The Pendulum Foundation

We were shocked when we read the following blog on the Pendulum Foundation website:

CERTAIN VICTIMS HAVE TOO MUCH POWERPosted on August 1, 2011 by administrator

Guest Post
By The Rev. Bonnie Young

The processes of criminal justice in this nation are marred by political motives.  District Attorney’s offices promise the victims of crime that they are going to process the alleged criminal to the fullest extent of the law to coerce the victim into compliance with their method of prosecution.  This is not for the benefit of the victim, the process of justice or for the good of the public at large.  They are seeking job security and the possibility of promotion.  They are not in the position to guarantee any kind of sentence or judgment as those decisions are not in their hands.  The District Attorney is only responsible for presenting evidence that proves there has been a crime committed and that the evidence indicates the person charged is indeed the one who committed the crime.  Any other promise made is just a conciliatory statement made to secure an alliance with the victim.

Victims who make it a point to be present and speak out against any policy changes are severely damaged and they are but ONE voice in the conversation, ONE viewpoint in the argument.  They have chosen to deal with the pain and anger of their circumstance by spewing it on others.  If law makers are to put into effect laws that are in the best interest of their constituency they must consider the opinion of all the people they represent and not just the loud voice that stands in front of them yelling.  By allowing this to be the voice of reason, our lawmakers are making victims of us all.

The truth is we ARE all victims.  Not one of us involved ever imagined, when we woke up in the morning, on the day of the crime, that our lives would forever change.  Not one of us ever expected that on one day in one given hour, everything we were planning, dreamed of or believed for our future would be derailed.  We have all suffered trauma, pain, loss, humiliation, anger and hopelessness.

In answer to the lawmakers and victims groups:  It is not the responsibility of Pendulum, CCJRC, NJJN, or any other advocacy organization to keep victims organizations informed on policy proposals.  It is the job of the representatives and senators to seek the opinion of the public and examine policies that will be in the health and interest of the people they represent.

It is only when we come face to face with ourselves that transformation comes.  There will be a time when the voice of the victim will be confronted on the legislative floor….in truth and love…with the intention of showing the destructive actions their behavior has on those around them……and on themselves.

The issue of just punishment has been an argument through the ages.  The issue of whether or not we should implement the standard and requirements of rehabilitation has been argued and decided in favor of both sides of the argument.  However, if we are a nation founded on the principles of God and the bible, then we must believe in redemption, restoration, forgiveness and healing.  Quite honestly there is no documentation that anything else works.

I have written two very powerful articles on the biblical standard for justice.  Jesus did not give us a list of sin in ascending or descending order…..all sin and fall short…but he never turned anyone away…..he healed them all so that they might be free to become who they were created to be.

Making Forgiveness a Law

Storm the Gates

Do inmates who do not have a victim or prosecutor advocating AGAINST them get released sooner?  The answer is yes.

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  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    We cannot express what a setback this blog posting is. How can a Reverend say such hateful things towards people who have been hurt so badly? How can she talk about Jesus in the same article where she so hatefully and divisively denounces people who simply express concerns after a loved one has been murdered? She cannot be a Reverend in any Christian Church that I recognize, for sure.

    She doesn’t say so, but since the Reverend has a relative who was incarcerated for murder, it might be understandable that she would take such an air in this post. But it was unwise for Pendulum to post this, given that they have at least been SAYING that they want to do victim outreach. This one blog post does more to set back years of attempts at good relations towards Restorative Justice than anything else you could do.

    It is as wrong to paint all prosecutors as politically self-serving as it is to paint all offenders as dangerous past the point of rehabilitation. And it is wrong to say that victims “spew” (what a horrible thing to say) and that family members of killers are no different from us in their victimization.

    While in no way do we question the suffering of the families of those who commit murder, in fact we embrace it (read our blog at for postings with a much more positive tone!), it is simply factually wrong to say that these things are the same while trying to assert that crime victims have no place in the public policy discussions about the fate of the offenders in their cases.

    You don’t have a leg to stand on, and I highly urge you, Reverend, to pray over your position stated above. Pray. Then call us and really talk to us as murder victims family members. Listen for a bit, then try writing a better blog, maybe delete this one.



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One other important comment about the title of this blog: the only reason that the murder victims families of those killed by teens have any “power” at all, any voice or standing in this discussion at all is because the KILLER gave it to them. The killer who killed their loved ones gave them the standing in this discussion. That you would, as the family member of a teen killer, not want them to have a voice or place or voice in the discussion about the appropriate sentencing of the offender, is not surprising, but very, very sad.