Larry Matthew Puckett is scheduled for execution on Tuesday March 20th in and by the state of Mississippi. I find it hard to believe that this kind of thing still happens. In my opinion, it’s barbaric. While some Christians agree with capital punishment, I cannot. I’ll simply state this; my Anabaptist faith tradition which is saturated in a pointed pursuit of shalom cannot allow, and does not allow me to condone or support punishment by death. In fact, my Anabaptist faith tradition empowers me to speak and act against it. Particularly for those of us here in Canada, capital punishment is something easily forgotten as we no longer have it here. It is merely one of those ‘issues’ that gets talked about every once and a while. Yet, with a name and a face, capital punishment is no longer a mere issue.
I don’t know Matt personally, but I have been made known of his situation. I have been made known of the sketchy legal process that has facilitated his impending death by the state of Mississippi. I have been made aware that even in the final hours, there is still opportunity to make our voices heard. To make known that we wish to see Matt recieve the due justice entitled to him by the American constitution. A few things can be done.
1. Sign the online petition going around. It won’t take long and it provides the opportunity for you to put your beliefs into practice. It also shows Matt’s family of the support they have. I hope they do not feel alone!
2. Upon signing the petition, post it to your facebook, google +, or twitter feeds encouraging those who believe capital punishment is ridiculous to sign.
3. Some folks are changing their profile pictures to the ‘Save Matt’ picture you see above. So if you feel so inclined, change your profile picture between now and Tuesday. I will be changing mine on Sunday evening.
4. Contact governer Phil Bryant, requesting a stay, allowing Matt to live the rest of his life behind bars.
5. Most importantly, pray.
For a bit more background on this, read Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s contribution to the Huffington Post about this injustice.