Jennifer Cloningerâ€™s son, Matthew Safrit, 21, shot and killed his stepfather, Nathan Cloninger. In the process, Safrit stabbed his own mother as she put herself between her son and her injured and dying husband.
The family fight that began over a car quickly escalated to a murderous rampage. Safrit, who is battling depression, was high on drugs and alcohol when the incident took place.
â€œHe should get the death penalty for what heâ€™s done,â€ were the words of a mother, Jennifer Cloninger, to the media directed at her child.
I completely understand that his mom is in the throes of feeling the loss of her husband, feeling betrayed by her own son and wanting reparations for all the bad that has recently happened to her. I donâ€™t understand how any parent could issue a call to action that would cause the death of his or her own child.
I am not saying that he doesnâ€™t deserve it. I am not saying that he shouldnâ€™t be given the death penalty. Iâ€™m having an issue comprehending how any mother could say those words out loud; to be the one to incite a mob to take her child.
I completely agree that Matthew Safrit should be locked up in jail and punished by the law. He murdered a man. Whether he was drunk and high or depressed doesnâ€™t change the fact of what he did.
He killed someone. He stabbed his own mother and I am sure that hurt her heart more than it ever hurt her body. She probably feels betrayed, shocked and appalled. Sheâ€™s just lost her husband and now sheâ€™s losing her son as well.
Mrs. Cloninger would be perfectly with reason to never talk to her son again. No one would judge her for hating him for murdering her husband and taking her partner away from her. Her sonâ€™s callous actions have changed her destiny. Be mad. Cry. She should do whatever she needs to do to get through this process of grieving for her losses and moving on.
But I beseech Ms. Cloninger to not call for the death penalty for her son. As a mother myself, I know she will regret calling for the death of her own child in a heated moment. Relationships between a child and a parent can always be repaired but you cannot bring anyone back from the dead. Once Matthew Safrit is dead, he is gone and there will never be a chance for him to feel remorseful or apologize for the pain he has caused his mother.
I think the best place for Matthew Safrit is a lifetime in jail. His mother will have the peace of mind knowing that she is safe and that he is being punished for his very bad choices in life. That way, she has a clear conscience and the only one being punished is the man who committed the murder. If heâ€™s alive, she still has the option of forgiveness. If heâ€™s dead, she does not.
Could you ever wish the death penalty on your own child?
Photo Source: Yanivba