Exile and Embrace
Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty
Publication Year: 2013
An important book that will appeal to those involved in the death penalty debate and to general religious studies and American studies scholars, as well.
Published by: Northeastern University Press
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About fifteen years ago, watching a hockey game, I was asked, apropos of This may sound like an unusual question in an unusual context, but it By then I did oppose the death penalty, though it wasn’t something to which I gave a lot of thought. My opposition was by no means the result of a delibera-tive process; it was far more reflexive than reflective. I was nineteen or so, in ...
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No project like this is or can ever be the product of one person’s effort. I would like to thank the following individuals for their help and contributions.First, I would like to thank Marie Deans, who, the first time we met, asked me whether or not I supported the death penalty. It was perhaps the first time I ever seriously considered it, and may have indirectly set this project in ...
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1 | Introduction
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In 1972, when Marie Deans was thirty-two and pregnant with her sec-ond child, her mother-in-law, Penny, was murdered. Penny’s husband, Jabo, had died a year before, and when Marie became pregnant, “it was like a new life . . . for all of us.” Penny drove from her home in Charleston, South Car-olina, to visit Jabo’s family in North Carolina and tell them about the baby. ...
2 | Between Moral Certainty and Morally Certain
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Virginia’s 2005 gubernatorial election pitted Democratic lieutenant governor Timothy Kaine against Republican attorney general Jerry Kilgore in an election that featured a new wrinkle: for the first time in the modern era, an individual personally opposed to the death penalty had won his party’s nomi-nation for governor. Conventional wisdom held that this was a political kiss of ...
3 | Between the Innocent Man and Osama bin Laden
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...3 )Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you ( ex.scodus two.sc:one.scone.scendash.scone.sctwo.sc, one.scfive.scsaid to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this ...
4 | The Exile
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Rev. Joseph Vought asked me that question over a beer while we were talk-ing about his ministry, particularly his death row ministry, which I will talk about more in chapter 7. We had spent the previous hour discussing the walks he’s made with men to the death chamber, the way his prison ministry has impacted his church ministry, and the various pro/con arguments on the ...
5 | The Bloggers’ Exegesis
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The ad begins with a sad-eyed elderly gentleman seated right of center against a black background. Stanley Rosenbluth tells viewers about his son Richard and daughter-in-law Becky, who were murdered by Mark Sheppard, the couple’s cocaine dealer. When Stanley says that Sheppard shot Richard twice, two gunshots ring out; the unseen gun fires twice more when Stanley ...
6 | Death, Difference, and Conscience
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Two prominent truisms figure prominently in the broad death penalty discourse: “death is different” and the jury is the “conscience of the commu-nity.” The idea that death is fundamentally different from other punishments, articulated by Justice Potter Stewart in Woodson and reaffirmed by Justice Thurgood Marshall in Ford v. Wainwright, formed the basis for striking down ...
7 | Opening the Space
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On July 24, 1991, Albert Clozza Jr. became the twelfth person executed in Virginia in the modern era. Convicted of the murder of Patricia Bolton, Clozza was the first person executed in the state’s new execution chamber at Greensville Correctional Center. Following typical practice, Clozza was trans-ferred to Greensville several days before the execution. He spent his last days ...
8 | Conclusion
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Over the course of my research, I made three trips to the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia, each time to attend a protest vigil being held in a field within sight of, but a substantial distance from, the main prison gates. The location feels as isolated as it is, well removed both from any major cities or towns and from major thoroughfares. The swarms of in-...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2013