Texas Commutes a Death Sentence

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Texas Commutes a Death Sentence

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:58 pm

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/02/22 ... -sentence/

The father, who asked for the sentence to be commuted to life in prison without parole, has written a book, Murder by Family. I can't say that I've ever seen a better illustration of what genuine, Christlike forgiveness looks like. The son, Thomas Bart Whitaker, plotted to have his family murdered. The governor followed the unanimous recommendation of the state's Pardons and Parole board in granting the commuted sentence about 40 minutes before the execution was to be carried out.

There is a great example of forgiveness, and also of a father's love. Even after learning that it was his son who plotted, and then had a roomate carry out the murders, the father forgave, and then became his son's advocate in the justice system.

I'm not in favor of the death penalty, but this case really pushed the limits on that conviction. I knew this family well. I had both boys in class, the younger brother who was murdered, for five out of his six years in middle school and high school. He was a regular participant in the mission trips I took with students from the school every summer. His brother, the one who planned his family's deaths, went on one of them one year. I had him for Government/Economics in 12th grade. I'm still inspired by this father's heart, and his words. But there's a lot to think about. Here's a kid, raised in a family with two strong Christian parents, in a Southern Baptist church with an active children's and youth ministry, in a prosperous suburban neighborhood of half million dollar homes, surrounded by Christian influence and culture. What went wrong?

The book, Murder by Family, will inspire you. The blog, "Minutes Before Six," will give you a lot to think about.

http://minutesbeforesix.blogspot.com/
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Re: Texas Commutes a Death Sentence

Postby Jon Estes » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:04 am

I watched this story on 20/20 or 60 minutes recently. I was impressed at the Father's love.

Will check the book out if digital.
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Re: Texas Commutes a Death Sentence

Postby Jim » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:14 pm

Commute (M-W, 11th Edition): to change (a penalty) to another less severe *commute a death sentence to life in prison*. One wonders if the death-sentence or commutation is the better for the boy.
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Re: Texas Commutes a Death Sentence

Postby Jon Estes » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:14 am

I am not anti-death penalty but I have no problem with the government stopping or delaying such action when they do it.

If someone killed my family, I do not think I would have a problem flipping the switch (to use an older term). I might have a problem if the one being put to death in such a scenario as I mentioned were my child.

This is not an easy subject to deal with and I can respect arguments from both sides.

I also think the families wishes ought to be considered in such a decision... not all families will make the same choice - such should be acceptable when living in a free society.
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Re: Texas Commutes a Death Sentence

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:07 pm

Jon Estes wrote:I also think the families wishes ought to be considered in such a decision... not all families will make the same choice - such should be acceptable when living in a free society.


Agreed!
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