Cayetano’s pardon of Foley was courageous

My life has not been easy. As a Native Hawaiian, I’ve struggled to survive in a

world whose changing values I sometimes find hard to accept. I fought for my

country in the Vietnam War. Tried to raise a good family. Help my community. Be

a good person.

What does it all count for? Not much. Not much at all when a

mistake that I made 30 years ago is prominently published in a local newspaper.

I am one of those people who were granted a pardon by the governor.

Having

just come back from the war, without a job, I stole from another person. l was

convicted, did my year sentence. Since that time, I’ve worked hard to give

back. To clean up my pilikia.

I’ve volunteered more that 100 hours each in

hospitals like Kaua’i Veterans Memorial Hospital and Castle Medical Center.

I’ve tried to keep young people on the right track as an advisor for a local

canoe club. I don’t take the pardon the governor granted me lightly, and I’m

determined to live up to it.

I don’t understand these no-forgiveness,

no-aloha, “let them rot in hell” types. This Foley guy obviously doesn’t need

to be another burden on our criminal justice system, when he can do just the

opposite and contribute. He understands what he did, has paid a heavy price for

it, is remorseful, and like me, is determined to give back.

When Governor

Cayetano granted Foley a pardon, he demonstrated not only courageous

leadership, but true aloha. It gives me hope that Hawaiian values are not

altogether lost.

MICHAEL MANULANI MOOK Sr.

Honolulu

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