I was honored to play at a benefit concert for my buddy Edward Chapman Thursday night in Asheville, and it’s strange to see myself on Fox News…
Edward was exonerated three years ago for a double murder. He spent fifteen years in prison, including thirteen on death row. He was the victim of suppression on exculpatory evidence, bungled investigations and incompetent legal representation. It was the perfect storm.
Through the work of some noble lawyers, though, he was exonerated. Now there is a petition before the governor to declare him innocent. Sadly, Edward’s story is not terribly unusual, and it’s important that we hear and share these stories, which inform policy.
Five years ago North Carolina doctors decided to quit participating in executions in North Carolina, as inconsistent with their Hippocratic oath as doctors. Because of that, there has been a de facto moratorium on executions. If it had not been for that action on the part of the doctors, Edward would likely have been executed.
Now the NC legislature is considering legislation which will allow North Carolina to begin executions again. For more information on how you can have your voice heard on this issue, visit People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, an organization incubated by the NC Council of Churches.
Thanks for caring about this enough to read my note. Edward is an incredibly inspirational man. He volunteers his time speaking to youth and working in the community, and doesn’t spend his energy being bitter. He says that he’s lost fifteen years, and if he spends his time being bitter, he will have lost these years too. Edward was worth saving, and I’m honored to call him my friend. He’s a great inspiration to me.
The question that remains is how many more people on death row are innocent?