Last night, just before the state of Texas executed a man for his post-9/11 killing spree that left two Muslim men dead and another seriously injured, he said something extraordinary.
"Hate is going on in this world and it has to stop," were the final words of Mark Stroman. "Hate causes a lifetime of pain."
What caused such a dramatic turnaround? None other than the simple power of forgiveness.
Stroman's surviving victim, Rais Bhuiyan, has been campaigning in recent months to see Stroman's life spared. Bhuiyan, a Muslim man, said he committed to the campaign because his religion does not permit hatred and instead commands forgiveness.
His actions, after being shot in the face by Stroman, were incredibly moving to the convict. Before his execution, Stroman said that Bhuiyan's words made him "more content now than I have ever been."
This video is from The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, broadcast by Russia Today on Thursday, July 21, 2011.