“The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse– who can understand it? I the Lord tests the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.”
~ Jeremiah 17.9-10, NRSV
Officer Goodson has been charged with second degree depraved heart murder in the death of twenty- five year old Baltimore native Freddie Gray. My mind is still reeling from State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s detailed report, a play- by- play of the last moments of Mr. Gray’s life. He was seemingly surrounded by people who did not have a heart for him. Numerous times they decided not to help him, to ignore his pleas for assistance. These police officers, sworn to serve the public, chose to turn their hearts against him.
A fan of crime shows, I am familiar with the phrase cold- blooded murder but I have never heard of the charge of depraved heart murder. Depraved. Morally corrupt. Wicked. Officer Goodson is charged with having a wicked heart.
I don’t know what the prescription would be to change it. I am not certain of the ways we would follow up to ensure healing and wholeness. I am not aware of a rehabilitation center or therapy that might help us. But, I do know the God who has been called the Heart Fixer and if God can soften stony hearts, then certainly, God can fix the wicked heart. I pray that God would heal the hearts of all the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray and that we might have a heart for them, that we would not deprive them of a fair hearing and the due process of law. Amen.