Murder Victims' Families for Human RightsStatement on World Day Against the Death Penalty
Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights is a U.S.-based international organization of family members of homicide victims and family members of people who have been executed. As survivors with a direct stake in the death penalty debate, and as people who believe in the value of basic human rights principles, we join today in the call for a worldwide moratorium on executions.
The most basic of human rights, the right to life, is violated both by homicide and by execution. We call today for a consistent human rights ethic in response to violence: let us not respond to one human rights violation with another human rights violation. Let us recognize that justice for victims is not achieved by taking another life.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was inspired by victims, demanded by victims. It grew out of the suffering of millions of civilians murdered under the brutal regimes of the Second World War, and its adoption on December 10, 1948 was a way to honor the loss of those lives by asserting that such violations are neither moral nor permissible under any nation or regime.
Now, over sixty years later, let us recognize that violations of human life in the form of the death penalty should not be permissible under any nation or regime. Working across state and national borders, united by our losses and our opposition to further killing, members of MVFHR call for abolition of the death penalty because the only way to uphold human rights is to uphold them in all cases, universally.