Last updated: April 25. 2014 10:33AM - 767 Views
By Scott Ballard District Attorney

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It’s Good Friday and all I can think about is the cross.

It’s even dark and overcast outside. There is a slight chill in the breeze. With a little imagination you can feel hatred in the air and hear the pinging sound of a hammer hitting spikes.

I wouldn’t want to dwell on this all the time, but I wouldn’t ever want to completely forget that day.

That was the day that forever defined love. And viewed through the prism of the events of that day, current events take on a new meaning.

I saw a photograph in the news this week. An Iranian man stood blind-folded on a chair. A noose brushed against his face. The caption explained that he had killed a man and was about to be executed. A woman stood next to him. She was the mother of the man that the murderer had killed.

Under Iranian law, it was her role to kick the chair out from under the condemned man, so that he could be hanged.

Instead, she slapped him across the face and forgave him.

In Iran, that constitutes a pardon.

Now, I don’t like anything about Iran. And I certainly don’t want us to copy anything that they do over there. But, there is a certain appeal to the consideration given the victim and far too little of that is afforded by our system.

Still, I think it would be unfair to victims to place upon them the burden of deciding the fate of their assailants. It’s also bad policy to encourage criminals to target victims who are more likely to be merciful.

Our criminal justice system should never lose sight of its role to protect citizens and to hold criminals accountable for their actions. The source of the mercy we should all seek is not the prosecutor or the judge.

It is the Man on that cross.

But, the news story sure sounds like a parable He would teach.

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