Second thoughts, second chances

Barbed wire prison fencingA lifer soon to be released on parole talks about how his attitude to his crime and his victim’s family has changed over time.

For those who believe that imprisonment should mean ‘throwing away the key,’ here is a powerful reminder that human beings change their mindset many times on the way to maturity.

This is Dan Turner. The full version of his open letter can be read onĀ Stone City Blog:

Victim

“I don’t know if the family and friends of my victim would ever want to hear from me or contact me. I probably wouldn’t, if I were them. But if so, I would first say to them it’s all about them. This is not to make me feel better: what I feel doesn’t matter. It’s them.”

Sorry

“And I would say that I’m sorry, even though I know that is a pathetic consolation. I would say that just because I’m being released it doesn’t mean that I EVER deserve forgiveness or the same consideration as others.”

Transformed

“I would say that I am changed, a completely transformed person. And although this is also probably a pathetic consolation for them, because I’m different I am fully aware of the magnitude of what I did. When I was a kid, I was so selfish that it barely bothered me.”

Shame

“Now, every single day I feel the pain and guilt and shame of what I did. It will be there for the rest of my life, as I believe it should be. No one should ever have to go through what I did to that man and his family.”

Preventing crime

“A big part of my life is going to be dedicated to trying to reach others who might have the mindset I had when I committed that terrible act, and try to explain to them just how terrible it was, so they might understand and change.”

Wishing Dan well on his release in October 2016, and a positive new future.