Growing up in a Mennonite conference in Pennsylvania that didn’t ordain women, I met plenty of folks like my mother: women and men who resisted the patriarchy of their church but who couldn’t bring themselves to leave. They were an impassioned and sundry crew that included fiery women unafraid of any powers that be, soft-spoken grandmothers with head coverings, and men whose daughters came home from college and convinced them to join the cause. Together they were forever organizing task forces on gender in the church, drafting letters to the bishop board, and creating seminary scholarships for women. Finally, in 2007, they saw some fruits of their labor when a bishop in the conference ordained two women. He held the women’s credentials in his district office until last year, when the conference finally agreed to hold them. Gingerly.
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).