The headlines of the Washington Post needed no explanation: “Texas Executes a Woman”. “Karla Faye Tucker, the Pickax Killer turned born- again Christian, died of a lethal injection tonight, closing a long fight for her life as a crowd outside the Texas death house prayed for her soul.”
The trial seemed to confuse and divide America.
Tucker was only the second woman to be executed in the past 100 years, since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976. Tucker’s conversion to Christianity also seemed to be a concerning fact: Was her conversion genuine or just a cruel ploy to avoid the death penalty?
Tucker recalls that as she waited in the Harris County jail for her trial, her head “began to clear from the years of drugs.” As she met with prison ministry workers, she stole a Bible from the church, not knowing they were freely given, and returned to her cell. “That night as I started to read the Bible, I didn’t know what I was reading and before I knew it, I was in the middle of the floor on my knees asking God to forgive me.”
During an interview with Larry King, he asked the key question, “How do we know, as a lot of people would ask who don’t know you, that this isn’t a jail house conversion?”
Tucker responded, “I don’t try and convince people of that. For me, if you can’t look at me and see it, then nothing I can say to you is going to convince you. I just live every day and I reach out to people and it’s up to them to receive from the Lord the same way I did, when somebody came to me.”
Forgiveness, faith, grace, mercy and acceptance are key words in any situation but of particular importance in Tucker’s case. For Tucker, these words needed to be lifted off the pages of the Bible and believed, accepted and cherished. Tucker experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
When she accepted Jesus, He gave her a new heart and her new walk with Him began. Tucker needed to accept the forgiveness of God and truly believe that she had been forgiven, not just in some mystical sense, but that God had taken her sin and cast it into the depths of the sea (see Micah 7:19). This is the power of God and the new life. God takes a convicted killer on death row and sets them free (Romans 3:23, 24).
Story Credits – washingtonpost.com, edition.cnn.com/larry.king.tucker