Friday, December 01, 2006

Forgive? Sure (but prosecute).

My mother-in-law is from Trinidad. That's what came to mind when we followed up on the story of Shantie Maraj. She's the Pasadena woman who was hit on the head by a shopping cart that had been raised up on a flag pole (likely as a prank).

She's facing a long period of rehabilitation, but the prognosis is good that she'll eventually have full mobility again.

Anyway, Shantie and her family are also from Trinidad. It's a small world and I wanted to mention that slim connection to them, but I didn't get the chance.

Shantie was busy fielding questions from her gurney and handing out See's chocolate lollipops to the media.

It kind of looks bad, but the picture is deceiving. She's not being attacked by a wild pack of journalists. The reporters were all very calm and extremely careful. It was kind of bizarre, because, Shantie was actually the one being really animated. She was enthusiastically praising God and thanking Him that her injuries weren't worse.

It was touching to hear. I'm a quietly religious person and my beliefs don't generally come up in conversation (and never in a press conference). Shantie punctuated almost every thing she said with a "praise Jesus" or a call for a blessing.

I almost expected her to get up and walk away. That would have been a nice miracle.

A big development in the case that day, police arrested three suspects. Two men and a woman, all in their early twenties and all three suspected of taking part in the prank.

We were setting up our liveshot at the Ralph's grocery store on Colorado Boulevard where the incident happened and had to break down, then rush over to the Pasadena Police Department to cover the press conference.

When we talked with her, Shantie Maraj never spoke one word about punishment for the person (or people) responsible for her pain and suffering. She was very much willing to forgive. I think it's the rare better person who can endure suffering and stay true to their beliefs. If she says to forgive, then okay. Done.

Now, I'm glad they're forgiven, but I wouldn't rush to let them off the hook legally. I'm thinking they should have come forward and took responsibility the day the accident happened. In fact, if you're in your twenties and you're hanging shopping carts from flag poles for fun, I think you need to be held accountable for your actions. I don't know what's right or fair punishment, but I'm willing to leave it up to the courts.

You could probably make the argument that God could punish them if He wanted.

Well, they got caught, didn't they?

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