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Executing Justice 08/17/2007

Terrance Aeriel

A video of Terrance Aeriel's sermon "The Grace of God" plays at his memorial service.

In 2005, a young man named Terrance Aeriel took the stage at the "Night of Eloquence" and delivered a sermon titled "The Grace of God." The event was part of a program called Stand & Deliver, designed to teach inner-city youth leadership, communication and life skills. With the fervor of a charismatic minister, Aeriel proclaimed that God is always at our side, through good times and bad. When he finished, the crowd overwhelmed him with a sustained ovation.

I can only hope and pray that Terrance's family is experiencing that grace right now. On August 4, Terrance and two of his friends were shot execution-style on the playground of Mount Vernon School in Newark, New Jersey. His sister, Natasha, was also shot, but miraculously survived.

Sadly, such violence is not necessarily news in our country today. But the circumstances surrounding their deaths illustrate a profound truth. Failure to learn this lesson will only lead to further needless suffering.

Righteous laws are those designed to protect innocent citizens and punish wrongdoers. We trust our elected and appointed public officials to enforce them. While we understand that perfection is elusive and mistakes are inevitable, we expect the government to do its best to protect us through proper utilization of their entrusted power. But outright refusal to uphold the law opens a Pandora's Box of pernicious possibilities. Such was the case in Newark.

The principal suspect in the brutal murders is José Lachira Carranza, a 28-year-old illegal immigrant from Peru. Of course, his status as a Peruvian and an immigrant do not constitute a problem. The illegality of his arrival doesn't necessarily pose a threat, either, though it is a valid point of contention.

The inexcusable issue lies in the fact that Carranza should not have been freely roaming the streets of Newark. As this violent and dangerous man repeatedly pulled the trigger on a cheap revolver and stole the lives of three innocent young people, he was out on surprisingly low bail for two separate incidents. One related to an illegal weapons charge stemming from a bar fight and another for sexually assaulting a little girl over several years, starting when she was only five years old! For this alone, he should have been held in prison until his trial.

Newark is a so-called "sanctuary city," which apparently offers a safer place for dangerous felons than for law-abiding citizens. In short, the government of Newark failed to protect innocent people by upholding the law and punishing an obviously evil man. While it can be reasonably argued that immigration cases should be examined individually, there is absolutely no excuse for not checking the immigration status of Carranza (who obviously could not produce the standard identification items you and I must present to clear a traffic ticket) during both of the previous charges. Either case would have revealed his illegal entry into the country and warranted immediate deportation. If he chose to return to the United States, his reappearance should have then been grounds for a lengthy prison sentence.

Instead, Newark's government looked the other way and now three innocent young people are dead, with a fourth seriously injured. Some sanctuary.

Failure to act against the evils of this world jeopardizes the safety of everyone. No, it's not easy to take a firm stand and do what's right. Just ask any police office or soldier. It requires conviction and courage--two qualities sadly lacking in many Americans. When a judge foolishly releases potentially violent criminals for liberal ideology, he or she fails to uphold the law and execute justice.

The shocking murders in Newark should wake us up to the fact that laws can serve to protect us, but only if we enforce them. Assault involving an illegal weapon, sexual assault on a child and illegal entry into the country serve as serious warnings. All around us, other warnings identify a myriad of dangers. We must listen to them and act with courage and conviction to stand against the evil that threatens to destroy the innocent and unsuspecting.

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 693

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.