Arkansas death row inmate Kenneth Williams was given a lethal injection last week, and was dead within in a matter of minutes. He was, however, able to say his final good-byes in person to his daughter and granddaughter, thanks to an unlikely source.
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They were not expecting to see Williams in his final hours alive because they couldn’t afford to make the trip, even after they tried to raise money via GoFundMe, an open letter shared by The Guardian stated.
They assumed no one wanted to help them, given that their loved one was a murderer and not exactly a sympathetic figure sure to draw in lots of donations. There was, however, one generous donor who was able to step in and make it happen: Kayla Greenwood.
She understands what it’s like to lose a loved one, because Kenneth Williams killed her dad, Michael Greenwood.
Incredibly, Kayla was able to lay aside bitterness and hatred, and show compassion in what had to be an incredibly tough situation.
The family of Michael Greenwood, a man who was killed by Kenneth Williams in 1999, shows us the way: healing through love, not more killing.
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) April 28, 2017
Not only did she help to offer closure, the grieving daughter took it a step further and pleaded for Williams’ life to be spared. She wrote a letter addressed to the governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchison, but the clemency request was denied and he was sent to the execution chamber.
On the day of the execution, just a couple of weeks after she sent the letter, Greenwood said about her meeting with Johnson and her 3-year-old daughter that, “It’s like I’m meeting a sister that I never knew I had this whole time, somebody that knows how I feel.”
“I just want to have the right words to say for Jasmine to support her, to help her.”
The family of a victim of #KennethWilliams wrote a letter to @AsaHutchinson asking to spare Williams' life. #ARexecutions pic.twitter.com/N7yJ5DA5BI
— David Lippman THV11 (@david_lippman) April 27, 2017
Johnson was moved by the forgiveness, saying “I was in shock” and “I was shaking.”
For her part, Greenwood wanted to demonstrate that people can have unconditional love for one another no matter how difficult the circumstances. Even “A stranger that’s never met you can bring a beautiful thing out of any situation.”
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Williams was the fourth convicted killer executed in Arkansas due to the state’s compressed lethal injection timeline. According to multiple sources, the state “sought to carry out” as many lethal injection executions as possible before the drugs expired this past Sunday.
In 2005, Williams admitted in a handwritten letter to The Pine Bluff Commercial, that he finally had an answer to his decision to murder four innocent people in the southern state.
He shared that, “When you live a sinful life away from God, anything is possible. That includes mass murder. Learn from my mistakes,” the Daily Beast reported earlier this month.
AR Sup. Ct. denied 4 #ARexectuions stays for Kenneth Williams. Case count: @AGRutledge still responding to 3 Eighth COA, 2 #SCOTUS, 1 Cir. pic.twitter.com/gQD184wUlR
— Marci Manley (@Marci_Manley) April 27, 2017
Williams also explained in the same letter, that in prison he found God and became an ordained minister. Earlier this month, Williams gave an hour long speech filled with scripture and his new passion for Christ.
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