Jimmy Ryce, Juan Carlos Chavez, and Justice


Justice. It’s something that we often fail to appreciate, or get right for that matter. Case in point, Juan Carlos Chavez. In 1998, Chavez was convicted of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Jimmy Ryce. Jimmy was taken by Chavez at gunpoint after getting off his school bus on September 11, 1995. Jimmy was 9 years old. You can read more herehere, and here.

It is now 2014, which means that Chavez has lived longer in jail than his sin and crime allowed Jimmy Ryce to live. God forgive us! And as if to add insult to injury, Mr. Ryce lost his wife to a heart attack (she was 66) and his daughter to suicide (she was 35). He attributes their deaths to the direct or indirect effect that Jimmy’s death and the subsequent case has had on his family. It is a gruesome reminder that sin takes no prisoners and has no prejudices.

Chavez’s execution is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at 6pm. In the meantime, Chavez continues to seek a stay of execution, arguing that, among other things, Florida’s lethal injection procedure is unconstitutional. The argument is that the sedative make not work effectively, making difficult to determine if the prisoner is unconscious before they administer the life-ending serum, causing the prisoner pain. Oh, the irony. If only Chavez cared as much about Jimmy’s rights. . . . God help us!

Sadly, we may never get the justice we seek in this world. What happened is simply a tragedy. But God is both just and the justifier of those who trust Him (Romans 3:26). As Christians, and as members of society, we must make each other aware of our moral accountability, celebrate it, and give God glory because He never compromises it.

With respect to the Ryce family,

Pastor Joe


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