May 6, 2017
The Ohio Department of Corrections has announced that executions for nine inmates have been rescheduled. This news is not exactly surprising. For the past several years, Ohio has been delaying and rescheduling executions in an attempt to restart executions in the state. Ongoing legal challenges to the execution process, and difficulty obtaining drugs, have led to multiple delays. Additionally, Ohio schedules executions years in advance - they currently have executions scheduled through 2021 - resulting in numerous executions being rescheduled whenever there is a delay.
Ohio began having problems carrying out executions following the January 2014 execution of Dennis McGuire. For Dennis’ execution, Ohio used a new, never-before-used combination of drugs. The execution did not go as planned. It took nearly 25 minutes for Dennis to be pronounced dead, a rather long execution at the time. Additionally, witnesses to the execution claimed that it appeared he was not fully unconscious during the execution due to alleged body movements. Following an in-depth investigation, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections determined that Dennis was unconscious for the execution, however, they increased the amount of the drugs used during the execution.
After the execution protocol was revised, several inmates filed appeals. This action caused Judge Gregory Frost to postpone all scheduled executions until the lawsuit was resolved. Further complications to continuing executions arose in December of 2014. The state legislature passed a law that would protect the identities of those who supply executions drugs. Then, in January of 2015, another new execution protocol was approved, with a new and different combination of drugs than the ones used to execute Dennis. However, Ohio did not have a supply of execution drugs. Therefore, all executions were postponed until January of 2016, to allow time to purchase the drugs, and - hopefully - conclude legal challenges.
By October of 2015, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections recognized that they would not be able to obtain the necessary drugs in time to resume executions in early 2016. All executions were, once again, rescheduled to begin in January of 2017, with the execution of Ronald Phillips.
Ronald’s execution was delayed and rescheduled for a month later due to legal challenges. With lawsuits still pending, that execution was also delayed and rescheduled, along with two others. Now, Governor John Kasich has delayed and rescheduled executions for nine inmates, due to ongoing legal challenges to the lethal injection protocol, with Ronald scheduled to be first execution on July, 26, 2017. The executions were delayed as the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to begin hearing arguments regarding a lower court’s finding that Ohio’s lethal injections process is unconstitutional, specifically, the use of midazolam.
Midazolam is a sedative and the first drug used by many states in the lethal injections process. Since it has begun being used, several executions have been prolonged and resulted in problems. However, on June 30, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the use of the drug midazolam in state executions in the case of Glossip v. Gross. Ohio currently has an unknown number of vials of midazolam for use in executions.
Andrew’s mother was always home, ready with a snack, when he came bounding off the school bus. His father arrived home in time for dinner, which was made by Andrew’s mother. They ate together at a dinner table, sharing with each other the news of the day. As Andrew grew, he and his parents would talk about current events, exchanging their views on the various subjects. Andrew’s parents would always attend his sporting events, cheering on him and his team. Family came first, in actions and words.
Shane’s mother was always home, ready with a snack when he came bounding through the door, but he didn’t see her; she was busy on the computer. His father arrived home in time for dinner, usually made by Shane’s mother. They ate together at a dinner table, with conversation extremely limited, as the sound of a cellphone going off frequently occurred. Shane’s father would take phone calls from work. Shane’s mother would often answer e-mails. Shane would be busy texting his friends. Even though they frequently attended Shane’s events, they often missed seeing him succeed; they were otherwise occupied. Family came first, they said, but…
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
(1 Timothy 5:8, ESV)
This month, May, is Family Wellness Month! This month, you are encouraged to spend more time with your family. Show your love! Show your joy! Show your family how important they are in your life!
How often has dinner been interrupted in the last week by a phone call? How often has family time been interrupted by someone sending and/or receiving a text message. How many times have your checked and possibly responded to a work e-mail while with your family? How many times, during a lull in conversation has someone checked social media on their phone? And five minutes later, you realized that everyone is on their phone instead of talking to those who are present? This month, unplug from the world and focus on family!
Family wellness begins by spending time together as a family! And no, not by watching television! Unplug! Build your relationship with your children, your spouse, your parents. Find an activity to do together. Go for a bike ride, cook a meal together, play a game. Work on family fitness while building relationships!
Spend time with your family talking and, more importantly, by listening! Learn what is going on in your family members lives. With what are they struggling? What has brought them joy recently? What is new in their lives? Face to face communication is extremely important. Many adults, especially older adults, prefer it over electronic communication. Many children and teens need the experience of expressing themselves in person, instead of in 140 characters or less or through emoji’s.
Family wellness is not limited to building relationships, but also to ensuring that each member of the family is experiencing spiritual wellness. Engage in a family Bible study. Talk about the week’s sermon and how it can apply to daily life. Grow together spiritually as a family!
This month, Family Wellness Month, focus on the all around wellness of your family. Start small, but start!
Updated: May 17, 2017
Please pray for these men and women. Pray for salvation if unsaved, peace if saved, and that the innocent shall be revealed before they are executed. "The Lord is slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 ESV).
Due to ongoing legal challenges, Ohio has rescheduled multiple executions. This list contains only current Ohio executions. Click here for more information about Ohio's legal challenges.
What does receiving a personal letter mean to you? How does it make you feel? When we look at a return address and realize that the letter is from a friend, we feel loved. We cannot wait cherish every word in the message held inside! In today’s fast-paced world, letter writing is quickly becoming a thing of the past, yet for some, the men and women on death row, it is the only way they can communicate with the world. Since March 8, 2005, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries has strived to give the over 3,000 men and women on death row the same feeling that you have when you receive a letter; loved. Our letters carry more than just the love of every member of The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries’ team, which include the individuals (like you!) who help finance the letter writing ministry. Our letters also, and more importantly, carry the love of Jesus Christ! In each letter, we share how much Jesus loves them. He has already paid the debt of their sin, the debt of the murders for which they are convicted. We share with them that Jesus has freely paid that price, and that they are forgiven! They must only accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, making Him Lord of their lives! The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries works toward honoring the “Great Commission,” with our mail ministry to the men and women on death row. View our donations page to discover how you can help The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries minister to the men and women on death row.
Did Abraham always know he was going to father a nation? Did David always know he was going to be king? Did Jonah always know he was going to be a prophet for the Lord? Did Esther know that her being queen was going to save the Jews from extinction? God had plans for each of their lives - and yours! Like Abraham, David, Jonah, Esther, we may not know the plans the Lord has for us, but He has one!
In the Old Testament, God spoke to reveal His word and His plans to His chosen. How does God speak to us today? From the scriptures! We can only learn to hear Him through study of His word! Let us help you in your study! Every year, we at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, invite you to participate in our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here). By using this plan, you will, within one year, have completely read through the entire Bible! No matter if this is your first time - or one-hundredth time! - reading through the Bible, a daily study is the only way to hear God’s word!
Diligent study of God’s word does not end upon reading the Bible. As with any subject of study, once you have grasped the basics, you dig deeper and increase your learning! In addition to a brief commentary on each day’s reading, we also provide focus verses for each day. After reading the through the day’s passages, go back and re-read the focus verses. Contemplate on the questions asked. What questions does the text pose for you? Check back to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, for each day’s reading. If you miss a day, past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Additional, we provide a weekly verse or verses for study. Consider this passage each day as well. Pray, meditate, and reflect each day on the weekly verse or verses.
Our 2017 plan began on January 1, 2017, but it is never too late to join! The Bible is not a book to be read once, but a book to be read again and again (and again and again) - learning something new and gaining deeper understanding each time it is read! Join in our Bible study at any time and discover God’s plan for you!
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 10:47 am EDT
Robert Bryant Melson's execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CDT, on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Forty-five-year-old Robert is convicted of the murder of 18-year-old Tamika Collins, 17-year-old James Nathaniel Baker, and 23-year-old Darryl Collier on April 16, 1994, in Gadsden, Alabama. Robert has spent the last 23 years on Alabama’s death row.
Around 12:00 am on April 16, 1994, four employees - 18-year-old Tamika Collins, 17-year-old James Nathaniel Baker, 23-year-old Darryl Collier, and 17-year-old Bryant Archer - were closing Popeye’s, the restaurant at which they worked. Bryant and James were taking out the trash, while Darryl waited to unlock the door and let them back in. Upon opening the door, a black man and a hispanic man entered the restaurant and ordered the four employees, at gunpoint, into the office of the restaurant. The employees were then ordered to open the safe, from which the two men took all the cash. The employees were then ordered to get inside the restaurant’s freezer, where they were locked in.
A short time later, the black man opened the door to the freezer and began shooting. Tamika, James, and Darryl all received fatal, close-range gunshot wounds to the head. Bryant was shot four times, but was able to crawl from the freezer, to the office, where he called the police. Bryant survived his injures. He was able to identify the hispanic male as Cuhuatemoc Peraita, a former employee. He did not recognize the black male. Bryant also told police that it was the black male that locked the employees in the freezer and shot them. Although Bryant did not see the car the two men were driving, he was able to tell police why type of car Peraita had - an older model black Monte Carlo.