Could you forgive?

Becky - posted on 12/29/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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This is stemming from the corporal punishment vs. women's rights thread.
Those of you who said you were against the death penalty, if one of your children, or your spouse, were murdered or raped, would you feel the same way? Do you think you could ever find it in your heart to forgive that person and not wish every evil in the world on them? Or would you suddenly become very pro-death penalty?
For myself, man! I have read some amazing stories of people forgiving people for murdering their children. (One comes to mind, but I can't remember the name, so I'll google it and add it later.) And I know that as a Christian, I am supposed to forgive, even that. But honestly, I don't know if I'd have it in me! I would die for my children, and if someone took one of them from me... well, my first instinct would be to kill that person myself, with my bare hands! I don't know if I could ever forgive them, especially if I didn't feel that justice was served with their punishment - which it far too often is not, here in Canada.

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Sharon - posted on 12/29/2010

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I believe in corporal punishment.

I believe I could kill the person who killed my loved one.

Kind of depends though? If my brother were a crackhead and committing crimes and being an ass and died during a drug deal. No. I love my brother but he died when he started doing drugs.

My brother is NOT a crackhead. He has NEVER done drugs. I'm thinking of a friend who this happened to - but their brother didn't die in a drug deal.

But my innocent child? yeah I'd hunt that fucker down and hurt them.

Tara - posted on 04/01/2011

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No. I would not change my mind. No I would not support any more violence. Violence perpetuates violence. A violent mentality leads to violent actions which leads to more violent mentalities which leads to more violence.
While I have never had a loved one murdered, I myself am a victim of child sexual abuse. I do not wish my offender any physical harm. I do not wish to kill him or see him killed. I do not wish for his body to feel pain.
I do not wish violence in any way on him.
Any violence towards him would only minimize what happened to me. It would only focus his attention on himself and his own pain.
Not forgiving someone and wanting them dead are different things. I don't care if I ever forgive him. It doesn't matter to my healing. I don't have to forgive him, he was an adult, I was a child.
But to wish him anything but accountability is beyond me.

[deleted account]

Yes i would feel the same.I would go through the feelings of wanting to hurt them or not caring what happens to them.Thats very normal.



I know deep down i do not wish harm on anyone.What would happen to my loved ones would be so painful but i don't wish anything on anyone.

Not even the ones who inflict harm on others.



I want them sent down and locked away.Thats enough for me.I would never forgive someone taking the life of anyone i love but harming them will not make it better, make me feel any better.

Petra - posted on 12/31/2010

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If someone murdered/raped/harmed my child, I imagine that I'd be out for blood. My response would be highly emotional, visceral and subjective, which is why I'm happy that our justice system is comprised of objective, impartial, educated individuals. I hope that I wouldn't be faced with the opportunity to kill someone who hurt my son, because I wouldn't want to live with the knowledge and memory of having killed someone. The responsibility of punishing violent, long term or dangerous offenders needs to be kept out of the hands of the wronged parties and in the hands of the legal system.



I have no idea if I could forgive, but I hope I'd find a way to make peace with it. Like Joy said, the emotional burden would be pretty heavy and consuming.



@Becky, I work for Alberta Justice, hahaha. I think they serve Justice up as best they can - though the recent Courtepatte decision was pretty disappointing. The system, flawed as it is, has protections in place (such as appeals) so that any unfavorable/unjust errors in the process have the opportunity to be corrected. It is abused to an extent, but is there for those instances where it is required.

Esther - posted on 12/30/2010

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I am very oposed to the death penalty. I think it is a mortally flawed system that cannot be repaired and I think it is morally wrong to begin with. Now if someone murdered my son you can bet your life that I would not only want him dead, I would want him tortured extensively before he died. And I'd like to administer the torture myself. I also seriously doubt that I would ever be able to forgive. However, as a society and a legal system we have to be above those base feelings. That's why we did away with guillotines, public hangings, torture etc. I think victims are entitled to their feelings of hatred, their desire for the ultimate retribution, but as a legal system I think we should stay far away from it.



As for the idea that executing someone saves the state money - that's wrong. Here is a quote from an article I read recently:



Maryland has spent $186 million on capital cases over the past 30 years—which comes to $37 million per execution. The typical Texas death case carries a price tag of $2.3 million. A 2005 study pointed out that "New Jersey taxpayers over the last 23 years have paid more than a quarter billion dollars on a capital punishment system that has executed no one."



(here is the article: http://reason.com/archives/2010/12/27/th...)

32 Comments

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Alyssa - posted on 04/01/2011

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Forgive doesn't equal forget

Two wrongs don't make a right

Sorry to be cliche, but that sums up how I feel now.....who knows how I would feel if something happenend to one of my family. All I know is I wouldn't want my family's death tainted with even more negativity.

Amanda - posted on 04/01/2011

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I STRUGLE with forgivness and I am christian if someone even puts my child in a dangerus situation, Its intresting topic because I am EXTREAMILY pro life HATE Abortion, on the other hand my children are my everything I have to say i could never forgive and at minimum want to see them in prision forever in addition i would probibly have to be tied down from going after them..... Intresting perspective don't have an answer.

Veronique - posted on 04/01/2011

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I always did and always will believe in the Death penalty. I'm sorry but if you take away my loved one whether it be my kids,my parents,grand-parents,aunts,uncles whatever then you don't get to live either. What does around comes around.

Alexis - posted on 04/01/2011

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I think it would depend, was it a complete accidental death or was it a preventable death, example they were drunk driving, or was it murder? Straight up murder, no way could I forgive and yes I would probably do more than kill them, accident, I could forgive. A preventable accident as in my example im not sure.... I am not against the death penalty in violent crimes though.

Jenn - posted on 12/31/2010

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Honestly, I think I would probably WANT to kill the person, but wouldn't. I don't know that I could forgive them, but it wouldn't make me change my mind about the death penalty. As long as they were in jail where they belonged then justice was served.

C. - posted on 12/31/2010

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I would like to say I would forgive, but I can't say that for a fact. I know my Pastor back home forgave his neighbor (wife was 50ft from their house, already unbuckled and the neighbor backed a dump truck into her SUV. She was killed instantly). But I can't say I'd be strong enough or compassionate enough. Maybe if it was an accident like that was, but I still can't say for certain..

Esther - posted on 12/31/2010

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The extra costs is in the appeals, additional DNA tests that need to be run etc. From a CA report:

“The additional cost of confining an inmate to death row, as compared to the maximum security prisons where those sentenced to life without possibility of parole ordinarily serve their sentences, is $90,000 per year per inmate. With California’s current death row population of 670, that accounts for $63.3 million annually.”

Kate CP - posted on 12/30/2010

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Esther's right-it's cheaper to let the bastards rot in jail than kill them.

[deleted account]

Well then someone's charging way too much for the drugs for the executions or something. Because it just doesn't make sense to me that it's cheaper to keep a person alive for life in prison than it is to inject them with a few vials of drugs. Or is that money (the $2.3 mil per person) mostly spent on appeals and public defenders and court costs? I don't know about the cost. I just know that if someone killed my son, I'd want them dead, no matter how or who did it, I'd want them dead.

[deleted account]

I'm all for the death penalty, in cases where modern technology has been used to prove that a person is guilty of murder, repeated rape, or anything to do with harming a child or someone helpless (elderly, mentally ill, etc). I know that in the long run, they would suffer more by living out their days in prison. But I'm a realist and don't want to spend money keeping those people in 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives, with cable tv, air conditioning and a college education at their fingertips. Nope. If someone's convicted of say murder? Intentional murder? Kill 'em. Same with repeat sex offenders and rapists. Give them one shot to never do it again and if they do? Kill 'em.



As for the forgiveness part? That's an entirely different thing. Forgiveness is a learned skill. My father molested me when I was little, my mother watched. It took me until I was 26 years old to forgive my mother. And I did it for me, not because she ever owned up to her part in it, not because she apologized or asked to be forgiven. I just couldn't carry it with me anymore so I had to forgive her. Sadly, she died about a year after I forgave her but at least it was off my conscience. As for my father? He's dead too and I don't think I've ever forgiven him. I'm still a work in progress though and I'm not closed off to the idea. I guess with him it's different because I never got the chance to confront him about it. If someone ever did anything like that to anyone I love, I would want to forgive, but it would probably not be something that would happen overnight. But to truly forgive someone is a relief of a burden that I wouldn't want to carry forever.



I have to edit to add: If someone ever murdered my son, I'd like to think that eventually I could forgive them. Chances are though, that I would end up in jail, sitting right next to my husband, for killing the sonofabitch.

Becky - posted on 12/30/2010

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I think forgiveness would actually help you heal. Holding hatered and bitterness in your heart doesn't hurt the person who hurt you, it only hurts you. I'm still not sure I could forgive, definitely not right away like Rev. Lang did, but to be completely honest, I probably still would be against the death penalty, because in the end, it still wouldn't bring my child back.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't be capable of forgiveness. That would have to come from God through me w/ time.... a lot of it.

I would probably wish them dead, but that would be the intense pain and grief speaking. I would still be against the death penalty.

Jackie - posted on 12/30/2010

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Well, the way I look at it, "death" really isn't the punishment. It's the days, months, and years of anticipation leading up to it that's hell and the REAL punishment.



Everyone knows that they are going to die but it really sucks when someone puts a who, what, when, where and how on your forehead.



I am all for the death penalty especially if it evolves a child.



If it were MY child that SOB better run cause I'm on a mission to do some seriously bodily harm.

Bonnie - posted on 12/30/2010

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I believe in the dealth penalty as long as it is positive the person did the crime. Many times in the past innocent people have died because the only evidence police had was pointing towards them and they turned out to be innocent after it was too late.

LaCi - posted on 12/30/2010

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I would probably never "forgive" the person who murdered a loved one. I still wouldn't believe in the death penalty, I very much prefer life in prison without parole. To me, death just isn't a punishment. It shouldn't be an option for punishment.

[deleted account]

Nope, I would never forgive someone who intentionally or accidentally took my loved one's life. They could rot and suffer in jail until all their appeals run out. Then send them to the fryer.

Tara - posted on 12/30/2010

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I would not support the death penalty.
I would hope that person would stay in prison for their lifetime.
I am the victim of sexual abuse as a child. I can not forgive the man that did that to me, I hope he will end up in prison after our court case is done, but we are in Canada and they usually don't put historical sexual abuse offenders in prison unless they are prominent in society, such as a priest or soccer coach etc.
But I won't forgive him, and would like to see him do time.
If someone killed my child, in the most heinous of crimes, I would still be anti-death penalty. The eye for an eye thing has never sat well with me; it perpetuates a society full of violence. And as someone who feels our society is too full of violence already, I think contributing in any way to that violence is only keeping us from evolving away from violence as a species.

[deleted account]

I have read some stories about forgiveness. I would like to think that I would forgive, but it's easier said than done. The people who do the forgiving probably have better memories of their loved ones than those consumed with anger and hatred.

Kate CP - posted on 12/30/2010

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I don't know if I'd forgive them...but I'd want them to rot in jail rather than slip off into a peaceful slumber.

Sarah - posted on 12/30/2010

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I don't agree with the death penalty.
If someone were to murder a loved one, then although I would feel like killing them, I wouldn't. I just don't believe the whole "eye for an eye" thing.

I don't think I would ever forgive, but I wouldn't become in favour of the death penalty either.

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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If someone were to murder one of my children you're damn right I'm gonna kill that stupid worthless fuck myself!! I agree with corporal punishment and I could never forgive someone for doing that to an innocent child. Same goes for any child. I don't care who you are, there is no logical reason behind taking someones life. You are not God so don't act like him! :)

Lady Heather - posted on 12/29/2010

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This actually happened to a friend of mine and she is still anti-death penalty. Her husband was shot and killed in a botched robbery. Can't think of too much worse than that.

I would probably never forgive, but I still wouldn't support the death penalty. The forgiveness thing I do not understand at all. Maybe it makes some people feel better? I don't think it would help me.

Joanna - posted on 12/29/2010

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I would never forgive. I can't forgive people who do that to strangers, so no way could I forgive them for taking away my life that is my family.

[deleted account]

If i seen a person kill my family memeber, only then, would i feel they should die, my own eyes told me they did it. I would probably kill them myself before any cop got there....If it was an investigation and they found the person with evidence, i still would not support the death penalty. Theirs still a chance he is innocent no matter how guilty he may seem. How would i feel years later knowing i wanted him dead and supported it, if he then turned out to be innocent. Everyday criminals are set free for being wrongfully convicted. By supporting the death penalty, i would be supporting a chance for an innocent person to die. Karma comes back to everyone, they all get their own eventually.

Sharon - posted on 12/29/2010

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That one is trickier.

I don't think I'd kill a mentally ill person. I don't think I'd forgive either, for certain, not right away. I also think it depneds on what the justice system did and the reasons why it happened.

Becky - posted on 12/29/2010

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This is the story I was thinking of: http://www.peak.sfu.ca/the-peak/2000-1/i...
It hits close to home, because Taber is only a couple of hours from here. I know the murderer was only a highschool kid, and he was mentally ill, but still, it just boggles my mind that these parents could so quickly forgive him.

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