Brandt  Jean embraces the woman (former police officer) who shot and killed his brother. The jury in the case convicted her of murder.

What our criminal justice system needs is exactly what you see this young man do. This is the grace and mercy needed, the forgiveness that is so lacking in our world. This is where true #CJReform begins. This is where true criminal justice reform affects change.

Slain man’s brother forgives and hugs convicted murderer.

This video (above) has gone viral, as it should, so perhaps you’ve already seen it.  If you have not, take a moment and watch it now. This is what real criminal justice reform looks like.  This is what is called forgiveness, grace, and mercy. If we could somehow infuse these three most potent remedies, our criminal justice system would be revolutionized overnight.  

What keeps this from happening?  Why is this proffered solution akin to pie in the sky, or a fairy tale answer?  1) Too many people lack such humility and wisdom. 2) The system itself is geared towards punishment and harsh punishment at that.  Especially in California, we sentence and we sentence devastatingly. The result of this is that even good people within the system, must still operate by the system’s rules.  3) Many people mistake justice with revenge. Victims of crimes too often see the trial and sentencing as a way to ‘get even’ or ‘get back’ at the culprit. I think true Justice is something much more transcendent than that.  True Justice has perhaps much more to do with reasons, intentions, environments, choices. 4) This video went viral because it’s so unique, so out of the ordinary, so singular…. As to make it literally outstanding. If only it were the norm.

Emotions run high in the courtroom after Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years for Botham Jean’s murder

Next time you’re in a position of power or authority, a decision maker on someone else’s life, please consider acting from mercy.  Please see the person before you, even though they be in the wrong, as a person indeed. Be outstanding.  

This is criminal justice reform. 

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