Judge of Botham Jean Trial Says She "Couldn't Refuse Hug" of Convicted Cop
A Dallas Judge has come under a lot of fire after a photo surfaced of the Judge presiding over a controversial murder trial was caught hugging the woman convicted of murder following the sentencing. Judge Tammy Kemp sentenced former cop Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean in 2018.
Following Guyger's conviction, Kemp hugged Guyger and gave her a bible, an image that forced the judge to answer questions given that the 10-year sentence handed down seemed generous considering the crime committed.
"Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not," Kempt told the Associated Press. "I didn't want her to go back to the jail and to sink into doubt and self-pity and become bitter... she still has a lot of life ahead of her following her sentence and I would hope that she could live it purposefully."
Kemp also invoked her Christian faith as the reason behind the hug as did the family of the victim when Jean's brother famously forgave Guyger and offered her a hug at the trial, but the optics of the hug did not settle well with critics who saw the hug as sympathy for a white police officer who murdered a black man, a headline that has become too familiar in recent years.
The case gained national attention when Guyger walked into Jean's apartment and shot him. Guyger's defense claimed the shooting was an accident and that the now-convicted murderer accidentally entered Jean's apartment thinking it was her own.
Two jurors from the case also spoke out on ABC's Good Morning America about the light sentence saying that the 28 years recommended was too harsh although the verdict was obvious. Guyger will be eligible for parole in 5 years.
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