Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It demeans our dignity

MVFHR member Marietta Jaeger Lane is featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Yes! Magazine, in a story told to writer Lynsi Burton. Here's an excerpt:

Eventually [the man who kidnapped and murdered my 7-year-old daughter] was arrested, and irrefutable evidence was found to charge him with kidnap/murder, a capital crime with a sentence of the death penalty.

But I realized that to kill him in Susie’s name would not restore her life; it would only make another victim and another grieving family.

So, I asked the prosecutor for the alternative sentence of mandatory life without parole. Only when he was offered that was he willing to confess to the murders of a 19-year-old and three children, including Susie.

Using the same mindset as killers to solve our problems demeans our own worth and dignity. Victims’ families have every right initially to feelings of revenge. But the laws of our land should not be based on bloodthirsty, gut-level state-sanctioned killings: They should call us to higher moral principles more befitting our beloved victims.

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