Questions for Gov. Haslam about Innocence and Compassion

Governor Haslam, Hector Black has a question and a comment in response to your recent statement on Tennessee’s death penalty:

Dear Gov.Haslam,

A heavy responsibility has been placed on your shoulders – the power of life or death. I am sure that is not easy.

1. Nationwide over 140 men have been found innocent and freed from death row based on DNA evidence, faulty trials, withheld evidence. Can you in good conscience send these men to death without being certain they are guilty?

2. Our daughter was murdered in Atlanta in 2012. With God’s help I got past my anger and hatred and saw him as a human being who had done a terrible thing. My wife and I forgave him and visited him in his Georgia prison. He is not the same person who killed. I now visit men on death row in Nashville. None of the men on death row are the same people who murdered (assuming that they are guilty). The death penalty is an act of revenge. As a person who tries to follow the teachings of Jesus, I am asked to love my enemies, to forgive seventy times seven, to show compassion.

Thanks you for your consideration of my letter.

Hector Black, Cookeville, TN

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