Monday, December 15, 2008

A Holistic Approach

After the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment released its final report on Friday, recommending abolition of the state's death penalty, there has of course been considerable news coverage of the issue. This Baltimore Sun article has a video of the official announcement, in which you can catch a glimpse of MVFHR Board Chair Vicki Schieber, who serves on the Commission.

If you follow the above link to the online copy of the Commission's report, do take a look at the appendix written by the victims' subcommittee, which includes several recommendations for improving services for victims in the state. After listing several specific recommendations, the subcommittee members write:

We, as victim members of the Commission, believe that the above recommendations are imperative for inclusion in any draft legislation that may follow the report. There needs to be a holistic approach to victims’ interests. Any savings from a [death penalty] repeal action should be targeted to assist the victims of crime, and especially the survivors of homicide. The results of the Commission’s recommendation cannot be a fa├žade to victim/survivor concerns. The Commission’s recommendations must be clearly articulated to ensure that any legislation introduced will be dedicated to the interests of victims.

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