Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Truth, Justice, and Healing

Today's Portsmouth (NH) Herald has an editorial titled "NH Should Repeal Death Penalty Now." Here's an excerpt that mentions MVFHR and victim opposition to the death penalty:

In our view, New Hampshire needs to repeal its death penalty law. In 2006, a bill to remove "the death sentence from the capital murder statute and replace it with life imprisonment, until death, without the possibility of parole," sponsored by Portsmouth state Reps. Jim Splaine and Paul McEachern, failed by 12 votes.

Splaine intends to file a new bill this session and he will have a powerful new ally in the fight with the return of Hampton's Renny Cushing to the House.

Cushing, whose father was murdered in 1988, is the executive director of the group Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights. He speaks with the greatest power in opposition to the death penalty. In a speech, "Not in our name: Homicide survivors speak out against the death penalty," given to the Kennedy School of Government in 1999, Cushing said survivors of homicide victims want three things: the truth, justice and healing. Cushing argues that execution is not justice and does not help survivors heal. In seeking death, we "take the focus off the good works of the individual we've lost, and we become very offender oriented. Very murder fixated. That's what the death penalty is all about, it's not about the victim, it's about the murderer."

New Hampshire should redirect the energy it expends trying to kill criminals toward helping victims' families heal.

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