Restorative justice takes a different approach to justice. Instead of the traditional “do the crime, do the time” approach they want to bring one thing that is not often seen is sentencing, forgiveness.
I first found out about restorative justice in 2013 with a case from Florida. Conor McBride was dating Ann Grosmaire and had been arguing for two days straight, but it ended with McBride shooting Grosmaire point blank in the face while she was on her knees. It was a tragic end to the life of Grosmaire but also for McBride who ended up driving to the police station and turned himself in.
McBride had become apart of the Grosmaire family. He lived there on occasions when he wasn’t getting along with his parents so it was a hard thing to come to grips with for Ann’s parents. While on her death bed, Ann’s father allegedly told him to forgive Conor. While that seemed preposterous at the time, Ann’s father started to think of her words and think of his faith.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make but Ann’s parents did forgive Conor, but also found out about restorative justice and how it takes in to consideration the offenders accountability and if the families of the victims, or the victims themselves, are willing to have a civil face to face it will be arranged and possibly taken in for their sentence.
While this is rare for a murder case, they are often used in misdemeanor offenses. I feel like this would be a great thing to do. In the New York Times article they do say that offenders are less likely to reoffend when offered this program. Being able to be face to face with the person you hurt gives a human emotion to the crime, and because most crimes are “faceless” looking your victims in the face can really have an impact on the criminals.