shamari-jenkinsYesterday, Hartford Superior Court handed Carlton “C.J.” Bryan an 80-year prison sentence for arranging to have his pregnant girlfriend, Shamari Jenkins, shot. This was reportedly “plan B” after he could not convince her to have an abortion. Bryan’s accomplice was sentenced to 70 years.

Our hearts were struck by the tragedy of this young mother’s violent death and the cowardly, calculating nature of the crime. We hope the conviction and sentencing brings Shamari’s family some peace, although Bryan’s lawyer has indicated he will appeal.

We also recognize that two distinct lives were cut short. The Hartford Courant writes, “The fetus did not survive.” We recall that “the fetus” already had a name — Ja’seon Carlton.

We also assert the continuing injustice in this country, where well-paid professional hit men operate legally in places called “clinics”; their victims, precious little ones like Ja’seon Carlton and their mothers too. This dissonance grows stronger by the day. When we fight for a culture that respects life, we are fighting for an end to violence and tears.

Please pray for eternal rest for Shamari and Ja’seon, and the consolation of those who loved them. Pray also that their memory will soften hearts and awaken consciences.