Saturday the 10th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Bishop says forgiveness in court was act of Christian love

A bishop said that the public forgiveness offered by the brother of a murder victim toward the person who killed him was “an incredible example of Christian love”.

Bishop Edward J. Burns, who heads of the Diocese of Dallas in the United States, offered the statement after 18-year-old Brandt Jean forgave former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in court, as he read his victim impact statement on 2nd October. He also asked and was granted permission by the court to give her a hug, even though she fatally shot his 26-year-old brother, Botham Jean, in his apartment last year.

Guyger said she believed he was a burglar, but she was the one who entered his apartment without permission and later said she believed she was entering her own apartment.

Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years.

“I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you,” Brandt Jean told her in a video widely viewed and praised and in which the young man asked her to give her life over to Christ.

“I pray we can all follow the example of this outstanding young man. Let us pray for peace in our community and around the world,” Bishop Burns said.

However, some were upset that Guyger wasn’t given a harsher sentence and protested what they viewed as a light sentence.

Allison Jean, the victim’s mother, said she hoped Guyger would use the time in prison to reflect on her actions.

Picture: Brandt Jean, the younger brother of murder victim Botham Jean, hugs former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger after delivering his impact statement to Guyger at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas following her sentencing to 10 years in prison for murdering Botham. (CNS photo/Tom Fox pool via Reuters).