Letter to Editor

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 27, 2007

Church’s role is questioned in court sentencing process
On Thursday, April 19, I traveled to Oxford with my friend, grandmother of the victim, to attend the sentencing of a Batesville man. There was evidence presented to us that astounded me: a letter on Batesville Church of Christ letterhead supporting Charles McGee. We are commanded in God’s word to minister to the needs of those in jail, but I cannot find anything about keeping self-confessed criminals (he pleaded guilty) out of jail.
This letter, signed by church elders, attested to the good character of Mr. McGee. There was no letter to support the good character of the “victim.” But then again, she was only five years old, not really old enough to develop “good character” or send her contributions to the church even when she was out of town.
The crime was committed over a year ago and during that time not one staff member, elder, or church member visited with the victim’s family. They are not members of this congregation but had visited the church on several occasions.
This is a crime that we do not want to talk about, but by not talking it is allowed to continue for years — 49 years as evidenced in this case.
Church of Christ: Now is the time to minister to Mr. McGee’s needs.
Parents and grandparents: Do not trust anyone with your children.
Victims of this kind of crime: Talk and press charges so this will not happen again.
Everyone else: Pray for healing in this victim’s family.
/s/Linda Smith

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