I just got off the phone with MVFHR Board President Bud Welch, who was standing in the Kansas State House after testifying in favor of a bill that would repeal the state's death penalty. Bud said that victim's family member Bill Lucero, whose father was murdered and who has been speaking out against the death penalty for many years, also testified and delivered to the lawmakers a statement, with comments from 11 other Kansas victims' family members, all expressing support for the repeal bill.
Coverage of Bud's testimony is here in the Topeka Capital-Journal:
For the Carr brothers who murdered her boyfriend and three friends, being put death is the right punishment, Amy Scott told Kansas senators hearing testimony this week about a bill that would abolish the death penalty.
"The crimes they committed were so mind-blowingly awful that is was an appropriate punishment," she testified Wednesday morning.
For Bud Welch, whose daughter Julie-Marie was killed in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, he said he found no healing peace in Timothy McVeigh's execution.
"There was nothing about that process that brought me any peace," said Welch, of the organization Murder Victims Families for Human Rights.
The differing viewpoints from people who have mourned murder victims came during the second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on bills that would abolish the death penalty. Two bills are under consideration. One measure that would abolish the death penalty (SB 208) failed to advance during last year's legislative session. A new bill (SB 375) would allow the abolition of the death penalty while also maintaining death sentences for those already sentenced to death and those who commit crimes of capital murder before July 1. It would create a new charge of "aggravated murder" that would carry a possible sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.