Call it mercy or grace. Call it generosity of spirit if you're made uncomfortable by the seemingly religious sound of those words. (This atheist isn't. I believe deeply in mercy and in grace.)
Whatever the name, the idea is that like all gifts, it reveals the giver.
So it is, as I've said repeatedly, for clemency. Do we open our hearts and offer? Or do we hold fast to righteousness? Do we repay hatred with kindness? Do we say we won't do unto you as you did?
For the moment, at least, and in this one case, we know the answer. Governor Kasich today denied clemency to Steven Smith. No surprise there, but disappointment.
There was always hope, if not expectation, that he, in our names, would be better than that.
Steven Smith is due to be killed on May 1.
Next is Billy Slagle on August 7.