Recently, CBS News carried a story of extraordinary forgiveness. Ricky Jackson spent 39 years in prison on death row for a murder he did not commit. He was only 18 and was misidentified by a witness. A 12-year-old named Edward Vernon identified the suspect. Vernon now claims he was pressured to make the identification although he saw nothing. Finally, with the help of his pastor, he came forward. The Ohio Innocence Project got a new trial, and Vernon had an opportunity to tell the whole truth. Jackson was released. Being released was not enough. Jackson wanted to forgive the man whose testimony put him behind bars. When they met, they both dissolved into tears. Jackson admitted that for many years he has hated Vernon. He went on to say the only way he could move forward in life was to forgive.

 


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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