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Albert Tomei is a justice of the New York State Supreme Court. A young defendant was convicted in his court for gunning down another person, execution style. The murderer had a bad record, was no stranger to the system, and only stared in anger as the jury returned its guilty verdict.

The victim’s family had attended every day of the 2-week trial. On the day of sentencing, the victim’s mother and grandmother addressed the court. When they spoke, neither addressed the jury. Both spoke directly to the murderer. They both forgave him.

"You broke the Golden Rule—loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind. You broke the law——loving your neighbor as yourself. I am your neighbor," the older of the two women told him, "so you have my address. If you want to write, I’ll write you back. I sat in this trial for two weeks, and for the last sixteen months I tried to hate you. But you know what? I could not hate you. I feel sorry for you because you made a wrong choice."

Judge Tomei writes: "For the first time since the trial began, the defendant’s eyes lost their laser force and appeared to surrender to a life force that only a mother can generate: nurturing, unconditional love. After the grandmother finished, I looked at the defendant. His head was hanging low. There was no more swagger, no more stare. The destructive and evil forces within him collapsed helplessly before this remarkable display of humaneness." [source: www.preachingtoday.com]

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