Tuesday, February 13, 2007

 

Supporting Victims


I read this morning that yesterday, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed a bill which would repeal the death penalty in that state, replacing it with life without the possibility of parole. The bill must now go to the Senate where similar legislation did not make it out of the Judiciary committee in 2005. Kathleen MacRae and other abolitionists in New Mexico got this bill passed by making it a victim centered bill. In other words, a significant portion of the money which will be saved by abolishing the death penalty in the state would then be used to support victims. The hope is that instead of investing in a failed death penalty system which is extremely costly, arbitrary, and unfair, the state will use its resources to support those who have suffered the most--the victims of violent crime.

Too often in discussions concerning the death penalty, those who are against state executions are falsely accused of also being against victims. What is happening with this bill shows the fallacy of this argument. In fact, the abolitionists who are fighting the death penalty in New Mexico are demonstrating that society could be and should be doing much more for those who have suffered horrific violence and loss. How does the death penalty support victims? By taking another life...then what? As Renny Cushing of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights says, "Healing is not an event. It is a process." And, as a person of faith, I don't believe that any act of violence can offer us healing, only God can do that. In the end, healing is a journey which cannot be furthered with the murder of someone else. Such an act should be called what it is--revenge--not closure or healing.

I will look forward to hearing more news from New Mexico and to take inspiration from the fine work that abolitionists are doing in that state, not only to end the death penalty but to support all victims of violent crime.
Comments :
That's good news, and nicely reported. Thanks.

Mack
 
Excellent news! Hopefully the Senate will do the right thing.
 
Book Recommendation - This book changed my views about the Death Penalty and is a heartfelt story. "Journey Toward Justice" Now on Amazon.com as Top Seller, Published by Seven Locks Press 2006 by Dennis Fritz is a memoir and John Grisham calls Compelling and Fascinating. Dennis Fritz is the real character in John's Grisham's Book The Innocent Man. The Innocent Man mostly is about his co-defendant Ronnie Williamson who was sentenced to death. Dennis Fritz who was sentenced to life behind bars and Ronnie Williamson were exonerated in 1999 after 12 desperate and tortuous years in prison, Ronnie Williamson passed away a few years later.. Thanks to The Innocence Project and Barry Scheck who were helpful in getting DNA testing needed that proved Fritz was innocent after serving 12 years in prison.. Dennis Fritz does not want only to be known as the man who was wrongly imprisoned for a murder with NO evidence against him. This story would interest everyone who has, are going to have a career in Law.
There is much more to his story never told before in his book. He says he witnessed miracles and actually heard God's voice telling him "TRUST ME". He solely relied on faith in God to make it through. This Book will make you think, This can happen to anyone of us. A Great book showing what Faith, Love and Hope can do.. .. Miracles.
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