Sermon Illustrations

What would be your moral decision on this?

Updated 6:33 AM ET May 29, 2003

- Sometimes crime can pay, even on death row, if you’re in need of a new kidney.

Thanks to the state of Oregon, a law-abiding citizen in need of a kidney transplant may have to die so that death-row prisoner Horacio Alberto Reyes-Camarena can live.

Reyes-Camarena, 47, has been on Oregon’s death row since 1996, when he was convicted of repeatedly stabbing 32- and 18-year-old sisters he met in a farm-labor camp. The older woman survived 17 stab wounds to testify against him.

With the state funding his medical care, Reyes-Camarena could be placed on a transplant waiting list ahead of others who did not commit any crimes and become the state’s first death-row inmate to receive an organ transplant.

"There’s no doubt — there’s no debate — that people have lost their lives while murderers have received transplants," said Dudley Sharp, resource director of Justice For All, a Houston-based victims’ rights group that supports the death penalty.