An Essay By Michael Worthington, Missouri
For me, as with most of us condemned to die at the hands of the State, death is a constant in our lives whether we want it to be or not.
We all know it is inevitable that we must die just as everyone must. But still it is heart breaking watching someone being taken away and put in solitary to await their own murder on a specific day and time. It is unnatural to know such things as the exact time and mechanism of your death.
I have watched close to forty people being taken away and killed by the State's executioners and it never gets any easier in any way. Whether I liked the person or not, whether they were mean spirited or empathetic is irrelevant, because in the end I still can feel their fear, their anguish and helplessness. The feeling of their pain hurts more than I can express and I know that someday - I know it is sooner than I think - I will have to endure the same fate.
But most of all, so will all those who love and care about me. It is ironic that the State proclaims it is not about revenge but instead justice, when for all, or most of us, it has been twenty years or more since we were sentenced to death. We are not the men we were and never will be again. I have watched and seen with my own eyes, not only how others change for the better (in most cases) but also how much I have changed. Even if we are not guilty of the crimes for which we are convicted we all for the most part realise that we made horrible decisions. But in a lot of cases, most in fact, we were not in our right minds to be making decisions at all because of drugs and alcohol. But man is not God and the State saying, “You should not kill" while themselves killing us seems hypocritical to me. As a true Christian I believe that all my sins are forgiven and washed away by the blood of Christ and soon I will stand before God and he will be my ultimate Judge.
I am sure he is aware that man sometimes plays God and yet the executioners themselves will have to answer for their own sins before God. If the whole philosophy of the State and our Government is to keep society safe from people who have done wrong, then haven't they already achieved this goal by putting us in prison for the remainder of our lives? This is a place where all hopes and dreams come to die and we live in stasis in warehouses for the living dead, where time stops. All I can do is hope that those I have hurt in my life and those who have been summarily murdered by the State are all at peace and that for them there is no more pain and loneliness. I hope that when my time comes I will find that peace also. I have spent the majority of my years from 14 to my age now, 43, in places like this. Again I am not the boy I was when doing drugs with Mom and Dad and other family members. I was a boy who grew into a man among addicts. Now I am a man who feels deeply when I see others hurting and it's killing me softly every year that I watch more suffering and death.
But I am reconciled to the fact that I will die at the hands of the State and others may live on in their self-proclaimed righteousness. But still in the end, death will come for everyone and I am at peace with myself knowing I have done wrong and realising I needed Jesus' sacrifice to pass on to a better place.
Some of the people who make these laws and decisions may not soon come to the realisation that what they have done and are doing is wrong. All that is left for me is to pray for their souls as well as my own and hope that one day they will see the light and get a chance to stand with God.
Michael Worthington, Missouri
(Michael Shane Worthington was executed on 06 August 2014 before he could decide on a title for this piece).