Sunday, July 02, 2006

Day Four from the Fast & Vigil

This update comes from NCADP intern Rachel Lawler, who has now fasted for just about 84 hours as part of the ongoing Fast & Vigil to abolish the Death Penalty on the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Arlene I will be heading out there shortly to join the folks for the annual rally:

Good morning all you abolitionists out there. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Gregg decision -- a decision that promised to remedy a broken death penalty system that had been identified four years prior, in Furman. It promised to get rid of the imbued racism and arbitrariness. But I think we can all agree that the promises were not fulfilled. And it's time for all of us to speak to that point.

The third day of the Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty was just as amazing as the first and second days. Aside from getting a funny looking tanline of the outline of my sunglasses (which was an added and unexpected bonus), I also got the chance to hear some amazing speakers. In the past three days I have been completely inspired and awed by the speakers who shared with us their amazing stories of hope, activism, and healing.

The first death penalty speaker I ever saw was a member of Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, Rev. Walter Everett. In this man I saw such capacity for forgiveness, such amazing spirit... it just blew me away. Hearing stories from Bill Pelke, Christina Lawson, George White, and so many others has been truly inspiring. No one should have to endure what they've been through, but to hear the strength in their voices as they help us understand (to the extent that we can) what it's like, has been an irreplacable, unforgettable experience. I hope to join them for part of their Journey of Hope in Virginia this fall. Everyone should hear their stories!

Mmm food... I'm excited to break the fast tonight. So. Very. Excited. Food..........

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