National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Trying to stop an execution

 |  NCR Today

After a social justice project at her church several years ago, a fellow Catholic writer I know began corresponding with a young man on Mississippi's Death Row.

My friend never considered whether Larry Matthew Puckett was guilty or not; she assumed he had sexually assaulted and murdered a 28-year-old woman in 1996, when he was just barely 18 years old, as the Department of Corrections website claimed.

A convert to Catholicism, Puckett impressed my friend with his intelligence and thoughtfulness. He liked to read science fiction books she sent, as well as the books of Jesuit prayers. He tried his hand at writing essays and got involved with some literary efforts from prison.

Now he is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. March 20.

And my friend--and others--are trying to stop the state from killing him.

Christmas-in-content-block.jpg Give a Christmas gift that lasts all year. Give the gift of NCR!

According to a petition at change.org that has nearly 4,000 signatures, Puckett was an Eagle Scout who was scheduled to leave for the Navy the week after this crime was committed. His family and friends maintain his innocence.

My colleague didn't know Puckett back then, but she has corresponded with him for several years and believes he at least deserves life in prison without parole.

As Sister Helen Prejean so poignantly pointed out in her book, Dead Man Walking, when those on Death Row are faceless, it's so easy to forget about them or assume they are monsters. I dare you: click here and see Matt Puckett's face.

Then email Mississippi's governor at: info@governorbryant.com or sign the petition at change.org.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Christmas-Feature-Flag-275x60.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014

11-21-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.