Monday, June 11, 2012

A Solemn Moment Draws Near

This is the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution south of Boise.  On November 18, 2011, Paul Ezra Rhoades was put to death here for two of three murders he committed in 1987.  Rhoades' execution was the first in Idaho in nearly 20 years.  Now, nearly eight months later, preparations are being finalized for another execution.    

In July of 1984, Danette Elg was found dead in her home in Blackfoot, Idaho.  The floor of her bedroom was covered with the water from her waterbed, where she lay with numerous stab wounds and her sex organs cut out.  She had been dead for several days.  The following year, Richard Albert Leavitt was convicted of first-degree murder in her death.  On May 21, 2012, Seventh District Judge Jon Shindurling issued the death warrant.  On June 5th, the Comission of Pardons and Parole denied Leavitt's request for a commutation hearing.  This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court denied his request for a stay.  The execution is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time tomorrow.  Leavitt continues to maintain his innocence.

Richard Leavitt is about to stand in judgment before his God, Whose Only Begotten Son died to open heaven to even the worst sinners.  We will all face the moment Leavitt faces, and we must all prepare for it.  Pray for him in his final hours, that God will give him the grace to die in His friendship.  

UPDATE: The execution proceeded, and Richard Leavitt was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m.

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