I don't know much about this wrongful conviction, other than what was in the story, but of course the forgiveness angle was obvious. A mother of three was jailed for the murder of a homeless man, on the testimony of a [now deceased] woman with a penchant for lying. The actual murderers were eventual found, and now, 17 years after the conviction, Susan Mellen has been reunited with her family.
"I'm a free woman now. Let me do the running man," she said, and did a few jogging dance steps before the microphones. She joked and beamed but also described her imprisonment as "cruel punishment."
"I would cry every night" in prison, Mellen said, but never lost faith and even wrote "freedom" on the bottom of her tennis shoes "because I knew I was going to walk free one day."
Mellen said she held no ill will against those who put her behind bars. "No, no, I always forgave my enemies," she said. "Even your haters, you have to forgive them and sometimes you have to thank them because they bring you closer to God."
Mellen said she planned to go to dinner with her family and wanted to eat an avocado, steak, or maybe something she had never had. She also hoped to have a McDonald's Happy Meal with her youngest daughter. "Me and her were at McDonald's when I got arrested and we didn't have a happy meal that day," she said. "... It's a happy ending right now...We're going to have a new beginning."
I would contend that her spirit of forgiveness allowed her to dance and joke, during what would have otherwise been an opportunity for rage and resentment. Anger is not out of place, and there may be dark moments when it seems overwhelming, but if she keeps making her acts of forgiveness -- for the undoubted injustice and lost opportunities -- whe will maintain that joy for the rest of her life.
God bless her and her family!