Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More additions to online Gallery of Stories

We've added four more pages to the Gallery of Victims' Stories, all participants in the "Prevention, Not Execution" project, which focuses on the intersection between murder, mental illness, and the death penalty:

Linda Gregory, whose husband, Florida Deputy Sheriff Gene Gregory, was killed by Alan Singletary, who had been diagnosed with mental illness. From Linda's Gallery page: "Linda has been active in working for reform of mental health laws and improving services. She also works to train members of law enforcement in crisis intervention, “I never felt good that Alan Singletary was dead. I just thought, what a tragedy that might have been prevented. It was a heartbreak for everybody."

Barbara McNally, whose husband Jim was killed in Illinois. From Barbara's Gallery page: "Barbara has been active in working for reform of some of her state’s mental health laws, including legislation that allows murder victim’s family members to deliver victim impact statements at commitment hearings when a defendant has been found not guilty by reason of insanity, and a law that will consider proximity to surviving victims when determining in which facility to place an inmate."

Kim Crespi, whose twin daughters Samantha and Tessara were killed by her husband, the girls' father. From Kim's Gallery page: "Kim has spoken publicly about her tragedy on The Oprah Winfrey Show and 20/20 and to People Magazine. Kim also participated in a North Carolina symposium, 'Mental Illness and the Death Penalty,' which provided the basis for legislation that would exempt people with mental illness from the death penalty. Kim remains active in local work to end the death penalty in North Carolina. 'Executing David would only make things worse for me and our children. It is hard enough for them to understand that their loving father, in an uncontrolled psychotic state, killed their baby sisters. Trying to understand how
reasonable, non-psychotic people would now choose to take their father’s life would create another layer of distrust and tragedy that certainly would do nothing to aid in their healing.'”

And long-time activists Ken and Lois Robison, whose son Larry was exected in Texas. From the Robisons' Gallery page: “We had tried for years to get treatment for Larry, but he was routinely discharged from hospitals after a short time because he was 'not violent' and the 'needed the bed.' When Larry eventually committed violence, were horrified, and terribly distressed for the victims and their families. We thought Larry would finally be committed to a mental institution, probably for life. We were wrong. Despite his medical history, he was found sane, guilty and sentenced to death. How can a modern, civilized society choose to exterminate its mentally ill citizens rather than treat them?”

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