Honorable Governor Riley, July 23, 2008
I have always had the utmost and deepest respect for you and the fine service you have given to your country and the state of Alabama, and the integrity and honesty with which you have conducted your government and private matters. I also respect you as a Christian and as such your desire to live by the Divine and Moral Law, which also presupposes a desire that justice be desired and pursued.
I too am a Christian, and as few as 6 years ago was a "burn 'em till their eyeballs pop" kind of guy with regard to murderers. It is through this new lens of Jesus that I now view all matters but certainly imperfectly purely because I am a mere mortal. I cannot conceive of any hindrance that would lay upon us even the most remote possibility of executing one of God's human creations. “God giveth and only God can taketh away.” Moreover, given the facts and experience of the death penalty that have shown all utilities of same are achieved by a less severe option, namely life without the possibility of parole, common morality would dictate that we would chose the least severe.
As a man of faith and truth and as such one seeking to recreate the Image of God here on earth as the Bible teaches, I find it paradoxical that you would allow Tommy Arthur to be put to death without exhausting any possibility that might reveal his innocence. I am reminded that we were given mouths that could be opened to grab onto something, namely food, and we were given also open minds with the free will to choose right versus wrong, good versus evil, and minds with the capacity to change when situations or factors upon which precious ideations have been set. I cannot resolve the conflict between your actions in this case and moral, philosophical, and theological truths that would dictate your taking the option that would assure you, and perhaps even more importantly, the citizens in this great state that true justice will prevail.
Lastly I must ask, just what is to be lost by allowing DNA testing on Tommy Arthur? Too many "inconvenient truths" are left unspoken and unwritten, and I sincerely and prayerfully hope that we are not preparing to bury a man with that epitaph on his grave, perhaps even on his forehead.
Your friend and supporter,