Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We're Left to Wonder

In the current issue of our newsletter, there's a story titled "We're Left to Wonder: How Unsolved Murders Affect Victims' Families." Here's an excerpt:

The problem of unsolved murders isn’t much discussed in anti-death penalty literature, perhaps because in such cases the fate of the offender is not yet in question. But an unsolved case is the reality for many victims’ families, and failing to consider their experience leads to an incomplete understanding of what victims’ families may go through in the aftermath of a murder.

U.S. Department of Justice statistics report that in 2005, 62.1% of murders nationwide were “cleared” (that is, resulted in an arrest). Although the Department notes that homicide has the highest clearance rate of all serious crimes, it’s obvious from this statistic that a lot of families are left with the wondering, the fear, and the anger that an unsolved murder engenders.

Several MVFHR members who are active in their opposition to the death penalty have relatives whose murders remain unsolved. Here, we look at how they have been affected by that experience and how they see intersections between the issue of unsolved murders and the death penalty.

One of the victim's family members quoted in the story is Judy Kerr, whose brother's murder is still unsolved. Judy is the Victim Outreach Liaison for California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CCV). Check out the material on CCV's site, including their powerful booklet of testimonials.

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