By phone from prison, James Tramel preaches at a Berkeley church. The convicted murderer has been ordained and hopes to be paroled.I struggle with this on a fairly regular basis. I believe in changed lives through the power of God's Holy Spirit, and I believe in redemption through Jesus' atonement. But how do you measure rehabilitation?
By Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
March 4, 2006
VACAVILLE, Calif. — Four times a year, the Rev. James Tramel preaches via collect call to Berkeley's Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.
"The way of Jesus is radically inclusive," he said one morning last summer. "The grace of God as manifest in Jesus Christ is a grand love that embraces sinners, outcasts and strangers."
The Rev. James Tramel has been in prison for 20 years and by all accounts seems to have been a positive influence in prison, and has fully acknowledged his complicity in the murder of a homeless man at the age of 17. Following a 1993 encounter with a dying man in the prison infirmary, he began a course of action that resulted in his being ordained an Episcopal priest in October of 2005.
People who are supporting him include seminary professors, prison guards, prosecutors, and an Episcopal bishop.
Governor Schwarzenegger is not in that group, though, and Tramel's parole recommendation is before him for a second time.
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