When Botham Jean’s brother, Brandt, took the stand at the sentencing of his brother’s killer, Amber Guyger, he had an unusual request for the judge. On the stand, Brandt forgave Guyger for killing his brother, and asked the judge if he could hug her. The judge allowed it.

“He felt that was what he should do,” former Suffolk County Sheriff and Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral said during an interview with Boston Public Radio on Thursday. “It seemed to be based on his spiritual beliefs and he was acting in accordance with them.”

Cabral said that while Brandt’s request was unusual, there should be no debate about whether he should have been allowed to do it.

“I would never, ever, ever begrudge a victim,” Cabral said. “They are the most harmed. Nobody will ever know exactly how they feel. ... They are certainly entitled in the statement they give before the court to express themselves the way they want to express them.”

Cabral did take grievance, however, with the actions of the judge presiding over the case. Following the sentencing, Judge Tammy Kemp walked over to Guyger and presented her a Bible, and gave her a hug. Cabral said it was unprofessional.

“I have never, in 16 years of being a prosecutor, never seen a judge hug a criminal defendant upon conviction,” Cabral said. “We pay judges to be the referees in the court room, among other things. So, I did think that the judge hugging her was inappropriate and, quite frankly, in my experience, unprecedented.”