Thursday, August 6, 2009

Welcome Marie Verzulli

We welcome Marie Verzulli to the MVFHR Board of Directors. Marie has worked for several years as the Victims’ Family Outreach Liaison for New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, facilitating a group called Family and Friends of Homicide Victims. She is masterful at forming connections with other victims' families and developing alliances with groups and individuals who may not be explicitly anti-death penalty but who share our goals of helping victims and preventing violence.

Marie's 29-year-old sister was one of eight women murdered by serial killer Kendall Francois in Poughkeepsie, New York during 1996 and 1997. In her page in MVFHR's Gallery of Victims' Stories, Marie says, “I had never thought much about the death penalty until the day in 1998 when the District Attorney asked me how I felt. I told him that I had never really thought about it. I couldn’t imagine what, if anything, could bring me comfort or lessen my pain and despair, but I knew it wasn’t that. The most perverse part of this unfair and costly death penalty process is that the murderer achieves a kind of celebrity while the pain and anguish of the murder victim’s family members is forgotten or just seems to fall between the cracks.”

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