In light of the news that Eric Holder decided to pursue the death penalty in Jahar’s case, God placed something upon my heart that I would like to share as a challenge to all of us.
Now I realize that it is still quite possible (and I’d even argue probable) that Jahar will avoid the death penalty. After all, he has as one of his lawyers Judy Clarke, who worked out plea deals to spare the lives of Eric Rudolph (the Olympic bomber), Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), and Jared Loughner (the Tuscon shooter). And even if this case were to actually go to trial, a jury would have to vote unanimously to impose the death penalty. If even one juror opposed a death sentence, the sentence would be life instead. That’s what happened in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui (one of the 9/11 conspirators), who Judy Clarke also represented. In other words, she is known for being able to spare the lives of those who committed heinous crimes.
But let’s say for an instance that Jahar would end up being sentenced to death. And let’s say further that his execution were a week away from today. My question to you is this: How would you pray if you knew Jahar’s execution were a week away?
Would you pray far more often and far longer than you are currently doing? Would you pray with far more urgency and desperation?
I challenge all of us to not take that question lightly. Let us ask ourselves that question and then, in light of our answers to it, change the way we pray for Jahar. After all, death penalty or not, he is not guaranteed tomorrow.