Judge Tammy Kemp has been slammed by legal experts and social media for not only hugging a convicted murderer but giving her a Bible as well. Amber Guyger received the weak sentence of 10 years for killing her neighbor Botham Jean in his own home while he was eating ice cream and watching television.
In her first televised interview, Kemp is speaking out and defending her behavior in the courtroom.
Speaking out Kemp said she thought it would be “rude” if she didn’t hug Guyger after hugging Jean’s family.e Kemp recalled to CNN that she told her: “‘Ms. Guyger — Mr. Jean has forgiven you. Please forgive yourself, so you can have a purposeful life.’ And she asked me, ‘Do you think my life can still have a purpose?’ And I said, ‘I know it can.'”
Kemp claims Guyger asked, “Do you think God will forgive me?” Kemp said yes and, according to the judge, Guyger added, “Well, I don’t even have a Bible. I don’t know where to begin.”
Kemp explained to CNN, “And that’s when I went to retrieve my Bible and gave it to her.” Kemp also said, “She did tell me she’d bring my Bible back in 10 years.”
See the clip below:
Kemp also responded to the backlash by saying, “Frankly, I don’t think I would getting this criticism if Miss Guyger were a Black woman. I hate that we limit our compassion to one race.”
According to The Washington Post, legal experts said the hug was “not only rare but inappropriate.” Kenneth Williams, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, who has 30 years in legal practice told the Post, “She has indicated an affinity or sympathy for the defendant.”
President and Director-Counsel of LDF (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational) Sherrilyn Ifill wrote on Twitter, “A judge is not a an average citizen. She is not the victim. She is not the prosecution (technically ‘the peopl’). She must, especially in a case that arouses passion and conflict like this one, stand for impartial justice. She may speak words from the bench. This is too much.”
See the hug below and the talk Judge Kemp had with Guyger:
The jury came to a guilty verdict on Tuesday after less than 24 hours of deliberation. Those present reported tears of joy for Jean’s family while Guyger was left in agony. Cheers also reportedly erupted in the court room as well as the courthouse when the verdict was announced. Some folks could even be found flying the national flag of St. Lucia, where Jean and his family hail from.
On September 6, 2018, Guyger said she mistakingly entered Jeans apartment after a long day at work as a Dallas police officer. She says she mistook Jean for a crook and ordered him not to move. Then she shot him twice before realizing her catastrophic error. Jean was killed at 26 while watching television and eating ice cream.