We missed this post yesterday, but it’s too good to pass up so we’re sharing it a day late. This is from Scott Henson’s Grits for Breakfast, which provides the blogosphere’s best coverage of the Texas criminal justice system.
Easter is strikingly filled with criminal justice themes, isn’t it? The Christian religion was essentially founded on a repudiation of Roman capital punishment. Easter celebrates the sinless Man-God killed for His beliefs who triumphed over the grave, mooting, even while respecting to the end, the earth-bound laws that condemned Him. Jesus, a blameless man executed, is the all-time poster child for the innocence movement. Corrupt and biased prosecutors prevailed in His case because of a judge’s personal indifference and deference to the mob. Christ’s betrayal by Judas was the archetype cementing into Christian values a lingering distrust of snitches and informants. Romans accused the disciples of grave robbery. St. Peter committed assault with a deadly weapon in the Garden of Gethsemane then thrice lied about his identity to avoid arrest. And taken as a whole, the passion story documents Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution all taking place in an incredibly short span, as though criminal convictions could be obtained as quickly in real life as on an episode of Law & Order.
Christmas is a story about family. Easter is a story about a wrongful criminal conviction, the misapplication of the death penalty, the overweening power of the state, and the irrepressible urge of humanity to resist it.