Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Victim Opposition to the Death Penalty in the News - part 1

A story published yesterday in the Frederick (Maryland) News-Post, titled "Families of Victims Reject the Death Penalty," tells about a talk that MVFHR board member Vicki Schieber and her husband Sylvester gave at a church on Sunday evening with Maryland victims' family members Mary and Chris Wilson. Here's a brief excerpt from the article:

Every day, [Vicki] and her husband work to accomplish even the smallest tasks in Shannon's honor. Shannon had hoped to make a difference in the lives of other people, so the Schiebers hope to do just that, including making strides against the death penalty.

The couple has been talking to people across the country. Sunday night's discussion was part of a church program, Together Growing in Faith.

Mary and Chris Wilson, of Frederick, also spoke to the crowd about the murder of a loved one. Chris' father was killed in Frederick in 1994. The Wilsons learned of his death on their 22nd wedding anniversary.

They talked about how difficult it was for them to process the news ----a man had broken into Chris' father's home and killed him.

The Wilsons came to the same conclusion as the Schiebers about the death penalty, though it was not an easy decision.

"It stressed our family to no end," Mary said.

Neither the Schiebers nor the Wilsons regret giving the killers a chance to live. Holding on to anger does nothing but cause damage, Mary said.

The two couples encouraged the crowd to speak up to local government leaders, informing them of their beliefs.

"There's a fine line between justice and vengeance and anger," Mary said. "By killing one guy, you're not going to bring back the other."

Read the full article here.

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