“I Forgive You”
Perhaps the most unexpected part of the Amber Guyger trial came following the sentence, during the Victim Impact Statements, when Botham’s younger brother Brandt spoke directly to Amber who was still in the courtroom saying, “If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you. I know if you go to God to ask him, He will forgive you… I love you just like anyone else. I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I personally want the best for you. I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want, and the best would be to give your life to Christ. I’m not going to say anything else, I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing Botham would want you to do. I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.”
The incredible moment came shortly after a 10 year sentence was handed down by Judge Tammy Kemp to the former police officer for the murder of Brandt’s older brother, Botham Jean.
Brandt had been largely silent throughout the trial, and his forgiveness for his brother’s killer shocked many people around the world. On Wednesday afternoon, Brandt had asked Judge Kemp, “I don’t know if this possible, but can I give her a hug, please?”
His words were in far contrast to the chaos outside from people who were visibly angry with the sentence which was on the short end of a 5-99 range.
Just as soon as the judge granted his request Brandt walked toward Amber who ran into his arms, and the two embraced several times as Amber sobbed audibly. Even the judge appeared to give Amber a motivational lift after speaking to her for several minutes, then handing her a bible. Commentators agreed it was something they’d never seen before, and a gesture of forgiveness that would help start the healing process for both sides.