Daniel Lucas

posted Apr 28, 2016, 12:55 PM by GFADP staff

Last night the State of Georgia executed Daniel Lucas. He was the fifth person executed this year. Y’all, it is only April. 

A very important piece of doing death penalty abolition work is lifting up the person executed and highlighting their full humanity. Daniel said it best when he wrote: “Some guys ask, “Why change when they are going to kill you?” But I think that if you become a better person, accomplish your goals, and leave something of yourself behind, you are showing that you are a person capable of change, good, and that there is hope even for the worst of people." 

Daniel started practicing Buddhism in 2010. Given this, we wanted to make sure that the vigils highlighted Daniel’s faith. There were Buddhist leaders present at the vigils at the Capitol and at Jackson. We learned that Daniel was thrilled to know that we were honoring that part of him. There was an international call to prayer for Daniel with monasteries all over the world praying for him. It was incredibly moving to learn that his body will be returned to the Shambhala Meditation Center in Decatur, where someone will be with his body 24 hours a day until his funeral on Saturday. 

One of the beautiful parts of the vigils is that people get an opportunity to share either personal experiences with the person and/or what they’ve learned about that person through others who knew them. This is one of the ways we honor that the person is more than the worst thing they’ve ever done. We learned that Joshua Bishop, who was executed last month, and Daniel were very close friends and that in fact, before Josh was executed, he wrote a letter to the parole board on Daniel’s behalf. Josh described Daniel as the person you went to do feel grounded and as “a source of inspiration, for me, and many other guys on our cellblock…Daniel had the most impact on other men with the way [he] has chosen to live his life here.” 

We have the incredible opportunity of meeting new people at the vigils that for various reasons have been inspired to get involved. Some of those people included two high school acquaintances of Daniel’s and people who were incarcerated with Warren Hill and Brian Terrell who have continued to come back. I wanted to include a link to photos that were taken at the Jackson vigil. 

Last night was gut wrenching and painful. We extend our deepest sympathizes to Daniel’s family and friends. We are grateful for the incredible work of his legal team. One of his lawyers and his spiritual advisor witnessed Daniel’s execution. Please keep them in your thoughts.

Something that was highlighted for me last night was the incredible grace and compassion Daniel exhibited in his last words. He said: “To the Moss family, I’m sorry for Mrs. Moss. And to family and friends, I love them.” And then he recited a Buddhist prayer:  "All beings are basically good, all beings are basically kind, all beings are basically strong, all beings are basically wise.” 

Thank you all for everything that you do to highlight and end this barbaric practice that strips away at our humanity every time an execution moves forward. We are grateful for you and need you all now more than ever. We are expecting more warrants to be issued.


Onward and in solidarity,

Kathryn Hamoudah on behalf of GFADP