The smiling woman pictured here is strapped to a table and is about to be executed.
|"Yes sir, I would like to say to all of you — the Thornton family and Jerry Dean’s family — that I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this. (She looked at her husband) Baby, I love you. (She looked at Ronald Carlson) Ron, give Peggy a hug for me. (She looked at all present weeping and smiling) Everybody has been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. Warden Baggett, thank all of you so much. You have been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you."|
--Karla Faye Tucker
I love stories of redemption.
Maybe even more amazing is the story of David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam Killer.
Convicted of killing six women and shooting seven others in New York City over 13 months in 1976 and 1977, Berkowitz is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences. He is imprisoned at the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility northwest of New York City.
I was 10 years into my prison sentence, and I was constantly in trouble, you know, a disciplinary problem. I had a really bad attitude. Living with a lot of anger, and so forth. And one night I was walking the prison yard, and another inmate came up to me and introduced himself. And said, listen, I know you're David Berkowitz, and I want to tell you something. He says, I want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you, and he's got a plan and a purpose for your life. And I says listen, I don't want to hear that, because, you know, I've done too many evil things and there's no forgiveness for me. Maybe there's a God out there someplace, but I don't think he has any interest in me at all. He says, no, you're wrong. David, God has sent me here to this prison just to tell you that he loved you, and he can forgive you. And he says I would like to be your friend. Well, we started to talk a little here and there. I would see him in the yard, because he lived in a different cell block. And we would meet in the yard, and we would walk around together, and he started to share Christ with me. And within a couple of months time he led me to the Lord.
I know what Jesus Christ has done in my life. And I can understand that people in prison, out of prison, can be skeptical. But I have put my faith in Jesus Christ. He has done so much for me. I believe in him, and no matter what people say, I'm going to continue to serve him. I serve the Lord, ministering to the men in here, ah, doing Bible studies with the guys, I go into the chapel, I'm a chaplain's clerk now, and I preach the gospel even overseas through correspondents and testimony tracks, and so forth. So, I know I'm living for Jesus, and no matter what man may say, I belong to him. I've been purchased by Jesus Christ with his blood.
He was first imprisoned at the Attica Correctional Facility and has served a total of 36 years. He has been up for parole every two years since 2002.
He wrote in a letter: “I have no interest in parole and no plans to seek release. If you could understand this, I am already a ‘free man.’ I am not saying this jokingly. I really am. Jesus Christ has already pardoned me, and I believe this.”