May 19, 2015

As a Little Boy He Wanted His Mom’s Killer to Die. 22 Years Later He Met a Man Who Changed His Mind

In 1993, a little boy in California vowed in court that he would seek vengeance on his mother’s killer. But over 20 years later, he’s attempting to save that man’s life.
Clifford O’Sullivan was six years old when his mother was kidnapped. She had been on her way to pick him up from daycare, the Daily Mail reports.
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Hours later, she was murdered by juvenile Mark Scott Thornton, who shot her once in the chest, and twice in the back.
Thornton was soon caught, then was found guilty of first degree murder. At just 20 years old, he became the youngest person ever put on death row.
During the trial, Clifford took the stand, where he heartbreakingly testified:
“It’s really sad for my family ’cause she was one of the greatest mothers I’ve met. All I think is that what the bad man did to my mom should happen to him.”
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But Thornton has remained alive for the last 20 years, living at San Quentin State Prison, where California houses its male death row inmates.
Recently, in an effort to seek closure, Clifford decided to write Thornton and ask if they could meet.
It was at their meeting that Clifford’s mindset completely changed. Once he met the man face to face, he no longer wanted him to die.
Thornton’s response shocked him:
“Let us focus on making sure that the next 20 years are not a reflection of the past 20 years,” he said. “Let’s find meaning in this, for your sake, for mine and for your mother’s.”
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After their meeting, Clifford has vowed to try and stop Thornton’s death:
“If they put him up for a date I would stop it, just like I started it.”
He said that meeting his mother’s killer was “the greatest gift he could have given me.”

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