Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fighting for a Just Cause

I do not support the death penalty and have recently decided to take action against what I see as a true injustice. If we do not speak out against injustice, we can commit a sin of omission and become just as guilty as the perpetrators. I sent the following letter to the Governor of Alabama to share my views on an upcoming execution.

April 20, 2011

The Honorable Governor Robert Bentley
State Capitol N 104
600 Dexter Ave
Montgomery, AL 36130-2751

Re: Mr. Jason Williams

Dear Governor Bentley:

The purpose of this letter is to request that you commute the sentence of Jason Williams, who is scheduled to die on May 19, 2011. I understand that you prayed for William Boyd prior to his execution last month. I want to ask that during any prayers for Mr. Williams you reflect on the following scenario:

Imagine that Jason Williams is one of your sons. For some reason your son committed a terrible act and now sits on death row awaiting his execution. Would you support your son’s death and ask the State to quickly execute your own child? I believe that you (like most parents) would ask for mercy. You would ask that his life be spared and that he be punished by remaining in jail until God decides to take him from this Earth.

Why should the treatment of Jason Williams be any different than your hypothetical treatment of your son? As a Christian I try to live by Jesus’ command to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. If Jason Williams were my child, I would beg the State for mercy because I could not stand to see my own child put to death. How then could I allow the State to do unto another parent what I would never want them to do unto me?

Your position gives you a unique ability to significantly and profoundly do unto another human being as you would have them do unto you. Jesus’ command had no disclaimers and no restrictions because “others” was meant to apply to everyone, even our “enemies.”

As I reflect on the Lord’s death this Good Friday, I will continue to pray that God moves your heart towards mercy and gives you the courage to stand-up to what must be your fear of being called “soft on crime.” Please have no fear, for when Jesus stopped the stoning of the adulterous woman, no one later accused him of being a soft on crime liberal. Even if they did, wouldn’t you still want to emulate him?

Very truly yours,

Jack T. Carney

Friday, April 1, 2011

Grace's Art Work

When I first moved into my Homewood office (about a year and a half ago), Grace gave me some artwork of her own. I proudly hung it next to my law school diploma and my bar license. When she was in my office the other day, she said, "Daddy, I can't believe you have those pictures. I just scribbled them." At the ripe old age of five, she was not impressed with her earlier work.