Chris Paul's Forgiving Heart: NBA Star Wants Grandfather's Killers Set Free!

Chris Paul's Forgiving Heart: NBA Star Wants Grandfather's Killers Set Free!

For this issue of Vision and Inspiration we decided to feature the incredible 'power of forgiveness' story of NBA star Chris Paul. Here are a few excerpts from the original story.
"On the moonless night of Nov. 15, 2002, five young boys ran across a park, jumped a 61-year-old man, bound his wrists, duct-taped his mouth, and beat him with pipes until his heart stopped. All for his wallet. That man was Nathaniel Jones, the grandfather of future NBA star Chris Paul
Today, those boys are men, sitting in prisons across the state of North Carolina, some serving 14-year terms, some life... The five are all about the same age as Paul, same race, same height, and from the same hometown. They have one other thing in common with Chris Paul: All six wish they were free.  
It’s something Paul told me during a “Homecoming” episode once on ESPN, and every time I watch him play I can’t get it out of my mind. Paul, now 25, said: “These guys were 14 and 15 years old [at the time], with a lot of life ahead of them. I wish I could talk to them and tell them, ‘I forgive you. Honestly.’ I hate to know that they’re going to be in jail for such a long time. I hate it.” 
Chris Paul with his grandfather
...Paul’s attitude stuns one of the defense attorneys who appealed the verdict and lost. “I’ve probably tried 30 homicide cases,” says Paul Herzog, of Fayetteville. “It’s very rare for a family survivor in a murder case to feel that way. You just don’t see that ever. That’s incredibly generous of Mr. Paul.” 
“Even though I miss my granddad,” Paul told me, “I understand that he’s not coming back. At the time, it made me feel good when I heard they went away for life. But now that I’m older, when I think of all the things I’ve seen in my life? No, I don’t want it. I don’t want it.” 
...So what can Paul do? He can appeal to the governor of North Carolina, Bev Perdue, and ask for their sentences to be commuted. North Carolina is not big on commuting murderers’ sentences, but I’d put nothing past the powers of Paul. 
...What floors me about Chris Paul is his humanity. If strangers had bound my weak-hearted grandfather, beat him for no reason and killed him for the cash in his wallet — strangers who to this day have not shown a thimbleful of contrition — I’d want them in prison 100 years after they were in the dirt. 
Chris Paul once wrote that his grandfather “taught me more things than I could ever learn with a Ph.D.” One of them must’ve been love."

What do you think of Chris Paul's remarkable forgiveness story? Leave a comment below.

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  1. Dahlia6/21/2011

    what a great guy!

  2. Basmin6/21/2011

    thats it my brother forgive and rid yourself of the chains of hate.

  3. This is a great story, but they need to make sure these boys are rehabilitated so they wont do this again before just setting them free.

  4. wow wow wow didn't know people like him still exist, don't think I would be able to do this forgive maybe, help them be free hell no, who's to say they won't do it again.

  5. Now that's what you call a role model, wish I had half his heart.

  6. Sad story takes a big person indeed to be able to forgive, how do you beat an old man to death for his wallet.

  7. Forgive them yes but their actions put them where they are let them suffer the consequences they are murderers.

  8. wow not a lot people like him out there.

  9. Anonymous2/24/2012

    This story deserves more comments, much respect for him and anyone out there like him.


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