This week’s Heartlander is Tom Clements, the deceased Head of Colorado Department of Corrections. Shot dead at his own front door, for reasons no one may every truly understand.
Whatever went wrong here, it’s hard to say.
I’m not normally one to sympathize with those who are violent. And I agree with the policy that many publications use to limit the use of the names of those who commit crimes to take away any sense of reward, notoriety and attention for those who commit crimes.
The shooter’s story—the primary suspect is dead—is such a sad and miserable failure. Barely an adult when sent to prison and released less than two months ago, he would live most of his adult life incarcerated and, apparently, much of it in solitary confinement.
Ironically, Mr. Clements had worked during his tenure—and prior in his career—to provide more humane and rehabilitative treatment for prisoners. He had already instituted a number of reforms and more work was in the way to make Colorado prisons not just a place of punishment, but one of reform, restoration, and second chances for a peaceable life for people like the guy who showed up on his doorstep this Tuesday.
It is snowing tonight and it looks so peaceful. Time to bed and prayers for a better day and a better week.