Pastors call for death penalty in black-on-black crimes
Pastors and community leaders want to see black-on-black crime stop and are calling for harsher penalties.(Photo: Ken Amaro/First Coast News)
Kathy Robinson is a victim. January 4, 2014, her only son was killed by another black man.
"When the killer killed my son, he killed something inside of me," said Robinson.
Manuel Robinson was 21. His mother said he was full of dreams from childhood. Keith Collins, still awaiting trial, is charged with his death. Robinson said her son's killer deserves the full consequence of the law.
"He deserves the death penalty. He changed my life," she said.
A number of Jacksonville's black clergy say if the death penalty is used more often, when it applies, it will send a clear message.
"The message is black life does matter," said Pastor Ken Adkins.
Adkins is an ex-offender and father of 14 and has had it with what he calls the rising number of black-on-black crimes.
"When you don't value life," he said, "I personally don't believe you have the right to live."
Bishop Terrence Calloway said he has eulogized several young men under 40 and the genocide has to stop.
"I don't only speak as a pastor," said Calloway, "I speak as a citizen, I speak as a father."
Even if their position seems to go against the teaching of forgiveness, their position is full of mercy.
"The death penalty is warranted for those who have no regard for human life," said Calloway.
Pastor Adkins said during the 500 days between the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmermann, there were 11,000 incidents of black-on-black crimes nationwide.
The pastors said the numbers are unacceptable.
On Friday, Adkins plans to be in a Duval County Courtroom to show support for the death penalty in the sentencing of Rodney Newberry. The jury has recommended death.
The pastors hope their tough stand will lead to a change in how the black community views black-on-black crimes.