Saturday, March 10, 2007

The power of faith

In 2005 Cunny Antonio Pelaez killed Aniceto Armendariz with a shotgun blast. Pelaez killed Aniceto while drove he was driving with his wife on eastbound U.S. 40 from Park City to Heber in Utah. Aniceto’s vehicle rolled several times. Aniceto's widow, Alma Armendariz, miraculously survived. The couple were returning from a Spanish-language mass when he was shot.

Ms. Armendariz noted at sentencing:
How was it possible that they left me without a husband and my children without a father.. . . What could Aniceto have done that it cost him his life? Nothing could ever make me understand what. . . . We had the kind of life my husband always wanted his family to have. Suddenly, they destroyed this in an instant.
Those powerful words mixed with the facts of the Aniceto's senseless murder would often result in a death sentence. Int an act of undefinable, and yet very Catholic, compassion she asked that Pelaez be spared, in memory of her husband, a deacon in the Catholic Church who had taught on the sacredness of God's gift of life.
We are people of peace Taking the murderer's life does not erase Aniceto's death and will not bring him back to life. . . . We never requested the death penalty, but since no one has the right to take someone else's life, we do ask that he be punished with the maximum legal punishment. . . . He was a peacemaker, a mentor for many people, including those who ended his life, the murderers.
Patrick Parkinson of the Park City, Utah Record has the rest in a amazing piece. Be warned in advance, the piece is emotionally powerful.

More on this truly amazing story: here, here, & here.

[cross-posted at CDW]

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