• Editor-in-Chief

Should Bygones Be Bygones

By David H.

According to the Cambridge University Press, the saying let bygones be bygones is, “Used to tell someone that they should forget about unpleasant things that happened in the past, and especially to forgive and forget something bad that someone has done to them.” Should bygones be bygones? Is it possible to forgive but not forget?

On September 6, 2018, Botham Jean sat in his Dallas, Texas apartment, enjoying ice cream on the couch around 10 p.m. Unbeknownst to Jean, his apartment door was slightly ajar, leaving him vulnerable to intruders. Amber Guyger, former Dallas, Texas police officer, walked down Jean’s hallway while sexting erotic messages to her married police partner. Guyger, returning from a long day of work, entered Jean’s apartment and fatally shot him. Guyger claimed she thought she was in her apartment, and Jean was an intruder in her home. Instead of using her taser, mace, or other non-lethal self-defense methods, Guyger purposefully used deadly force. 

Guyger was indicted for murder and claimed self-defense before the jury. The jury released a guilty verdict for Jean's death and sentenced Guyger to 10 years in prison. Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, took the stand to provide a victim impact statement after the sentencing phase. Brandt Jean expressed forgiveness and sympathized with Guyger. Brandt Jean stated, “I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you. I’m speaking for myself, not my family, but I love you just like anyone else.” 

Brandt Jean let bygones be bygones. Bystanders were appalled by his verbal response and 30-second hug he laid on Guyger, the murderer of his brother. People did not agree with Brandt Jean’s action of forgiveness and believed ten years behind bars for Guyger was not enough. Jean’s parents said forgiveness does not erase consequences and hopes Guyger spends her time behind bars reflecting on her poor choices and the impact those choices had on others. 

Should bygones be bygones? Should forgiveness be earned over a while?

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