Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Apology

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Steven Green, the former U.S. Army private who led the brutal attack on an Iraqi family in order that he and his friends could rape the pretty fourteen-year-old daughter, was convicted last week of the raping and killing the girl. He was also found guilty of murdering her parents and her younger sister. The jury could not come to a unanimous decision to impose the death penalty on Green, probably due in large measure to their knowledge of some of the abuse that he suffered as a child. Some jurors may have also factored in the devaluation of human life that accompanies war - who knows for sure? Because the jury could not act in unanimity, the judge was obligated to sentence young Mr. Green to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

And I am much like those jurors. Where is the line that serves as a boundary between an abusive childhood and an evil adulthood? At what point did that pathetic child finally become an irredeemable monster? Would killing him right any wrongs? Will permitting him to live decades in a cage and finally die in a cage accomplish anything either?

Today Mr. Green apologized to the relatives of the family that he murdered. He didn't have to, because his verdict had already been determined. But he chose to express his shame to those family members gathered the courthouse in Paducah, KY. While his words were simple, they rang with sincerity. Mr. Green said:

"I helped to destroy a family and end the lives of four of my fellow human beings, and I wish that I could take it back, but I cannot. And, as inadequate as this apology is, it is all I can give you...I know you wish I was dead, and I do not hold that against you. If I was in your place, I am convinced beyond any doubt that I would feel the same way...I know that I have done evil, and I fear that the wrath of the Lord will come upon me on that day. But, I hope that you and your family at least can find some comfort in God's justice."

Steven Green said that he now sees the Iraq War as "intrinsically evil because killing is intrinsically evil." He added that he was sorry that he had anything to do with either.


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