On this anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, here are some words from our Gallery of Victims' Stories from family members of victims killed in those attacks:
From Loretta Filipov: "After Al was killed, some thought we would feel differently and want revenge. My family and I would have liked nothing better than to have Mohammed Atta and the other terrorists from Flight 11 brought to an open trial and given 92 life sentences; one sentence for each person aboard that flight. But they and the other terrorists also killed themselves on that day. What kind of a world do we want for future generations? We can see from the present course we are following that violence only begets more violence and killing only leads to more killing. It is possible to have justice without revenge and hate. The death penalty is not the answer.”
From Terry Greene: "We cannot afford to enact measures that give the illusion of safety while doing nothing to deter killings. The death penalty has proven ineffective as a deterrent. It only promotes the acceptability of taking lives, a cycle which must instead be broken."
From Robin Theurkauf: “I am opposed to the death penalty because it sanctions violence and revenge as justice. We have somehow become socialized to believe that if we do not kill the author of a horrific crime, justice has not been done. We need a new way to understand a just response to horrible crimes that does not include more violence. When we exercise the death penalty we become in some way what we deplore."
From Orlando Rodriguez: “We can understand why victims' families would look to the death penalty as a justifiable punishment for convicted terrorists, but we feel that it is wrong to take a life. Nothing will erase the pain and loss that we must learn to live with, and causing others pain can only make it worse. If any good can come out of the disaster of Sept. 11, perhaps it will include examination of how we can maintain our humanity in the face of terrorists' threats.”
And from Anthony Aversano: “If I let hatred consume my life from that terrorist attack, then that act of terror would have taken more than my father, more than those many other lives and more than those buildings, it would have taken my life too! If I let that happen, then the tragedy of that one day would poison me forever."