Thursday, December 2, 2021

Play

Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.

Play

The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Death-Penalty Abolitionist Speaks on Faith, Forgiveness

Play

Friday, October 15, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment.

Dozens of faith communities participated in vigils, prayer services and virtual conversations during Death Penalty Abolition Week, which comes to a close Sunday with a virtual worship service, entitled, "Restorative Love, Redemptive Grace."

Rev. Sharon Risher, a death penalty abolitionist, will share the story of her path to forgiveness after her mother was among nine people gunned down in the 2015 Charleston, S.C., church shooting.

"That horrific event that killed my mother made me really delve into my soul," Risher recounted. "And I came out understanding that I could not condone the death penalty. Because I understand with my faith that God is restorative and redemptive."

There is no cost to attend Sunday's virtual service. It will also feature Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne.

Risher explained her faith helped turn her trauma into activism and eventually forgive the shooter, who is currently awaiting execution at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

"People of faith can sometimes go through the most horrific things," Risher noted. "But because of their faith, they could get to a point of forgiveness, which then leads to healing."

Oct. 19 marks 40 years since Ohio enacted its current death-penalty statute.

Rev. Jack Sullivan, Jr., executive director of the Ohio Council of Churches, said there is strong bipartisan support behind Senate Bill 103 and House Bill 183, which would abolish it.

"No one's rejecting accountability as being an important component in dealing with people who have hurt us or angered us the most," Sullivan pointed out. "But the sponsored homicide of those people is immoral, and it's illogical, and it's just wrong."

Sullivan, whose sister was murdered, thinks victims' families would be better served by redirecting money used for capital cases toward supportive services to help with their healing.

"Executions do not assist in dealing with grief," Sullivan asserted. "They do not give us wholeness or closure. They just continue the cycle of death. And co-victims need more than that. They need the state to invest in their wellbeing and their movement forward, and their restoration."

Disclosure: Ohio Council of Churches contributes to our fund for reporting on Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …


Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …

Environment

GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021