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Promise Lee: This is my promise 

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Editor's note: On Dec. 21, Gov. John Hickenlooper granted Rev. Promise Lee a pardon for a murder he committed 44 years ago. This letter was received after the Indy's holiday deadline for our Dec. 26 cover feature.

As a man of faith, I am, first and foremost, thankful to God for using my journey as a powerful demonstration of grace, mercy, redemption, and forgiveness.

I want to especially thank Governor Hickenlooper for his courage. There were many good people involved in the process, but it took audacious leadership from the top to grant this historic pardon.

I'm not sure the weight on my shoulders feels any lighter. I'm not sure it's supposed to. More than anything, I feel humbled. This doesn't erase the foolish decisions of my youth, but it recognizes the better man I've become.

I can never bring the life back that I took, which means my work will never be done. I will continue to dedicate my life to improving safety, health, education, and access to opportunity in my community. I will continue to be an agent of positive change. This pardon positions me for greater service.

These are the words I can offer right now to try to convey my gratitude for this pardon. But, truly, I'll spend the rest of my life showing appreciation through my work in the community helping others.

— Rev. Promise Lee


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