Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been to death row in Texas to visit an inmate condemned for the slaying of a Houston man more than 12 years ago.
Tutu, an opponent of capital punishment, wanted to talk to Dominique Green, 29, who believes his life has been changed for the better by other inmates and a book written by Tutu.
The book by the archbishop - No Future Without Forgiveness was about his experiences as president of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where participants in apartheid-fueled violence were encouraged to acknowledge their past and victims and their families were encouraged to forgive their attackers.
The Commission was based on the conviction that our relationships with others are central to our existence as human beings.
Green was 19 in 1993 when a jury decided he should be put to death for the fatal shooting of Andrew Lastrapes Jr., 41, who was gunned down while parking his truck in a shopping center in southwest Houston. Lastrapes was one of 10 people robbed during the three-day spree.
Green was described during his trial as a crack cocaine dealer with an extensive juvenile record for weapons and drug offenses and burglaries.
Green's supporters, including Thomas Cahill, a historian and
best-selling author who previously visited with Green and is a friend of Tutu's, believe Green's trial was marked by racism and that his court-appointed lawyer was incompetent.
Green does not have an execution date. He's among some 450 convicted killers on death row in Texas.
The state has executed 321 inmates since it resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982. The total is the highest in the nation. So far this year, nine Texas inmates have received a lethal injection.
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