Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mothers in pain

This morning I read an artice in the news. "Mothers of killer and victim hug" - an atricle about something which happened just a few days ago. Let me give you an abstract from it and ask you how it makes YOU feel:

NORFOLK - Two mothers faced each other across the courtroom, one whose boy died at the hands of the other's only son.

Elsie Young recounted the last moments of her 15-year-old son, Dominic, at Norfolk's Enlanka Restaurant in November, when robbers holding guns made her cry out.

"I was scared," Young said from the witness stand in Norfolk Circuit Court on Friday. "They were young, and they don't think. I didn't know if they were going to get the money or they were going to shoot somebody."

Dominic, who had been using a pay phone outside, came running when his mother called, and Elsie's fears were realized: Dwayne Epps, 19, shot Dominic once in his chest.

When Epps' lawyer, B. Thomas Reed, pushed Young — implying through his questioning that perhaps Dominic had grabbed Epps and caused the gun to go off — her temper flared. "I'm tired of this crap. It's all about killing and robbing," she said.

Young had first urged prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Epps. Christmas was so hard without Dominic, she said; she had been used to having him nearby.

But she softened as the months passed. Epps sent her a letter from jail. "I'm sorry I killed your son," Young said he wrote to her. "I never killed somebody before. It hurts me that I did this."

She no longer wanted Epps to die, she said Friday. She had forgiven him.

Young took her seat in the courtroom, wearing a long black T-shirt with Dominic's image. The back read, "We love you. We miss you."

The defendant's mother, Marcia Epps, rose. "I want to express my sympathy to your family," she said. "I can't say anything to take this pain away. I thank you for forgiving my son. Whenever I think about my son, I'll think about your Dominic."

As she spoke, Marcia Epps moved across the courtroom, crossing the aisle that separates the rows of benches behind the defendant and the prosecutor. Epps moved among Young's family, embracing Elsie.[...]

I have a son as well -he's 19 years old now.

And I know that it would kill something inside of me if anyone would do something to him. I thank god every day that I cannot totally imagine how the mother of the victim must feel since one can only understand things one lived through already. But I know it would be the most painful experience of my life. It would just drive me crazy.

And then I think of the other mother this courtroom. Sitting there and having to listen to what your loved one did. And still loving him. Sitting there and having to fear for his life - not only for a minute or even a day but all the time until the trial is over with (and - if the worst thing happens - until he'll somewhen get executed). Always living with the reality that the child you had born is incarcerated and will get killed soomer or later. Plus the pain of what he did to others...a pain which will hunt you day and night - just as much as the the loos of the loved one hunts the mother of the victim.

The death penalty only creates more victims. Reading this story it just gives this sentence so much more meaning, let's it come to life instead of being just plain and very far away theory.

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