A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
A Walk to Remember Against Death Penalty
This is an excerpt from the blog of the Rev. Wes Magruder, NTC Chairman of Church and Society. For the full post, click here.
My legs have finally recovered from my 32-mile walk from Dallas to Fort Worth on February 21, 2014. The blisters on the soles of my feet are almost gone, too.
I walked with two other members of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty [board member Jeff Hood and Lynn Walters, executive director of Hope for Peace & Justice] in a silent protest against capital punishment. Just before the walk, we presented a letter to the office of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, asking him to stop seeking death convictions. We ended the walk twelve and a half hours later in front of the office of Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon.
I’ll be honest — it was a grueling walk. It wasn’t easy. There were moments when I didn’t think I would make it.
But I fought through it, mostly because I didn’t want to be shamed by being unable to finish something which I had started.
I recall that, at one point during the walk, I wondered if I wasn’t wasting my time and a good pair of shoes. After all, this is not an issue that happens to be front and center of everyone’s mind right now. It’s not something which is trending in social media, or even on the radar of most folks. Besides, it’s a fairly common assumption that the death penalty is a given in Texas. Public opinion polls continue to show a majority of Texans support it…
[But] I come back to the same conclusion every time: Acceptance of the death penalty is the first, and most basic, step toward acceptance of violence as a necessary and appropriate form of social interaction. Or in plain English: If you believe it’s OK to execute certain people, then it’s OK to kill anyone, as long as you have a good enough reason.