In 2018, William Ben Darby, a police officer from Huntsville, Alabama, was convicted of murder. A suicidal man had been holding a gun to his own head, but about a minute after Darby arrived on the scene, he shot the man in the face. A jury didn’t believe that was necessary despite the claims of Darby and his attorneys.
I’m glossing over a lot of the details, obviously, but look at what happened in his case this week.
After his conviction, a judge had to decide how much time Darby deserved behind bars. Alabama law required a minimum of 20 years for what he did, but he could have received a life sentence. And you can bet that the people close to him attempted to broadcast his Christian faith to the world in an attempt to get the number as low as possible.
“There is no evil intent,” Darby reportedly said later [at sentencing]. “There is no malice… I am human. I am Christian. The taking of human life was not lost on me… I’m asking for mercy; I’m asking for leniency.”
“He is someone I absolutely trust,” said Steve Taylor, Darby’s pastor.
Another Darby friend, Clint Murphree, told the court that Darby was “a Christian man who serves his community.”
Murphree also reportedly told the court that Parker’s murder “strengthened and solidified Darby’s faith.” That’s according to a WHNT synopsis of his statement.
That’s Christian privilege for you. No person of another faith could seriously think pointing to his religion in court would minimize his sentence for murder. What arrogance from these people to think that his Christianity should override his choice to kill someone who was already suffering.
Whether it influenced the judge is up for debate. Prosecutors had asked for a minimum of 25 years in jail and that’s what Circuit Judge Donna Pate gave him. Would she have increased the sentence without those appeals to faith? Who knows. But the short version of this story is that a convicted murderer may eventually see the outside of a prison cell in part because he belonged to the dominant faith in his community.
That’s not Jesus working His magic. That’s just Christian culture working its way through the community. It’s hard to imagine a Muslim, atheist, or Satanist getting the same kind of treatment in the same kind of situation.
(Thanks to Scott for the link)