Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Don't Force Us to Bury Another

Victims' families are among those testifying in New Hampshire today in support of a death penalty repeal bill and in favor of a bill that would impose a moratorium and create a study commission there. We'll aim to have a report later this week.

Meanwhile, we were interested to see, via the Death Penalty Information Center, this article from the Columbus Dispatch about the parole board granting clemency to a man who had been scheduled to be executed in March. The board commuted Jeffrey Hill's sentence to life in prison. Hill had been sentenced to death for killing his mother in 1991, and the fact that the surviving family members opposed his execution clearly influenced the board's decision. From the article:

Parole board members were clearly impressed with what a report released today called the "compelling and unanimous opinion" of the family of victim Emma Hill that her son and killer should not be executed.

"They have suffered tremendous loss, and execution would add further to their suffering," the board said.


In a letter to the editor last month, Hill's uncle, Eddie Sanders of Mount Healthy, urged public support for clemency.

"For 18 years, we have grieved Emma's passing," Sanders wrote. "As a family, we have gone through enough. Executing Jeffrey will not bring Emma back or negate our suffering. We already have suffered through the burial of a dear loved one. Our family hopes the state of Ohio honors Emma's wishes and does not force us to bury another."

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