Season two of ID-TV’s “Impact of Murder” kicks off with a heart-wrenching two-hour episode on Botham Jean with “The Ballad of Botham Jean,” airing on Thursday, Sept. 10 from 9-11 p.m.
Using the gripping victim impact statements delivered in court as the driving storytelling technique, “Impact of Murder” showcases how victims can be empowered against their perpetrator to stand up in court and confront them – and in some cases, unexpectedly find forgiveness. Through a victim’s own words, viewers understand the horror they endured or the significance of the life that was taken, providing an acute and emotional understanding of the collateral damage of murder.
Jean, a promising young Black accountant who dreamed of returning to his native St. Lucia to become prime minister, was shot in 2018 inside his Dallas apartment by white, female, off-duty police officer Amber Guyger. Guyger claimed she shot Botham because she thought she had entered her own home, and he was a trespassing burglar. Like many controversial police killings of minorities, Botham’s murder sparked national outrage.
As a family mourned, the murder ignited protests from Black Lives Matter activists and sparked a media frenzy. This senseless tragedy is retold by those closest to the case with gripping, emotional accounts from Jean’s family, including his mother, Allison Jean; father Bertrum Jean; sister, Allisa Charles-Findley; as well as those who worked with the family to bring justice to Botham, including lawyer Lee Merritt and prosecutor Jason Hermus.
Perhaps the most heartrending account comes from 18-year-old Brandt Jean, who mourns Botham’s death while wrestling with his anger against his brother’s killer. His request for a courtroom embrace of his brother’s murderer, Guyger, displayed an astonishing act of forgiveness and inflamed worldwide, polarizing reactions.
“I have to admit it was tough to relive my son’s horrible murder,” said Jean’s mother, Allison. “However, this is an important story. I want people to know how good my son was, and how senseless his death was.”