By Pastor Paul Holt:
Bravery and reason, these are words often used by progressive to describe choices that most people understand to be immoral or just plain wrong. These are words used by Albuquerque Journal opinion writer Joline Gutierrez Krueger to enable and champion Judge John J. Romero’s injustice in the sentencing of Nehemiah Griego for the brutal killing of his family.
Many New Mexican’s know the story of Nehemiah, that at the age of 15 he killed his mother, his father, his 9 year old brother, his 5 year old sister and even his 2 year old baby sister by shooting her three times and then sending photos of his crimes to his girlfriend.
Despite being charged under New Mexico’s serious youthful offender law because his crimes were, well serious, Judge Romero took the punishment Griego faced of 200 years in prison that had been pled down to 120 years and turned justice on its head by sentencing him under juvenile laws to 2 more years added to the 3 years already served while undergoing trial.
In case you missed that, Nehemiah Griego will have served 5 years in prison for the monstrous murder of his family. One year for each person he killed in the hope that he can be rehabilitated. He will be released from prison on his 21st birthday with the record of his crimes sealed. He won’t even be considered a convict for shooting his 2-year-old sister in the forehead!
Ms. Krueger makes the argument some juvenile killers can be saved, they can be rehabilitated through treatment by a trained professional and maybe just maybe she is right. There have been great advancements in pharmapsychological therapy that could regulate the need to kill in young men such as Griego but she misses the greater point.
Liberal ideology would never have a killer of any age serve more than a decade for taking the life of any person because life is not valued. We already see this in Europe where there is a cap on sentences even in a mass shooting of 10 years.
The greater point is the justice of a society and the value of a human life. New Mexico like many states has abolished the death penalty and enables heinous crimes of the murderer in the name of rehabilitation, mercy and reason. This is not reason and there is no mercy found in a lenient and permissive justice system.
Jesus certainly teaches us to forgive and to show mercy, this is true. We should forgive Nehemiah; we should be kind and compassionate to him as well. But we must understand that this is the call of the Lord to the individual not society. The Lord commands the society to execute the individual murderer and in so doing remove the sin from that society.
People should not take pleasure in such punishment but mourn the wasted life of someone so young. We must value the lives of Nehemiah’s parents, brother and two young sisters. Nehemiah himself must learn the value of life and the cost of taking them but that may beyond his ability.
Ms. Krueger seems found of pointing out that Nehemiah at 15 years old, had an undeveloped brain, but that is just an attempt to absolve him of his guilt to justify the actions of an immoral judge. Sure, his mind had not developed fully nor his logic and reason fully formed but that does not excuse the murders of the 5 people closest to him.
The bottom line is that the Griego family was not valued by Judge Romero enough to give them justice and the judge should be removed from the bench and possibly tried for such a poor ruling but that would not happen in New Mexico, we never remove bad judges.