Justice and forgiveness

I wholly applaud this man’s forgiveness of the drunken driver who killed half his family.

I also wholly applaud the humble and contrite way in which the driver seems to be dealing with the mess he made: pleading guilty, apologizing, recognizing that his words are hollow, expressing gratitude to the man who forgives him.

And I wholly applaud the judge who sentenced the man to 10 years despite the victim’s apparent belief that the man should go free.

The prosecutor’s argument for sentencing:

“In this situation the state must look beyond the feelings only of the individuals who are most directly impacted by this event,” Fisher told the judge. “Society has an interest in what is done beyond the feelings of the victims.”

Forgiveness should not mean walking away from justice. This is not one man’s crime against another man. This is one man’s crime against society by breaking its laws. He owes society a debt that must be repaid, and we have chosen prison time as an acceptable punishment (which I prefer to hanging, or flogging). I would hope that I could be as forgiving as the victim in this case. But I would also expect and desire justice, which is a concept greater than one individual is capable of meting in this situation.

5 thoughts on “Justice and forgiveness

  1. < HREF="http://catholic-mom.blogspot.com/2007/05/im-sorry-is-not-enough.html" REL="nofollow">I’ve posted a long comment to this on my blog<>. Thanks for the good thoughts to start my day!

  2. I too was moved by this story and I agree with your conclusions.

  3. Seems to me too that the man responsible would WANT to pay this debt to society, if he really feels contrition. He must feel the need to be punished…

  4. I also agree. Thank you.

  5. Yikes, can guys post here? I agree with your remarks completely.

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