Tuesday, June 12, 2012
"But this was our life..." Kirk Bloodsworth
Kirk was a former Marie, a Waterman who just wanted to make a living fishing crab as he father had before him when he was wrongly identified by a neighbour who thought he looked like the guy in the composite sketch - a sketch made from an identikit by two young boys... evidence was witheld in his case... his mother died while he was incarcerated and it was when he attended the wake - saw her for the last time, that he began to be empowered by her words "Stand up."
There are others like Kirk. If you visit the Innocence Project website you will see that a growing number of individuals have been exonerated based on DNA testing and other methods.
Systems make mistakes. Witnesses make mistakes. People in the system make mistakes. Mistakes can be corrected. Tragically, when a state makes a mistake and then imposes the ultimate punishment - the death penalty - there is no correcting that mistake.
As Kirk shared some of the horrors from his time of incarceration he ended each story with a long pause followed by the phrase, "but this was my life..." a life that hid under a bunk and wept in the shadow of death row, a life that found the power to "stand up", a life that is now committed to abolishing the death penalty... Bless you Kirk!