Punishment was dispensed to the murderer of black teen Jordan Davis yesterday, October 17th, from Florida Judge Russell Healey in a shooting that once again brought the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law into more scrutiny.
“Your life is effectively over,” Judge Healey chided to convicted murderer Michael Dunn. In a further indictment to Dunn and society Judge Healey added, “What is sad…is that this case exemplifies that our society seems to have lost its way.”
The sentence itself was an inequitable trade of the 47-year old Dunn still continuing his life while 17-year old Davis was permanently deprived of his. It was another example of punishment being administered without justice. Twice tried and finally convicted of first degree murder, Judge Healey handed the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Dunn’s statement of “I hate thug music” and his overly aggressive behavior of firing three shots into the SUV and seven more shots as the driver of Davis’ vehicle attempted to flee contradicted common sense in handling an altercation according to the jury. Dunn never did contact the police, drove to his hotel, ordered a pizza, walked his dog, and then went to sleep. Davis failed to display any action of being in fear of his life as he claimed.
Dunn gave an unemotional and somewhat conditional apology to the court before sentencing, but it did not persuade the father of Jordan, Ron Davis.
While the mother of Jordan, Lucia McBath, tearfully accepted the apology from Dunn, Jordan’s father Ron Davis described the apology as “paper thin”.
“You can tell the defense attorney wrote that for him,” the elder Davis said in an interview to CNN Reporter Ray Sanchez. “It was not heartfelt. There wasn’t a tear in his eyes, not tremble in his voice. He had no remorse whatsoever. For me to forgive you, you have to have remorse”.
This condition to forgiveness from Mr. Davis is a miscalculation of how forgiveness is supposed to work. The forgiveness given is for his benefit and not Mr. Dunn. This convicted murderer may never exercise remorse. Mr. Davis has done the very thing to perpetuate and cultivate ill feelings, he has created his own prison while making Dunn the warden with the key.
There is nothing more dreadful for a parent to experience than to lose a child, particularly suddenly and with tragic circumstances. It is against the order of things. One never gets over the loss of a child but merely learns how to live with it. Forgiveness will assist in the healing process, however this attribute works best when forgiveness is unconditional.
Jesus sets the guideline to forgiveness with the “70 times 7” declaration in the gospels. One rightly divides the intention of Christ by not caring around a notebook so at the 491st indiscretion, one can lower the boom, but to be ever ready to forgive. This is brutally apparent without exception to the warning by Jesus in Mark 11:26,
“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Whether this standard of forgiveness from Jesus is worked as a Redeemer or Philosopher does not matter. Medical records reflect forgiving is clearly better for the long term health both physically and mentally for the person offended. Your spiritual standing reflects much better with God too.
The unmercifully debtor parable in Matthew 18:23-35 leaves no doubt that not forgiving trespasses will be held against the one not willing to forgive. The Bible verse which states to “not let the sun go down on your anger” warns of the detriment of holding a grudge.
One can assert a right not to forgive contingent on a multitude of sins committed against them and be justified according to the world’s standards that focuses on oneself. The world’s demand not only to get mad but get even is difficult to follow through if the perpetrator is in prison. This is a hard lesson for Mr. Davis or anyone else to learn. One is stuck with their animosity which will only get worse if allowed to simmer.
Letting dark feelings go is best before it consumes you.