For billions of people, Friday (March 29) is Good Friday, just two days ahead of Easter Sunday.
For many in the Sioux Empire, that means an annual tradition just outside of South Dakota's biggest prison. Prayer and hope filled a small grassy area just east of the penitentiary grounds that one day the death penalty will be gone for good.
It wasn't too long ago that the state of South Dakota executed two of its five inmates on death row at the State Penitentiary.
For an event that's been going on for more than two decades, this year was especially important for people to spread their message of hope, on this Good Friday.
"Killing people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong doesn't make sense," Michael Sprong said.
That's the message of the Good Friday Vigil against the Death Penalty, ever year.
"Whether or not we're going to repeal the death penalty, meanwhile we set the groundwork and remain faithful to it," Michael Sprong said.
Michael Sprong says it's morally wrong for those, who claim to be Christians, to support the death penalty.
"I don't want my name connected to the killing of people in SD. I'm a citizen here and I'm represented when the state kills people, and I'm here to say not in my name," Sprong said.
Beth Preheim has attended this vigil since 1992.
"It's a way for my own personal journey to make a choice for life, I'm asking people in South Dakota to abolish the death penalty," Beth Preheim said.
It was not only a time for prayer but a chance to sign a living will affirming that, if the signer is murdered, the person responsible will not be executed by the state.
And for some here, it's official, again.
"I did it about 20 years ago. I wanted to update and say that I'm holding steadfast in that, and that allows my husband and family to know that is what I believed, I believed it through my whole life. Hope that it would guide any actions if I would ever be a victim of murder, Beth Preheim said.
This Good Friday represents a day, many believe, Jesus Christ himself became a victim of the death penalty. Just another reason why, people attending the vigil, said killing those who kill is wrong.
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