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Can murder ever be forgiven: A restorative justice case study

September 17, 2009

Tanya still held memories of that day. She remembered her uncle, Marlon, arriving at the flat, and that for some reason he had not been allowed in. Her next memory was of her uncle breaking into the flat and a violent confrontation, culminating with her mother being stabbed as she sought to shield Tanya’s aunt, Marlon’s ex wife, from attack.Tanya was haunted by a feeling of helplessness and sense of guilt for the past 24 years for not rushing over to help her mum. To complete the nightmare, she watched her mother’s body being hurled out of the window. Over the next 12 hours Tanya drifted in and out of consciousness as her uncle inflicted great pain on her while her aunty was forced to watch. The following day armed police ended the siege and Marlon received two bullet wounds, one bullet still remaining in his brain to this day.

After serving 17 years in prison, completing lots of courses and a further 3 years being supervised in the community,Marlon had ideas about what to do next, but no real purpose. He lived with the pain he had caused to others for so long, that he didn’t think he would ever be able to forgive himself for what he did and he did not expect anyone else to forgive him either, least of all Tanya. He was sorry, ready to admit it, but even though released from custody, he found himself still in a prison of deep regret.

Read the whole article. If you are not a member of RJC, you may need to wait until the Fall newsletter is published to access this story in archives.


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