"You Shall Not Kill" or "You Shall Not Murder?" The Assault on a Biblical Text. By Wilma Ann Bailey. Liturgical Press.
This thin book carries a bracing punch. It is aimed at biblical translators, but its interpretive jabs also strike church and synagogue, as well as cultural understandings of life and death in the United States. In addition to making a radical cultural critique, Wilma Ann Bailey stakes out biblical translation and interpretation as crucial activities for social and religious reform.
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).