Families of Murder Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty
Would you oppose the death penalty for the murderer of your husband? Your mother? Your son?
Families of murder victims are often ardent and very public supporters of the death penalty. But the people whose stories appear in this book have chosen instead to oppose the death penalty for their loved ones’ murderers. Surviving the murder of their loved one has led them to understand that the death penalty does not serve their needs. For some, their journey has taken them on a path of forgiveness leading them to reach out to the killer and establish a relationship with him or her. Others have formed their own organizations to oppose the death penalty or promote restorative justice. All are members of a nationwide group, Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR), whose mission is to end the use of the death penalty.
The people in this book are sometimes discounted as being either saints or lunatics, but they are, in fact, ordinary people who believe the death penalty is a form of social violence that only repeats and perpetuates the violence that claimed their loved ones’ lives.
In Don’t Kill in Our Names: Families of Murder Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty (Publication date: February 14, 2003; 304 pp., 18 b&w illus.; Cloth, $27.00, 0-8135-3182-9) Rachel King weaves third-person narrative with wrenching first-hand accounts, presenting the stories of ten family members. Each is a heartrending tale of grief, soul searching, and of the challenge to oppose the death penalty instead of choosing the more socially acceptable behavior of supporting it. In fact, many people in the book have actually experienced discrimination by the state because of their opposition to the death penalty. Others have faced social ostracism from family and friends.
King sets the
stories in the context of the national discussion over the death
penalty debate and restorative versus retributive justice. The
book will appeal not only to those who oppose the death penalty,
but also to those who strive to understand how people can survive
the ordeal of homicide.
Founded in 1936, Rutgers University Press is a non-profit academic publishing house operating under the auspices of Rutgers, the State University. The Press publishes titles in African American studies, anthropology, art, cultural studies, economics, environmental studies, film, gay and lesbian studies, health, history, humor, literature, medicine, New Jersey and regional studies, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, science, and women's studies. Rutgers University Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses.
royalties go to:
Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights