Change of Heart begins with tragedy: the murder of Jeanne Bishop’s sister Nancy, along with Nancy’s husband and their unborn child, in their home some twenty-five years ago. In her dying moments, Nancy wrote a message in her own blood at the crime scene: a heart shape and the letter “u,” last words of love.
When the killer, a local teenager, was arrested for the murders, he denied responsibility for the crime and showed no remorse. After the murderer was tried, convicted and sentenced, Bishop determined to forgive and then forget him.
Hear Jeanne Bishop discuss the brutal murder and her journey to forgiveness on WNYC.
About the Author
Moot Courtroom at University of St. Thomas School of Law on February 24th
More event details will be added as they become available.
Monday, April 4, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
April 27, 2016
Harold Washington Library
Panel discussion with Sr. Helen Prejean, death row exoneree Randy Steidl, and law professor and death penalty attorney Rob Owen.
Praise for Change of Heart
“There is a lot of grace in Jeanne Bishop’s elegant, elegiac book Change of Heart, but it is not a wimpy hearts-and-flowers kind of grace. Instead, it is a heartfelt, gut-wrenching kind of grace. Powerful grace. Transformative grace. This is an utterly surprising story of redemption. It is an unflinching look at the very real cost of blessing—truly blessing—someone else. Jeanne’s story of restorative justice haunts me. The stunning letter she wrote to her sister’s murderer still lingers. And the story of the grace of the gift of two quarters is one I will retell and retell again. Change of heart is what happens when someone, in the depths of despair, cries, ‘This is too much for me. God, take it and redeem it,’ and believes . . . no matter the cost. Please read this book.”
--Robert Darden, associate Professor of Journalism PR & New Media at Baylor University and author of Nothing but Love in God's Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Volume I.
“A person is more than the worst thing he or she has ever done. God loves all human beings and endows them with dignity and worth. Juvenile life without parole sentences tell people who committed their crimes as juveniles that they are human garbage, to be thrown away into the maw of prison until the day they die. The criminal justice system in the United States, which deems some people unworthy of redemption—even children who commit serious crimes—urgently needs to hear voices that speak for mercy and restoration. Jeanne Bishop’s is such a voice.”
--Sr. Helen Prejean, activist and author of Dead Man Walking
“This book is an extraordinary witness for survivors of crime and all of us who seek a more compassionate, thoughtful, and responsible way to manage the tragic ways we hurt each other. Courageous and honest, Bishop’s compelling story is a gift for anyone seeking a way to think about punishment and reconciliation in a society where families are too often burdened by violence and the avenging politics of fear and anger.”
--Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy
“As a reporter in Arkansas covering Governor Bill Clinton in the 1980s and '90s, I watched the state murder three men, including a cop-killer named Ricky Ray Rector, whose execution helped elevate Clinton to the presidency. I heard Rector moan for 20 minutes before witnessing his death. As the son of a Detroit cop, that experience left me tangled in emotions--until I read Jeanne Bishop's extraordinary book, Change of Heart, and, through her painfully personal storytelling, I felt the soft power of mercy, forgiveness, and grace. Bishop's sister Nancy now lives in me, alongside the killers I watched die.”
--Ron Fournier, Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director, National Journal