Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Verstehen: To Understand

I always think that victims' family members' testimony against the death penalty is especially powerful when they have the opportunity to talk first about the experience of losing someone to murder: the distinct horror of it, the rage and incomprehension and helplessness, the encounters with others in supermarkets, support groups, courtrooms, and what kinds of responses are helpful and not so helpful.

Andy Hoover of the ACLU of Pennsylvania called our attention to a video of one of MVFHR member Walt Everett's talks during the recent Voices of Hope, Agents of Change tour. Walt's segment is part of a death penalty video being created by The Verstehen Video Project; other clips are being added regularly. This video of Walt is a wonderful chance to hear a victim's family member tell his story in some depth, covering the shock of hearing the news of his son's murder, the depth of his and his other children's rage, his frustrations with the criminal justice system, and finally his opposition to the death penalty.

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