Published 12:00 am Monday, February 9, 1998

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / February 9, 1998

How even a murderer can face death

Karla Faye Tucker was exected Tuesday night in Texas for a 1983 murderthat she admitted committing. Whenever a person is executed for a crime,there are always supporters for and against the death penalty.

The execution Tuesday night was no exception. In fact, because of hergender and professed spiritual experience, the whole world seemed to befocused on Ms. Tucker – the Pope, TV evangelist Pat Robertson and manyothers wanted her spared from execution. Many death penalty supporterswanted her to pay the ultimate price for her heinous crime.This article is not to debate the death sentence. My intention is to focuson death.

Did I feel sorry for Karla Faye? Yes. Did I pray for her? Yes – that Godwould have mercy on her. Do I believe her jailhouse conversion wassincere? At first, I really didn’t know, but the way she faced deathconvinced me that she really had a personal relationship with Jesus.

However, be reminded that only God knows a person’s heart.It’s appointed that everyone should die. How we meet death will depend onour faith.

I think one of the main reasons to be learned Tuesday night was a lessonespecially for Christians. Ms. Tucker faced death with a peace thatsurpassed, in my opinion, all human understanding. She wanted to live, andthat’s natural, but she wasn’t afraid to die.How many so-called Christians will be as ready as Karla Faye was? One ofthe saddest things in life is to witness someone dying, who is tormentedabout death, yet always talked about how good heaven will be. I can’tunderstand how a person who really believes in Jesus can be afraid ofdeath.

I heard one person say that a person who fears death will never enjoyliving.

The thing that grieved me more than anything Tuesday night was to see thedeath penalty supporters celebrating the tragedy of crime and rejoicing inthe execution. Evidently, they have never come to the realization that youcan kill the body, but the spirit will live on.I believe that Karla Faye, like the thief on the cross, because of herrepentance, is now enjoying eternal happiness.

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