This interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.
Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?
Terry Kennedy: I believe that one of the many great things that we do here that is counter to this revenge oriented society is our stand with those who have been condemned to die. Here at Open Door we visit those who are on Death Row, we write letters and vigil at the capitol when there is an execution. One thing that baffles me is what is the rationale behind killing people who kill people and call it justice and closure for the family of the victim, what about the executed family, its as if the judicial system says to hell with them and the suffering we will bring upon them with the killing of their loved one. It must be said that even though we stand with the guilty and those on Death Row we also understand the pain and suffering of the victims families, and we also acknowledge that some people should never be put back in society which is why we advocate life without parole .The question that we should ask ourselves when will we stop this insatiable appetite for a pound and call it justice. As of today 155 people have been found innocent and released from Death Row and freed, but how many people fall through the cracks of a flawed system and are executed and how can we turn a deaf ear to the cries to abolish the death penalty when that most definitely has happened . I think the conversation about the death penalty should be what kind of society do we want this to be , one of second chances or one of an eye for and eye . Open Door believes that we are our brother and sisters keepers and as such we advocate life and life for all.