On Wednesday August 12, 2009 I appeared in front of the Florida Clemency Board to support my mom, Frances Carroll, (Deceased Murdered), my step brother, Brett Carroll, (Deceased Murdered 11yrs old) and my step father, Clay Carroll, (Shot in the face survived) and make a statement to keep my brother, Frederick Nowitzke, in prison. I had the opportunity to listen to several other hearings before his came up. I was amazed. Family members would get up and plead for the release of their loved one from prison. Mind you their loved one did not steal a car. Their loved one took someone else life. Committed murder, in the first degree and were found guilty. As I sat there listening to their statements of how the murderer was young when they killed and how they have changed now. They have learned their lesson. They were not going to kill anyone else, ever again. They promised! (They all gave similar comments.) The family would provide the murderer with a job and a place to stay. They have been forgiven. They have served their time. They miss the murderer; they only get to see him behind bars. He hasn’t been with them for the holidays for some twenty years now. The Mom wanted to see him out before she died. The murderer had taken classes to improve and to be a better person. We as a society should now forgive also and let them out on the street.
Now myself, I retired a year and a half ago after 25 years as a Latent Examiner, 4 years in Corrections and 1 year as a Bailiff. Now I was there to plead on behalf of my mother and step brother who could no longer speak. My own brother was up for the review. I love my brother, but, it is what it is. It really doesn’t matter why. It happened, he did it. I can’t visit my mom or Brett. (Brett was only 11).
I really do not understand why others only see their family member, the murderer as someone to be rescued. The dead had family too. The dead never come to family dinners for the holidays. We put flowers on their grave or have special prayers for them. We do pray for the murderer, for his conversion and forgiveness. We do forgive. Forgiveness does not have anything to do with getting out of jail. Forgiveness is saying when you die, I do not want you to go to hell, I want you to be saved, to know God and to see God in his glory in heaven. Better a man to suffer here on earth, than to suffer eternal damnation.
I have held many dead peoples hands. The dead are dead. They do not move. They are very cold. Their souls are gone. Their body is lifeless. I have seen their bodies mangled and tortured. I have seen the bullet holes where their life dripped out of them.
Yes I do believe they are in heaven. They are in a much better place. But it was evil that sent them thru pain and torture. It was evil that the murderer created for the victim. But God in his mercy scoops up the victim and takes them to their eternal home to be with him forever.
I believe murderers, for what ever reason they took someone else’s life, they need to stay in prison for the rest of their own life. And when the time comes that they pass from this life, may God have mercy on their soul.
Thank you for listening