“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” is a famous phrase believed to have been spoken by Mahatma Gandhi.


The mothers of two teenagers, Cody Thompson and Bodhisattva “Bodhi” Sherzer-Potter, who were killed in California are pleading with the District Attorney to refrain from seeking the death penalty against the man accused of the crimes. Leah Sherzer said her daughter Bodhi was an adherent of the teachings of Gandhi, who advocated non-violence.

“My daughter lived by the words of Gandhi,” said Sherzer-Potter’s mother, Leah Sherzer. “Bodhi believed that the death penalty was wrong. She would not want this…”

Pam Thompson, the mother of the other teenager killed at the same time, said her son did not believe in capital punishment and neither does she. She said it does not allow families any real closure.

Thompson said her son’s opinion of the death penalty “was that we don’t have the right to decide if someone should live or die.”

Sherzer said the families of the slain teens asked the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office to seek a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for the killers. Sherzer said she can’t understand why the DA’s office is seeking the death penalty for Collin McGlaughlin (one of three accused in the murders).  Spokesman Christopher Lee of the DA’s office would not comment.  According to court records, the jury trial against McGlaughlin will not start any earlier than November. A second defendant, David Smith, is set to receive his next pre-trial hearing in October.  Deputy District Attorney Steve Sinfield is prosecuting the case.  The third defendant, Cameron Thomson, pled guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of attempted robbery and is expected to be sentenced sometime next year. The plea deal was for 15 years.  Though both victims’ families object to the death penalty in this case, Sherzer said she supports the death penalty in general.

She and her daughter would go around and around on the subject, “Bodhi considered the death penalty a vicious cycle of violence,” Sherzer said.

Nevertheless, the D.A. is persisting in seeking a death sentence. Getting justice for Sherzer-Potter and Cody Thompson has been the focus of Sherzer’s life for the past five years, and along the way she has felt it necessary to be the voice of her daughter.

Sherzer said, “I feel about as powerless as you can get…This is not Bodhi’s wish. I can’t sit back and let her be silent on this… Bodhi stuck to her guns throughout her life. She’s dead, but she’s not silent on this. I am speaking for her.”

  1. Lon Spector says:

    There should be no death penalty period. It can’t bring back the dead.


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