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LETTERS

A lifetime to repent

Forgiveness heals with grit, grace, prayers, and enough lifetime to allow for such healing and repentance.

Flowers and signs adorn a barrier, two days after two explosions killed three and injured hundreds, at Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon at a makeshift memorial for victims and survivors, April 17, 2011.
Flowers and signs adorn a barrier, two days after two explosions killed three and injured hundreds, at Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon at a makeshift memorial for victims and survivors, April 17, 2011.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

When I read Laura Crimaldi’s story, “Anger and sorrow at ruling on Tsarnaev” (Page A1, Aug. 2), I recalled my own first reaction to the possibility of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence being changed to life imprisonment. I’d thought: Good. He committed his heinous crimes when he was very young, under the influence of his older brother and the power of radicalization strategies, has no surviving family here, and was orginally sentenced in the very community where the crimes were committed, and where everyone was wounded, and no one could be neutral enough to be a juror.

My own “anger and sorrow” plus enormous admiration goes to all the courageous victims. I’m not sentimental or insensitive to the pain or collective re-traumatization, but I am a Christian and an Episcopal priest and know transformation of soul is possible, and that forgiveness heals with grit, grace, prayers, and enough lifetime to allow for such healing and repentance. I hope we can give this young man such time, even in prison. You never know — never.

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Lyn G. Brakeman

Cambridge