Honoring Faith

Lemuel Payne yesterday was sentenced yesterday to two to five years in jail for his role in the hit-run death of Faith Sinclair.

Kim Ferrell continues to deal with her sentence – a lifetime of pain.

Ferrell is Faith Sinclair’s mother. Since the life of her daughter was snuffed out as she tried to cross Chester Pike last August by the driver of a black Mercedes who then fled the scene, Ferrell has been a model of restraint, of empathy, and of understanding.

Yesterday she took that to a whole new level.

Ferrell was joined by her husband and many of Faith’s friends – they all wore special T-shirts saluting the vibrant teen – in shedding tears as they talked about what they had lost.

Then she did something I’m not sure many people would do. I know I doubt if I would find it in myself to do it. I’d like to think I could, but the truth is I’m not sure.

Kim Ferrell looked into the eyes of Lemuel Payne, the man who took the life of her daughter, and uttered three simple words.

“I forgive you.”

She’s a better person than I am. Maybe we could all be just a little more like her.

That would maybe be the most appropriate way to honor the life of a teen taken way too soon, and a mother who mourns her loss, while carrying on the way Faith no doubt would her to.


Roxanne said…
Two to five years in jail for Mr. Payne? Undoubtedly, as is often the case, his sentence will be closer to two than five years. In fact, Mr. Payne’s lawyers said that he will likely spend only two years in jail. Faith Sinclair was a marvelous young woman. It saddens me that (the loss of) her life is worth only two to five years in our judicial system.

Mr. Payne's initial actions (striking and killing Faith with his car) may have been accidental. His following choices and actions were quite deliberate, however. He ran from the scene of the hit and run. He hid his car under a blanket in his Upper Darby garage. He hid himself. He violated the terms of his house arrest, slipping out to nightclubs even while wearing an ankle monitoring device. In court on Monday, he claimed that he had panicked. Up until this time he had not demonstrated or expressed any remorse for his actions.

No sentence will bring back the light that was Faith Sinclair. I know that. I worry, though, how many others will be sentenced to a lifetime of pain once Mr. Payne is let out of jail and left to his own, ill-considered devices.

Roxanne Lucchesi