harrison is dead. Jason Harrison is not dead because he was holding a screwdriver and made a movement toward Dallas police. Jason Harrison is dead because we live in a society that refuses to value and protect the lives of the mentally ill. If Dallas police officers had engaged the situation with the […]

Manuel Vasquez Deserves to Die

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If the wages of sin is death, then Manuel Vasquez deserves to die over and over. A member of the Texas Mexican Mafia, Vasquez strangled Juanita Ybarra to death with a telephone chord over illegal unpaid drug taxes. One prior conviction involved the beating of a man who died after his body was set on […]

Lenten Reflections from the Executed: #499 Elroy Chester / June 12, 2013

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*These reflections are taken from pieces of the last words of the last 40 persons executed in Texas. Elroy Chester- “A lot of people say I didn’t commit those murders, I really did it.” Before he gave the Warden the go ahead, Elroy Chester wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he killed a […]

Learning to Die

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  There was a moment in my journey of faith that I realized that following Jesus meant death. In that moment, I realized that, “death is the way, death is the truth and death is the light.” One has to die in order to experience the fullness of Jesus. On occasion, I am vividly reminded […]

Does Ty’s Life Matter? : The Betrayal of Silence Following the Murder of a Transgender Woman of Color

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Ty Underwood. Most people don’t know her name. Most people don’t know her story. Most people would just prefer not to know and keep going on about their lives. I can’t. Last week, Ty Underwood was brutally murdered somewhere near 24th Street in North Tyler, Texas. In addition to the murder, Ty faced the numerous […]

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