William Kitchens was executed in 2000 for the rape and murder of Patricia Webb.
These where his final words:
The Lord has given me peace and that is all that I pray for is that y’all can find that peace. I just want you to know that I am sorry for what I done. I can’t change that, all I can do is say I am sorry, that’s nothing for what I have done. I can’t replace your loss. I am sorry. I just want you to know that I love all of y’all. It’s been a pleasure, y’all just keep on with life, it’s gonna be good. The Lord’s gonna be with us.
If it’s alright, I just want to say a prayer first. Father, God, I just thank you for the time that you have given me on this earth, for having mercy on somebody like me for all the despicable thing’s I’ve done in my life, Father, but you still with your love and your mercy reach down into my heart and changed it before it’s too late.
I ask that you bestow peace upon the family of Patricia Webb, that you let them know, Father, that you are in a place where they can obtain that peace, and you will help them move on in their life, Father. Help them, Father, to find it in their hearts, not for my sake , but for yours, and their sake to, Father, find it in their heart to forgive me for what I have done.
Father, I just ask that you be with my family and comfort them to move on Father. Father, we are all here today for the mistake that I have made and I thank you for your mercy for sending your Son into this life, that we might come to know you, Father. Father, I pray for these Wardens and the officers and the people that deal with all of this, Father, I ask that you touch their hearts, Father, and if there is any wrong to it, that you will forgive them, Father. Just let them know that you love them, Father, and that You are the way. I just thank you and in Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen. I love y’all, y’all take care. I am so sorry.
My prayer is that all of us will remember just how desperately in need of grace we are. We need forgiveness as much as William Kitchens. We need radical mercy.
Different circumstances. Different sins. But the speech in my own heart isn’t so different from his.