One more link: this write-up on the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty site also has a couple of video clips from the Words of Victims evening.
We're now working on the spring/summer issue of our newsletter, Article 3, which will have some more in-depth material from the World Congress, including interviews with some of our members and colleagues around the world.
And one other note: MVFHR Board Chair Vicki Schieber sent a link to an article in The Leaven about a recent speaking engagement that she and her husband Syl did; the article's title is, "Saying No to the Death Penalty: Couple opposes death penalty even after murder of their daughter." Here's an excerpt:
Ultimately, the murderer [of the Schiebers' daughter Shannon] received several life sentences without the possibility of parole. The entire trial and sentencing process lasted five weeks, mercifully brief compared to the average 17 years of appeals and challenges associated with pursuing a death sentence.
The Schiebers felt they made the right decision.
“The trial, the constant hearings, and the seething hatred all add up to a real ordeal for the families of the victims,” said Sylvester. “The anger can consume you. We’ve seen it ruin people’s lives — ruin their health, ruin their marriages.”
“Instead of dealing with this for another 17 years, we were done with it in five weeks,” Sylvester continued. “We have peace. We haven’t got any anger left, and I haven’t lost a night’s sleep over him since they put him away.”
In addition to their Catholic faith, which they said taught them that life is sacred and hatred is a sin, the strain on the victim’s family is one of the key reasons the Schiebers have since become heavily involved in the move to abolish the death penalty across the country. Vicki has even quit her job to become involved in the movement full time.
“People really don’t understand the system and what it does to families,” she said. “What we went through in the criminal justice system, we call being re-victimized.”