Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Compelling Arguments

MVFHR members Walt Everett and Victoria Coward are quoted in this opinion piece by Rev. Allie Perry from the 3/16/12 New Hampshire Register, about the hearings on Connecticut's repeal bill:

AS I write this, I am watching the live-streaming of testimony before the Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 280, which calls for repeal of Connecticut’s death penalty. Into the hearing’s eleventh hour, those testifying now are all, excepting one, in support of repeal.

Their arguments are many. Most compelling to me has been the testimony of victims’ family members, such as Victoria Coward, whose 18 year-old son, Tyler, was murdered in New Haven in 2007, or the Rev. Walter Everett, whose 24-year-old son, Scott, was murdered in Bridgeport in 1987.

Not in spite but because of their anguish and heartbreak, they adamantly support repeal.

Coward explained that she will not be party to the state’s taking of another life.

The death penalty does not bring closure for families, Everett argued. The protracted process creates additional trauma, its own cruel and unusual punishment, for victims’ families. “I did not want my son’s murderer to take my life, too, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and even physically,” testified Everett.

This is a critical time for our state to join 16 other states that have abolished the death penalty: most recently New Jersey in 2007, New Mexico in 2009 and Illinois in 2011.

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