Pending execution in Texas

I have missed a number of executions. No excuses, just a confession.

Tonight I signed a petition on behalf of Beunka Adams. His execution is scheduled for April 26, 2012 in Texas.

In 2002, Richard Cobb and Beunka Adams robbed a store and took three hostages, two women – Candace Driver and Nikki Dement – and one man – Kenneth Wayne Vandever. They drove the hostages to a field where Vandever was shot and killed. Both women were wounded.

Beunka Adams has never denied his involvement in the robbery, but he has always claimed that he didn’t shoot anyone and that he tried to stop his co-defendant from harming the victims. Adams’ co-defendant confessed to the shooting and the two men were not tried at the same trial. It is suggested that the jurors were convinced that Adams fired the gun because of evidence being held from them. Reports also suggest that Adams has not received adequate legal representation.

I grieve for Kenneth Wayne Vandever and all who loved him; I grieve for Candace Driver and Nikki Dement. What happened to them was brutal and unconscionable.

However, the execution of Beunka Adams by the State of Texas will not bring them back; it will further the cycle of violence and brutalize our society. I believe that the use of the death penalty as an instrument of justice places the state in the role of God, who alone is sovereign. In a representative democracy, the use of the death penalty places citizens in the role of executioners. I reject that role and say, “Not in my name.”

You too can sign the petition.

See you along the Trail.

1 Comment

Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

One response to “Pending execution in Texas

  1. Thank you for this most eloquent and balanced statement, rightly honoring Kenneth Vandever, Nikki Dement, and Candace Driver while pointing out that it is not for Caesar to claim the divine prerogative of life and death. This is a capital murder case where it may be humanely impossible to determine exactly who — Beunka Adams or Richard Cobb — intended, ordered, or consented to some of the lethal and other violent acts which took place. Life without parole, a punishment not available to the jury at the time of the crime but which the Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor evidently can impose as a commutation under the Constitution of Texas, will do justice without further devaluing human life and emulating the evils of these horrible crimes. Yoor column strikes a sane and compassionate balance.

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