'I'm so sorry I was a coward that day': Man seeks parole for killing Utah trooper 25 years ago while 18

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  • rlsintx Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 2:18 p.m.

    Time to let the guy into the outside world and prove himself.
    They can build a tight enough behavior plan to keep a good eye on him.
    Easy enough to put him back if his actions going forward merit it.

    Above all else, I hope the trooper's family can find it in themselves to extended a sense of forgiveness so they can all move forward themselves. Nothing is bringing the man back in this life, and hanging on to such a horrific incident isn't doing anyone any good either.

    Best Wishes to all involved, including those who have to decide - that's a very sober, tough job to perform.

  • Lyle Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 5:15 p.m.

    "But we just want him to pay his maximum sentence like it's designed"

    No, it's designed to allow the sentence to change with changes in the convicted person. And that is what is being decided.

    Hating somebody is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

  • Ostentatious Lindon, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 1:14 p.m.

    When does Dee get parole? That is the only question that should be asked.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Aug. 1, 2018 8:40 a.m.

    Criminals need to quake with fear at the thought of murdering or assaulting a law enforcement officer. Will extending 'mercy' soften that fear? Society must do whatever makes criminals think twice about killing cops, or refusing to cooperate with law enforcement. That makes us all safer. We've got to respect and value (and even avenge when needed) the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. We cannot, must not trivialize their lives. No amount of "sorry" will bring back the dead man.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 6:50 a.m.

    Saying sorry isn’t going to help when you murder a police officer

  • HB Ogden, UT
    July 31, 2018 11:57 p.m.

    Unfortunately, our choices have consequences. No matter how much we change, we cannot escape the consequence for our actions. I feel sad that this man made such a poor choice and is now regretting his actions. But, I am sorry. It was murder. I don't think there should be parole for this.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    July 31, 2018 11:09 p.m.

    Life should be sacred. The taking of innocent life should be among the most immoral actions a human can take, and society's worst punishments should be reserved for such acts.

    Anger at and hatred of those who commit such evil is not hurtful; it is an expression of our most moral judgments and the values that make us human.

    That this man claims he has "changed" is irrelevant. To reduce his punishment is to betray our society's moral foundations and dilute the sacredness of life that he violated.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    July 31, 2018 10:22 p.m.

    Repentance requires 1) acknowledgement of the wrong done, 2) A contrite spirit and, 3) restitution. This man apparently is doing the first two, but there is no way for him to restore the trooper's life. Bottom line, if you don't want to do the time, don't do the crime! Personally, I believe the Biblical call for blood atonement (the death penalty). Fortunately, I am not the judge, God is, and there is no way I would want to face that judgement with innocent blood on my hands.

  • Reality-Check Guy Orem, UT
    July 31, 2018 10:10 p.m.

    Let him out.

    Of course, nothing society can do to the perpetrator can compensate for the loss of someone's loved one. But twenty-five years is enough for someone who isn't going to be a danger to anyone else in society. Let his remaining years on the outside, in society, be his contribution to making the world a better place. That is an inadequate compensation, I know, but it is a better compensation to society than his continuing imprisonment would be.

    I was once a very foolish eighteen-year-old. I'm thankful that I never did anything as stupid as this kid did, but nonetheless, that could have been me. And if the circumstances in your life were not too much different, it might have been you as well. Eighteen-year-olds are legally adults, but anyone who has ever raised one knows that they are still far from being grownups.

    Nothing society can do can really achieve justice, and keeping him in prison longer can't bring the victim back. Give this young man a chance to make something of himself outside of prison, because keeping him there longer achieves nothing at all.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    July 31, 2018 8:02 p.m.

    No amount of punishment will bring the Trooper back, but for 25 years, Society has been without the talents of both the Trooper and then prisoner.
    For the Troopers Family hate only hurts then Hater not the Hated. Forgiveness frees them from the Hate. They would be better off forgiving and turn the loss of the Trooper into something positive, like many others have.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2018 7:31 p.m.

    Complicated situation. 18 is young, kids do some really stupid things at that age. But, it is also old enough to know right from wrong.

    If you are the law enforcement family, it is a terrible worry every day to wonder if they will come home at the end of their shift. Or, if you will come home at the end of your shift. For the Lund family, their worst fear and nightmare became a reality. It is even worse nowadays with all the cops that are shot and killed. The # of police officers killed in the line of duty increased in 2017, As of June 30, deaths were up 30 % versus the same period in 2016.

    The Lund family will never have true justice. True justice would be having their family member back. This man has served 25 years for this crime and appears to have turned himself around. He should be given a chance to go out into society and spend the rest of his life doing good. For one, he could help raise funds for the families of fallen police officers to help them raise the children that now have to grow up without their fathers. He should be released on the condition that if he blows the one-second chance he has he will go back to prison and spend the rest of his life there.

  • byufootballrocks Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2018 6:21 p.m.

    I think some who have more "justice" in mind than mercy should consider what purpose could be served by leaving this man in prison, other than a misguided definition of the term. He appears to have sincerely improved and changed himself, and 25 years is a very long time.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    July 31, 2018 5:49 p.m.

    There is a lot to consider in this case. So much more than could fit in the article. I am grateful I'm not making the decision. How can you release a man who killed someone - no less an officer - in cold blood? Particularly if his family still ask that he be incarcerated? Yet, after 25 years for a crime committed at the age of 18, with true remorse, responsible behavior, etc. is it not time to allow for a person to change? As the man quoted in the article said - what will change after 10 more years? I don't have the answers, but I believe in a system that works to balance mercy and justice. He has been in prison longer than he was alive prior to committing the crime. His words and deeds show he has changed. It shows he wishes he could take it all back, but he can't. Yet, he killed a man whose family still suffers and doesn't want to see him released. Has justice been served? Is it time for mercy? My heart goes out to all involved - including Pearson - including the Parole Board. This is hard for everyone.

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    July 31, 2018 5:23 p.m.

    It was cold blooded murder. He knew the difference between right and wrong. He needs to be in prison.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2018 4:58 p.m.

    A thoughtful commenter said "Dee Lund was one of the finest men I have ever known". I did not know him, but I believe troopers like him are outstanding people and many if not most are people of faith.

    With Dee Lund being such a fine man (I do not doubt that for one second), I wonder how he would feel about about his murderer being paroled after 25 years? I wonder if he might believe that forgiveness could be the most healing influence for his family now after all those years?

    I know this will be a hard decision for the parole board. I trust they will carefully evaluate the prisoner's sincerity and degree of change in his life since he was 18. I hope and pray that they will consider what role forgiveness plays in their profound decision and if he is deserving of that consideration at this point.

  • chuckster Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 31, 2018 4:49 p.m.

    This is a tough one. I'm trying to imagine how I would feel if my son was the killer...then flip flop it to how I would be if my son was killed. Having had a son die at 18, and knowing the sadness that is still with my wife and I, I don't believe that it would be the same if he was murdered. We know he was at the beach, his favorite place. That's different than being murdered. So many times we have talked to each other about the fact that we are so grateful that if he had to die that day, that it was at his favorite place at Goat Rock, near Bodega Bay. The conversation would be so very different if he had been murdered. I cannot imagine my son as a killer, so can't tell you what I think is fair.
    Just grateful that he enjoyed himself till the very last minute when his heart gave out while he was surfing. In closing, it is difficult to judge anyone, but this was different than a kid doing something "in the moment", this was done with intent to kill, even involving his friend, then when the shooting was supposedly over, he turned his body in the car to get a better position to kill the officer.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    July 31, 2018 4:30 p.m.

    "I know Jason. I know his character. … And I've seen the last 25 years of his life being dedicated to show to other people that he is a different person than the person who committed that crime," the man said…. When is the time that is appropriate for Jason to be out? Is it the 25 years that he's done? Is it 35? If it is 35, what's going to change in 10 years?" he said."

    I wish I could talk to this person; he doesn't understand the purpose of prison. It's not to rehabilitate people. The purpose of our criminal justice system is quite simple. It's revealed in the name. It's about JUSTICE. We don't have a criminal 'rehabilitation and recovery' system. We have a criminal JUSTICE system. So the real question is whether or not 25 years in prison is a just punishment for murdering someone.

    Also, there is something fundamentally wrong with someone who reacts so fearfully to a rather small incident that he is willing to run, steal and kill. This is not normal for adolescents (or anyone for that matter). So what leads him to believe that whatever was wrong with his brain wiring has now been fixed?

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2018 4:20 p.m.

    I believe in giving everyone, including one who has killed a law officer, another chance, especially when the crime was committed in the teenage years. People change; that's what prisons are for. I hope he can be a success story in the years to come.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    July 31, 2018 4:13 p.m.

    I also knew Dee, I forgive his murderer for his thoughtless act of shooting Dee. That said, I think the murderer needs to pay the penality for his crime. He can stay in prison for another 50 years and maybe the Lord will forgive him!

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    July 31, 2018 3:38 p.m.

    He still has it wrong after all these years, he wasn't a coward that day, he was a killer. I fail to see any need to release those who murder innocent people in cold blood.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    July 31, 2018 3:08 p.m.

    I believe anyone convicted of any degree of murder should serve a life sentence at hard labor without ever receiving parole.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    July 31, 2018 2:57 p.m.

    Dee Lund was one of the finest men I have ever known.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    July 31, 2018 2:52 p.m.

    The trooper and his family are living a life sentence. . They don't get a hearing for reprieve. It's something to consider.