Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We've Got to Find a Better Way

An article in Sunday's Lancaster ((PA) Online newspaper announces MVFHR board member Walt Everett's speaking engagement later this week at a banquet organized by Justice & Mercy, a group that "promotes safer communities through criminal justice reform." Walt will be speaking together with Mike Carlucci, who was convicted of the murder of Walt's son Scott Everett.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Everett is a board member of Massachusetts-based Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights, which works against the death penalty.

Three months after Scott's death, Everett was attending a support group. One woman argued that anyone who kills should be summarily shot.

"Her son was murdered 14 years earlier," Everett said, "and she was still carrying this intense anger.

"That's when I began to say, 'I don't want to carry this anger the rest of my life.' "

Everett also promotes restorative justice, which calls for holding offenders accountable and restoring, as much as possible, victims' losses. Carlucci shares in that advocacy project, according to Justice & Mercy.

The penal system focuses on retribution, Everett said, but that hasn't done much to change the hearts of offenders — and it doesn't help to change the pain felt by victims, either.

"We've got to find a better way."

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