In his own words, now familiar, John Wise “snapped.” He couldn’t bear the sight of his wife of 45 years, having suffered from a series of cerebral aneurisms, ailing and bedridden. He went to her side at Akron General Medical Center and shot her dead.
Wise and his attorney argued that his was an insane act. Yet as the story emerged, more of those following the case recognized an act driven by love. Many have struggled with such circumstances, weighing death as a matter of mercy. The choices are difficult, the emotions complicated, the burden at times unbearable.
Rarely is the response so violent. Thus, there had to be consequences, Wise taking a life, putting the safety of others at risk, his actions hardly to be encouraged in any way. A jury rightly applied the law, navigating the ambiguities.
Then, his attorney, the Summit County prosecutor’s office and Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands sought and found the necessary flexibility, or something closer to a just result. On Friday, Wise received a six-year sentence, in line with the unique circumstances of the case.
This is how the justice system should work. It includes the option of clemency from the governor, a choice worth the careful consideration of John Kasich if it arrives on his desk.