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Prayer & Action to End the Death Penalty

by Jim McGinnis, inspired by his new book

As we continue to pray and act for peace around the globe, especially this week when Alabama executed Jack Trewick June 11, and Missouri has scheduled its second execution in a month, please consider forwarding this weekly prayer & action request to your networks. 

I was deeply touched by a recent op-ed piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch written by Paula Skillicorn shortly after the execution of her husband Dennis on May 20.  Read her piece and check out information and action suggestions to prevent the execution of Reggie Clemons scheduled for June 17, 2009.  Also visit
http://www.justiceforreggie.com for info on how to help Reggie.  Although Reggie's execution was just temporarily postponed, letters on his behalf are urgently needed.  Please consider these suggestions as you use the prayer in PRAYING FOR PEACE AROUND THE GLOBE (pp.  20-21).

Prayer to Abolish the Death Penalty
God of Compassion, You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.  Expand and deepen our hearts so that we may love as You love, even those among us who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.  For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance as we fill up death rows and kill the killers in the name of justice, in the name of peace.  Jesus, our brother, you suffered execution at the hands of the state, but you did not let hatred overcome you.  Help us to reach out to victims of violence so that our enduring love may help them heal.  Holy Spirit of God, You strengthen us in the struggle for justice.  Help us to work tirelessly for the abolition of state-sanctioned death and to renew our society in its very heart, so that violence will be no more"
(By Sister Helen Prejean; published by Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement, and used with their permission; order copies of this prayer card)

Thanks for caring,



PS: on June 30th, the Missouri Supreme Court appointed a "special master" to review the case - this will be a Jackson County Circuit Judge who will hear new evidence and can subpoena witnesses. This should allow the many troubling aspects of the Clemons' case (police brutality, racial tension, prosecutorial misconduct, unreliable witnesses, inadequate defense) to be reviewed. There is an excellent article in the St. Louis American