Is redemption possible?


Should the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams be stayed because his life has been redeemed, because his life now has some redeeming value?


If Mr. Williams should not be executed because he has succeeded in turning his life around, it follows that if he had not done so, he should be executed. But he should not. There is no good reason, no justification, to execute anyone.

It is we who need redemption — redemption from our need for retribution, redemption from our reliance on violence to address our fears (even if it has the blessing of the state), redemption from our care-less treatment of a precious human life, redemption from our lack of faith in God’s power to redeem … anyone.

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