In the spring of 1976, I took my New Hampshire youth group to Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebrations. Not wanting to break the bank on hotels, we slept in a church hall in a suburb north of the city. There, for the first time in my life, I encountered row after row, block after block, street after street of identical beige cinderblock houses.
From 1974 to 1980, William J. Wiseman Jr. served three terms in the Oklahoma state legislature as Republican representative of Tulsa’s district 69. During his tenure he was the architect of what became known as the lethal-injection bill, which was introduced and passed in 1977.
I finish this review in the shadow of Timothy McVeigh’s execution. But while America’s most notorious mass murderer is dead, and while the pundits continue to argue the merits and meaning of his execution, news about capital punishment just keeps coming.
When racial unrest erupted in Cincinnati in April, African-American ministers were caught between being prophets and peacemakers. They clashed at times not only with city authorities but with members of their own communities.