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It is not easy to forgive.

Though every major religion, most educational institutions – and even our parents – teach us that “to err is human, to forgive, divine,” not many of us actually live by the adage.

Enter Doris Nowillo.

On Wednesday, June 13, she stood before a courtroom and forgave the man who murdered her father.

It is arguably one of the hardest things one might ever do, and Doris is obviously a bastion of strength and courage.

Eric Cherry, a 47-year-old homeless veteran with a lengthy rap sheet, was sentenced for first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault and faces almost two decades in prison for the 2008 beating death of 65-year-old Nicolas Nowillo outside his Astoria home — while his family watched, powerless.

But it seems Doris has taken back the power.

In her impact statement, she lamented Cherry’s choices and offered the hope that he finds his way back to society – a true act of forgiveness.

Her strength, she said, comes from her father.

“[He] led the path to who I am today,” said Doris. “I have a great foundation. I wanted to become my dad.”

We say she’s definitely on the right path, and are sure her father would be proud.


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