(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Ronald "R.J." Johnson's killer completed his sentence on Monday night.  Johnson was a husband...father...grandfather, beloved in all of those roles.  At his occupation, he was well-liked...respected...counted upon to do the job required of him and to the best of his ability carried out his service to the state of South Dakota.  The name R.J. now appears on one of the structures at the Penitentiary as a testament to the man he was.

It is a shame that we have to talk about men or women in the past tense that were taken before their time.  Our world is full of evil and trying to keep the bad at bay is akin to trying to catch a raindrop on the head of a pin.  It was a brutal crime that meant the end for R.J. on the day of his 63rd celebration of life.

The next day dawns and we look to what is.  R.J. is still a memory emblazoned upon the hearts of those who knew him.  He is an inspiration to family and friends who hope to follow the example of good that he set.  He is a tear in the eye of his loving wife who feels somewhat safer now that one man who had a part in taking that life is gone.  Reserve a spot in your prayers which call for strength and healing to these who are currently downtrodden.

Future times will be hard for the Johnson family and the encompassing circle of friends.  Another waits for the same fate at the hands of the correctional system.  Sleepless nights still lie ahead for the ones who will see a man walk through a door, quickly realizing that vision is but a vapor.

Ronald Johnson, one of the men who did harm to you has indeed received justice for a life taken.  It is up to us to ensure that you get justice as well for a life lived.

DP (with love)