Judge Tammy Kemp is a woman of faith. For more than 25 years, she has attended the same church in Dallas, where she serves as a deaconess. She keeps a Bible in her chambers, positioned on top of her laptop to remind herself to start her day with prayer. And she believes in redemption: In her courtroom, she encourages defendants to use their time in prison to remake their lives.

So when one of those defendants — a former police officer convicted of murdering her unarmed neighbour — asked the judge for advice and a hug last week, the judge's

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