Glenn Boyd

Glenn Boyd was executed by the State of Alabama today at Holman Correctional Facility

Holeman Prison, AL

in Atmore, Alabama today.  He had asked me to be his “spiritual advisor” as the system calls.   The internet is full of information about him, his crime, and how people feel about it all.  He committed the crime 25 years ago.  He has been in a 5×8 death-row cell, 23 hrs/day ever since.  And, in the mean time he became a Christian.   I met him on a spiritual “retreat” weekend (in house, of course) as a pastoral participant, in a ministry to death row inmates at Holeman a couple of years ago.  We had a long conversation then, and prayer, which was why I was chosen, by Glenn, to be there for him on his last day.   I served communion to him and his family and other friends who were present.  We read scripture, prayed, and shared some memories.  He was deeply sorry for everything: sorry for what he had done on that “dark day” as he calls it, 25 years ago; sorry for all the pain he caused his victims and their families; sorry for all the pain he caused his own family; sorry even for the pain he caused to the people he came to know as a prisoner.  In the end, the Glenn I knew was not the person he had been.  He ate his last meal, but not alone.  He intentionally shared it with the other 9 people in that “yard” room today.

 

He was led back to the “death cell” around 4:30.  I joined him there for more prayer – mostly confession and repentance.  More scripture.  Then he was peacefully led away by a team of officers to the execution chamber and I was escorted out of the prison.  Others were selected as witnesses.

I met with family and some friends outside the prison for a prayer vigil until after 6:00 when the execution was carried out.  We prayed, sang songs, and stood around candles in silence.  Some Mennonite friends who had been friends and spiritual family to Glenn for many years were there, all the way from Chicago.

This is still pretty raw for me. I may write more later; not now.

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