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Can forgiveness play a role in criminal justice?

January 6, 2013

The Grosmaires spoke of Ann, her life and how her death affected them. “We went from when she was being born all the way up,” Andy says. He spoke of what Ann loved to do, “like acting, and the things that were important in her life. She loved kids; she was our only daughter who wanted to give us grandchildren.” She had talked of opening a wildlife refuge after college. “To me she had really grown up, and she was a woman,” Andy says. “She was ready to go out and find her place in the world. That’s the part that makes me most sad.”

Kate described nursing Ann. She told of how Ann had a “lazy eye” and wore a patch as a little girl. “We worked for her to have good vision so she could drive and do all these things when she grew up. It’s another thing that’s lost with her death: You worked so hard to send her off into the world — what was the purpose of that now?”

“She did not spare [Conor] in any way the cost of what he did,” Baliga remembers. “There were no kid gloves, none. It was really, really tough. Way tougher than anything a judge could say.”

“It was excruciating to listen to them talk,” Campbell says. “To look at the photo there. I still see her. It was as traumatic as anything I’ve ever listened to in my life.”

Conor was no less affected. “Hearing the pain in their voices and what my actions had done really opened my eyes to what I’ve caused,” Conor told me later. “Then they were like, ‘All right, Conor, it’s on you.’ And I had to give an account of what I did.” He leaned forward, placed his elbows on his knees and looked directly at the Grosmaires, who were seated opposite him. It was difficult to get started, but once he did the story came out of him in one long flow.

Read the whole article.


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