State District Judge Tammy Kemp has received lots of backlash from her behavior after the sentencing former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger to 10 years for the killing of Botham Jean. Kemp gave her a bible, hugged her. Many felt this behavior was inappropriate and has decided o take action. One organization, in particular, Freedom Of Religion has filed a complaint against Kemp.
The complaint states, “We write to raise your awareness of Judge Kemp’s actions at the close of the trial during which she gifted a Christian bible, instructing the convicted criminal on how to read the bible and which passages to pay attention to, and witnessing to that convicted murderer. These proselytizing actions overstepped judicial authority, were inappropriate and were unconstitutional.”
Courtroom video shows that after the sentencing and the victim impact statement, Judge Kemp left the courtroom, then returned holding her personal bible. She walked over to Amber Guyger at the defense table and proceeded to preach.
The foundation acknowledges this was an emotional moment following Botham’s Jean’s younger Brandt delivering a heartfelt victim impact statement, telling Guyger, “I forgive you. I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you. I love you just like anyone else. I am not going to say I hope you die just like my brother did. I personally want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail because that’s exactly what Botham would want to. Again I love you, as a person.” Then they two embraced for a hug.
The foundation said Judge Kemp’s compassion with regard to the bible crossed the line into coercion.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a nonprofit organization that advocates for non-theist, they promote the separation of church and state and educate the public on matters relating to atheism, agnosticism, and monotheism.