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Monday, January 20, 2020

Journey of Hope
LaRamon Durham

To the editor:
    The “Journey of Hope” which came to Athens Wednesday, Oct. 5, was a program of the “Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation.”  These are people who have had close members of their family murdered, often brutally.
    However, their personal reconciliation to the trauma of this loss did not involve wishing to see the perpetrators of the crimes executed.  They are people who have faith in human dignity, and this faith will not permit them to seek revenge through the death penalty, because that would make them a party to another murder.
    The “Journey of Hope” is visiting Georgia this year in the hope of helping others see that reconciliation is not found in revenge; rather that reconciliation is quite separate from revenge.
    Most Christians, cultural or religious, are aware of the parable of the sewer who went forth to sow, but most of the seeds fell in places where they would not germinate; so many of the efforts of the “Journey of Hope” are not likely to bear fruit directly.
    As a member of the Athens coordinating team for the “Journey,” I was somewhat disappointed with the number of individuals and organizations who failed to respond to our invitations to participate.  I certainly hope that the seeds of hope and reconciliation planted by the Journey of Hope will be contagious among the people of Georgia.
    The good people of this area would do well to realize that the death penalty is not about justice, it is about making money and extending political careers.  The delusion of justice, through the element of revenge, is merely the means by which the idea of executing offenders thrives.