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A killing, a life sentence and my change of heart
Jeanne Bishop, left, and her sister Nancy visit Scotland in 1990, the year before Nancy's murder.
February 2nd, 2013
10:00 PM ET

A killing, a life sentence and my change of heart

Editor's note: Jeanne Bishop is the sister of Nancy Bishop Langert, who, along with her husband and their unborn child, was shot to death by a juvenile. Since the murder of her family members, Jeanne Bishop has been an advocate for gun violence prevention, forgiveness and abolition of the death penalty. She is a criminal defense attorney in Chicago.

By Jeanne Bishop, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I have been paying close attention to the changes coming since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down any mandatory life sentences for juveniles who kill.  A teenager killed my sister.

He killed her dream, too. She wanted to be a mom.

My sister Nancy married young.  She was overjoyed when she got pregnant at age 25.

That dream died three months later, when she and her husband walked through the front door of their home and found their killer waiting for them.

He was a 16-year-old with a history of violence.  He wanted to see what it was like to kill someone. He found out when he broke in and shot Nancy, Richard and their unborn baby and left them to die on a cold basement floor.

When the killer was arrested, details emerged that turned my stomach. He had joked about murdering my family members, even attended their funeral.

When he was convicted of the murders, he was remorseless. When he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, I was glad.

After sentencing, my mother turned to me in the courtroom and said, “We’ll never see him again.” I was glad of that, too.  I wanted to wipe him off my hands like dirt.

I never spoke his name. I wanted his name to die and Nancy’s to live.

When a coalition of people (including law professors such as Bernardine Dohrn and Randolph Stone whose advocacy on behalf of children I have always admired) launched efforts to abolish juvenile life sentences, I was appalled. The last thing I wanted was to attend parole hearings year after year, to beg bureaucrats not to release the person who had slaughtered my loved ones.

So I publicly fought any change in the sentence.  I told myself that fight was not just for my family, but for other family members of loved ones murdered by juveniles who would be affected.  I was like Saul early in the Book of Acts, the righteous one with a zeal for justice, before he was struck down and humbled and given a new name: Paul.

Then, I repented.

My road to Damascus moment didn’t come in a blinding light or a voice from heaven. The voice that changed my heart was that of a Mississippi-born, Vietnam veteran, Yale-educated  Southern Baptist pastor and academic named Randall O’Brien.

O’Brien told me something true - that Nancy’s killer and I are both children of God, equally beloved and equally fallen. O’Brien reminded me of Jesus’ example on the cross of what to do with those who have harmed us: pray for them.

I had never prayed for the person who killed my loved ones; I had never even uttered his name.

I say it now: David Biro. I began praying for him in the only place I could: the garden where Nancy and Richard and their baby are buried. I dropped to my knees and asked God for something I never could have imagined, that Nancy’s killer get well enough to get out someday.

I don’t know that he will; he is not there yet.  But I do know that no one, including him, is beyond the forgiveness and redemption and purpose of God.

My two young sons taught me that. We were talking about loving your neighbor as yourself.  Stephen asked, “What about the person who killed Aunt Nancy?”

Brendan replied, “We can’t love what he did. But we have to love him, because God made him for a purpose.”

Brendan is right. God made each of the juveniles serving life sentences for a purpose.  I can no longer support a sentence that says never.

Repenting privately would be cowardice, since my past support for locking up some juveniles forever has been so public.  So when lawmakers in my state of Illinois consider bills next month that would abolish juvenile life sentences, I will be there to speak in favor of the mercy of a second chance.

Dr. Marcus Borg, a biblical and Jesus scholar, notes that the roots of the Greek word for “repentance” mean “to go beyond the mind that you have.”

My mind is changed; my heart is remade, and a new task lies ahead.

- kramsaycnn

Filed under: Belief • Guns • Violence

soundoff (1,981 Responses)
  1. Repentance weighs higher that forgiveness in this case...

    Beyond the act of forgiving lies repentance, has the killer repented? was the killer mentally sick? can these juvenile killers be rehabilitated into society successfully without harm to society?

    February 4, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • SHrUb....gOd wIlls iT.....

      murder is one of those things that is on the far side of the point of no return line. This guy did this as a kid, to see what it was like.....hes had years in prison to think about the events of his crime...to hear the exploits of other killers...., he seems to be very picture of a sociopath (bright,arrogant, and completely incapable of imagining the suffering of others in their terms) ... no...not a risk id take for sure.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  2. Chris

    Liberals lol

    February 4, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Pete

      Bleeding Hearts, you mean?

      February 4, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Jeff

      I am deeply sorry for the murder of Jeanne's sister and brother-in-law. Her fundamentalist / liberal view of the murder's right for a second chance is woefully misguided. God has nothing to do with our lives. If he was involved, those 21 kids in Connecticut wuld be alive today.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Pete

      Jeff
      Do you hear yourself, "fundamentalist / liberal"? Fundamentalist, yes, but she's also a Bleeding Heart. A liberal wouldn't be talking with such fundamentalist fervor.

      February 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  3. Nana

    I believe and love God but there is NO WAY I would ever pray or love anyone who killed anyone of my family!! This kid joked about the killing and even attended their funeral like a joke...really?! How could the justice let him out again?? I don't care how old you are when you really kill another person, you should not be let go easily!!

    February 4, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Didn't Jesus teach that you must love your enemies and do good to those who hurt you?

      February 4, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  4. Austin

    20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Austin", but "God", and "Christ", are elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      February 4, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Live4Him

      @hal 9001 : "God", and "Christ", are elements of mythology

      Hal, your IEE progam is malfunctioning. It is reaching illogical conclusions without justification. Please disable and continue other functions.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • hal 9001

      "Live4Him", please present data that may illuminate why "Austin"'s assertions appear to be founded. Then I may be able to help you with your misunderstanding.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lie4him
      If that's not the black calling the kettle pot! (Archie Bunker)
      You would not know logic under any circu mstances. Asking for it from someone else after some of the ridiculous statements you have said is just silly.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Pete

      Where and when, exactly, did God make "foolish the wisdom of the world"? Just because somebody claimed this doesn't make it true. From all that I can see it's actually the opposite.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • JJ

      Austin, you are suffering from a delusion from a life time of indoctrination. Seek help.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Austin

      I have personal date and evidence of the Holy Spirit who bears witness of himself, and I will put on the full armor of God, and God is science. there is no deceit in science. deceit is only found in men, not animals, but men who mishandle words and comprehension.

      Eph 6:10-17 (NIV) ...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      "deceit is only found in men, not animals"

      Mimicry is deception:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deception

      Monkeys may deceive to get more food:
      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17330-why-some-monkeys-are-better-liars.html

      And let's not forget the poor kitty cat Austin killed while drunk driving, who deceived him into having hallucinations about demons (apparently even after the cat was dead - that is some mighty strong deceit).

      February 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Austin

      @ end religion...............bro I really am overjoyed to hear you claim that I have lied about the cat. because you know for a fact, that the truth I tell you, is the reality of a demonic power. and so you tell me it is a lie. you have to .

      It is not a lie. dont forget the time I was racked and thought " i wonder if they have the light in their eye" and one of the kids woke up and told me that his dream that night was people were possessed and the only way to tell was to go see if they had the "light in their eye" this kid was not even aware of the scripture talking about that. that is not even mentioning the fact that I was having dreams about scripture that i was going to be reading the next day that i was not familiar with. ......................................I am talking about spirits, that hear your thoughts, and can take your thoughts and speak to you through another persons mouth............this is supernatural, possibly demonic, and also a supernatural sovereign God.

      so you calling me a liar.................................is an incredible start to this whole conversation. I put the facts of what i am telling you on my life, and I will stand for Jesus until the day I die. because I had my eyes opened to spiritual reality, and I still need my savior to sustain my faith because I am pitiful and weak. But God is faithful.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Pete

      Austin
      "deceit is only found in men"
      Yet, the Bible was written by men, and all testimony regarding the Holy Spirit also comes from people. So, what does that leave you? What indication do you have for God that isn't potentially tainted by human deceit?

      February 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  5. the gang wanted to come out and stretch a little bit

    Different kinds of fundamentalist Christians now as much as ever are arguing with each other with as much sense and rationality as a flock of chickens. They can't support their beliefs by any reasonable means, yet they deem themselves fit to judge others from those beliefs or attempt to put others in the midst of their religious infighting. Their beliefs have a very weak foundation and are not consistent, ergo the over 30,000 different denominations.

    Thomas Jefferson (POTUS #3)

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    John Adams (POTUS #2)

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    James Madison (POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights)

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    Thomas Paine (Patriot of the American Revolution)

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  6. Rob

    God is a plague on the human kind... a parasite, we must get rid of, in order to evolve. "God" did not put that killer on earth for a reason. Get real. Get a life.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Nicoleasm

      You should thank your lucky stars you were born in and are a citizen of the USA. Try saying and believing that in Iran.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • WASP

      @rob: you know the messed up thing with religious people?
      the victim's family cries and prays to their god for their lost loved one;
      the culprit's family does the samething for them.
      so which family does god answer their prayers?

      that's the messed up logic of religion, a racist has a preacher saying good things about that person's life and reassuring the family of his place in heaven, even though they should be truthful and just admit the racist isn't welcome into heaven. 🙂

      February 4, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • WASP

      @nico: "You should thank your lucky stars you were born in and are a citizen of the USA. Try saying and believing that in Iran."

      i think you christians should be the ones thanking your lucky stars for being in america; it's not us atheists that the middle east is after, it's you cross bearing holier than thou bible thumpers that they froth at the mouth over. 🙂

      February 4, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Manny

      Nicoleasm
      That's an endorsement for the wisdom of our secular system of government, not any argument for Christianity being any more gentle than Islam. Turn back the clock to Medieval Europe before secular democracy and you'd be just as likely to be burned at the stake by Christians.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Jobie

      I am struck by the number of atheists who clicked on this story and commented in some way. It's a little like people are out there searching for answers and trying to make sense of this crazy and angry world. ...and searching and searching and searching. Without looking to God, nothing will ever make sense. With God, we still live in an angry world, but we are never alone.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • End Religion

      Jobie, I am not searching for anything other then ridiculous religious claims, like yours. I am here to counteract the complete nonsense offered by the religious. Your god does not exist, so whether you believe in such garbage or not, you may indeed be alone unless you have friends or family.

      Your platitude concerning looking to god is hogwash. God is comforting to you because you're petrified of life, you can't fathom our smallness, and you refuse to believe you will die. God is your pacifier. He's your security blanket. He doesn't exist.

      Now deal with the existentialism and get back to loving your friends and family HERE and NOW because there is no afterlife. There is no god watching who you have consensual sex with. You do not need an overseer to be a good person.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • WASP

      @JOBIE:

      February 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Trail boss

    Have 3 members in my own family murdered and you want me to forgive? How I can I live in a world where a God sees this going on. Lost any kind of faith when this hits home. some things are broken and some people just can't be fixed. I hope she can get on with life and if this helps, so be it...but that's the great thing in America, I don't agree with her...let my family murderers get the chair. I can't forgive but I still go on with life fighting for justice not forgiveness.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Nicoleasm

      Did you have 3 members of your family murdered? Or were you referring to the story?

      February 4, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  8. New Athiest

    Did anyone else catch the part about this 'child' having a history of violence?
    If Jeanne Bishop wants to improve the law, she should be working to rehabilitate these criminals when they start showing signs of trouble, not forgive them once they kill innocent people.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Saraswati

      Excellent point. Early development is a much better way to focus effort and money.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Pete

      Yes, isn't knowing that you'll be forgiven by such a large group of people just an encouragement for some to commit such acts? Do something terrible, ask forgiveness, and be welcomed as some kind of faith hero, another Prodigal Son witnessing to how great the Christian system works. And here I was taught in Sunday school that the meek would inherit the Earth.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Morgan

      She is an enabler. Enabling many many more juvenile offenders, killers really, to get back out on the streets and commit crimes against others. These "children" are beyond redemption and should be treated as such.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  9. Rebecca E.

    It's nice to hear that the author is such a forgiving person, but I wonder at her compassion in advocating for these types of criminals to be eligible for parole. Where is her love and concern for all the people put at risk by their release? Love them if you want, forgive them if you can, but don't risk my family's lives because it makes you feel like a better person.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • NRA

      I agree with you but don't you think that we are all at risk? We live in a world where there is no control over people's mind. We never know who is going to snap, we don't know who is mentally unstable. Just because someone committed a crime does not mean they will do it again. This is her personal belief and just because the author is all for second chances doesn't mean she's not concerned with the victims families.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Saraswati

      @NRA, We actually have a ton of data predicting recidivism rates. These are statistical predictions, as, arguably, are all predictions. But you treat someone with a 90% chance of repeating a crime very differently than someone with a 5% chance. To ignore those realities is to risk real lives of innocent people.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  10. Reality

    Once again, only for the eyes of Jeanne Bishop:

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  11. truth be told

    All so called atheists are liars. it is a known fact by all morally decent peoples everywhere and yet these so called atheists think they are fooling someone. Truth be told they are ... themselves.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      February 4, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • truth be told

      It doesn't take long for a so called atheist to prove my statement. Thanks un – reality !

      February 4, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Troll Hunter

      All so called trolls are liars. it is a known fact by all morally decent peoples everywhere and yet these so called trolls think they are fooling someone. Truth be told they are ... themselves.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • New Athiest

      All so called theists are insecure tools. it is a known fact by all thinking peoples everywhere and yet these so called theists think they are fooling someone. Truth be told they are ... themselves.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • truth be told

      Two responses – one author both statements proving that so called atheists are liars. Thanks for the confirmation.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Troll Hunter

      Two responses – one author both statements proving that so called trolls are liars. Thanks for the confirmation.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • InFormed

      I think you have things reversed. The Atheists I have met are all more well read and educated in religion than most so called 'religious' followers, yet they are typically insulted by people like yourself for telling the truth. Religion hides the truth. Why can't you see that which is right in front of your face, or are you blinded by power?

      February 4, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  12. RG1

    I believe in God but I can't stand when people say God has a plan for us or a purpose. So God's purpose was to test the victim's sisters faith? So, if the sister doesn't forgive this killer God doesn't let her in the pearly gates?

    February 4, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Jerry Fallswell

      God does not plan for people to sin, nor does He interfere when we do. God works beyond our combined evils to His ultimate purpose. We are not called to understand His ways only to accept and love Him through Jesus our Lord.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • End Religion

      Jerry yelps the classic call of the cult: Shut up and stop thinking!

      February 4, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  13. me

    Sounds like a great fit for Jeanne Bishop's life... but how about everyone else? While I have sympathy for what she's been through, her choice of her God may not be for the next family... as you found your ability to forgive, you should also find the ability to see not only yourself and your beliefs, but those around you... not to mention breaking the 10 Commandments includes "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth...

    February 4, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • New Athiest

      'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth ' is one of the most mis-used quotes from the bibe. If you take it in proper context, it is saying AT MOST one eye for an eye and ONE tooth for a tooth. It does not give permission to seek revenge on any scale.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • me

      Um... it infers you take what has been taken... thus if you kill, then you should be killed... additionally, there is more too it than simply a "one for one" type thing, depending on various situations...

      February 4, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  14. Ron Logue

    When is the American society going to realize there are good and evil people on this earth. and that we need to stop protecting the evil people. This teenager is just plain evil and has no rights to re-enter our society, alife sentence is a gift to him. When someone takes the life of another, he has given up all of his rights and should have no chance of ever getting out of prison. The victims families are ruined . Im sure if you looked at his background and family life , you will find reasons for what he did, but that does not excuse him for his actions. Our society needs to work on family upbringing, education and teach proper values and Principles. I believe in God and God gave us a free will and does not intervene in the heinous actions of man. Just look at history, look at the Sandy Hook Victims. Why does our society tolerate the molesting of our children, putting the perpetrator in prison for 5-10 years and then letting them out , while the child and family live with it for the rest of their lives. When are we going to just get sick and tried of these heinous crimes and say no more.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Just Stop It

      When we stop judging others like we are the “PERFECT ONE” we will all be okay. Not one of us can say we have never sinned. What we can all say is “thank God” we were not catch driving that car after those drinks, telling that little lie we told after whatever we did to save our butts or making up that little story we made up when we did whatever we did to save our butts, etc. I’m sure by now You get the point. These LITTLE sins were done whether as a child or an adult but again Thank God we were all saved by Grace. If we could learn to have as much Grace and Mercy for others as God has for us and God can be whatever name you want to say. But please believe me it is a higher power, just let one of our butts get sick, or have any pain and before we know it we are saying “OH Lord” please help me. The last thing I have to say is about God, Heaven and Satan no matter if they exist or not if believing in the myth helps me to be a better person then I do not lose ONE THING. But think about this…suppose the myth is true…. YOU LOSE. So for me and my household we are going to Trust and Believe in the Lord.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Just Stop It", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  15. Rich Richardson

    Sorry to have heard about your story. But I beleive he should rot in prison. What many christians fail to see is that Our Lord deals with the spritiual life of humans.I would never and will never feel sorry for someone like him. Oh maybe pray for his soul. But never to pray for his release.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • End Religion

      Yeah, pray for his soul. Apparently heaven is simply overflowing with murderers and r@pists who prayed and received forgiveness before death. Sounds like fun times up there. What's the recidivism rate in heaven?

      February 4, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Saraswati

      @End, I think you effectively experience castration on entering heaven...due to the whole no body thing (mormons excluded). We know both chemical and physical castration reduce recidivism, even for non-se'xual crimes, so maybe its not so bad up there.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • End Religion

      @sara: While this is a ludicrous conversation, I would imagine it is even worse in heaven. If we retain our thought processes in heaven, enough to recognize family and friends, then we have retained what makes us "human". That means our impulses to r@pe if we were so inclined on earth are intact. In heaven if we are non-corporeal than a r@pist would instead, on impulse, enter your entire body instead of an orifice. One would be entered against one's will in entirety for all eternity. Doesn't sound like a great place to me, certainly no better than hanging out with all the rock stars in Hell.

      February 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  16. ange8

    wow, people can get mean and stupid....i think it undercuts everybody's credibility when you spew...whether you believe in god or not. i do however, believe, that religion should be removed from this particular equation. if you are a convicted murderer you forfeit your rights and privileges. and based on what she wrote about how this juvenile knew exactly what he was doing and planned it in advance, he doesn't ever deserve to breathe free air again. if he finally repents he should be content to serve out his life sentence as his punishment for his horrific deed.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • New Athiest

      ange8, You're new to this blog, aren't you?

      Truth be Told is either a complete basket case, or a bored troll, OR actually an sthiest who is trying to make his case through satire. Archie Bunker was a character who used satire like Monet used paint.
      For some sick twisted reason several people who frequent this blog can't resist replying to peolpe who leave stupid comments, and we are not always very nice. Sometimes being nice is not the best way to counter a BS post.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  17. Logic

    There is no reason to release this person. It is unfortunate, but they HAVE lost their life due to their own actions. If the society is to survive, it must deal with abhorrent behavior in such a way as to not have it repeat (from this person or by this example, anyone else).

    February 4, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  18. Yakman2

    I am a wizard believer, but I still don't want them out of prison....A killer is mental and you can't fix mental!!!

    February 4, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  19. New Athiest

    THIS is why we need to remove all religion from the law.
    She wants to release a remorseless killer onto society because she believes her imaginary friend wants her toforgive him. I do not believe god created this monster for any specific reason. I don't forgive him. Society shouldn't forgive him. The legal system exists to protect society from killers like this.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • truth be told

      Amazing with every comment these so called atheists prove what liars they are ! Thanks newie !

      February 4, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So TubeTop, you want this murderer released, then?

      February 4, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • ME II

      My understanding was that she was trying to get him released, just to provide the possibility of release, which currently he does not have.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • ME II

      Sorry should read:
      "My understanding was that she was [NOT} trying to get him released, just to provide the possibility of release, which currently he does not have."

      February 4, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • New Athiest

      Let me put this into perspective for you:
      If you want the teenage killers released from prison I say we put half way houses full of them into your neighborhood. We will see how well your god protects his flock.
      Put up or shut up.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      February 4, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • LinCA

      @New Athiest

      Atheist*

      February 4, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  20. derp

    Good thing I'm an atheist.

    I will never ever have some stupid epiphany where I want to let cold blooded murderers out of jail because the magic sky wizard thinks it's a good idea.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • truth be told

      As I posted this idiot derp was posting proof to my statement. Thanks derp !

      February 4, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • ME II

      @derp,
      An epiphany, being a sudden realization, does not required a deity, perhaps just new data.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.