She defended her actions as showing "love and compassion."
The twists and turns in the Amber Guyger case are playing out like an ongoing episode of Law & Order. The former Dallas Police Officer was recently found guilty of the murder of 26-year-old Botham Jean after she walked into his home and shot him to death. Guyger's defense was that she believed that the apartment was her own after working an exhausting 13-hour shift, and when she came across Botham sitting on his couch while eating ice cream, she thought he was a burglar.
The emotionally-charged trial has ended, but the controversy continued after Joshua Brown, Botham's neighbor and a key witness in the trial, was shot and killed last Friday. While conspiracy theorists analyze the mystery of Brown's murder, the judge in Guyger's case, Tammy Kemp, has finally broken her silence on embracing the convicted murderer during the sentencing phase. Kemp even gifted Guyger with her own personal Bible and gave her words of encouragement.
"I didn't do that from the bench," she said to the Associated Press. "I came down to extend my condolences to the Jean family and to encourage Ms. Guyger because she has a lot of life to live." Kemp wasn't sure of Guyger's religious background but gave her the Bible anyway. "You can have it," she said to Guyger. "I have three or four more at home. This is the one I use every day...This is your job for the next month. You read right here: John 3:16."
"And she asked me if I thought her life could still have purpose, and I said absolutely," Kemp added. "And then she requested of me, a hug. And, I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't say yes right away. She asked me a second time and between those asks I was reminded about my responsibility to show love and compassion."
Botham's brother also faced criticism for hugging Guyger in the courtroom, yet, others applauded his act of forgiveness. Meanwhile, the Freedom From Religion Foundation issued a formal complaint to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct in regards to Judge Kemp's actions, citing that they were in violation of the separation of church and state.