An intense public hearing today before the House Select Committee on Capital Punishment. Mark Kleinschmidt has a rundown on his blog and over on Exile there's audio of a really incredible bit of testimony—in the truest sense of that word—by Shirley Burns. She's the mother of one son who is to be executed in 12 days and the grieving mother of another son who was murdered eight months ago.
Exile on Jones Street: Shirley Burns testimony
AP story on the hearing.
From Mark Kleinschmidt:
At least fourteen members of the public shared their opinions on the death penalty. The highlight, and certainly The Story of The Day was the presentation made by Shirley Burns. Ms. Burns explained to the Committee that her analyses of the issue was born of two perspectives – that of the mother of a son murdered last April, and that of the mother of Marcus Robinson who is scheduled to be executed on January 26 of this year.
Ms. Burns, obviously familiar with the religious arguments of death penalty supporters spent some of her allotted time responding to earlier comments made by Christian Action League Executive Director Mark Creech. Rev. Creech had earlier chastised the Committee for spending any time considering the possibility that an innocent person might someday be executed by the State. He said that while many of those speaking out against the death penalty earnestly believed and had compelling statistics to support them that a moratorium on executions was needed, that nonetheless, the Committee shouldn’t be concerned. Instead he quoted scripture reminding the legislature that State executions were a tool given to government by God.