Friday, March 7, 2008

Working for Repeal in Maryland

Today's Baltimore Sun article, about yesterday's hearing on a death penalty repeal bill, includes a photo of MVFHR board chair Vicki Schieber and includes the line, "Opponents focused yesterday on the suffering that families of murder victims often endure during the drawn-out court hearings and appeals in capital cases that sometimes stretch several decades."

Other important observations from victims' family members are quoted in this Daily Times article:

"Kathy Garcia, a resident of New Jersey, where the death penalty was repealed in December, said she would have benefited more from support and counseling after her nephew was killed. She called the death penalty system a 'colossal failure' at helping victims' families.

"Bonnita Spikes, a member of the same panel of witnesses, said the money that goes into supporting the death penalty would be better spent helping families recover from losses, like the one she suffered when her husband was killed almost 14 years ago.

"'Instead of wasting tax dollars for a handful of executions we could use that money for survivor support,' she said."

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