In a windowless room whose layout is as familiar to lawyers and judges as it is foreign to American ideals of justice, where judges act like clerks and justice feels as cold as it looks, where the powers of the state belong to a mallet too small to be a murder weapon but strong enough to sentence people to death, where a judge’s gavel is the final sound a person hears before he returns to jail or leaves for prison—on the seventh floor of the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Texas, where a courtroom is a judge’s kingdom, the love of a King fills the air with the spirit of the King of Kings; the light of the world, righteous like the dawn and redemptive as the noonday sun, shines on the souls of Judge Tammy Kemp, Amber Guyger, and Brandt Jean.
In that room a jury convicted Guyger, a white Dallas police officer, of the murder of Botham Jean, a black man.
In that room a jury sentenced Guyger to 10 years in prison.
In that room Jean, the victim’s 18-year-old brother, asked Kemp to allow him to hug Guyger.
In that room Jean forgave Guyger.
Then Kemp, a black woman, hugged Guyger too.
With the fondness of hope and the fervency of prayer, with the humility of a sinner and the wisdom of a sage, Kemp appealed for a just God’s assistance. She honored the appeal of a president named Abraham by sustaining the testimony of Matthew the Apostle: Judge not, that ye be not judged.
She gave Guyger a Bible.
Now the Freedom of Religion Foundation has filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct regarding Kemp’s actions.
God bless Judge Kemp. God save the United States and this Honorable Court!