Where is Operation Rescue? Where is the National Right to Life Committee's paralegal brigade combing through case files, recreating crime scenes, and praying on courthouse steps where a daylong slapdash death penalty trial (the kind most poor minorities face every day) is in session? Where are the gruesome life-size photos of wrongly convicted grown-ups whose electrocutions caused flames to shoot from one of God's creature's skulls for a crime of which they were innocent? Thirty-eight states have the death penalty; nationwide, 85 innocent people have been freed from death row since capital punishment was reinstated. Imagine the number of innocent dead (the Supreme Court has held that mere innocence is insufficient to overturn a death sentence as long as the defendant had earlier opportunities to make his case).

If a moderate pro-death penalty governor found it within himself to suspend the state's right to kill because inarguable travesties of justice were taking place, what kind of systems can those 37 other governors be presiding over? Further, if death penalty advocates have their way and continue agitating to speed up executions, many, many more of the wrongly convicted (almost always the most disadvantaged among us) will be railroaded to an unjust and certainly un-Christian death.

If Christian antiabortion activists were consistent and truly "pro-life," they'd demand an end to the soulless assembly line that shuttles the poor--innocent and guilty alike--to death row. It's easy to fight for a cuddly baby you'll never actually see, but what about a corn-rowed, gold-toothed homeboy, or a skinhead with Confederate flag tattoos? You can scream "murderer!" at a women entering an abortion clinic, get filmed for the nightly news, and still get to the office on time. It takes years and real sacrifice to keep "the meek" from getting the chair. Some Christian pity and compassion for these hard cases who may be guilty of lots of things but not of what they were convicted of would go a long way in convincing others to take seriously the beliefs that Christian activists claim to espouse.