Juror#97 Part IV Death Penalty Yes or No?

This is Part 4 of a 4-part docu-series, it started here in Part I.

On June 3, 2022, Joshua Lee Burgess was sentenced to death in Union County North Carolina.  It has been over 20+ years since Union County has sentenced anyone to death.  There is no doubt JLB’s despicable and heinous crime was deserving of nothing less than the death penalty. It was so heinous that the jury tacked on an extra 76 years in prison on top of the death sentence as stated in People Magazine.  Aside from the torture he did to his own daughter is the addition of the murder being race-related as the white JLB killed his bi-racial daughter Zaria who was only fifteen years young.  The mother understandably prefers to stay private in this indescribable situation.   We know in the U.S. 60% of the population is for the death penalty for murder cases.  I imagine even the furthest soft-on-crime thinker would say Death Penalty – YES for this evil creature. 

Burgess became death row inmate #136, you can find the complete list and other death row details by clicking the line.  Information is limited but we know they are imprisoned in the Raleigh, NC state central prison.   Of the 136; two are female  He is only the second person sentenced to death in the state since 2019.  No one has been executed in NC since 2006, although the statute and procedures are on record.  The number of criminals on death row has dwindled as many were given reduced sentences in costly follow-up trials or via Governor pardons, or because of natural deaths.  The total number on death row in the U.S. is 2,436 as of Jan 1, 2022.

I stop for a moment with a personal feeling commentaryWhen I first set foot in the courtroom on May 16, 2022 finding that I was involved in a case such as this it shook my bones. If you read parts 1-3 you hear the amazing odds of me being there were too much to be mere coincidences.  While researching this part IV little did I know that it is the first case in nearly 25 years that ended in the death penalty.  Little did I know that the killer confessed to the whole thing and that he tortured his own daughter.

 I honestly thought I could be unbiased in choosing between death or life without parole.  Little did I know how messed up the death penalty system is!  I thought it was common!  We see it on TV all the time, right?   I deluge you with factual links of many on the topic in this thorough document.  I spent much time researching this and included just a few of the documents found – you can click on them when you have time to at least read the headlines.  I dug for five weeks into research and picked the most relevant recent articles as sadly the topic has just about died.  It is off the map nowadays swept away by politicians who care more about ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ of beyond-evil individuals than they do about the lives of victims and all the collateral damage surrounding each of them.  My opinion today would not be an unbiased 50-50, as it was when interviewed on the jury stand on May 17th.  If I was ever called to a death sentence jury again it would be a YES.  44 years ago I wanted to have a career in the criminal justice system.  But,  after getting a three-year taste of it I walked away as the politics of the court system made me realize being a police officer would be a very frustrating role.  One more link to review is my experience as an Army MP.

 For the second time, I commend the job done by Judge Albright, D.A. Trey Robeson, and all those in Union County involved in this case.  Understand the rest of this expose’ is directed at what happens after the guilty sentence. I talked of the evil of this creature, it is sick that we as a country have allowed things to get this bad.   This I know is a controversial subject, but I know there are at least 97 reasons why it has to be brought to light.  What has happened to our country?

Nationwide, there have been only 7 executions in the U.S in 2022.  SEVEN!  Only 11 in 2021.  As seen in the chart below since the death penalty laws were changed in 1976 only 1,547 executions have taken place. 

They also note there are 2,436 people currently on death row (as of 1/2/2022).   I say ONLY 1,547 executions considering in the same period over 9 million aggravated assaults have been committed and 816,000 known homicides were committed. (according to disaster.com)   To further add to the depressive thoughts those are merely cases that were proven to be murders.  Project Cold Case estimates that 35% -40% of homicides are unsolved mysteries.     Disclaimer – The FBI on their own website guarantees no accuracy of the statistics on their own or other sites.  Many I reviewed had conflicting info. If you have factual info to correct my data in any spot on this report, please email me so I can edit it for better accuracy at JoesPortico@gmail.com.

Only 0.1633% of all convicted murders since 1976 have resulted in the death penalty.  Could it be that the primary cause of murders and mass shootings is because the criminals know that they have a 35% chance of not getting caught at all?   And, if they do get caught the odds of being executed have become negligible.  Instead of changing gun laws, it is time to shake the ground of those who have halted justice from being executed quickly. 

Aside from religious reasons (which I cover in part 2 of this Joe’s Portico writing, be sure to click the red line to read that portion), there are arguments about the death penalty on both sides.   Pros & Cons from – Pro-Con.org discusses many excellent angles for those who seek to debate the topic of old.  For some reason, the main discussion generally is regarding the very small number of examples of innocent men that were executed and the high cost to taxpayers for death penalty cases versus life in prison.  The linked site notes that the number of innocent people convicted and later proven innocent is minuscule, but to some, it is a poor excuse to throw out the sentence altogether.

The cost to house a death penalty criminal versus a life without parole is relatively the same.  It would be reduced drastically if executions took place much faster (as I note the immediate need in part III of this story). The high cost of trials explained here and all the appeals that eat up taxpayer dollars should satisfy the needs of those who fight for the RIGHTS of the criminal to be sure they are innocent until proven guilty.  No one wants to see an innocent person executed let alone spend their life in prison.  Although,

 Although, in my opinion after having been on the victim’s side of the family,  the extended time-lapse to conviction is nowhere near equal to the rights of the victim whose life was taken instantly.  Nor for the family’s suffering in wait typically having to fret for three years before the not-so-speedy trials bring one to justice. 

A key argument from death penalty opponents comes from a 1994 survey of police chiefs and law enforcement officials from a deathpenalty.org survey on the d.p.  Less than 1% saw the death penalty as a deterrent.  But, it was primarily because of the politicizing of the topic.  It is not that the police chiefs see the d.p. as NO deterrent.  Instead, they would prefer having the wasted money instead be used for other things besides political wrangling.  Although they checked off the death penalty in the survey last, number one was ‘stiffer sentences’ (33%)!!!  Duh, isn’t the death penalty a stiffer sentence?  Next the law enforcement folks sight, better family values being taught (23%),  education (which today we call Mental Health programs) (15%), and more police (13%) as the best deterrents.  A $30 billion bill was signed by Bill Clinton, a Democrat seeking to reduce crime at the time, to stop crimes. My how times have changed where the same party is talking of defunding the police when crime has increased well past what was happening in the Clinton era. 

The law enforcement experts were wise enough to not bother talking about the death penalty as the politicians looking for votes would do nothing more than throw money at it for votes.  In their reality, it would be better for money to be spent on higher priority items than it would on all talk and no-action debates.  As of late, after Mayors allowed rioting, looting, and burning of businesses in major cities the insanity has come to where some want the police defunded.  Although 77% of black Americans oppose defunding the police somehow politicians are pushing the unwanted agenda. 

In the past few months peaceful Union County, NC has been rocked with several murders including a domestic violence murder-suicide 2 miles down the road from Juror #97.    The Opioid and crack cocaine crisis has hit the area heavily as well as gang-related activity.  Some sight occult activity has an influence as well.  Folks, this is a peaceful area, nothing like the Chicago’s of the world where 30-40 people are shot practically every weekend.       Nationwide the murder rate for 2021 was the highest since 1996.  Data released by the FBI says that there were 21,570 homicides with the vast majority of the increase in 12 major cities. 

Some blame guns as the primary source of the increase as 200 ‘mass shootings’ have occurred so far in 2022.  But few are discussing the decay in the penal system.  Any mass shooting would automatically qualify for the death penalty in states that have not banned the d.p.  Instead the shooters dominate the headlines seemingly turned famous.  Based on the present pattern none of the shooters would see a lethal injection within the next twenty years, if at all. 

For years the women’s movements, LGBTQ, BLM, immigration, and others have valiantly fought hard for equal rights.  The solutions to the problems have resulted in negative results, as many view it, because of politicians (of which Judges are elected officials) twisting the intentions of each group with their warped views on rights.  In 1973 Roe v Wade allowed the legal killing of babies was passed while in 1974-76 the death penalty rules changed.  No one wants cruel and unusual punishment to happen to an individual.  Yet since that time, we have seen 64 million abortions, many by D&C that dismember the limbs of a living child that is considered unborn. This warm video of an ultrasound shows the movement of 5-week old alive twins, they are children not masses of flesh.  Abortions have eliminated 20 million black lives and 10 million Hispanic lives.  Meanwhile, the death penalty has become negligible.  Criminal rights have become more important than the lives of children.  What has happened to our world?

Meanwhile for the women concerned about rights and protesting for and against agendas make no sense – in the link from disastercenter.com are stats on forcible rape.   In the last 4 years listed from 2015-2019, the number of rapes reported is NINE times as many murders.  139,000 forcible rapes versus 16,000 murders in 2019!  It is believed that only 1/4 rapes are reported, so the number is much higher.  It also does not separate the stats for male rapes and abuse of transgenders which is staggering as reported by Rainn.      If everyone wants to protest for rights and stop the bad guys while simultaneously pushing for the defunding of police and eliminating the 1st and 2nd amendments, how are you going to be protected from all this evil???   

Btw, had JLB not killed his daughter, the torture, rape, racism/hate, and kidnapping would NOT have warranted the death penalty in North Carolina.    How Sick is that?…

Politics and opinions aside there are a wide array of problems that have come with the growing pains in what used to be the greatest country in the world.  It was founded on freedom, opportunity, and principles for the protection and rights of every citizen.  Criminals are getting away with crimes and murder right before our very eyes at an alarming rate.  It is time we open our eyes to the seemingly theatrical treatment of crime and justice in the U.S.  

It begins with recognizing all the issues and we the people uniting to prevent further decay of morality.  We must demand better in all facets of the government and institutions that set the standards.  We must protest against singular entities such as a single Governor or single Judge having the power to halt a law on the books simply because of their opinion solely.  The case discussed of unthinkable crimes on an innocent fifteen-year-old seems like things could not be worse.  Yet, few of the media showed up for this case in Monroe, NC as fresher capital crimes in greater numbers have happened on our soil in several states making this one seem like nothing. 

We must at the minimum start at the top where the statistics speak for themselves on homicides and have an aggressive clamp down on the Death Penalty with a solid YES!   Let us put victims ahead of criminals and correct the wrongs that are plaguing our society.

As promised and is the norm for Average Joe’s Portico I invite you to continue and hear a Biblical and spiritual view on this topic of the death penalty.  But it is a choice, you may exit and move on (or provide a comment) or Enter the Portico for more…

Please don’t go away yet! Hit that red/pink line for more. If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul.  In The Portico, I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE.  Tap the Red Line Below to read the Part 2 Spiritual side of the story.  (For an explanation of my madness – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab)

If You Dare, Click to Enter Into Joe's Portico (To See Part II of This Story)

Writing this series has been taxing on my mind and I assume a sobering or depressing topic for all who have read the gory details.  Based on the number of times I had to use words associated with ‘death’ in some form Google probably thinks I am obsessed with it and may report me to the FBI or something.  Well, if one were to do a search in the Bible on the variations of dead, die, kill, murder, and other words like it you would find it highlighted 1,718 times in the KJV.  It is a serious topic in the Bible and is discussed often as every human in history has experienced death or will with the exception of Elijah and Enoch, including Jesus who we know was murdered. 

BUT, His death set all of mankind free from sin just as one sin made by Adam caused this disease, thus I start with good news from Romans 5:17 “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” (NLT version)   I prefer the topic of Grace and invite you to a link that is much brighter than this topic oddly titled Five Letter Words, of which G-R-A-C-E is a focal point in the Bible as it overcomes the evils of this world.

But, with the forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, salvation, and all that, how does a modern-day Christian view the death penalty?  In part 1 of this Juror #97 series, I mentioned that several potential jurors were eliminated for religious reasons.  Some did not identify which religion they belong to but I do know for a fact several identified themselves as Christian.  Some said they could NOT be unbiased in a death penalty decision because they did NOT believe in the death penalty.  Their thought being it is not Christian-like.   However, other Christians said they could not be unbiased in a death penalty decision because they felt strongly that the death penalty IS the ONLY option.  How could both be staunch on opposite opinions?  How could Juror #97 honestly say I could be unbiased and evaluate the facts and make a decision one way or the other primarily on the evidence?

Part II highlights collateral damage eliminating the argument that some crimes are victimless or only the one who is harmed is the sole victim.  Many are affected by crimes and thus consequences and punishments are a necessity to be carried out by the government entities called the justice system.  Part III discusses how important it is for arrests, trials, and sentencing to be executed quickly.   I sadly add that typically other than arrests and initial court appearances the justice system is anything but quick due to all the red tape and case overload.   I believe this verse is a key one applicable for Christians to understand.

In the essence of saving time, I reference various articles that point to the death penalty in the old testament.  Also for your research pleasure are pros and cons from different viewpoints

– The Old Testament clearly identifies crimes where the Jewish Law required the death penalty.   Click here for 30 Bible references, some of which were quoted as examples by Jesus.

– Prison Fellowship.org provides scriptural pros and cons in one source here.   Some use the same verse to back up each side.  And we wonder why Christians have different opinions and disagree on so many things.  But, that is ok.   I believe neither are condemned for being wrong on gray areas.  Some things God will make clear to us if we dig and seek the answers, and surely if we’re humble He’ll let us know when we’re off base.  I may be editing and correcting some of my words and points in these four documents later, God knows.  You will see my personal sway, like it or agree with it or not.

– The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission established by the Southern Baptists published its view on capital-punishment.   While pointing out solid arguments of Why God established the death penalty, they emphasize the need for Christians to address the matter soberly and with a mindset that it is important to be certain the person is clearly guilty and the crime beyond any accidental intent.

– Juror #97 likewise wishes to be sure that while pointing out atrocities and political misgivings that it indeed is a sensitive topic to be dealt with gently.  It should not be avoided though.   I by the way identify as non-denominational if you care to know.

– The Presbyterian church, like some other mainline denominations, has a counter view stating the Love of Christ counters any evil doing.  They in fact implore their members to stand against legislation seeking to increase or re-instate capital punishment

Having looked at the data this Average Joe has already evaluated many other factors regarding the topic.  I must look at the coincidences that brought me to discuss this topic and start with #97.  There are only two points in the Bible where 97 is found.  I detail it in part 1 focusing on Psalm 97 where we as believers or ones who LOVE the Lord are also implored to ‘hate evil.’ Hating something is considered ‘not Christian’ to some but Psalm 97 describes how God is a God of Justice who protects us from wicked people.  The other reference is about the Law from Psalm 119:97 which in the Amplified version simply says “Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day.”    I am no expert in Hebrew or Greek, but my research seems to say the meaning of the word ‘law‘ is saying in common terminology the whole of the Bible cover to cover. 

Jesus had this to say about the law in Luke 16:16-17 – ” “The Law and the writings of the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God has been and continues to be preached, and everyone tries forcefully to go into it. 17 Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for a single stroke of a letter of the Law to fail and become void.”   

In Mathew 15,  which I suggest you study if not understanding what I am about to say, the experts of ‘the law’ were getting on Jesus and the disciples for not doing a ritualistic hand washing, which in their opinion the law said they should have done.  Jesus turned the mirror back on them calling them hypocrites because they would use the excuse of not helping their own elderly parents because they needed to tithe to the synagogue instead.  Jesus in turn quoted an old testament verse on capital punishment –. 15:3 Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.

In other words, Jesus pointed out that these politician lawmakers observed some rules to make themselves look good in the eyes of other people while neglecting those in need to pay for their mansions.  Psalm 58 in the TPT describes their real view –

God’s justice? You high and mighty politicians know nothing about it! Which one of you has walked in justice toward others? Which one of you has treated everyone right and fair? Not one! You only give “justice” in exchange for a bribe. For the right price you let others get away with murder!

When we look upon the greatest parts we love about Jesus Christ it is all grace and all love. For some, there is nothing else, which is an inaccurate portrayal of the One who is both the lamb and lion. One must also examine the trinity.  Jesus and God are one or understand it as you interpret the hard-to-understand complex distinctions of the three-in-one topic.  Think then in terms that Jesus wrote the original laws.  Jesus found in Genesis that the people had been intermixed with the devil’s spawn and it became impossible to right the DNA for all of the people on earth.  It was Jesus who had to make the hard decision regarding Noah and the Ark.  It was Jesus that had to make the hard decision for destroying the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

But, it was also Jesus who in His mercy and grace forgave Moses of murder and used him to deliver the people from slavery.   It was Jesus in His mercy and grace who forgave David of his adultery and murder and had him reign as King and set up the Temple of God.  Jesus’ bloodline included David. He transfigured with Moses a murderer and with Elijah who was present when 450 prophets of Baal were slain.   Although later, both Moses and David paid the consequences for their sins.   Moses was deprived of entering the promised land and David did not see the temple completed.  Depressed Elijah went to heaven without dying.  Do you see It was Jesus who forgave Paul, an old testament law enforcer, who wrongly had Christians murdered?  Paul as we know went on to write most of the New Testament. 

It was Jesus who while not under the law but under the future of Grace forgave the woman who had committed adultery.  The Pharisees wanted Him to say follow the law of Moses and give her the death penalty.  Instead, Jesus had mercy on her but, then told her to go and sin no more.  Many argue that Jesus ended the death penalty at that moment.  But Jesus was not under the law after John the Baptist, the new covenant was at that point being introduced.  But did it end justice and the law?

I believe NO. 

It instead placed Christians into the realm of having to follow the authority of the land.  That guy Paul who wrote Romans 13    tells us to  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.‘   Ideally, the hope was those Romans would all find salvation under the blood of Jesus the lamb’s forgiveness of sins.  If the reader here does not understand that, find the most important answers you need to know on that topic, such as the Grace thing I mentioned at the beginning of this Portico thought stretcher.  

If Christians are writing the laws everything should be laid out fairly and justly for all while also setting rules for the lawless so we do not have another Noah or Sodom & Gomorrah situation again.  As 1Tim 1:9 says For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious.‘   Paul wrote that knowing the history of the corrupt Roman rule that had put him in jail.  He could have said, don’t follow the government overthrow them unjust fiends.  He did not.  Sadly for us in the U.S. it appears the pre-Paul Romans have taken over the laws again.  God forbid we go back so far before the ‘roman catholic’ church took over Rome and have Christians fed to the lions for entertainment.

The law we have today for the believers is one where we are to live amongst fellow believers separate in spirit but ‘not of the world, just as I am not of the world’ John 17:16.    It was foretold in Isaiah 59:21 that our Christian life would be one not of written laws but of that very word Jesus said would not change in the spirit of the law, a Grace-balanced law, on our hearts.  21 And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Jesus knew we would be in a conflicting world with conflicting messages.  What I write here is confusing requiring careful thought when I say there are varying messages on how to deal with crime. But it should not be difficult to understand that we are to deal with evil severely and swiftly.  Two examples in the new testament are noted in Acts of Jesus sentencing people to death.  One was a Roman ruler named Herod Agrippa – 21 On an appointed day Herod dressed himself in his royal robes, sat on his throne and began delivering a speech to the people. 22 The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not give God the glory and instead permitted himself to be worshiped, and he was eaten by worms and died.”  Acts 12:21-23

The other incident happened in Solomon’s Portico (where the Joe’s Portico theme was derived) as described in Acts 5:1-16 –  “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. Three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened Peter asked her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”

 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that the two of you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord?  10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Portico. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 Believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”  

I believe these two examples written in Acts tell that Jesus had not sent an edict to let laws be erased; as some say His gentle treatment of the downtrodden woman brought an end to capital punishment.  I understand those who think differently.  But if the new testament supposedly ended punishment for crimes or blaspheme I consider this as evidence it was not the case with the book of Acts giving scary examples. I am unaware of any Ananias and Sapphira events in the church since that time.  Instead, I believe it was an early warning to understand the power of the Holy Spirit is serious and not to be treated like a game.  It is similar to what happened to Uzzah when he touched the Holy Ark of the Covenant  and died on the spot after David brought it back to Jerusalem.  The laws of the land, like them or not, are intended to be followed by Christians and punishment rules carried out by the government.  Thus, we need to be involved in voting as a minimum item towards making sure a government is fair.  We should be watching and ensuring the government/police are not inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on anyone.  Nor should we let them lighten things so much that anarchy reigns. 

We are to deal with helping those who cannot help themselves and be a defender of women and children and the oppressed.  I presented the whole story of Ananias and Sapphira and included verses 12-16 which tell of the 1000’s of miracles that happened in the Portico area.  We live in a world where evil dwells and even in churches it happens.  There is a mix and we don’t simply ignore the bad and expect God to whoosh it away.  It is our responsibility!   Who would have thought in our generation that things could become so bad that over 200 mass shootings have happened in the U.S. in less than six months, and all else I mention in parts 1-3 of this series?  Who would have thought that daily news of war across the globe in 2022 would take the lives of ‘tens of thousands  on both sides in another war? 

What are we doing in the midst of it all to protect our own, let alone the rest of the world?

Isaiah 59 tells what God/Jesus thinks before He sent His Spirit to dwell in us to live a righteous and just life.  It is talking about us today!  We already have HIS Holy Spirit living in us.  God is looking for us to use what He gave us to be intercessors on behalf of the children.  On behalf of those who are being human trafficked and sex trafficked and murdered. 

14  Justice is pushed back,
And righteous behavior stands far away;
For truth has fallen in the city square,
And integrity cannot enter.

15 Yes, truth is missing;
And he turns away from evil makes himself a prey.who

Now the Lord saw it,
And it displeased Him that there was no justice.

16  He saw that there was no man,
And was amazed that there was no one to intercede on behalf of truth and right;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His own righteousness sustained Him.

17 For He the Lord put on righteousness like a coat of armor,
And salvation like a helmet on His head;
He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And covered Himself with zeal and great love for His people as a cloak.

18 As their deeds deserve, so He will repay:
Wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies;
To the islands and coastlands He will repay.

19  So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west
And His glory from the rising of the sun.
For He will come in like a narrow, rushing stream
Which the breath of the Lord drives [overwhelming the enemy].

20  “A Redeemer, Messiah, will come to Zion,
And to those in Israel who turn from transgression sin,” declares the Lord.

21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you writing the law of God on the heart, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouths of your [true, spiritual] [e]children, nor from the mouth of your children’s children,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.

We can walk away from what has happened here in Monroe, NC and pretend as if nothing happened and move on.  We can ignore that the laws of the land are being taken over by unrighteous men and women and ‘wait for God to do something.’  But the fact of the matter is He has done something.  I make you aware with facts and figures and statistics and stories of where we are today.  If your eyes are sore from reading but your heart is not broken with sorrow at the evil that abounds, you miss the many points made. 

 – Jesus is looking to us to help anyone that we can – with what He has already given us, His Spirit that lives inside us.  The death penalty is a definite yes.  It has already been determined for all of mankind.  Everyone reading this knows everyone has been given the death penalty already as Paul told those Romans in 6:23 ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.‘ 

To change a world gone this far is not impossible.  We were born to deliver people from the hell they deserve, that we ourselves also deserve, were it not for the Grace of Jesus and His sacrifice carried out for our sake.

I had the opportunity to share this good news with a blood relative of JLB’s.  Since I am under counselor-client confidentiality per the Pro-Life pregnancy center that I worked at (not just saving babies from an unfair death but helping the men/couples that produce them as well) I cannot tell you how exactly that turned out.  But, let’s say the seed was planted.   I pray for the soul of JLB that before he receives the consequences that he should receive in his vein per the law of the state of North Carolina – that he repents.   Based on his lack of remorse I have no idea where he will be, that is God’s decision.  I pray the powers that be that have stopped all executions since 2006 see the truth and change how they operate.  The prayer list could continue for those who seem to fall in this category –  Justice makes no sense to the evil-minded, but those who seek God know it inside and out. ’Proverbs 28:5 

More so, I pray for the victims and those who have been collateral damage like the Mother of Zaria Burgess and the many others mentioned in part II of Juror 97’s coincidences.  I pray we fight to prevent things as it happened to Zaria and that we follow our calling and –  Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!”  Proverbs 31:8-9

I pray for those of us who call ourselves believers in right standing with God are filled with The love that causes us to turn to Him in prayer to turn our nation around.  Help this nation to not turn our back on God as the latest quarter design has done. Believe it or not it takes love to dole out discipline and justice.  Jesus Wept over death.  Imagine how it must have felt for Him to have to deliver the consequences to His children to those in the day of Noah. It is only because of His great endurance that He has not returned to complete what is eventually going to happen in the great day of judgment.  Ephesian 2:4 But God, being so very rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us,

Let us be the light we are called to be and that each day we focus our personal life to be filled with spiritual integrity and lead those we encounter to be righteous ones, that is right with God.  As the last line of Psalm 97 says let us live as we say we believe and do exactly this12 “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones [those whose moral and spiritual integrity places them in right standing with God], And praise and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

I pray that anyone who doubts their standing with our Lord Jesus Christ will get right with Him now.   When that day comes, whether today or years from now, what will the verdict for you and I be when we stand face to face with God?   I pray that all who have read through this hard story will hear their verdict read regarding an eternal Death Penalty of – No!!!

P.S. – I do not like popup ads, sign-up requests, book/conference promos, and requests for donations everywhere don’t you?   But, getting the word out about new posts for a 100% free-to-you website is a tough task on social media.  If you would like to be notified about new posts and occasional insiders only heart-pours, pop me a quick email to JoesPortico@gmail.com, and I’ll add you to my mailing list.   And please make a comment in the block below that says ‘I’d love to hear your comments on this topic’, we all love interaction and opinions from readers and I don’t claim to be an expert on anything.

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