The death of Kayla Greenwood’s father, Michael (pictured above, left), was caused by Kenneth Williams in 1998. Williams was charged and convicted with two unrelated murders and manslaughter and was executed for his crimes in late April. But before he died, he received an extraordinary kindness from the Greenwood family.

Kayla learned that Williams has a 21 year-old daughter, Jasmine, whom he hadn’t seen in 17 years and a 3 year-old granddaughter that he had never met. In a gesture of forgiveness, the Greenwoods decided to fly them from Washington to Arkansas, where Williams was being held.

The Greenwoods were waiting for Jasmine and her daughter when they landed at the Little Rock airport. They took them to the prison so Williams could see his daughter and meet his granddaughter. Kayla and the rest of her family were not allowed to see Williams, but she emailed a message to him via his attorney.

“I told him we forgive him and where I stood on it,” said Kayla. “Jasmine said that when the warden read the email to him, he broke out in tears.”

The Greenwoods pushed for Williams to be pardoned, but family members of another of Williams’ victims insistent on the death penalty. The reunion, however, brought some comfort to Williams and his family in his last days.

“When he found out that we are bringing his daughter and granddaughter to see him and that my mom and dad bought the tickets, he was crying to the attorney,” recalled Kayla. “He was sad he couldn’t talk to us.”

 

Elizabeth is from southern West Virginia. She graduated with her Bachelor's from Franciscan University. She enjoys reading, hiking, dancing, and attempting to play the piano correctly. A writer since childhood, she hopes to help the world through her words.