Criminal violence, like the murder of a retired Presbyterian missionary and her daughter during a carjacking in Kenya, is claiming many more lives than warfare, lamented Samuel Kobia, the head of the World Council of Churches.
Kobia, a Kenyan Methodist minister, called for an end to violence globally while attending a funeral service near Nairobi for his onetime mentor Lois Anderson, 80, a four-decade missionary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and her Ugandan-born daughter, Zelda White, 52.
“As the WCC and all the churches around the world, we urge those who love life and human dignity to join hands in praying for an end to violence in this country and this world,” said Kobia, the WCC’s general secretary, at the February 2 funeral.
The women were killed by carjackers January 27 near Nairobi while on their way to visit a friend. Anderson, a native of Pennsylvania, had worked as a missionary in Kenya and Sudan.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).