“I just hugged the man who murdered my son.”

This week President Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to visit a federal prison, and called for reforms in the criminal justice system that would help people who have served time to turn their lives around.

In this StoryCorps classic from 2011, we hear from someone who did just that.

In 1993, Oshea Israel was a teenager in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One night at a party Oshea got into a fight, which ended when he shot and killed Laramiun Byrd.

Now 38, Oshea has finished serving his prison sentence for second-degree murder.

At StoryCorps he spoke with Mary Johnson-Roy, the mother of the man he killed.

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Recorded in

Mary Johnson-Roy founded From Death to Life, an organization that supports mothers who have lost children to homicide, and encourages forgiveness between families of murderers and victims.

Recorded in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Music Info: "Water From The Same Source" by Rachel's from the album "Systems / layer".

Produced by Jasmyn Belcher Morris
Facilitated by Gaspar Caro
Read the Transcript
Click here for the transcript.