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JUSTICE: Sentence focuses on punishment, not restoration

Letter by Laurie K. Dawson, Seabeck on Jan. 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm | No Comments »
January 28, 2013 2:04 pm

Re: “Woman gets 13-year sentence in murder-for-hire scheme” (TNT, 1-26).

It was a sad day for our justice system. I left the courtroom with a heavy heart after the sentencing of Karen Lofgren, for I witnessed firsthand how our justice system is eroding into one that seeks punishment and not restoration.

Alan Paton, a South African writer, wrote that “If a man takes unto himself God’s right to punish, then he must also take upon himself God’s promise to restore.”

When Karen wrote these words to the judge she was speaking truth: “I am truly sorry for this horrific error in judgment. I take full responsibility, and from the bottom of my heart I apologize for putting my family, friends, my husband, his family and especially my children through this. I reached my breaking point and was able to be influenced into doing something that would have otherwise been totally foreign to who I am and to how I’ve lived my life.”

But the judge made a determination to punish Karen to the maximum level and on top of that to punish her children by denying them any contact with her.

I knew that Karen would need to serve time, but I had hoped that the judge would be fair.

Karen has and is making every effort to bring good out of this. She is not a threat to anyone, especially her children. She is a woman who has embraced God’s promise to restore, and this truth no punishment can erode.


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