Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu visited Texas death row Wednesday to meet with a condemned inmate who says the writings of the retired South African archbishop have changed his life.
Bishop Tutu spent nearly two hours inside the prison in Livingston where he met Dominique Green, sentenced to die for the slaying of a Houston man during a robbery 12 years ago, reports the Associated Press.
“I come away deeply enriched by my encounter with an extraordinary young man,” Bishop Tutu said. “It would be one of the greatest tragedies if someone like Dominique would be executed.”
He called Green “a remarkable advertisement for God. This is not the monster that many would wish, or think, that is on death row.”
Green does not have an execution date. He was 19 in 1993 when a jury decided he should receive lethal injection for the fatal shooting of Andrew Lastrapes Jr., 41, one of 10 people robbed during a three-day crime spree.
Green was described during his trial as a drug dealer with an extensive juvenile record for weapons and drug offenses and burglaries. His supporters say that his trial was marked by racism, that his court-appointed lawyer was incompetent and that he was the product of a dysfunctional family that jurors did not consider. Green is black, and an all-white jury decided his fate.
Green said he was inspired by Tutu’s book about his experiences as president of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in which participants in apartheid-fueled violence were encouraged to acknowledge their past and victims, and their families were encouraged to forgive their attackers.