Someone I knew quite well and to whom I felt close has been charged with a serious crime. It came as a big shock and when I heard of it I felt very ill the entire day. This man is a good husband and father. He treats others right. I had always the highest respect for this person.
The experience has caused me to ponder the person behind the criminal. How many of those in the penitential system are good husbands and fathers? How many of them were otherwise charitable and loving and kind? How many others garnered respect of all who knew them?
It is easy for us, as strangers, to look at a reported crime in the paper and agree with the sentence issued knowing that justice was served. It is harder when it is someone you know and a judgement passed on a punishment makes the pangs of the heart even stronger.