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Mary Johnson of Minneapolis was the featured speaker at a Good Friday event in Connecticut that coordinated with the release of the new report  “Youth Matters: A New Look for Connecticut’s Children Serving Long Sentences”.

The report was co-authored by the Civil Justice Clinic at Quinnipiac University School of Law and the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School. Two other Connecticut organizations, Church on the Rock and My Brother’s Keeper, joined with the law schools to host a conversation about juvenile justice, forgiveness and healing.

Mary’s only child, Laramian Boyd, was shot and killed in 1993 by Oshea Israel, who was 16 at the time. After years of anger, Mary forgave Oshea and now considers him her spiritual son. The two now travel together to speak to people about anti-violence and the power for forgiveness. Mary also founded From Death to Lifewhich works with parents who have lost children to violence and parents of incarcerated children.