Monday, August 10, 2015

The Death Penalty for an Innocent Man, a War within Myself to Be Who I was Created to Be, And a Revelation to help!

God is SO GOOD and so helpful if only you let Him!  He is good and wants to give us peace.  He wants us to be who WE are, not who we think we should be based on the reactions of others.  He wants us to be OURSELVES even when we are at war within ourselves because we have conflicting components of who we are.  Our Heavenly Father wants to bring those conflicting portions into sync.
I promise, the end of this is worth getting to, it may be a message that He wants you to hear right now!  :-)

This afternoon I was in a low moment.  I was incredibly overwhelmed with the injustice and ignorance that is all around us.  Every place, every state, every country will have humans that are ignorant or blinded by "this is what we know," "it was how I was raised," and so on.  When we moved to Oklahoma my children were not yet in school and I was parenting 3 then 4 then 5 children all six years and younger.  I was focused on God, Work, and Supporting my husbands career.  When my children started school, as opposed to Home-school (because I believe that schooling needs are as unique as the individual so some of my kids are homeschooled and some are not...for now).  When my oldest started school I realized how different my upbringing in Pennsylvania (statistically in the top 5/50 schools yearly) was to the education system in Oklahoma (statistically in the bottom 5/50 schools yearly).  I realized how hard the teachers here had to work, or didn't.  I realized how important it was to have one of those gems that work for nothing to make Oklahoma's education system better even though the school boards and state is not always in sync with what the teachers know to be affective or needed in their jobs.  I have seen a great disconnect between a school board's theories of what will work and what the teachers are telling them that they need.  I have also seen a school board and a school that work together tremendously and impact the children in such positive ways that it seemed no different than my experience in public school on the East Coast.

I have seen the difference of growing up in a norther swing state as opposed to a southern, republican, conservative, Bible-belt state.

I have seen the difference in healthcare from an affluent tri-state area that is full of the top hospitals in the nation to a state whose medical is and can be compared to some under developed countries.  

Oklahoma has some of the highest incarceration rates, the highest children in child-protective-custody, the lowest scores in schools, healthcare and the list goes on.  

So, when three executions of men on death row happened in the past year under our current governor through lethal injection that was botched all three times and caused torturous deaths to these men I felt like I was taken back centuries.  Yes, PA still has a death penalty.  However, since 1976 there have only been 3 men killed in PA by lethal injection.  All three of those sentences were signed by the same Governor Tom Ridge, a republican.  

Now in Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is signing off on another execution for a man named Richard Glossip.  Richard was implicated and convicted in 1998 of a murder that was committed by a man who admitted to the act and the charge, but in a plea deal Justin Sneed, Glossips co-worker, accused Glossip of "paying him to kill" in order to save his own life.  Sneed is now spending his life in a medium security prison and will be essentially committing murder again through the hands of Governor Mary Fallin.  While two court cases have convicted Glossip of murder, the only evidence that they have is the admitted murderers plea/accusation of Glossip paying him to kill.  All along Glossip has been using pro-bono attorneys.  

For some statistics, Oklahoma is the second only to Texas for executions but is the highest per capita in executions.  To further muddle the executions that our Governor seems so readily to sign off on, Oklahoma was the first state to use phenobarbital as one of the ingredients in the lethal mixture.  Phenobarbital is a anti seizure medicine.  And, the one reporter Phil Cross who has been following Glossip and working very hard to get his story out there, to help him and to shed light on what is going on, has been banned from the court room while other reporters are allowed, and other reporters are claiming that they cannot talk about it.  The death penalty in Oklahoma has been under investigation by the Supreme Court over the past several years, it has made national headlines many times, and now even Hollywood stars are sharing their opinions and starting petitions to stay the execution.

NOW here is huge proof to the LUST OF EXECUTION for Oklahoma.  In 2014, Oklahoma had put scheduled executions on hold until the Department of Corrections implemented 11 proposed improvements in protocols governing capital punishment. The review of the lethal injection administration process resulted from an Oklahoma inmate's April execution case in which a doctor and a paramedic failed nearly a dozen times to administer an IV with lethal drugs.  From that, they continued under Governor Mary Fallin's approval to do two more botched lethal injections This will be her 17th lethal injection.  However, out of the past three Governors she looks like a lamb.  Her predecessor Brad Henry (Democrat) signed off on 39 executions, and 51 occurred under the Governor Frank Keating (Republican) before him.  Governor Frank Keating gave the go ahead for minors to be executed for their crimes and the last minor to be executed in the country prior to that practice being banned happened in the great state of Oklahoma under Governor Frank Keating in 2003!  Oklahoma has also been a state to wrongfully put-to-death prisoners.  (example:  Gregory R. Wilhoit convicted in 1987, exonerated in 1993.  Ron Williamson, Oklahoma. Convicted 1988 exonerated in 1999.  Although Texas and Illinois have had far more wrongfully executed persons, that we know of.)

So while capitol punishment is a heated debate with people for or against it and many people unsure of their feelings for it exactly, siting examples of when it would be ok and when it wouldn't, everyone can agree that it is an emotional topic.  However, Governor Mary Fallin has knowingly approved at least three lethal injections to persons knowing that the drug cocktail used has, each and every time, caused prolonged suffering and not sudden death.  Now, a man who was simply accused in a plea bargain.

So as my heart ached over all of this and the fact that I cannot rely on medical care in Oklahoma for my daughter, or the school system (not the teachers) I turned to my Bible and decided to do a study prompted by an old assignment my husband had for college.  In that study I decided to read about a book in the Bible, a person, and a significant place.  I am not going to share all of the details but I basically picked my favorites for each section, or the ones that made me joyful.  They were not the typical picks of say psalms/proverbs/job/etc.  I stuck with the Old Testament too.  The persons were not even the typical and each of them ended up being connected in intimate ways that I never noticed before.  For instance, the father of one of my favorite persons in the Bible was a ruler in the Book of the Bible that I chose.  Because the man's father is named but already dead and not talked about in the story of the son whom I admire so, I had never thought to look up his father, nor did I connect the dots when reading his fathers name in the book that I love and chose.  The location I chose actually stressed me out a bit.  I am a very visual person and wish that they had a "Biblical map" overlay that I could place over our Modern map to see the locations that they speak of.  So I tend to not pay attention to the location.  I asked my husband what location he chose to give me some inspiration.  I finally chose a location, and this location is central to the story of the man I chose and I did not realize it before.  

So, the point of my story is that God can affirm your purpose and your passions and he can show you His love and dedication to you, as His child when you simply open yourself up for his teaching.  Tonight it was as if I just ran my fingers through my Bible and asked Him to show me something (which I often do).  But it was with much less purpose.  I knew I was hurting.  I knew that I was warring with myself.  I feel very passionately about things and I know that I was created to be an activist.  Yet I highly dislike arguments or hurting/offending others.  Speaking about a persons home state in a negative way can hurt or empower a person to help make it better.  I know that I am at a giant risk of hurting people that I care deeply for.  But staying silent would be ignoring a part of who God created me to be.  He knew that I was feeling blue and fearful of how my words may affect others and He showed me that He is patient and loving and will always guide you to do what He has called you to do, even when you are afraid to do so.  

If you would like information on the petition for granting a stay for Richard Glossip click here!