Death penalty proponents argue that executions help victims' family members feel that justice has been done, and indeed, Terry Urnosky said back in 2003 that he thought the death sentence was part of God's plan for Foster. But others who've endured similar tragedies oppose the capital punishment, arguing that the agonising appeals process that so often accompanies a death penalty case exacerbates their pain and, far from helping them overcome their loss, keeps it in the forefront of their minds.Yes, we clearly shouldn’t torture these poor souls any more. Let’s just let their murderers escape the penalty passed on them by society and the legal system.
That’ll make them cheer up, right?
More to the point, the long, slow appeals process exacts a toll from victims' families. Sure, some survivors do say things like, "I was really looking forward to sitting in the front row while they executed this guy," (as Karen Bond told the Chicago Tribune after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn commuted her son's murderer's sentence). But others want the criminals who ruined their lives to get nothing less than … life.So, some say this and some say that and you clearly prefer that, so you’ll just ignore all the people who say this and proclaim that the people who say that have some kind of unimpeachable moral authority?
… Laura Porter from Equal Justice USA, a grassroots organisation working to improve the justice system, increase services for families of homicide victims and repeal the death penalty, says: "I work with many murder victim's family members […] and I'm hearing more and more voices calling for repeal of the death penalty, citing the fact that the endless appeals process harms victims."I suspect that’s because you are choosing the ‘murder victim’s families’ that you work with very, very carefully…
Why can’t these people just openly admit, up front, that they don’t agree with the death penalty? Why the need to co-opt the opinions of the families of the victims (at least, those that agree with them)?