Sunday, 13 May 2007

Let him live? The Brown's massacre . . .

Michael Sneed

Let him live? The Brown's massacre . . .

May 13, 2007

Sneed hears that at least half of the seven families of the Brown's Chicken murder victims do not want the death penalty for Juan Luna, who was found guilty of murdering their loved ones.

In an interesting twist, Manny Castro, father of the youngest of Luna's victims -- Michael Castro, 16 -- was originally in favor of the death penalty but has changed his mind.

"If you kill him now, it would not be punishment," Castro told Sneed.

"If he stays in prison for the rest of his life, he will be suffering the rest of his life. Originally I was for the death penalty when Michael was killed in 1993. ... I used to feel like: If he's facing the firing line -- I would like to pull the trigger; if he's facing lethal injection -- I want to inject the chemical; if he's in the electric chair -- I want to pull the switch. But the guy up there convinced me killing is no good. Do you know who I am talking about? God.

"I changed my mind towards the end of 2006 -- long before the trial began. ... But I have not forgiven Mr. Luna. I cannot find any place in my heart to forgive him right now. But if God will give me enough strength and wisdom, I will do so. So tell Mr. Luna to keep praying so I can forgive him. ... We have done our crying. Let Juan Luna do the crying now."

• • A sad note: Michael Castro, who will never fulfill his dream of becoming a Marine, would have celebrated his 31st birthday on May 24.

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