SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

April 5, 2013

The many nuances of “love”


Man who shot ailing wife is sentenced to probation

George Sanders, 86, says his wife begged him to kill her.

 An 86-year-old man who said he had carried out a mercy killing by shooting his ailing wife in the head was sentenced yesterday to probation.    George Sanders could have faced more than 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter.   

 The judge, who complimented the prosecutor for being “courageous” in recommending probation, allowed Sanders to walk out of the courtroom.    Judge John Ditsworth said his sentence of two years’ probation was “individualized and tempers justice with mercy.”   

 Sanders spoke about his love for his 81-year-old wife, Virginia Sanders, who he called Ginger.    “Your honor, I met Ginger when she was 15 years old, and I’ve loved her since she was 15 years old. I loved her when she was 81 years old,” he said.    “It was a blessing, and I was happy to take care of her,” Sanders continued. “I am sorry for all the grief and pain and sorrow I’ve caused people.”   

  • Sanders was arrested on Nov. 9 after he said his wife begged him to shoot her at their home outside Phoenix.  Sanders said his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969. She had been in a wheelchair since 1971.

(I am remembering how deeply I was affected when I first read of this story.  What a tragedy.  But what love – – that he would do this for her whom he adored.    Further, I believe any who understand the bonds of love and devotion can fully grasp the fullness of the gravity and their respective needs which brought this about. 

This is a rare story, filled with heroes;  both of the Sanders who were so long-suffering,  the compassionate attorney and finally, the wise and compassionate judge.    It is almost unbearable to bring this to you, but wanted to share it.   Jan)


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