Imagine your son – your brother – your husband – your nephew – your cousin . . . killed.

Imagine him killed with a bullet from a gun, only to be told by the killer that they didn’t know it was a gun in their hand. Imagine that this person who killed your loved one had 26 years of experience in law-enforcement – not only trained in handling firearms, but training others in the handling of theirs.

Imagine yourself in a courtroom where the presiding judge is sentencing your loved one’s killer. Imagine this judge overcome with emotion, breaking down in tears over the unbearable and needless suffering. Imagine this judge quoting a presidents powerful words on putting yourself in someone else’s shoes – asking onlookers and witnesses, communities and the country also . . . to put themselves in those shoes. To have empathy and compassion as she fights back her inconsolable tears from the authority and power embodied in the elevation of her judicial bench.

Then imagine the empathy and compassion she asks for is not for your loved one, and it is not for you – but for his killer