But here we have something completely different: An admittedly guilty person who asked for and received forgiveness from the victim's family -- and who went on to make something of his life.
Billy Neal Moore, who spent 16 years on death row, came within days of execution, and was subsequently freed due to exemplary behavior, has written I Shall Not Die: Seventy-two hours on Death Watch.
Only 22 years old when he committed murder, Moore confessed and was sentenced to death. While in prison, a minister baptized him, and he was so overcome with remorse for the murder that he wrote a letter to the victim's family. They were so moved by his sorrow that they forgave him. In turn, Moore vowed to transform the lives of anyone he could by showing them what Christ had done for him. He studiously pored over the Bible and began writing religious articles for the outside world. Soon he was writing about 300 letters a week to lost souls around the country, from fellow inmates to teens in crisis.
As his death date edged closer, Moore lost a series of three appeals. His fate seemed to be sealed until the victim's family vehemently opposed his execution, and a last-minute request by Mother Theresa helped grant him a life sentence. Because of exceptional behavior, Moore was released a year later.
His breathtaking and awe-inspiring ordeal not only speaks of the power of forgiveness and compassion, but also of people's ability to stare evil in the face and fight for goodness. It is proof that each human being is capable of redemption. I Shall Not Die adds a compelling case study to the raging controversy over the death penalty, the judicial system and punitive culture that exist in America.
In Moore's successful struggle to overcome his past, readers learn how this brave man faced his demons and fought against them in a dignified and honorable fashion. As audiences around the country hear his story, Moore moves them with his tenacity, his dedication and the lessons of his personal transformation.
Currently a minister with the Christ Assembly of Evangelistic Ministries, Moore has spoken at dozens of locations, including Harvard, Yale, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Georgia state ,University of Georgia, American, Georgetown University, Ithaca College, Emory Law School, Northeastern, Tufts College and the University of Massachusetts. A father and husband, he lives 14 Wildwood Lane NE, Rome, GA .30161, and the cost for each books is $11.95 or $15.00 for a signed copy.
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