Friday, April 07, 2006

Interesting new web site

Just got wind this morning of a fascinating and invigorating new web site. It's called "I Was In Prison" and it features articles by Dale and Susan Recinella of Florida. I've heard of these folks before, although I have never met them. They minister to people on death row as well as to the families of people being executed.

The website has an easy-to-remember URL.

It features a number of different articles and personal essays, such as one in which Dale had to witness the execution of a friend:
7:20 pm. We’ve been sitting in the witness room seats for one and a half hours – the longest wait in the history of Florida executions. In absolute silence, without motion or distraction. Staring at our own reflections in the window. Reflecting on the man who will be lying behind the closed curtain, stretched out on a gurney on the other side of the glass window.

Almost six years ago, I met that very angry man on death row. I wrote of our first meeting in “A Glimpse of Harvest” (March 9, 2000). During the ensuing weeks, months and years, we became friends, like brothers. He asked me to be his spiritual advisor if his death warrant were signed. Even the expected can be unexpected when it actually happens.

7:21 pm. Still waiting. I can see the reflections of the victims’ advocates and the survivors of the victim—tense with apprehension that a stay may be in the works. Superimposed over them are the reflections of the defense lawyers in the second row, tense with apprehension that a stay may not be granted. The two sets of images meld into a collage of our community, torn against itself by adversarial interests and homicidal violence, seeking redemption through an adversarial process that promises restoration through more homicidal violence.
You can read the entire piece here. Another outstanding essay is here and another here and yet another here. And you can sign up for email updates from this site by going to the front page.

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