Here is an excerpt from the testimony that Robert Meeropol submitted regarding California's proposed lethal injection procedures (see yesterday's post):
I write you on the 56th anniversary of the execution of my parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Obviously, I have a personal relationship with the death penalty. I was born Robert Rosenberg. My birth parents were executed in Sing-Sing prison on June 19th, 1953 when I was six years old. My last name was changed when Abel and Anne Meeropol adopted my brother, Michael, and me after the executions. I believe my brother and I are unique in American history. We are the only people to have both their parents executed by the government.
I live in Massachusetts. I am an attorney. I write you as a private citizen and in my capacities as Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children and as a Founding Board Member of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR). At MVFHR we oppose the death penalty and believe state-sponsored executions, the premeditated killings of human beings by the state, are murders. We in MVFHR also believe extra-judicial as well as judicial killings violate Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and thus constitute human rights abuses.
As a resident of Massachusetts I will, for the most part, confine myself to discussing the impact of the death penalty in general, rather than the specifics of California’s proposed regulations. I am, however, concerned that the families of those facing execution are singled out in the regulations for disparate second class treatment. They deserve better than a not so subtle reminder that they are being treated as if they are a little bit guilty. In fact, the shock of having a loved one executed cries out for special counseling and care. The callous failure of the State of California to provide such support is another indication of how the death penalty diminishes the humanity of those who promote it. ...