Bill Cosby is a despicable human being who has hurt countless women over the years. His conviction on sexual assault charges seems just.

I wonder, though, if mercy should be a factor in this sordid tale. He’s 80 years old, blind and in poor health. His reputation is forever ruined. He lost a daughter to kidney disease not long ago and his son to murder years ago. He will live the rest of his life knowing how despised he is by so many.

It’s easy for me to say this. However, from my days working against the death penalty, I knew a woman who forgave the man who brutally murdered her daughter and worked to save him from the death penalty. She showed mercy and went on with her life, while her husband could not and died of a heart attack.

Cosby’s life is, for all practical purposes, over. It’s worth considering whether compassion and forgiveness should play a role in his sentencing.

Barbara Doughty


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