FOR THE SAKE OF THE VICTIMS, FOR THE SAKE OF TEXAS, FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY,
ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY
For the last two weeks of October, 2005, the "Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing" was in Texas. The Journey of Hope is a speaking tour led by families of murder victims. Included in the Journey were exonerated death row prisoners, families of executed prisoners and prisoners on death row, and ordinary ciitzens who oppose capital punishment for a variety of reasons. Over 50 people from around the nation were involved in the Journey as it traveled to over 30 Texas cities. Included were Bud Welch, whose daughter, Julie, was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995; David Kacyznski, who turned his brother, Unabomber Ted Kacyznski, in to authorities in 1996; and Robert Meerpol, whose parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were executed in 1953. Journey members articulately spoke about the futility of the death penalty as an answer to violent crime and the need for forgiveness and compassion if we are to become a better society.
Members of the Journey who had lost a loved one to murder stated three reasons for their opposition to the death penalty: (1) It does not bring them healing, (2) It is not good for society as it makes us into killers, and (3) it does not honor the memory of their family members who were murdered.
Members of the Journey who had been exonerated after being on death row for many years spoke about the flaws and biases in the criminal justice system: (1) ineffective legal counsel for the poor, (2) discrimination against minorities, (3) prosecutorial misconduct and (4) flawed crime laboratories that can result in innocent people being sent to prison.
Members of the Journey who had a family member on death row or executed explained how they too became victims when the death penalty was imposed.
Activists who joined the Journey spoke about the futility of the death penalty in deterring crime, the high cost of executions as compared to life in prison and how the death penalty was perceived as a severe human rights abuse throughout the world.
Members of the Journey of Hope spoke in over 160 places in Texas - churches, schools, universities and civic organizations. It was a great opportunity for the people of Texas, the state that has had over 350 executions since the death penalty was resumed in 1982, to see the death penalty from the perspective of those most affected by it.
David Atwood Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
thank you for posting the article. i live in texas and hadn't heard of the journey but wish i had. knowing the corruption of the texas judical system (good ole boy system) i am sure there have been many an innocent person exacuted here. not to mention the inhumanity of the death penelty.
[ send green star]