Today, the recently created Special Joint Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty in Tennessee is holding its first meeting.
In addition to recognizing the importance of a study committee's being established in a Southern state, we are pleased that the law creating the committee – which was passed in June – specifies that one of the 16 members should be a representative appointed by Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights. In September, MVFHR Executive Director Renny Cushing officially appointed Charlie Strobel to the committee.
Charlie’s mother, Mary Catherine Strobel, was murdered in 1986. Charlie has been a lifelong advocate for social justice and is known and appreciated by so many people in so many sectors of the community that he was a natural choice for this committee. As Renny says, “I know that Charlie will take this responsibility seriously and be a thoughtful participant in this process of examining the death penalty in Tennessee and, in particular, of considering its effect on victims’ families.”
This 2004 article gives a good overview of Charlie’s life and work on the occasion of his being honored as Nashvillian of the year.
Renny is in Tennessee today and tomorrow attending the first meeting of the study committee and also participating in several meetings with victims’ family members and other allies, organized by the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing (TCASK).