The same week that Kate Grosmaire visited the hospital where her 18-year-old daughter lay in a coma from a gunshot wound to the head, she visited the jail where the shooter was being held by police.
Even before they took Ann off life support, the Grosmaires knew wanted to forgive her murderer, her high school boyfriend Conor McBride.
“Conor has said that act could not have been anything but from God because people alone can’t do that; it has to be from God,” said Kate, who still talks to McBride on the phone once a week. “That was the start of his salvation.”
Since Ann’s death in 2010, Kate and husband Andy Grosmaire have become advocates for an approach to criminal punishment called restorative justice. In their daughter’s murder case, the Catholic couple learned they could push for lighter charges than life in prison.
Before the trial, the Grosmaires and McBrides sat down with community representatives and a public defender to talk with 19-year-old Conor about his sentence. Because of their initiative, he never went to trial and ultimately took a plea deal for 20 years with 10 years of probation along with anger management classes, volunteering, and speaking on teen dating violence.
After their story was featured in The New York Times Magazine, “we had people come up to us and say that they wanted to forgive others because of our example,” said Kate, who recently released a book exploring their family’s story, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer. “We knew that we wanted to share that message with a wider audience.”
Kate spoke with assistant editor Morgan Lee about why they sought out this alternative route in the justice system and Christian forgiveness ...1
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