May 16, 2015
As a pastor, I am often asked to do many and varied things. It is a joy and privilege to walk with folks in so many areas of life!
In that regard, yesterday I was asked to be MC at a Prayer Vigil. A little history, as I understand the back-story. Decades ago a young man, a teenager at the time, was convicted of a murder he denies to this day committing. For years, many faithful folk have gathered regularly to try to have his conviction overturned and plea for the state to free this man. At one point, he was freed from prison as he awaited a new trial. However, freedom was not to last and he was sent back to prison. This particular Prayer Vigil yesterday marked two years since his acquittal was overturned and he was sent back to prison following eighteen months of freedom.
Without doubt, there have been incidents of wrongful guilt, just as there have been incidents of the guilty remaining free. Is this one of those instances? Many would argue that it is. Equal justice would be the goal - punishment for those who commit crimes, freedom for those wrongly accused. Yet, as in any system, there are those who corrupt the intent and fairness is not allowed. Is this a prime example of corruption? If so, is the real killer not the one in jail, but someone wondering around “free?” And what kind of justice is that for the victim’s family?
Whatever the answer, I applaud the commitment of those who support this man, and was honored to be asked to be a part of the event. Here’s a link to learn a little more about the case and the vigil, as reported by the local news channel: Supporters of Barry Beach