For years, Aba Gayle "lusted for revenge" against the California death- row inmate who murdered her 19-year-old daughter.
But everything changed when she mailed the killer a letter, saying she forgave him.
Paying visits to San Quentin prison, Gayle befriended the man she once despised and wanted put to death.
As hate gave way to healing, she turned against the death penalty.
Now, the 77-year-old Silverton woman is a leader of a nonprofit Oregon advocacy organization that is seeking to abolish the death penalty here.
Even though condemned killers rarely are executed in Oregon, Gayle says it's time for Oregonians to repeal the law that allows state-sanctioned killing.
As she tells it, the ultimate punishment should be scrapped because it sucks taxpayer dollars, undermines human values and takes revenge in arbitrary fashion. "It truly is the ultimate violation of human rights," she said. "It is horrendous to think that when they kill somebody at the penitentiary, they do it in the name of the citizens. I don't want anybody killed in my name."