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Confession vigil opposing death penalty set for Tuesday, April 28

Restoring Justice Oklahoma will hold it's second annual Pubic Confession event at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at the Jesus Wept statue adjacent to St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral, 307 NW 4 and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum at NW 5 and Harvey in Oklahoma City.

The Rev. Zachary Gleason, the organization’s co-organizer and pastor of Joy Mennonite Church, will speak at the event hosted by his church and supported by the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Organizers said the event is open to people of all faiths or of no religious faith.


The event is described as a “public confession apologizing for the culture of violence that reveals itself through capitol punishment.”

In a news release, organizer said they will be confessing their individual and collective involvement in pursuing violence and death in order to solve "our collective problems."

The idea of a confession is borrowed from Christianity, but the event itself is not religious, they said.

“Much of our thinking and behavior is built around violence and death," Gleason said in a news release. "Public policies like mass incarceration and capital punishment are taken for granted as a fact of life. Change begins by realizing that alternatives to these self-destructive institutions are possible. As we confess our contributions to a death-oriented culture, we allow ourselves to imagine healthier, more effective, and ethical practices so that we can begin to make them into reality."


Founded on April 29, 2014, Restoring Justice Oklahoma is a grassroots Oklahoma effort to address criminal justice reform through citizen awareness and action.

"Vigils, petitions, and protests are important responses to injustice, but there is more," Gleason said in the news release. "We seek to empower informed decisions and positive action. The Public Confession project gives death penalty opponents a way to confess our common guilt of participation in the system of killing to punish killing, and to remove the possibility that our death will become a motive for revenge by the state."

Restoring Justice Oklahoma held its inaugural Public Confession for Involvement in the Culture of Death in May 2014.



Posted by Carla Hinton

Religion Editor

Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›